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The Hebrew Christian Witness
PROPHETIC JNVESTIGATOR. AN ANGLO-JUDÆO CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE,
"TY ONX. “ Ye are My Witnesses.”—Is. xliii. 10.
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
None but the Divine MIND could have indited in a triad of laconic supplicatory sentences the history of the conflicts, and final CONQUEST, on this our planet, since the Fall. The brief petition now under consideration, comprehends the final CONQUEST. By the fatal fall of our first parents, Heaven and earth became snapped asunder. The will of their great Creator, whilst it continued to be done in the former, was set at defiance in the latter, by the instigation of the Old Serpent. The apostate archangel having been cast out of Heaven, became, for countless ages, the god of this world ; blinding the minds of the children of perdition and then working mightily in them. So that the seed of the serpent, the children of the evil one, “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.' The apostate spirit, however, was only to rule over this fallen, sin-stricken planet temporarily. However long he may be permitted to sway his usurped power, it is limited. Nor was his temporary unrighteous reign undisputed. This has been intimated in the first prophecy after the fell apostasy. A prophecy redolent of promised hope to a remnant of the seed of the woman, and freighted with the stern sentence of eternal perdition to the arch-tempter. Such we conceive to be the import of the words :- -“ And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field ; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”+
* 2 Cor. iv. 4 ; Ephes. ii. 2.
Gen. iii. 14, 15. For a full exposition of that prophecy, see our vol, for 1873, pp. 4-14,
The condition of this earth ever since that apostasy has been wretched in the extreme. It is true that there was always a remnant according to the election of grace, even in the darkest ages of this woe-begone globe, but that remnant was often weak and small. St. Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, enumerated some of that remnant to whom it was given to look onward and upward to the coming kingdom, and the re-union between Heaven and earth. For instance Enoch prophesied, saying :“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints."* This prophecy Zechariah was inspired to connect with the coming kingdom and of God's name being hallowed on earth as it is in Heaven, as the following predictions testify :-" Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. . . . And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem ; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea : in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth : in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD ; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar.”+ To Jacob was revealed at Bethel, in one of those prophetic dreams which were now and then vouchsafed to the children of men, the re-union of Heaven and earth :—“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it."! This majestic vision our Blessed Redeemer Himself interpreted in His first interview with that anxious, guileless Israelite indeed, Nathanael:-." And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter
ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."The goodly fellowship of the prophets predicted this hallowed re-union between Heaven and earth as the sequel to the establishment of the Redeemer's kingdom upon the earth. But notwithstanding all those glorious visions, all those glowing prophecies, the whole world lieth in wickedness, or in the wicked one. Such was the sad experience of the man after God's own heart, David ; as his penitential Psalms bear witness. Such was the experience of the Saviour's “chosen vessel," Paul; as the following agonised outburst clearly proves ;-—"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not : but the
* Jude 14. This prophecy was treated at length in our vol. for 1873, pp. 58-64. + Zech, xiv. 3.6, 8, 9, 20.
| Gen. xxviii, 12.
$ John i, 51.
evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."* Or as the following statement demonstrates :-“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body.”+ No, no, God's will has not been done in earth as it is in Heaven, nor will it be done even by the greatest saints on earth till His kingdom and His Christ shall have come. Hence the King of Glory Himself taught and teaches His Disciples to pray The KINGDOM COME, [TAAT] THY WILL MAY BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
The clearest exposition of the first three clauses in the LORD'S PRAYER are to be found-or, as we expressed ourselves at the close of our last article on the sacred theme, the answers to the first three supplications are anticipated in the REVELATION vouchsafed to St. John. In the beginning of the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse, the beloved Disciple tells us that :-" After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven : and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” I The "
HEREAFTER ” spoken of here is undoubtedly identical with the HEREAFTER " of which the Redeemer spoke to Nathanael; when that Israelite indeed shall have become one of the spirits of the just made perfect, and shall see that very apocalyptic door opened, and the angels of God, His ministering servants, ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. And thus this earth be restored to its primeval condition when “ the VOICE of the LORD GOD,” that is the Second Person in the THRICE HOLY ONE, walked in the Garden of Eden, where the Cherubim ş spoken of afterwards as the four living creatures, were located ere the fall, when there would be perfect union and communion between the Jerusalem which is above and the renewed Jerusalem on earth. The vision develops and unfolds. The most favoured Evangelist is enabled to inform the churches :—" And before the throne there was a
| Rev. iv. 1.
sea of glass like unto crystal : and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four LIVING CREATURES full of eyes before and behind. And the first LIVING CREATURE was like a lion, and the second LIVING CREATURE like a calf, and the third LIVING CREATURE had a face as a man, and the fourth LIVING CREATURE was like a flying eagle. And the four LIVING CREATURES had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within : and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those LIVING CREATURES give glory, and honour, and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” * The angels of God, the ministering servants of the HOLY AND BLESSED TRINITY, who shall ascend and descend by the power of the Son of Man, shall describe the worship of the Heavenly Jerusalem, Jerusalem the golden, to the worshippers in the earthly Jerusalem ; so that perfect conformity and uniformity shall be the order between Heaven and earth : and thus God's will shall be done in earth as it is already done in Heaven. There shall be "& sea of glass like unto crystal ” in the Jerusalem on earth as there is in the Jerusalem in Heaven. “A sea of glass like unto crystal,” smooth, bright and clear, which shall reflect the image of God in which man was created pure and perfect, not like the present seas, billowy and troubled, which disfigure and distort the image Divine. There shall be the Cherubim in the Jerusalem on earth, according to the Divine patterns of the Jerusalem in Heaven, and not according to apocryphal, not to say profane, patterns of modern Jews and Christians. The anthem of the CHERUBIM, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come,” shall be echoed and re-echoed in the Jerusalem on earth. The response of worship of the twenty-four elders of the Jerusalem in Heaven, shall be reproduced in the Jerusalem on earth. The representatives of the twelve tribes as well as the representatives of the twelve apostles, shall “ cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power : for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." How voluminous becomes the laconic petition "THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN,” when we meditate upon it by the light of the WORD OF GOD, both incarnate and written !!!
The ushering in of that glorious dispensation when the DIVINE WILL shall be done in earth as it is in Heaven, is graphically described in subsequent chapters of the Apocalypse. Thus we read in the eleventh chapter of that august Book, in the fifteenth and following verses :-“And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world are become
* Rev iv 6-11.
† Exod. xxv. 9, 40. | Notwithstanding the Epistle to the Hebrews (ix. 5), which declares “of which we cannot now speak particularly." See Appendix A. to THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, by the Rev. Dr. Margoliouth.
the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come ; because thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament : and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. . . . And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world : he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ : for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea ! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. *
We then have a descriptive catalogue of the most terrible visitations which are to come upon this earth and the inhabitants thereof, prior to God's will being done in earth as it is in Heaven. For that catalogue we must commend to our readers the prayerful study of the chapters between the twelfth and nineteenth of the Apocalypse. In the latter chapter we have a description of the celestial triumph-song of the heavenly friends of the BRIDE of the LAMB,† as well as of the BRIDEGROOM, who is called “ THE WORD OF GOD,” even “ KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” In the twentieth chapter we have an account of the thorough and complete regeneration, emancipation, and liberation of this earth, in the following words :—“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth ; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a BRIDE adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrowing, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things are passed away." | The Holy Jerusalem is subsequently described in the self-same chapter, as “ THE BRIDE, THE LAMB'S WIFE.” In the last chapter of this wondrous Book we have a description of the
* Rev. xi. 16-19 ; xii. 7-12.
† Ibid, xix. 1-6.
| Ibid, xxi, 1.4,