THE HOUSE OF GOD
By †W. J. DALBY, M.A.
the Old Testament days, under the Law, the Jews had a literal
the case of any temple the most important idea associated with it is that of
the presence of God.† A
literal temple is, in fact, a place where Deity is supposed to dwell in a
special sense.† This conception was
actually realized in the
[* The personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in any regenerate soul is conditional upon obedience, (Acts 5:32: it is shown in both Testaments, (1 Samuel 16: 14; 18: 12; Judges 16: 20. cf. Psalm 51: 11, etc)]
second thought which occurs to us in connection with a temple is that of sacrifice.† The sacrificial system of the Old
Testament centred in the
may now add a word about worship in general.† From the circumstance that the corporate
religious life of
pass to another point.† In the literal
further train of thought arises here.† In
last lesson is drawn from the two pillars of the
"To Whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual scarifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2: 4-5).
Here is an important lesson needed to be learned today in biblical typology; strict compliance to the Lordís command is expected from every regenerate believer.† Only obedient believers have any proper grounds for hope of entrance into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
"There is a "salvation through judgment" for the redeemed people of God:-
Ananias and Sapphira have not been the last at whose death we may say:- "Great fear came upon the whole church, and believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women" (Acts 5: 11, 14).† A revival was sweeping through an English town, and a saloon keeper was doing everything in his power to oppose it.† First he sent the men who frequented his place, the worst characters in the town, but they one after the other got converted and never returned.† At last driven to desperation he determined to go himself, and he did.
The evangelist had been asking God for a text, and finally God gave it. "Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not live."
"Why, Lord," cried the revivalist, "I can't preach on that text.† I don't know a thing to say about it.† Give me something else." But nothing else would come.† And at last came the moment to preach.† In despair the evangelist asked the congregation to sing another hymn, and while it was being sung he besought God again for a different text.† But no other could he get.
Now the saloon keeper had planned to let the preacher announce his text, and then to spring up and wreck the service.† The building was densely packed.† White and trembling the evangelist in a solemn voice gave out his text, "Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not live."† And no sooner had he uttered the last word than the desperado who had found a seat in the centre of the auditorium sprang to his feet and let out such a volley of oaths and blasphemy that everyone was shocked beyond expression.
Suddenly he paused, a moment later a gurgle was heard in his throat.† Then came a great mouthful of blood, and the next moment there was a crash as he fell heavily to the floor.† The man was a corpse.† God had judged him on the spot, and had used drastic means.† The papers reported it.† Far and wide the news was spread.† Men almost feared to look the evangelist in the eyes.† Conviction settled deeply, and large numbers were swept into the Kingdom.
"He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Prov. 29: 1)."
There are many believers today opposing the "word of the kingdom." (Matt. 13:19).
By† J. EADIE, D.D.
The places quoted in support of the Temple here (2 Thess. 2: 4) meaning the Church are not wholly analogous; the spiritual temple is in them said to be built up of individual believers as living stones; they are affirmed to be a temple, and the appeal is to them in this character.† The phrase is an immediate and impressive symbol of their purity and consecration and of their being the dwelling-place of God, "an habitation of God through the Spirit."† In those ethical passages, describing spiritual privilege, blessing, and destiny, the meaning lies on the surface, and is so clear that it cannot be for a moment mistaken, for the metaphor carries its own explanation, and believers are asserted to form the temple.
the case is somewhat different in a picture like this where, without any
explanation, the profane and daring usurper, as the acme of his antagonism, is
said to take his seat in the
The person so described is a man - a single man, and not a series or succession of men, not the personification of evil influences, or the head of any human organization.† This man, made of sin, and the representative impersonation of it, is the counter-Christ, "he who opposes"; both are individual men, both come to view, or are "revealed" in immediate personal manifestation, both are signalized in character, the one by righteousness, the other by sin.† The one has life and glory as his destiny, but the other ruin and perdition.
The Man of Sin exalts himself above and against every one called God.† He puts himself into a position higher than that of any God, refuses to worship anything divine, as if he himself possessed a higher divinity.† Whatever bears a divine name or claims divine worship, he will put beneath himself in a spirit of overbearing and self-glorifying hostility, and of blasphemous insolence, as if to himself alone divine homage were due.† He that lifts himself above everything divine in person or homage puts himself in its room as divine.† The inference is that this antichrist thrusts God out of His place, usurps it, and arrogantly and impiously claims the worship due to Him.
The aorist describes the act - he sits down, and it is implied - that the sitting lasts after the act.† Into the temple proper does this proud opposer thrust himself - as if he - were its divine inhabitant with his throne in the Holy of Holies.
Dean Alford summarizes the passage thus :- "Though eighteen hundred years later we stand, with regard to this prophecy, where the apostle stood; the day of the Lord not present, and not to arrive until the Man of Sin be manifested; the mystery of iniquity still working, and much advanced in its working; the restrainer still hindering. Lawlessness working on, so to speak, underground, under the surface of things, gaining throughout many ages more expansive force, more accumulated power, but still hidden and un-concentrated."† The Ďmany antichristsí (as he points out) are minor eruptions of the subterranean lawlessness which culminates in the devastating volcano of the Lawless One.
ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES IN THE
By† Professor H. GRAETZ
[* If Judas is the False Prophet, Menclaus seems to forecast an ingrained tendency of things.† The apostate Jew aids and abets the Gentile Anti-God, and persuades and compels to the worship of his Image.† It is significant that Napoleon's chief helper was Talleyrand, an apostate bishop.† Hell's best tool is a traitor. - D. M. PANTON.]
Solitude soon became unbearable to Menelaus, the original instigator of all these horrors.† He was frightened at the mere echo of his own voice.† To free himself from this painful position he invented a new and infamous plan. Judaism, with its laws and customs, was to be suspended, and its followers were to be compelled to adopt the Greek faith.† Antiochus, full of hatred and anger against both the Judaeans and their religion, acceded to Menelausí plan, and had it carried out with his usual tenacity.† The Judaeans were to become Hellenized, and thereby reduced to obedience, or, if they opposed his will, they were doomed to death.† He not only wished to become master of the Judaean people, but to prove to them the impotence of the God they served so faithfully.† He, who disdained the gods of his ancestors, considered it a mockery that the Judaeans should still hope that their God would destroy him, the proud blasphemer, and he determined to challenge and defeat the God of Israel.
Antiochus issued a decree, which was sent forth to all the towns of
Antiochus was greatly irritated by the resistance the Jews offered, and he issued command upon command to enforce his orders with the utmost cruelty upon the disobedient people.† The officials therefore continued their persecutions with redoubled zeal.† They tore and burnt the rolls of the Law whenever they found them, and killed the few survivors who sought strength and consolation in their perusal.† They destroyed all houses of worship and education, and if they found poor weak women, just recovering from their confinements, who, in the absence of their husbands, circumcised their sons themselves, these barbarians hanged them with their babes on the walls of the city.
DESECRATIONS OF THE HOLY OF HOLIES
natural impiety of the human heart has, from to time, sought the desecration of
the Holy of Holies.† Thus when Pompey
took Jerusalem:- "No small enormities were
committed about the Temple itself, which in former ages had been inaccessible and
seen by none, for Pompey went into it, and not a few of
those that were with him also, and saw all which it was unlawful for any
other men to see only for the high priests."
(b) So did Titus, when the temple was taken and burnt.† "And now, since Caesar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers, and the fire proceeded on more and more he went into the holy place of the temple with his commander, and saw it, with what was in it:" Wars vi., iv., 7.
So, the Roman emperor Caligula gave order to Petronius "to make an invasion into Judaea with a great body of the
troops, and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect it in THE
Similar was the conduct of Ptolemy Philopator, as recorded in the third
of Maccabees.† He came to
- ROBERT GOVETT
ANTICHRIST IN THE
By† D. M. PANTON, B.A.
we all the facts before us which God has before Him, and had we the mind
to master and collate them which God has, prophecy would be superfluous, since prophecy
is only the supernatural disclosure of what the facts around us make as
inevitable as mathematics; and therefore, as it is, to a mind trained in
prophecy, as the oak is in the acorn, so the drama of the end is visibly
forming in the facts of to-day.† Here is
one. "In the magnificent chapel of the Tsar's
Palace in Livadia, in the Crimea," says Mr. Stanley Perkins of
THE HOLY OF HOLIES
There has been one spot in the world and one only, which is actually ground consecrated to Deity, where, alone on earth since the creation of the world, God has been resident.† When the Temple was completed Solomon cried - "Will God in very deed dwell on the earth?" and the response, of Jehovah was immediate - "When Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and THE GLORY OF THE LORD" - the Shekinah Glory that never appears apart from the local presence of Deity - "FILLED THE HOUSE" (2 Chron. 7: 1).† The Holy of Holies is the only plot of ground which the Godhead, untabernacled in flesh, has ever taken up prolonged residence: it was the earthly Palace of the King.
It follows therefore that no spot on earth could be more ideally chosen on which to challenge the Godhead, or on which to substitute a human deity, in a sacrilege the most amazing, the most, daring, and - if uncrushed - the most strategically successful conceivable.† This is the exact plan of Hell.† Where no man might enter without death, except the High Priest; where the High Priest could not enter without death except on one day of the year; where even the Lord Jesus, as the obedient Israelite, never entered:- "the man of sin, the son of perdition, SITTETH" - even as Jehovah reposed between the Cherubim - "IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, setting himself forth as God" (2 Thess. 2: 4).† On the Mercy Seat, beneath the overshadowing Cherubim, is seated, for the worship of the world, the Arch-Rebel himself.
exactly rebuilds the Temple - whether it is reconstructed internationally, or
by Zionists, or by the Masons, of the world, or by the Mandatory Power - does not appear to be
revealed, but since the sacrifices could be offered nowhere else, and
Antichrist makes the sacrifices, which had been resumed, to cease (Dan. 9: 27), the Temple must be again in
being for the final drama, and it is the Temple of God.† Our Lord regarded Herodís
[* See also, possibly, Psa. 74: 7, 8.]
the drama begins by the Antichrist getting control of the
A thirty-foot image of Lenin over-shadows the Tomski Stadium in the suburbs of
It is a curious and sinister forecast that Caligula
habitually spoke to his Image in
now we reach the final maturity of human sin. "He SITTETH" - that is, in
regular and habitual session - "in the
[*Since Satan gives him his throne (Rev. 13: 4), which is super-angelic, the Beast must control the evil Principalities and Powers: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" (Isa. 14: 13).† Stars, figuratively, are angels (Rev. 12: 4).]
The arson of St. Peter's (Rev. 17: 16) and
the pollution of the
** The news of the restoration of the Temple worship
after his desecrations so enraged Antiochus Epiphanes that, bidding his
charioteer drive at double speed, he vowed to make Jerusalem a giant grave in
which to bury all Israel; but the words were scarcely out of his mouth when he
was stricken (like Herod) with internal torments; spectres scared his dying
bed, as they did Leninís, who died crying, "Kill
the Jews! kill the Jews!" and he died
The royal diadem of the Pharaoh of the Oppression was a golden figure of the Asp, in the act of striking, encircling the Kingís head; and the god of Rameses was the Dragon. He says:- "The diadem of the royal snake adorned my head.† It spat fire and glowing flame in the face of my enemies.† I brand with a hot iron the foreign peoples of the whole earth with thy name [the name of his god].† They belong to thy person for evermore."† With the newly-established divinities the King united himself, both in effigy and in name.† He put up his own image among the gods, which was worshipped.
By† G.H. LANG.
1. The Divine Predictions.
The All-seeing and Fore-seeing has no afterthoughts, but works all things according to the purpose and after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1: 11).† Therefore He can announce in advance what He intends to do.
1. †2 Chron. 7: 15, 16.† As soon as the first house to His name at
affirmed an everlasting and perpetual regard, yea, a heart interest, of
God in that house.† Yet it is
followed in verse 20 by the seeming
contradiction that, upon
The manner in which God purposed to fulfil both statements, and to have perpetual regard to that house while on occasion destroying it, can be learned from statements He made during the period that house stood before its first destruction.
2. †Psa. 66.† The psalm preceding this
is millennial, for "all flesh shall come",
to God in
The intervening psalm (66) is likewise millennial.† All the earth is joyful and is singing Godís praise (1, 2, 8).† He has completed His terrible but purifying works upon mankind at large (5-7); He has brought Israel through tribulation into a wealthy place, into "overlooking refreshing" as Darbyís German gives it (Zu uberstromender Erquickung) (8-12): whereupon the psalmist says: "I will come into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows, which my lips uttered, and my mouth spake, when I was in distress. I will offer unto thee burnt-offerings of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats" (13-15).
This contemplates that at the period of Israelís restoration there will be a house, with burnt offerings, free-will offerings in payment of vows, incense, and with sin offerings, for the goat was used chiefly as the sin offering (see Lev. 4: 24 ; c. 16: etc, etc).
3. †Isa. 19.† Isaiah prophesied in full
view of his peopleís apostasy and their consequent rejection by God, but also
of their full and permanent restoration.†
This chapter predicts a period when, first,
4. †Isa. cs. 24 to 27.† This whole section of
Isaiah is millennial. From the uttermost parts of the earth songs are heard,
"Glory to the righteous" (24: 16): Jehovah is reigning in Zion (24: 23): death is swallowed up for ever (25: 8: comp. 1 Cor.
15: 54): God is a strong city for the righteous (26: 1): the godly of Israel have been raised from the dead (26: 19): and the glorious prophecy concludes on
the high note that Israelís outcasts have been gathered and shall "worship Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem" (27: 13).† Thus is
5. †Isa. 66: 20-23. †It is upon this same high
6. †Jer. 33: 14-22. †This passage also is millennial, for the Branch of righteousness has grown up in the house of David and is executing justice and righteousness in the land; Judah has been saved and Jerusalem dwells safely; her name is "Jehovah our righteousness"; Davidís throne is established (though at the time of this prophecy it was tottering to its fall): and, concludes the prediction, as certainly as that "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (the fulfilment of the everlasting covenant with David: (2 Sam. 7: 16; Psa. 89: 19-37); neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt-offerings, and to burn meal offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
Priests, Levites, sacrifices are all contemplated, implying a house and an altar. †If these things are not to be, as some affirm, then as certainly must the covenant with David fail and his son, Messiah, not rule. †They who get rid of the altar must get rid of the throne, as indeed they do, denying a national future to Israel.
7. †Ezek. Capters. 40 to 48. †This portion of Holy Writ is fully to the same
effect. †The prophecy follows that of the
destruction upon the mountains of
The plain sense of the whole vision shows the people of Israel in their own land, with a new temple, with priests of the family of Zadok (48: 11), and Levites (c. 44), offering on the altar sin, trespass, meal, peace, and burnt-offerings with oblations of firstfruits, and with sprinkling of the blood. (cs. 43 to 45).
8. †Hag. 2. †At the time the second temple was being built God said to the people : "Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory?" (verse 3). †To encourage them to press forward the erecting of what seemed so insignificant in comparison with Solomonís temple the promise was added : "Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land, and I will shake all nations, and the desirable (or precious) things of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saint Jehovah of hosts. †The silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith Jehovah of hosts. †The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith Jehovah of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of hosts" (6-9).
is plain that these promises and those in 20-23,
are millennial. †The throne that has
exercised lordship over kingdoms, namely, that of Antichrist, is to be overthrown, and his armies destroyed (22). †The
riches of the kingdoms are to go to
9. †Zech. 6: 12, 13 reads: "Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Jehovah; even he shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne".
This gives the specific particulars that Messiah shall be the Builder of that final temple, that His throne shall be there, and that He shall be Priest-King. †It is this last feature that is elaborated in Heb. 7, treating of Christ Jesus as the priest-king after the order of Melchidezek.
10. †Zech. 14. Verse 9
extends this kingship of Messiah to the whole earth, thus showing
incontrovertibly that the period is the millennium. This is emphasized by ver. 11 stating that "there
shall be no more curse, but
Verses 16-21 repeat Isaiahís prophecy (see no. 5 above) that
11. †Mal. 3.
†This chapter is millennial, for the Lord
did not at His former coming to
All this asserts a temple, priests, and offerings at that period.
12. †Mal. 4: 4
suggests that this re-instituting of Mosaic ceremonies will be but part of a
general divine intention to restore the Mosaic legislation. †"Remember ye the
law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all
would seem impossible that "the law of Moses"
- a single all-inclusive term - could be re-imposed and not include that
large and dominant part thereof which intermingled
religious exercises with every phase and detail of life in
Surely there can be no reasonable meaning to all this testimony of the Old Testament save the plain and first sense of the statements, that Messiah is to build at Jerusalem a final temple, to be the world-centre of worship and rule, that priests and Levites will officiate, that feasts will be observed and sacrifices will be offered, all according to the law given at Sinai.
It is definitely made impossible to treat this body of prophecy as only an earthly parable of things heavenly by this fact if by no other, that in Rev. 21: 22 it is stated explicitly that in the heavenly Jerusalem there will be no temple, whereas in the scriptures cited as to the earth the temple is mentioned equally explicitly and is wholly essential to the situation described.
13. †For the completeness of study and clearness of understanding it is necessary to observe that Messiahís temple will not be the one in view in Rev. 11, for the latter is already there in the time of the Beast, before the coming of Messiah. That a prior temple will be built is plain from Dan. 8: 9-14; 9: 27; 12: 11; Joel 2: 15-27; Matt 24: 15; and Rev. 11. †This last place intimates that there will be an altar, implying that sacrifices will be resumed, and that there will be worshippers.
was directed to "measure" the temple (Rev. 11: 1). †When a surveyor receives
instructions to measure-up a long-neglected property it may be presumed that the owner is about to renew active interest
in it. †Thus when Zechariah saw the vision of
It should be further noticed from Rev. 11: 1 that God will own this pre-Messianic temple as His, for it is styled "the temple of God", and it has an altar, worshippers, and sacrifices (Dan. 8: 11-13): How should God not own it seeing that among the worshippers of that era will be Two Witnesses specially sent by Him to maintain His rights there at that time?
This divine acknowledgment of that temple is in exact harmony with which Paulís teaching in
14. †2 Thess. 2: 3, 4, which states that immediately before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ "the man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is an object of worship; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God". †Upon the godly resisting this profane worship the final persecution will set in fiercely, and the altar and sanctuary will be cast down. This will necessitate that before-noticed building of a temple by Messiah, when He shall have set up His kingdom shortly thereafter.
2. THE CHIEF DIFFICULTY
The boldest ought to hesitate to deny or to emasculate this weighty and consentient testimony. †It was announced by the Spirit of truth while the first temple was standing, was renewed while the second temple was being built and after, was confirmed through Paul while the third temple (that of Herod) still stood, and was finally repeated in the Revelation after this last temple had been destroyed. †It involves utterances by God Himself to Solomon and by the Son of God when here, and further statements by the Spirit of truth through twelve of His inspired messengers.
Nor do we know but one serious difficulty urged against the taking of this testimony in its plain sense. This is what the re-instituting of the sin-offering appears to conflict with the teaching of Hebrews 9 that the offering of Christ on the cross annulled that sin-offering.
Allowing the surface reality of the difficulty, and even assuming that it were beyond solution, there will nevertheless apply here the sound cannon that if a belief be once established by adequate evidence no objection can overthrow it, because in such case the belief is founded on our knowledge but the objection on our ignorance.
The belief in question is founded upon the plain sense of the many scriptures cited; the objection is founded upon the ignorance as to how to reconcile these scriptures with another scripture. †Were Hebrews not before us probably no one would question the evident meaning of the former passages, or at least it would be irrational to do so. Moreover, where is the believer so conceited as to affirm that because he cannot resolve a problem therefore it is beyond solution? †The modest schoolboy does not question the well-attested fact that one and one make two, even though he cannot solve a problem to which that fact leads the way. †The devout might leave the matter here, assured that no divine statements can be really in conflict and that there must be a solution of the supposed disharmony.
us look at the question. It may be well approached through the statement in Rom. 10: 4 that "Christ
is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth".
†This does not say that "Christ the end of the law", that is, absolutely,
completely, so as to bar the continuance of or the re-imposing of the law. †This limitation is clear from the fact that
the whole and fundamental part of the law of Moses
which we term the moral law is of perpetual validity. †The atonement of
There are three passages in Ezekiel which may be thought to contradict this. †In these, sacrifices, including "sin-offerings", are said to be for "acceptance" (43: 27), for "cleansing" (45: 18), and for "atonement" (45: 17, 20). †But there is no real divergence.
The first of these passages has to do with the cleansing of the altar, not of the worshippers (43: 18-27). †The altar being on a yet defiled earth, made of earthly materials, and being built by still imperfect men, (for the millennial era and persons will not be perfect), partakes of that defilement and imperfection, and must be ceremonially cleansed, as a humble acknowledgment by men of this situation as felt by God. †This having been effected, then it is said that "the priests shall make your burnt-offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord Jehovah". †Here again it must be noted that burnt and peace offerings are accepted only from the already justified.
The third passage (45: 18-20) is of similar but wider scope; it has to do with the cleansing of the sanctuary entire: "thou shalt cleanse the sanctuary ... so shall ye make atonement for the house". †The same considerations apply here; and not only once, as at the initial dedication of the altar, but perpetually, for this atonement must be made annually. †But this is because of the defiling of the house by two specified classes, the "erring" and the "simple". †The exact parallel is Heb. 5: 2: the high priest "can bear gently with the ignorant and erring". †It is to be the revival in the future of the great day of atonement (Lev. 16), only in the first month instead of the seventh. †But that day of old had no connection with the justifying of an ungodly transgressor. †It was for the benefit of the ignorant and erring, that is, for the covering of the unrecognized failures of the people of God, who sought indeed to walk with Him according to His law, but, like ourselves, did not do so perfectly, according to Godís character and estimates. The present parallel to this is 1 John 1: 6, 7. †He who knowingly walks in darkness derives no benefit from the work of Christ (ver. 6), but "if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin". †The emphasis is upon the word "all," including sins through error, simplicity, ignorance. †But this implies prior justification, prior attainment of a standing before God through grace and atoning blood. †The unjustified is not "in the light" and cannot "walk in the light". It is "if we [John and fellow-saints] walk in the light" that this cleansing avails.
shows the force of the immediately preceding passage (Ezek.
45: 13-17). It is similar and entirely corporate aspect of atonement
that is contemplated, not that of an individual transgressor seeking
justification. †"All the people of the land" are to present a
united and stated "oblation" unto the
prince, out of which he is to provide the necessary sacrifices "in all the appointed
feasts of the house of
all earthly persons and their worship, both of old and now and in the
millennial era, it is to be remembered that there is iniquity in "holy gifts" (Ex. 28:
38), in the sanctuary, and in the priesthood (Num.
18: 1). This iniquity must be purged, not only that
of the unjustified when first approaching God, and
this it is that the presented by the Word of God in connection with that coming
temple and its sacrifices for sin. †This
may be gathered from Isa 60: 21. †Speaking of
Hebrews. †As far as the teaching of this Epistle is an expansion of the teaching stated in Rom. 10: 4, what has been said above will apply thereto; but some particular observations may be helpful and confirmatory.
1. †The whole epistle proceeds upon the opening acknowledgment of a certain status in those addressed. †All its reasonings and exhortations are based on the fact of this status. †It is set forth (1) that a man, Jesus the Son of God, is crowned with glory and honour in the heavens to be the Ruler of the universe; and (2) that God has in view to bring many others, also of the status of sons to Himself, that they may share that glory and rule of the Son, He and they being alike from one Source, the Father, as the Son acknowledges by calling them His "brethren" (2: 5-13).
In consequence of this association and this status, those addressed are "partakers of a heavenly calling" (3: 1), that is, a calling to live and reign in that upper world, not simply on the earth as if still men of the earth. †Therefore the writer deals with them, instructs them, pleads, exhorts, warns them as men already justified, as dissociated in the purpose of God from the earth as their sphere of hope, and belonging to the heavens above, whither they are hereafter to be taken and where already their hearts should ascend to reside.
For such persons a sanctuary of this world, with earthly priesthood and ceremonies, is obviously unnecessary and a hindrance, for it would still attach them to the earth. †Therefore they who would cling to such an earthly institution cannot share in the corresponding and superior heavenly sanctuary with its superior advantages, for the simple reason that a man cannot be at once of heaven and of earth, in heaven and on earth. †Each must take his choice. The heavenly region is available, as Canaan was for Godís earthly people of old (cs. 3 and 4); but as these had to accept redemption by blood, to forsake Egypt as their home, to traverse the wilderness as pilgrims, and to take possession by conflict of their inheritance, so must the heavenly people follow the same course; and if any turn back he will not reach the land.
Thus these in view were addressed as already redeemed, already related to God, already dissociated from this earth and partakers of the heavenly portion. †Clearly for such no earthly sanctuary can be in question. †But this reasoning seems to fail when it is sought to apply it to an earthly people of God, and in consequence those who deny that there is to be an earthly temple are soon driven on to deny that there is to be an earthly people of God and to say that Israel has no national future. †This sets aside the plain sense and force of all Scripture and throws the divine program into utter confusion. †Upon this topic the reader should by all means read S. H. Wilkinsonís admirable discussion "The Israel Promises".
But grant that there is to be an earthly people of God, Israel, and other saved nations on earth, it does not follow that for such persons an earthly sanctuary, priesthood, and sacrifices will be out of order and hurtful. †As well might it be argued that the earthly territory, political economy, and dignities were out of order. †Where the whole order is earthly, visible, material it will be part of that order that religion shall bear the corresponding aspect. †The public organization would seem structurally incomplete without public and organized religion. †A world association of saved nations will as much require a centre of worship as of government, and the wisdom of God has designed both for the coming era, as the scriptures here considered show. †This is the basic principle of a state church; but, it is true that the former religious economy, associated with the law and centred in the tabernacle, made no worship perfect, as to the conscience or relationship with God: it is equally certain that no future visible arrangements will do so of themselves. †The former covenant, made at Sinai, displayed this ineffectiveness; the law could not in practice be anything but weak and unprofitable, for the reason given in Rom. 8: 3, that it was weak through the bad material, the flesh, on which it had to work. But the future relations of man to God will be on the basis of a new covenant and will include regeneration, which feature is stressed in Heb. 8, quoting from Godís advance promise this in Jer. 31. †Under the new conditions of renewed human nature, cannot the law be as helpful as before it was helpless? †This goes far to account for it being re-imposed.
Moreover, even under the former imperfect conditions the law could and did help faith by pointing it forward to Christ, and to His sacrifice, and to the good things to come. †It was a tutor to direct to Christ (Gal. 3: 23-29). †In the same way the temple and ceremonies of the future will direct hearts to Christ, and the more fully that it will be known that they are pictures, no longer of events yet to be but of facts of history. †And this knowledge of Christ and His perfect sacrifice cannot but operate to prevent any view of the sacrifices on the altar other than that they are memorials; even as the same knowledge by Christians of this age forbids that the bread and wine on the table of the Lord be thought of as more than memorials. †The arguments used against a future altar of God can as well be used against the present table of the Lord.
And it would seem that there will be real need at that time of such a picture-book instruction, especially for the Gentile peoples. †For the light of both Christian and Jewish witness will have been all but extinguished by the Beast and his Prophet; paganism will be dominant, and "darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples" (Isa. 60: 2) which ... agrees with Christís significant question, "When the Son of man cometh shall He find the faith on the earth?" (Lk. 18.)
was the state of Israel Godward when He come down to
redeem them from
Thus with an earthly economy, marked by visible glory, a visible and noble sanctuary will be harmonious and helpful. There will be nothing to challenge the solitary efficacy of the cross of Christís acceptance with God, but, on the contrary, all will illustrate its usefulness and power. †Especially will the ceremonies teach the means of maintaining that fellowship with God into which justification introduces the believer. They will say in symbol what we now sing in verse,
"I stand upon His merit;
I know no other stand,
Not eíen where glory dwelleth
In Immanuelís land."
calling to the heavenly portion, glory, and service will, as far as we see,
have been closed by the resurrection and rapture of the church of God at the
descent of Christ (1 Thess. 4), but then God
will resume His dealings with the world at large, with Israel as the central
nation; and with the establishing of the temple of Messiah, there shall be
fulfilled at last the word which must find fulfilment, but never had done so, ("My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples"
Isa. 56: 7). †This scripture Christ applied, as Isaiah
had done, to the visible house of God at
the middle of the nineteenth century, Dr.
R. G. Barclay, a missionary, was walking outside the walls of
* * * * * * *
As one walks through these old quarries, he wonders how the stone could have been dislodged, since the quarrying of Solomonís day was carried on hundreds of years before the use of blasting powder. †An examination of the quarries reveals the ancient method. †The workmen would cut into the rock so as to make slots on about four sides of a piece of stone. †Then wooden wedges would be driven in on one side, and water poured on the wedges. †As the wood swelled, it would break the stone free from the native rock. †We could see the holes into which the wooden wedges had been driven. †Dr. Barclay says:- "For some time we were almost overcome with feelings of awe and admiration (and I must say apprehension, too, from the immense and impending vaulted roof), and felt quite at a loss to decide in which direction to wend our way. †There is a constant and in many places very rapid descent from the entrance to the termination, the distance between which two points, in a nearly direct line, is seven hundred and fifty feet; and the cave is upwards of three thousand feet in circumference, supported by great numbers of rude natural pillars".
* * * * * * *
referring to Himself, our Lord said: "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner" (Matt. 21: 42). †Apparently this is a reference to an incident which is believed to have occurred
in connection with Solomonís quarry and the building of Solomonís
workmen below the ground in the quarries finally set themselves to the task of
fashioning the cornerstone for Solomonís great structure. †For a long time they laboured, and at last it
was finished and sent up to the surface.
†The labourers who were working on the
Years later the
With great joy it was brought back to the
- PROFESSOR J. P. FRET.