Author Topic: The better land  (Read 11991 times)

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Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2012, 12:47:29 AM »
The 4 volume Lectures on the prophecies of Isaiah by Scottish minister Robert MacCulloch are said to contain the epitome of Vitringa's great work on Isaiah. The following is his commentary on Isaiah 2:2.

[begin quote from Robert MacCulloch. Lectures on the prophecies of Isaiah, Volume 1. London, 1791. pp. 129-135.]

This prophecy relates to the same persons with the former, namely Judah and Jerusalem, by whom, as I observed from Chap. i. 1. we must understand the people of God, inhabiting those places to whom this message was primarily delivered; who afforded an instructive type of his peculiar people under the New Testament, who are intimately concerned in this subject, recorded for their admonition. In this view, we are deeply interested in the predictions before us; and, therefore, we ought diligently to attend to the important truths we now proceed to consider.

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lords house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations ihall flow unto it.

In these words a most remarkable event, and the time of its accomplishment, is foretold. The time fixed for the accomplishment of this prophecy, is the last days, an expression which frequently occurs in the Old Testament. Though some commentators suppose the times of the gospel are intended by this phrase, I do not recollect any passage of scripture in which it is used to denote the whole period of that dispensation; nor is it thus understood by the Jews, to whom the oracles of God were committed, so far as I know. The season here referred to, is the concluding period of the Jewish church and state, prior to their abolition; and in this sense the words of the patriarch Jacob are to be explained, [Gen. xlix. 1.] where he informs his sons, what should befall them in the last days, in which the great Messiah was to come, before the sceptre departed from Judah. To this time, I suppose, Balaam looked forward, when he spake of the end of the days. 'In these last days (as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews remarks), God hath spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things and as the prophet Joel foretold; He poured out his Spirit upon all flesh, &c. [Joel ii. 28. et. seq.]

With great propriety is this description given to the last series of God's dispensations toward his church on earth, the last course of his providence toward this world, and the concluding scene in which the great work of man's redemption was accomplished. Then, saith the prophet, shall come to pass that which is written,

The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains. Were these words to be literally explained, they would contain what would seem more like a fable of the poets, than a divine prediction, highly interesting to the church of God, and recorded for its benefit. They would affirm, that the mountain, on which the temple, or the Lord's house, was anciently built, called Zion, on which also stood the city of Jerusalem, was to be so prepared and established as to be exalted far above all other mountains, such as Sinai and Tabor, Carmel and Hermon; or rather, that it should be removed from off its basis, and be fixed on the tops of the hills. Every one sees the impropriety of such an explanation of the words, assured, that literally Mount Zion shall never be removed. No doubt the splendid edifice which adorned its summit, and the deep valley which lay at the bottom, made it appear immensely high; and as the Jews reckoned the land of Canaan was the highest part of the earth, and this mountain the highest ground of Canaan, they might consider it as exalted above the hills, and established as on the tops of the mountains. But this is not the import of the prophecy, which must be explained in its figurative and spiritual sense.

By the mountain of the Lord's house, we understand the church of Jesus Christ, the holy hill of Zion, over which God hath anointed him King, of which that mountain was an eminent type. The solid rocks, of which it was composed, afforded an instructive emblem of the stability and duration of the church of God, against which the gates of hell shall never prevail: its elevation above the neighbouring grounds, represented the dignity and influence of the church of Christ in its prosperous condition: being seen at a great distance, and enjoying the richest prospects, signified that the church is a city set on a hill, from whence the disciples of Christ are favoured with the most transporting views. In the church of the New Testament, as anciently in the mountain of the Lord's house, the Living God takes up his peculiar residence, so as to dwell in the midst of it; his presence is enjoyed, his glory is seen, and therein he is honoured and served according to his own appointment. In this sense we understand the mountain of the Lord's house, which is here foretold.

Shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. Both expressions seem designed designed to intimate, that the church of God should be exalted to distinguished dignity; and, on account of the peculiar privileges wherewith it should be invested, should far excel all that are called hills and mountains; and therefore its praises should be celebrated, and its fame spread abroad through the earth. The Son of God was to elevate his church to the highest honour, by appearing in the Lord's house, and there delivering the glorious truths of the gospel; whereby he was to afford a much clearer revelation of the divine glory, and to institute a far more perfect worship, than ever had been ordained from any other mountain, not excepting Sinai itself. He was to give the most wonderful demonstrations of the divine presence among men, the fame whereof should spread through the whole world; so that the nations should be happily disposed to renounce their vain superstitions, to detest their false religions, and to submit to his doctrine and authority. We behold this prediction verified, when the Son of God, entering Jerusalem and the temple, laid the foundations of his kingdom, taught the ways of God in truth, and qualified his apostles for the faithful performance of his service, by his divine instructions and Holy Spirit. Then the mountain of the Lord's house was honoured with astonishing displays of the gracious presence of God, which were every where published abroad. The blessed consequences were, that the sublime doctrines, inculcated by Jesus Christ and his apostles, founded on eternal truth, which no human or infernal power shall ever be able to subvert, destroyed the false religions professed in the world; so that Mount Zion became far more illustrious and famous than any other mountain in the earth.

And all nations shall flow unto it. The vast concourse of people, which should resort to Zion, are here described in language which hath an obvious reference to the waters of a river flowing on in their course toward the sea. The expression intimates, that all nations should speedily, and in continued succession, repair to the church of Jesus Christ; whilst one should have powerful influence on another, all should press forward, with progressive force and rapidity, until they were received into its bosom. True, indeed, it is not more contrary to the course of nature, for water to run upward, and flow unto the tops of the mountains, than it is for men, alienated from the life of God, to refrain from walking in the vanity of their minds, and to have recourse to Jesus Christ, that they may participate of the blessings of his church. It ought therefore to be remembered, that the fountain from whence these mighty streams take their rise, which shall convey all nations to the great Redeemer, is in the highest heavens; and as waters rise as high as the spring from which they flow, the multitudes of people, here intended, shall be conducted not only to the house of the Lord, established on the tops of the mountains, but to that not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. How astonishing this event, that all nations, even those who had hitherto walked in their own ways, should resort, in great numbers, to Mount Zion, that they may join themselves to the church of God, in which are inculcated the difficult lessons of self-denial, the study of humility and inward purity, that are opposite and troublesome to human nature in its degenerate state! To excite in the people of God the lively expectation of this unlikely success of things, it was repeatedly foretold, by the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah, [Jer. iii. 17; Zech. ii. 10, 11] That Gentiles, as well as Jews, should repair to the church under the New Testament. Such, accordingly, was the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit that attended the doctrine of Jesus Christ preached at Jerusalem, that devout men, of every nation under heaven, came and dwelt in that highly favoured city, as we read in the second chapter and 5th verse of the Acts of the Apostles.

Because of God's temple at Jerusalem, as the prophet David predicted, 'Kings shall bring presents  unto him.' [Psa. lxviii. 29] This prophecy was remarkably fulfilled, in the numerous converts from among the Gentiles, who were gathered into the apostolic church; though, it is hoped, it shall receive a still farther completion in the last days of the gospel dispensation. Improve this animating consideration, for strengthening and confirming your faith, in the accomplishment of this, and similar predictions, notwithstanding every intervening difficulty; and for encouraging your earnest prayers to God, for the performance of the glorious things which yet remain to be fulfilled. However unlikely the foretold event may seem, the faithfulness of Jehovah hath never failed: he hath remembered his mercy from generation to generation, and his truth endureth for ever.

[/quote]

Doug
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 02:43:02 AM by Doug »

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Re: The better land
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2012, 07:06:12 AM »
"Today, if you hear my voice......Let the one who has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the eclessia.......

If we are "led by the Spirit" we are "(mature) sons of God

The promises are in Jacob, not in Esau.

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
(Oba 1:17-18)

Esau sold the inheritance (transformation/sonship/Christlikeness) for momentary deliverance for fleshly discomfort- a bowl of soup. Esau today are all those who teach "godliness as a means of gain".

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.
(Rom 8:18-19)

The sufferings of those who "set their affections on things above" are gauged to transform them, more precious than gold tried in the fire.  "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him". Romans 8 entire is a road map from carnality to glory in Christ .

Zion manifests as children become sons, the government of God(kingdom) appearing in the "deliverers" as they ascend Mt Zion. This is the roadmap of Ephesians for the overcomers in Christ.

The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the LORD'S.
(Oba 1:21)





The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.webs.com

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2012, 03:53:26 PM »
"Today, if you hear my voice......Let the one who has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the eclessia.......

If we are "led by the Spirit" we are "(mature) sons of God

The promises are in Jacob, not in Esau.

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
(Oba 1:17-18)

Esau sold the inheritance (transformation/sonship/Christlikeness) for momentary deliverance for fleshly discomfort- a bowl of soup. Esau today are all those who teach "godliness as a means of gain".


Hebrews 12:14-17
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

This suggests that Esau, in prophecy, could represent Christians who become "profane," and lose interest in the faith, and return to the world.

They are also pictured in Rev. 12:4, as stars cast to the earth. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth."

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.
(Rom 8:18-19)

The sufferings of those who "set their affections on things above" are gauged to transform them, more precious than gold tried in the fire.  "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him". Romans 8 entire is a road map from carnality to glory in Christ .

Zion manifests as children become sons, the government of God(kingdom) appearing in the "deliverers" as they ascend Mt Zion. This is the roadmap of Ephesians for the overcomers in Christ.

The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the LORD'S.
(Oba 1:21)

Judgment that falls upon the mountain of Esau or Idumea is described in Isaiah 34.

Isaiah 34:5-6
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

The sword is the word of God, the Bible. It is a spiritual sword, and a spiritual sword is used against spiritual enemies; "we wrestle not against flesh and blood." [Eph. 6:12]

There are many other prophecies about these events. One is 2 Thess. 1:7-9, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

The New Testament seems to identify Ishmael the son of Hagar and Abraham with the fleshly seed of Abraham, the Jews who do not believe the gospel.

Galatians 4
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Doug

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2012, 01:22:47 AM »
The better land represents the knowledge of God, and the spiritual inheritance of the saints. As the earthly Canaan was watered by rain, the better land is watered by God's Spirit. In many prophecies, rainfall is a metaphor representing the Spirit, which enables our minds to understand the scriptures.

In the reign of Ahab, Israel had strayed from the knowledge of God. The prophet Elijah prayed that there would be no rain, until he gave the word for it. As the effects of famine became worse, Ahab searched throughout the whole earth for Elijah. The three years and six months, when there was severe famine in the land, is mentioned several times in the New Testament. The same period, expressed as 42 months and 1,260 days, is featured in the prophecies of Revelation 11, 12, and 13.

Jesus said to the Jews, "But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow." [Luke 4:25] Some have suggested this woman was a type of the church.

James said, "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months." [James 5:17] I suggest the three years and six months of famine in Elijah's day is a type and a symbol of the whole age of the church, after the book of Revelation was written, and the canon of the New Testament was closed.

Famines were a characteristic feature of the promised land. One occurred in Abraham's lifetime. "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land." [Gen. 12:10]

Another famine occurred in the days of Joseph, and it was revealed to Pharaoh in a dream, that Joseph interpreted. [Gen. 41:25-32] This famine was in all lands.

Genesis 41:54
And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

Because of the famine, Joseph's brothers travelled to Egypt, to buy bread there. All the family of Israel was reunited, and the brothers were reconciled. Israel remained in Egypt for four centuries.

In Egypt, there was very little rainfall; water for crops was obtained from the Nile, but the promised land was unlike Egypt, and its fertility depended upon rain.

Deuteronomy 11:10-12
For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.

Moses compared his doctrine to rain. "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:" [Deut. 32:2]

Job compared his teachings to rain; he said, "they waited for me as for the rain." [Job 29:23]

David said that God will come like rain and showers. "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth." [Psalm 72:6] He said God confirms his inheritance with rain: "Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary." [Psa. 68:9]

When Isaiah asked how long it would be, before people finally understood the words of the prophets, he was told that it would not happen, until land became "utterly desolate." No doubt the land referred to here the better land of the saints, which is made desolate because of flawed interpretations, and unbelief.

Isaiah 6:10-12
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

God promises to give water to those who are thirsty, who thirst for knowledge, and the Spirit.

Isaiah 44:3-4
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

The promise of blessing to those who thirst is one of the beatitudes, in the sermon on the mount.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Jesus spoke of thirst, as a metaphor, which depicts desiring God's word, and God's holy Spirit. The two are identified with one another; Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." [John 6:63]

He said the Spirit is given to those who believe in him. [John 7:37-39]

Isaiah said rain and snow represent God's word.

Isaiah 55:8-11
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

In Ezekiel's prophecy of the judgment of Gog and Magog, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, are among the things that come upon the invaders. Hailstones must represent severe reproof. [Ezek. 38:22]

Daniel referred to something that is to be "poured out upon the desolate." [Dan. 9:27] The church, and the better country is desolate, due to the presence of the abomination of desolation, but the Spirit of God will be poured out. This is the "anointing" in verse 24.

Joel also wrote of this promise.

Joel 2:23
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

The prophet Amos described a famine of "hearing the words of the Lord."

Amos 8:11-12
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

People searching for the words of the Lord recalls Ahab searching for Elijah.

In Revelation 11, the two witnesses have the power to shut heaven, so there is no rain during their ministry.

Several prophecies speak of a spiritual rainfall at the end of the age, like that in the days of the Apostles; these two periods seem to be represented by the "latter rain" and the "former rain." 

Hosea 6:3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 10:12
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

To receive the Spirit, one must ask Jesus Christ.

Zechariah 10:1
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Jesus sends the Spirit, and those who do not worship him miss out on its benefits.

Zechariah 14:17
And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

The various scriptures predicting a time of rain upon the church's better land recall the great rain that occurred at the end of the three and a half years of drought in the days of Elijah.

James wrote:

James 5:7-9
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2012, 02:09:51 AM »
Doug, thank you so much for "The Better Land" material.  I have been greatly blessed.  Have you any material/thoughts  on " a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." (Ps 63:1)...I wonder if there is a strong connection (spiritual truth) between this Psalm verse and the "I thirst" expressed by Jesus on the cross (John 19:28)..yes, I know there is a cross reference to Ps 69:21...  and why did Jesus refuse to drink the wine mingled with myrrh??? Thank you.

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2012, 02:28:08 AM »
Doug, thank you so much for "The Better Land" material.  I have been greatly blessed.  Have you any material/thoughts  on " a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." (Ps 63:1)...I wonder if there is a strong connection (spiritual truth) between this Psalm verse and the "I thirst" expressed by Jesus on the cross (John 19:28)..yes, I know there is a cross reference to Ps 69:21...  and why did Jesus refuse to drink the wine mingled with myrrh??? Thank you.

On Jesus refusing the wine, perhaps the connection is: 

Mark 14:25
Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Mark 15:23
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

After his resurrection he was "made Christ." [Acts 2:36]

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2012, 03:54:54 AM »
"Today, if you hear my voice......Let the one who has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the eclessia.......

If we are "led by the Spirit" we are "(mature) sons of God

The promises are in Jacob, not in Esau.

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
(Oba 1:17-18)

Esau sold the inheritance (transformation/sonship/Christlikeness) for momentary deliverance for fleshly discomfort- a bowl of soup. Esau today are all those who teach "godliness as a means of gain".


Hebrews 12:14-17
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

This suggests that Esau, in prophecy, could represent Christians who become "profane," and lose interest in the faith, and return to the world.

They are also pictured in Rev. 12:4, as stars cast to the earth. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth."

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.
(Rom 8:18-19)

The sufferings of those who "set their affections on things above" are gauged to transform them, more precious than gold tried in the fire.  "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him". Romans 8 entire is a road map from carnality to glory in Christ .

Zion manifests as children become sons, the government of God(kingdom) appearing in the "deliverers" as they ascend Mt Zion. This is the roadmap of Ephesians for the overcomers in Christ.

The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the LORD'S.
(Oba 1:21)

Judgment that falls upon the mountain of Esau or Idumea is described in Isaiah 34.

Isaiah 34:5-6
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

The sword is the word of God, the Bible. It is a spiritual sword, and a spiritual sword is used against spiritual enemies; "we wrestle not against flesh and blood." [Eph. 6:12]

There are many other prophecies about these events. One is 2 Thess. 1:7-9, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

The New Testament seems to identify Ishmael the son of Hagar and Abraham with the fleshly seed of Abraham, the Jews who do not believe the gospel.

Galatians 4
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Doug

If Jerusalem is free, situated upon the heights of Zion, perhaps Sinai and Hagar are symbolic of all those who arre flesh and spirit(Hagar/Abraham) and Ishmael all the offspring of such. Where as Sarah/Abraham/Jerusalem correspond to all who are in the promise(better land), walking in the Spirit, in freedom. Esau, meanwhile, corresponds to all who trade their birhtright(transformation/Christlikeness/sonship) for "pottage", earthly things.

To literalize the prophecies to Edom and Ishmael(altho they certainly hav there literal fulfillments) misses the point as much as literalizing the prophecies about the promised land and the inheritance of faith that is in Abraham and to all his seed(Christ and the body).

The Holy Spirit once spoke to me, "The faith teachers hav become as Esau unto me, they have traded the glorious inheritance of becoming partakers of the divine nature for a bowl of pottage".

Then later He spoke to me, "The Haginites and the Copelandites are weak in the word". I asked, what do you mean Lord? He said to me, "It is written,'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word the COMES from the mouth of God'. They are all day turning stones into bread."

Of course, I ask no one to believe that testimony- it is what it is to me alone- but, for many years I have identified in Esau, the Christian teachers who apply the promises of God  primarily to success and happiness as opposed to carrying the cross and becoming mature sons and ministers of the new and living way.   I hav identified in Ishmael, the Christians who seek to fulfill the supernatural promise of God by "knowing" a slave woman- the law and the will of the flesh and the minds of men, as opposed to sowing in the spirit, waiting for Sarah to conceive according to the promise, giving birth to free sons and daughters in the better land, in te city of God, upon the heights of Zion.

Just food for thought, Peace, JM
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.webs.com

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2012, 03:05:43 AM »
Many readers will know of the work of Andrew Jukes, "The Restitution of All Things." He was also the author of a work on the types of the offerings in Leviticus:

Andrew John Jukes. The law of the offerings in Leviticus I-VII, considered as the appointed figure of the various aspects of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. J. Nisbet and co., 1869.

In the first chapter of the above book, Jukes discusses the types in general, that are present in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and in Joshua, and their significance for the gospel. Included among these types is the promised land, which Jukes says foreshadows the better land of Hebrews 11:16, and the spiritual inheritance Christians may possess. He compares the different purposes and subjects of the books mentioned above, as they relate to Christian maturity.  The discussion is available here

Below, Jukes discusses some reasons why the study of the types had been neglected. He mentions the significance of milk, (a metaphor that represents the basic teachings of the gospel) and contrasts milk with strong meat. [Ibid., pp. 6-9.]

The real secret of the neglect of the Types, I cannot but think may in part be traced to this,--that they require more spiritual intelligence than many Christians can bring to them. To apprehend them requires a certain measure of spiritual capacity and habitual exercise in the things of God, which all do not possess, for want of abiding fellowship with Jesus. The mere superficial glance upon the Word in these parts brings no corresponding idea to the mind of the reader. The types are, indeed, pictures, but to understand the picture it is necessary we should know something of the reality. The most perfect representation of a steam-engine to a South-sea savage would be wholly and hopelessly unintelligible to him, simply because the reality, the outline of which was presented to him, was something hitherto unknown. But let the same drawing be shewn to those who have seen the reality, such will have no difficulty in explaining the representation. And the greater the acquaintance with the reality, the greater will be the ability to explain the picture. The savage who had never seen the steam-engine would of course know nothing whatever about it. Those who had seen an engine but know nothing of its principles, though they might tell the general object of the drawing, could not explain the details. But the engineer, to whom every screw and bolt are familiar, to whom the use and object of each part is thoroughly known, would not only point out where each of these was to be found in the picture, but would shew, what others might overlook, how in different engines these might be made to differ.

It is just so in the Types. He who knows much of the reality will surely also know something of the type. The real secret of our difficulty is that we know so little, and, what is worse, we do not know our ignorance. And the natural pride of our hearts, which does not like to confess our ignorance, or to go through the deep searchings of soul which attend learning and abiding in God's presence, excuses itself under the plea that these things are not important, or, at least, nonessential. Paul had to meet the same spirit in several of the early churches. Thus, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, when about to prove from a type the doctrine of Christ's everlasting priesthood, he speaks of Him as "a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec," he cannot go on with the proof without telling the Hebrews how much of the difficulty of the subject was to be traced not so much to its own abstruseness as to their spiritual childhood and ignorance. "Of whom," says he, speaking of Melchisedec, "I have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." [Heb. v. 12, 13. See also 1 Cor. iii 1, 2.] It was their infancy in Christ, their lack of growth, which hindered their understanding the Scriptures. As in the natural world life and intelligence are different, just so is it in the spiritual. A man may be born of God, and as such, having the life of Christ, be an heir of heaven, sure of all that the love of God has laid up in store for the redeemed family in glory; and yet, like a child, know nothing of his inheritance, nothing of his Father's will, be a stranger to service and warfare, and ready to be deceived by any.

This is, I fear, the case with many believers now. The low standard of truth in the Church, making the possession of eternal life the end instead of the beginning of the Christian's course, has led many to think that if they have, or can at last obtain, this life, it is enough. But these are not God's thoughts. Birth, spiritual birth, is birth of God for ever,--a life once given never to be destroyed. Schooling, training, adorning, clothing, follow the possession of life, and even the knowledge of it. I own, indeed, that while the Christian is a babe, he needs milk, and ought never to be pressed to service: at such a time he does not need the deeper truths of Scripture; strong meat may choke the babe as much as poison. But milk, the simpler doctrines of the Word, will not support the man in active service. The man of God needs deeper truth: and it is, I believe, the lack of this deeper truth in the Church which so effectually leaves us without power or service, and brings it to pass that much of what is done is performed in the energy of the flesh rather than in the power of the Spirit.

I must add one word in connexion with the passage just alluded to, which, though beside our present object, may not really be beside the mark. It is written, "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." [Heb. v. 14.] It is "by reason of use," that is, by using the truth we already possess, that the senses are exercised to advance further. Let us act up faithfully to the light we have, use out fully the grace already given, then surely our spiritual strength will not only rapidly but wonderfully increase.


Doug
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 03:09:06 AM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2012, 03:05:19 PM »
Here is another quote from Andrew Jukes, in which he compares the subjects of the books of Numbers and Joshua. Numbers is about the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, and Joshua describes their entry into the promised land, and taking possession of it. Jukes says both are types of the Christian life.

Andrew John Jukes. The law of the offerings in Leviticus I-VII, considered as the appointed figure of the various aspects of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. J. Nisbet and co., 1869.

[The notes to the text below can be found here.]

Numbers,—giving the history of Israel in the wilderness, their services, their trials, and their failures there,—brings out, I cannot doubt, repeated types of the Christian's experience and pilgrimage in the world as in a wilderness. Israel's history, as well as Israel's ordinances, was typical; their coming out of Egypt was typical; their sojourn in the wilderness was typical; their entering the land was typical; and the details of each of these portions of their history, the typical character of which in general is granted by all, will shew how perfectly the pictures are finished by the hand of One who well knew what He was describing.

In Numbers, then, we get types connected with the wilderness. Here the world is viewed not as the house of bondage, but as the place of trial, the scene of pilgrimage, through which Israel must pass to Canaan. [5] Thus, in those chapters in Numbers which are most allied in their character to the types of Leviticus, (where the offering of Christ, as in "the red heifer," is without doubt the great end of the representation, [6]) we have the sacrifice, not as in Leviticus, shewing some aspect of Christ's offering as bearing on communion, but as further coming in with particular application to the trials of a walk of faith in the wilderness; and meeting the cases of individual experience, such as contact with evil, or any other defilement.

I speak the less on this subject, because the whole character of the book is so obvious, [7] and to enter into the particulars would fill a volume. Suffice it to say, throughout we have the elect in the wilderness, learning there what man is, and what God is; what the ransomed people ought to be, and what they really are. We have the Levites,—I take one undoubted type from the fourth chapter,—the picture of the Church in service, with garments unspotted from pollution, passing onwards through the desert land; each day dependent on God for everything, and following the guidance of the fire and cloud, while they bear the vessels of the sanctuary, and care for them in the dreary waste. Those vessels all typified something of Christ. And the spiritual Levites have now to bear Him through the wilderness.

And so throughout, Numbers gives us the wilderness. The pillar of cloud preceding them; [Chapter ix.] the blowing of the silver trumpets, and the alarm in the camp; [Chapter x.] the murmuring after the flesh-pots of Egypt; [Chapter xi.] and the shrinking through unbelief from going up to Canaan; [Chapters xiii. xiv.]—fit representation of God's chosen people shrinking backward from the trials of their heavenly calling;— the want of water in the wilderness, and the stony rock opened to supply that need; [Chapter xx.] the whoredom with the daughters of Moab, [Chapter xxiii.] and the discouragement because of the way; [Chapter xxi.] what are all these but living pictures of the Christian pilgrim's experience as in the wilderness?

How different is Joshua from all this; experience again, I doubt not, but what different experience. The one teaching us our way in the wilderness, the other as already beyond Jordan in the land. Into this I fear some may find it more difficult to enter, because the reality which is represented is a thing unknown to them. Joshua teaches us, in type, the Church already with Christ in heavenly places, and but few saints apprehend this experience, or know what resurrection means. Thus the book of Joshua, if viewed typically, answers very nearly to the Epistle to the Ephesians. In either book we see the elect standing in the place of promise, but finding it still a place of conflict. As Paul says, "We are raised up, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ:" [Eph. ii. 6.] but that place is not yet the rest; for, as he proceeds in the same Epistle, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in heavenly places." [Eph. vi. 12, cf. ch. 1. 6.]

The book of Joshua is just this. It describes to us Israel passing from the wilderness over Jordan into the land of Canaan. All these are emblems familiar to us. Jordan, as we all know, is the type of death, dividing the wilderness, this world, from the land of promise, heaven. Israel passes through Jordan without feeling its waters, and comes with Joshua into the promised land. When he passes Jordan, all Israel passes. And thus it was in Christ. The Church is dead with Him, buried with Him, risen with Him; but there is still a conflict, for the Canaanite will dwell in that land. And so it will be till the true Solomon comes. Oh, may He hasten His coming!

But let us take an example or two as illustrating this. In the fourth chapter we read of Israel crossing Jordan dryshod: in the fifth we read of their circumcision. As soon as they are over Jordan, so soon are they all called to be circumcised. Though the seed of Abraham, there had been no circumcision for Israel in the wilderness; but as soon as they come into the land, circumcision begins at once. Need I explain what this is, or shew how exactly it answers to "the eighth day" of the original institution? Circumcision was to be "on the eighth day." [Gen. xvii. 8; Phil . iii. 5.] To those at all familiar with the types, I need not say that "the eighth day" is always typical of resurrection. The eighth day, the day after the seventh or Sabbath, answers to "the first day of the week" on which Christ rose: it is however "the first day" in reference to seven having gone before. Seven days include the periods proper to the first creation. The eighth day, as it takes us beyond and out of these,—that is, beyond the limits of the old creation,—brings us in type into a new order of things and times, in a word, into the new creation or resurrection. With regard to circumcision, we are taught in Peter, that it represented "the putting away the filth of the flesh." To do this was the great attempt of the whole Jewish dispensation, and that attempt ended in failure; for resurrection, the place beyond Jordan, was not yet occupied by Israel. But since Christ, the true Joshua, has passed through Jordan, and since all the Church is in and with Him,—and because, as members of His body, the Church is dead and risen with Him,— therefore it is called to be circumcised, and to put away the filth of the flesh. "If ye be risen with Christ . . . put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy." [Col. iii. 1, 3, 5, 8.] True circumcision of the heart is only known and attained to in proportion as we know the power of the resurrection.

But to speak of other parts; how different throughout is the experience of the books of Numbers and Joshua. Not that in fact the two can really be separated, for in Christ the Church is apprehended for everything: but it is one thing to be apprehended of Him, and another to apprehend that for which we are apprehended. [Phil. iii. 12.] One portion of experience is often more apprehended than another. Indeed, our experience is but the measure of our individual attainment, the extent to which we have proved the truth, the apprehension in our own souls of that which is already true for us in Christ. The work of Christ for us has brought His members into every blessing, and faith at once rests on this; but experience only apprehends that amount of this which is realized in our souls by the Holy Ghost.

But to return to the difference of Numbers and Joshua. There was no difficulty in possessing the wilderness; but Israel had to fight for every step in the land. Instead of lusting for flesh as in the wilderness, in the land, in the knowledge of resurrection, the temptation is quite of another sort. We have confidence in strength, as before Ai; [Chapter vii.] confidence in knowledge, as in the case of the Gibeonites; [Chapter ix.] abusing grace, as in the case of Achan; understanding how it gives victory, but not seeing God's claims in it. As saints grow in grace and in the knowledge of their place as even now risen, they have another class of trials to meet in addition to the trials of the wilderness, "the wrestling, not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers in heavenly places." And this is in fact the book of Joshua.

Such is a very brief and imperfect sketch of the different character of some of the typical parts of Scripture. I feel how little what I have said will convey to one who has not studied it, the exceeding depth and fulness of my subject.

Does any one say that these are but points of knowledge, and as such of comparatively little value? I grant that they are points of knowledge, but I answer, we grow in grace through knowledge. [2 Pet. i. 2.] And one reason of the weakness of the Church is the shallowness of her knowledge on these points. To shew the use of this knowledge is not my present purpose. Suffice it to say, that were the types of Genesis understood, we should not see such grievous mistakes arising from confounding the dispensations, and mingling the things and hopes of one covenant with the things and hopes of another. And so of the rest. Know more of Exodus, that is, of redemption; know more of Leviticus, that is, of the ground of access to God; know more of Numbers, the experience of the wilderness; and of Joshua, the experience as even now beyond Jordan; and then see if you have not something more to use in service for Him who redeemed and loved you.

That thus it may be with us indeed, let us pray that the Lord will keep us near to Himself, in abiding communion with Him. Amen.


Doug

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2012, 11:12:33 PM »
Frederic Gardiner was the author of the section on Ezekiel, in Ellicott's Old Testament commentary.

Frederic Gardiner. Ezekiel. In: Charles John Ellicott, ed, An Old Testament commentary for English readers, by various writers. Vol. v. Cassell & Co. 1884.

In his discussion of chapter 36, a prophecy about the mountains of Israel, Gardiner pointed out that the things foretold could only be understood when applied to the better land, which is the kingdom of Christ. The earthly blessings foretold by Ezekiel, Gardiner said, "are the shadow and type by which is set forth the higher spiritual blessing given to the Church." 

Ezekiel 36:11-12
And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.

Gardiner wrote:
 
Will multiply upon you.—The promises of abundant blessing of this, with the previous and following verses, certainly received a partial fulfilment at the time following the return from the exile, and in the subsequent Maccabean period; yet one cannot but feel that the language of promise, if taken only in a literal sense, goes far beyond the historic fulfilment, and hence that these earthly blessings are the shadow and type by which is set forth the higher spiritual blessing given to the Church without stint.

Settle you after your old estates.—This does not mean that particular families are to have again each their own former inheritance—though, doubtless, this was true, as far as circumstances allowed, of the comparatively small number of families who returned— but that they shall in general be settled and prosperous, as of old. And even this promise is eclipsed by the next clause: "I will do better unto you than at your beginnings," which can only be considered as fulfilled in the spiritual blessings, far higher and, better than anything of earth, of the Messianic kingdom.


Ezekiel's prophecy "I will do better unto you than at your beginnings" may be linked to the concept of a "better land" in Hebrews 11:16.

In a review of the whole section Gardiner wrote:

In reviewing this whole prophecy (chaps, xxxv.— xxxvi. 15), it is evident that the time had in view by the prophet was one in which Edom still existed as a nation, and was rejoicing in the fall of Israel. It cannot, therefore, look forward to any literal, but still future, accomplishment, since Edom, as a nation, has long since disappeared; and no future people, occupying the same territory or bearing the same name, could possibly sustain the same historic relations to Israel as are here attributed to Edom. Whatever, therefore, is to be literally understood in the prophecy must have been long ago fulfilled. And this was much. Israel was restored to its land, and there greatly multiplied, so that the country became for ages one of the most fertile and prosperous in Asia. At the same time, the sinfulness of the people, as of old, hindered the fulness of blessing that was within their reach. But a small part of them availed themselves of the opportunity to return to their land; and they who did so suffered themselves so to live that when the crowning blessing of the ages was fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah, the mass of the nation rejected and crucified Him. The blessings promised were fulfilled literally as far as the sinfulness of the people allowed; but inasmuch as these prevented anything like the full realisation of the terms of the prophecy, and as no future realisation of these is possible, on account of the total change of conditions and circumstances, it is plain that under these earthly terms the prophet, like his predecessors, Isaiah and the others, sets forth the glories of the spiritual future, and uses earthly blessings as the types of those better ones which are heavenly.

The disappearance of Edom from the earth thwarts all attempts to interpret the prophecy in a literal way.

Doug

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2012, 12:02:50 AM »
Dr Stephen Sizer is an Anglican minister at Christ Church, Virginia Water, UK. He is the author of several books and articles about the land of Israel, its theological significance, and the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.

In his article Where is the Promised Land? Sizer wrote:

The inheritance of the saints was ultimately never an 'everlasting' share of territory in Palestine but an eternal place in heaven. Hebrews shows that even Abraham, the Patriarchs and later Hebrew saints looked beyond Canaan to 'another' country where the covenant promises of God would be fulfilled.

In another article, An Alternative Theology of the Holy Land: A Critique of Christian Zionism. [Churchman. 113/2. 1999.] he wrote:

Christian Zionism errs most profoundly because it fails to appreciate the relationship between the Old and New Covenants and the ways in which the latter completes, fulfils and annuls the former. It is fundamental that Christians read the Scriptures with Christian eyes, and that they interpret the Old Covenant in the light of the New Covenant, not the other way round. In Colossians, for example, Paul uses a typological hermeneutic to interpret the Old Covenant: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Col 2:16-17)

Similarly, the writer to the Hebrews stresses:

The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.' But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. (Heb 8:1-6)

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. (Heb 10:1)

Under the Old Covenant, revelation from God came often in shadow, image, form and prophecy. In the New Covenant that revelation finds its consummation in reality, substance and fulfilment. The question is not whether the promises of the covenant are to be understood literally or spiritually as Dispensationalists like to stress. It is instead a question of whether they should be understood in terms of Old Covenant shadow or in terms of New Covenant reality. This is the most basic hermeneutical assumption which Christian Zionists consistently fail to acknowledge.

So, for example, in the Old Covenant animals and food are sacrificed anticipating the offering of the body of Christ. A portable tabernacle foreshadows the permanent presence of the Spirit of God indwelling his people. God provides Israel in the desert with manna from heaven, water from a rock and a serpent on a pole. All these images find their fulfilment not in more manna, or water or indeed in a higher pole but in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ of which the Old Covenant forms were but a shadow. By their very nature the Old Covenant provisions must be seen as shadowy forms rather than substantial realities. The same principle applies to the promises concerning the Land which also serve as revelational shadows, images, types, prophecies, anticipating God's future purposes, not only for one small people, the Jews, but the whole world, revealed fully and finally in Jesus Christ. Hebrews sums this up succinctly: 'In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe' (Heb 1:1-2).


Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2012, 02:08:44 AM »
The better land of Hebrews 11:16 is heavenly, and yet, the saints remain on the earth, which seems to be a paradox. How can people on the earth be in a better land, if it is located in heaven? Perhaps it is not located in heaven, but has a heavenly character.

Hebrews 11:13-16 NKJV
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The meaning of the concept may be understood, and the paradox resolved, when we consider a statement made by Jesus, during his conversation with Nicodemus.

Jesus said,

John 3:13
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Jesus is the one who came down from heaven. Apparently, even while he was speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus was in some way in heaven. Perhaps the meaning of this is that he was in continual contact with his Father, who is in heaven. Although he was talking to Nicodemus, Jesus was in heaven, in the sense that he was in the presence of God, in Spirit.

The meaning of the better land is further clarified, in the following scriptures. Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

God dwells in heaven, and also with those who are of a contrite and humble spirit. Those who acknowledge God as ruler of all, and are humble before him, are in harmony with their Creator. Isaiah said God will look to those of who are of a contrite heart, and who tremble at his word.

Isaiah 66:1-2
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Dwelling in the better land is the place of God's "rest." It has to do with fellowship with God, and with being aware of his presence. Jesus was present with his heavenly Father, while he was speaking to Nicodemus, and throughout the duration of his ministry. And similarly, those who believe in Christ have been raised up, and are in the presence of God, and so they all sit together "in heavenly places."

In the same epistle in which he said believers are raised up together, and sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul advised Christians to put on the armour of God. In Ephesians 6:12 he speaks of wrestling, not against flesh and blood, but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

He specified the nature of the armour that a Christian requires. First was "having your loins girt about with truth." Then, he listed "the breastplate of righteousness," feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This also agrees with the idea that the saints are in the kingdom of God. Paul said that God has "translated" believers into the kingdom of his Son.

Colossians 1:12-14
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

While Christians sit together, they are each at different levels of understanding. Like children in a family, there are different stages in maturity. And all have different kinds of trials, and gifts, and experience.

There is spiritual darkness, and "spiritual wickedness in high places," because as Revelation 12:3, 4, 7, 8 shows, in the present age, the dragon's influence extends to heaven. And the saints are raised up to sit together while we are imperfect; Paul said this has occurred "Even when we were dead in sins." [Ephesians 2:5]

Doug
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:02:09 AM by Doug »

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Re: The better land
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2012, 05:58:40 AM »
I am the living Bread which descends out of heaven.
(Joh 6:51)



And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
(Rev 21:2)

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN." This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
(Heb 12:22-29)

'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
(Mat 6:10)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
(Eph 2:4-7)

As we ascend in our inner man through the breaking of the outer man, in submission as sons and daughters, heaven pours through us, his "kingdom comes....on earth as it is in heaven". Heaven manifests on earth as God being all in all in us so that the world can see what heaven is. That is why "the gates of Sheol" cannot "prevail against us", because when we are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, the strongman of the house is bound and we, having the keys to the kingdom, can kick in the gates of Sheol and rob the strongman of his possessions, the souls of men. In Jerusalem(earthly Jerusalem) on the day of Pentecost the "kingdom of heaven" came, not in meat nor drink, but in "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" and as the book of Acts describes, "heavenly Jerusalem" was manifest in their midst- the presence of God fulfilling the prophecy...."I will live among them and walk among them and I shall be their God and they shall be my people".

Heaven is the presence of God, and the accompanying glory of it, having "come down out of heaven" to manifest as heaven on earth among the "called out ones", the ecclesia of Christ. Thus the "gathering of all things into one in Christ" begins among the saints, a preisthood of reconciliation bringing the kingdom of heaven from within their own beings as wineskins and clay pots.

"Lift up ye gates and be lifted up ye everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in. Who is this king of glory? The Lord strong and mighty in battle. He is the king of glory".



The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.webs.com

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Re: The better land
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2012, 07:14:54 AM »
The better land of Hebrews 11:16 is heavenly, and yet, the saints remain on the earth, which seems to be a paradox. How can people on the earth be in a better land, if it is located in heaven? Perhaps it is not located in heaven, but has a heavenly character.

Hebrews 11:13-16 NKJV
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The meaning of the concept may be understood, and the paradox resolved, when we consider a statement made by Jesus, during his conversation with Nicodemus.

Jesus said,

John 3:13
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Jesus is the one who came down from heaven. Apparently, even while he was speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus was in some way in heaven. Perhaps the meaning of this is that he was in continual contact with his Father, who is in heaven. Although he was talking to Nicodemus, Jesus was in heaven, in the sense that he was in the presence of God, in Spirit.
Maybe something I put on tentmaker a while back helps explain "the (three) heaven(s)". . .

http://tentmaker.org/forum/discussions-on-universal-salvation/thoughts-regarding-heaven/msg42111/#msg42111
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

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Re: The better land
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2012, 07:21:41 AM »
Very good stuff James!
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.webs.com

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2012, 08:28:01 PM »
Mountains and rivers in the better land

Isaiah said in the last days, referring to Judah and Jerusalem, that the mountain of the Lord's house would be raised up, to the top of the mountains, and exulted above the hills.

Isaiah 2:1-2
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

When we compare this with Ezekiel's prophecy about the river flowing from the house of the Lord, a paradox appears. Any tectonic event that would elevate Jerusalem in a literal sense, would increase the slope in the surrounding area. But in Ezekiel's description, the river in the vicinity of Jerusalem is shown to have a very gentle gradient, comparable to that of a football field, where a minimal slope is needed for drainage. In about half a mile, the depth of the river increases by only about three feet. [Ezek. 47:1-7]

The two prophecies thus seem to contradict each other, if they are viewed literally, but when considered as parables, or metaphors, each having a spiritual meaning, all of the difficulties disappear.

Zechariah described rivers of living water flowing from Jerusalem, and he also said Jerusalem would be raised up, in the same chapter. The rivers of living water are described in Zech. 14:8 "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." Two verses later, he says the city will be lifted up. "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses." [Zech. 14:10]

The idea of Jerusalem being raised up agrees with Isaiah 2:2, but Zechariah is even more specific, giving boundary markers, and he adds that the city will be inhabited, and that the surrounding land will be a plain. None of this makes sense, unless understood spiritually.

Jerusalem was raised up, in a spiritual sense, when Jesus ascended to heaven, and sat down in his Father's throne. This is when it became "Jerusalem which is above" [Gal. 4:26] and "the heavenly Jerusalem." [Heb. 12:22] And Isaiah 2:2, together with Zechariah 14:10, establish the continuity between the Jerusalem of the O.T. prophets, and the church, the heavenly Jerusalem. After Jesus ascended to heaven, the prophecies about Jerusalem apply to the heavenly city, not the earthly one.

And because Jerusalem was raised up in a spiritual sense, and is a spiritual creation, a city prepared by God, made without hands, things said of it have to be interpreted in a spiritual way. For example, the time periods that apply to the heavenly city are not earth days, or earth months, or earth years. The times that apply to the heavenly city are invariably figurative, and not natural.

In prophecy, mountains and rivers are symbolic. Taking the rivers described by Ezekiel and Zechariah literally misses the point of these prophecies. Alva McClain (1888-1968) made this mistake, declaring they were "supernatural." Then he contradicted himself by saying they were not "impossible." He should have said they are "spiritual," not literal. Like many commentators he said they are also symbolic. He wrote:

In addition to these natural results which must follow properly controlled rainfall, there may also be streams continually flowing by miraculous causation, such as the marvelous stream pictured by Ezekiel (47:1-12).  Its issue from the temple, its immense size, the beneficial qualities of its fruit, its perennial flow "in summer and in winter" (Zech. 14:8)--all emphasize the supernatural nature of the stream.  There is nothing at all inherently impossible in such a phenomenon.  Why should anyone stumble at the idea of a beautiful stream springing up at the geographical center of our Lord's blessed Kingdom on earth, with healing in both its waters and the fruit which grows beside it?  Is there anything incredible here, if we remember that the coming King is the One who once turned water into wine and sent the sightless man to wash away his blindness in the waters of Siloam (John 9:11)?  What a visible symbol this will be to remind the nations of the unfailing blessings which will flow from the throne of the Son of David!  And from this shrine none will go away in heartbreaking disappointment because no help has been found.

[Alva McClain. The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 237].

In John 7:38, Jesus said that rivers of living water will flow from the belly of whoever believes in him. The following verse explains what living waters signify. "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

A high mountain is associated with Jerusalem, in Ezekiel's prophecy describing the measurement of a visionary temple. "In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south." [Ezekiel 40:2] There is no real high mountain there. It is a symbolic or figurative mountain, probably intended to convey the idea that this is a lofty spiritual prophecy. Similarly when John described the holy city he said he was taken in the spirit to a great and high mountain. In reality he remained on Patmos.

Revelation 21:10
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

These mountains convey the idea of something durable, and permanent, and stabilty, and height, and strength; they are symbols of the promises and revelations of God, and of spiritual benefits for the saints. They are sure, and real, but the mountains of prophecy are not literal mountains.

The idea of a river conveys the idea of continuity, and renewal, and life, and refreshment. As Jesus said, the living waters are symbolic of God's word and his Spirit. Both metaphors are associated with the better land, and with the heavenly Jerusalem.

Both mountains and rivers are a way for God's people. Isaiah 49:11 says the mountains will become a way for the saints; the sermon on the mount also defines a way. Jesus said "narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" [Matt. 7:14]. David said, "he leadeth me beside the still waters." [Psa. 23:2] In Jeremiah 31:9, Israel is led by the rivers in a straight way; in Revelation 22:1-3, a river of the water of life flows in the street of the holy city.

On the mountains of Israel, God's sheep will find pasture, by the rivers. [Ezek. 34:13]

Mountains and rivers are both mentioned as places for prayer. [Matt. 14:23; Acts 16:13]

In the gospels, a mountain was the place of Jesus' transfiguration, [Matt. 17:2] and the Jordan river was the place where the Spirit descended upon him like a dove.

Joy is connected with both mountains and with a river. Mount Zion is "the joy of the whole earth," [Psa. 48:2] where God will make a feast for all people; [Isa. 25:6] in Isaiah 44:23 the mountains break forth into singing; Psalm 46:4 says "there is a river that makes glad the city of God."

Peace is connected with both mountains and rivers. Psalm 72:3 says "The mountains shall bring peace to the people." Isaiah 66:12 says "I will extend peace to her like a river."

David compared God's righteousness to the great mountains. [Psa. 36:6] Amos wrote, "But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." [Amos 5:24]

Mountains and rivers are each associated with the other; Joel 3:18 says mountains will drop wine, hills will flow with milk; in Isaiah 30:25 and 41:18, God will make rivers in high places.

Comparing the prophecies about mountains and rivers in the better land supports the idea that they are not meant to be taken literally; they are metaphors, and parables; the mountains represent eternal spiritual promises, and prophecies, and revelations of God, and the rivers represent the Spirit of truth flowing continually from the throne of God, and the gospel going forth from the church in every age. Isaiah said,

Isaiah 40:9
O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Prophecies about the rivers in high places and mountains that drop wine suggest a reason why the saints are exhorted to go to the mountains: spiritual rivers flow there, if we understand the higher spiritual meaning in the words of the prophets.

Doug
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 12:54:40 AM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2012, 05:21:36 PM »
The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 34 distinguishes between the mountains of Israel, and the mountains of other lands.

Ezekiel 34:6 says, "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them."

God's sheep are scattered upon the face of the earth, in tens of thousands of sects and denominations, ministries, with many different beliefs.
 
The mountains where these sheep wander, are mountains in other lands. I suggest those foreign mountains are metaphorical, and represent beliefs, theories, philosophies, interpretations, that are alien to the "better land," which is foreshadowed by the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The desolation and forsaking of the better land was foreshadowed by the people of Israel going into exile, where they were ruled by Gentiles. The land of promise was a type of the knowledge of God, and the people of Israel were removed from it because they had not kept the covenant, and the commandments. Daniel said, in his prayer of confession in Babylon,

Daniel 9
4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Ezekiel's prophecy says that God searches for his sheep, and will bring them back to their land, the land of Israel, where they will feed upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers. They are brought back one by one to the better land of the saints.

Ezekiel 34
13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

Just as the sheep in the prophecy are not literal sheep, the mountains of Israel in the prophecy are not literal mountains, but they represent God's blessings, and revelations, and promises to the saints. This was revealed when Jacob blessed his son Joseph. He said: "The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." [Gen. 49:26]

The mountains, being the highest parts of the promised land, represent divine revelations, and promises of a lofty spiritual nature, which are also eternal, and so Jacob associated them with the "everlasting hills."

At Bethel, where Jacob dreamed of a ladder set up upon the earth and reaching to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it, God promised to give him the land of Canaan. Jacob anointed the rock which he had used for his pillow, and set it up as a pillar, and called it the house of God. The things he saw and heard in his dream connected the land with God's revelations. In the centuries following, many revelations were given there, and the land promise, and Israel's anticipation of the land, and their taking possession of it under Joshua, and governing the land, and loss of the land, when they went into exile in Assyria and Babylon were the focus of those revelations. The Old Testament was the record of all of God's promises to his people and how they were fulfilled, as well as promises of their ultimate fulfilment in the future.

In the New Testament Jesus alluded to the events at Bethel, in the life of Jacob, and put himself in the place of the land, on which the ladder to heaven was set up, on which the angels ascend and descend. [John 1:47-51]

Ezekiel 35:12 says that blasphemies are spoken about the mountains of Israel. These mountains of Israel are not the literal mountains of Canaan, but the spiritual things that those earthly mountains represent, the promises of God to his saints. These mountains are made desolate, and a people who are unworthy claim to possess them. Ezekiel wrote:

Ezekiel 35
11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.
12 And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.
13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.

This prophecy continues in chapter 36.

Ezekiel 36
1 Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:
2 Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:
3 Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:

The phrase "ancient high places" is similar to the phrase used by Jacob in Genesis 49:26, "the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." The prophecy is about God's blessings, and promises, and prophecies, which have been made desolate because they are misunderstood and misinterpreted, and wrongly applied. For example, many commentators assume that the mountains in Ezekiel's prophecies refer to the literal mountains and hills of Canaan, or they represent ethnic Jews. Most do not recognize any symbolic connection between mountains and the blessings of God!

Ezekiel 36:4
Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;

The mountains that represent God's blessings, promises, and prophecies are a prey, when interpreting prophecy is considered a business, and a commercial enterprise. Flawed interpretations and failed predictions make the subject of bible prophecy an object of derision to unbelievers. But Ezekiel said that this will change.

Ezekiel 36
5 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
8 But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

The blessings, prophecies and promises of God to his people will be fruitful to the saints, those who are in Christ, not unbelieving ethnic Jews.

The mountains of Israel are also mentioned in the prophecy of Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

The "land brought back from the sword" in the above verse probably alludes to Eden, where a "flaming sword" was set up to "keep the way of the tree of life." [Genesis 3:24] The "better land" of the saints is often connected with Eden.

The sword represents God's word.

Ezekiel said the invaders come against the mountains of Israel, which represent God's blessings to the saints, and promises, and revelations, and they also come against the prophets of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

The invaders come against the prophets, because they misinterpret their words.

Ezekiel 38:21
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

Ezekiel said the invaders will fall "upon the mountains of Israel." All their flawed interpretations will be destroyed, and discredited.

Ezekiel 39:4
Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

In this interpretation, the invading hordes of Gog and Magog are the same people as those described by John in Revelation 20.

Revelation 20
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Doug

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2012, 05:02:36 PM »
The land of Canaan was a type and a shadow of better land, to which Christians have come, as taught in the New Testament. [Heb. 11:16; 12:22] Paul said that the experiences of the Israelites recorded in the Old Testament were written for our examples, and for our admonition. Peter said the prophets ministered, not to themselves, but unto us, that is, the saints, or the New Testament church. The prophets, he said, wrote about the gospel, (they "prophesied of the grace that should come unto you") and they wrote by the spirit of Christ which was in them. [1 Peter 1:9-12]

A period of seven years is prominent in prophecy, and in the early history of Israel. Jacob agreed to serve Laban the Syrian seven years for his bride Rachel. [Gen. 29:20] But the time involved actually turned out to be longer than a literal seven years. When the time came for his marriage to Rachel, he was given her sister Leah instead. His labour was to continue for another seven years, and then yet another six, and after this, he returned to the promised land. Jacob came back with not only Rachel, but also her sister Leah, their handmaidens, and all their children. They brought with them a large herd of cattle. At Galeed, several miles east of the Jordan River, Jacob and Laban made a covenant, that neither would pass that place to do any harm to the other. [Gen. 31:45-48, 51-53]

The time involved in the conquest of Canaan under Joshua was seven years.

In Ezekiel's prophecies about Gog and Magog, the time that the people of Israel burn the weapons of the hordes of Gog and Magog for fuel is seven years. [Ezek. 39:9]

In Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy the time when Christ confirms his covenant with the church is one week, [or seven times] which corresponds to, or alludes to the time for which Jacob agreed to serve Laban for Rachel.

In the prophecies of Daniel, great kingdoms are described, but always in their relation to the saints, and the kingdom of God. The metallic image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2 represents the major human kingdoms throughout all of history, and Babylon is featured in the prophecies of Revelation, where it represents all human society. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the head of the image was of fine gold, its breast and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of brass, its legs were of iron, and its feet were part of iron and part of clay. This man-like image was replaced by a mountain, that filled the earth. The mountain represents the kingdom of God. There is a continuity in the prophecy, because the prophecy depicts time as progressing vertically from top to bottom. There are no gaps in the image, and there are no gaps in time.

The prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 parallels the prophecy in chapter 7, where the same successive world  governments or empires are depicted as animals. The four beasts correspond to the four metals, gold, silver, brass, and iron, in the prophecy of chapter 2. The head of fine gold in chapter 2 corresponds to the lion in chapter 7. The breast and arms of silver in chapter 2 corresponds to the bear in chapter 7. The belly and thighs of brass in chapter 2 correspond to the leopard with four heads in chapter 7. The legs of iron in chapter 2 correspond to the terrible beast described in chapter 7. The feet, part of iron and part of clay in chapter 2 correspond to the 10 horns of the beast in chapter 7. The stone cut without hands in chapter 2, that became a great mountain, corresponds to the saints and the kingdom of God in chapter 7.

In the prophecy of Daniel 7 another little horn, separate from the ten horns of the fourth beast, makes war with the saints. This is the antichrist spirit, with eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. The  eyes like the eyes of a man represent a human viewpoint, which opposes the divine point of view of the prophets. It continues for a time, times and a half. [Dan. 7:25]  John said that this spirit was already present in the first century. [1 John 4:3]

The time, times and a half in Daniel's prophecies signifies half of seven times, and the swearing angel in Daniel 12:7 showed that it is the last time period. All of the events mentioned in Daniel's prophecies will be finished, when that time period is fulfilled. There is another similar swearing figure depicted in Revelation 10, who declares that "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." [Rev. 10:7]

The seven times, or one week, of which the time, times and a half is the last portion, is without doubt the final week in the prophecy of Daniel 9. Here, three separate periods are described, which together make seventy weeks. They are 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week. The Messiah was to appear when the first two of the three were fulfilled, which began the last week, in which he would confirm the covenant with many. His earthly ministry was the first half of the final week. But he was crucified, and buried, and rose again from the grave, and ascended to heaven, to the throne of his Father.

Here, the units of the prophecy change, because earth days, months, and years, based on the period of the earth's rotation, and its orbit around the sun, would not apply to things that are spiritual. God's time does not equal our time. And therefore the time, times and a half when Christ continues to confirm his covenant with his church, is not earthly time, but it is the prophetic symbol for the final half-week, which is the whole age of the church. Thus, there are no gaps in Daniel's time prophecies, and they agree perfectly with the visions of chapters 2 and 7.

The time remaining once the abomination of desolation is set up is given as 1,290 days. [Dan. 12:11] This number represents a symbolic three years and a half, where one year has 13 months, and the rest 12 months, and months are 30 days. Natural months are not exactly 30 days, so this period is symbolic, and not a literal 1,290 days or years.

The time that Christ waits for his church to be completed is 1,335 days. [Dan. 12:12] This number represents a symbolic three years and a half, where one year has 12 months, and the rest 13 months, and months are 30 days. Again, because natural months are not exactly 30 days, this period is symbolic, and not a literal 1,335 days or years.
   
In John's prophecy the holy city is trampled by Gentiles for 42 months. [Rev. 11:2] The duration of the ministry of the two witnesses is 1,260 days. [Rev. 11:3] The time for which the woman in Revelation 12, who represents the church, remains in the wilderness, is stated in two ways, first as 1,260 days, and then as a time, times and a half. [Rev. 12:6, 14] The time when the beast makes war with the saints is 42 months. [Rev. 13:5]

The numbers that represent the whole age of the church, or any portion of it, are symbolic. The little horn, which makes war with the saints, and which has eyes like the eyes of a man representing a human point of view will "think to change times and laws." [Dan. 7:25] These times include the times of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, and the prophecy of the 70 weeks. Those who say that there is a gap in the 70 weeks, are influenced by the "little horn." Those who claim it is 490 literal years, or that the 1,290 days are literal days or literal years, or that the 1,335 days are literal days or literal years, or that the 1,260 days are literal days or literal years, are also influenced by the "little horn," IMO. They fail to consider the necessary change in the nature of the units of time, when it is applied to things in the spiritual world, and the better land of the saints. The church which is being prepared in the present age is the bride of Christ, and the covenant which Christ confirms for one week is a covenant like the one Jacob made, to purchase his bride Rachel.

Doug
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 05:13:10 PM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2012, 11:39:26 PM »
In Frederic Gardiner's commentary on Ezekiel 47:1-11, the river flowing from the temple in the vision Ezekiel described is interpreted as symbolic of the spiritual influence of the kingdom of God in the present age. He says, "All history, since the Christian era, has been occupied with the fulfilment of the prophecy." 

Frederic Gardiner. Ezekiel. In: Charles John Ellicott, ed. An Old Testament commentary for English readers. Vol. v. 1884. pp. 340-342.

[begin quote]

Ezekiel XLVII.

The first twelve verses of this chapter constitute what is generally known as "the vision of the living waters;" the latter part of the chapter, verses 13—23, more properly belongs with chap, xlviii., and, with that, gives an account of the boundaries of the land, of its distribution among the tribes, and of the building of the holy city.

The ideal character of this vision of the waters is so plain upon its face that little need be said on this point. The stream is represented as issuing from the summit of "a very high mountain" (chap. xl. 2), and as constantly and rapidly increasing its volume, without the accession of tributaries, so that in a little more than a mile it becomes a river no longer fordable. The trees upon its banks, too, are evidently symbolical, and its effect upon the Dead Sea (as already said in the introductory note to chaps, xl.—xlviii.) is such as could not naturally occur. Such imagery is common in prophecy. Joel (chap. iii. 18) says, "All the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim." Zechariah (chap. xiv. 8), "Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea;" and finally, the description of the "pure river of water of life" in Rev. xxii. 1—3, is evidently founded upon this passage of Ezekiel. Passages in which water is used as the symbol of the influence of the Spirit are too numerous and familiar to need quotation. (Comp. Isa. xliv. 3; Ezek. xxxvi. 25—27; Zech. xiii. 1, &c.)

Ezekiel, having in the previous chapters described the dwelling of the Lord among His people with characteristic minuteness of detail, now proceeds to set forth the blessings that flow from this presence.

(1) Door of the house.—This is the entrance of the Temple itself; the waters come out from under its threshold, just as in Rev. xxii. 1 they proceed "out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." The prophet, who had just been in the outer court (chap. xlvi. 21, Ac.), is brought in to the door of the house that he may see the waters.

From the right side of the house.—Although the waters issue directly from the threshold which was in the centre of the east front of the Temple, and their general course was due east, it was necessary that they should be deflected a little at the start to the south in order to pass the porch and the altar, as well as both the inner and outer gateways.

(2) Out of the way of the gate northward.— Rather, out by the way of the north gate. The east gate, the direct way, was shut (chap. xliv. 2); the prophet was therefore carried round to the outside of it by the way of the north gate. There he saw the waters on the right, or south, side of the gateway.

(3) Brought me through the waters.—The point from which the measurement began is not distinctly mentioned, but is to be assumed as from their source, the threshold of the house. The prophet is "brought through the waters" to impress upon him a vivid sense of their size and depth, and this is repeated at each 1,000 cubits until the waters become impassable.

(5) A river that could not be passed over.—The whole distance measured is 4,000 cubits, or less than a mile and a half, during which the waters, without external addition, have swollen from a mere streamlet to an impassable river, in direct opposition to the ordinary fact in nature. A large part (1,500 cubits, or half of 3,000 cubits) of this distance must have been within the precincts described in chap. xlii. 16—20, but the prophet takes no notice of this, as the whole is ideal, and the precincts were to set forth one truth, the river another. The point thus far brought out is plainly the increase of the kingdom of God—the same truth illustrated by our Lord in the parable of the mustard seed (Matt. xiii. 31,32), and often declared by the prophets (see Isa. xi. 9; Hab. ii. 14; Dan. ii. 44; vii. 27; &c.). All history, since the Christian era, has been occupied with the fulfilment of the prophecy.

(6) To return to the brink.—The angel, having called the prophet's attention to this marvellous increase, now causes him to return along the bank to observe other things. The word brink in this verse and bank in the next are the same in the original. The prophet does not return to the brink, for he had not left it, but is told to pass along it.

(7) Very many trees.—In the corresponding vision of Rev. xxii. 2 the same thought is symbolised by the "tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits."

(8) Go down into the desert.—The word for country is the same as is used in Josh. xxii. 10, 11, for the borders of the Jordan, and undoubtedly has the same meaning here: the valley of the Jordan, called the Ghor. The word desert is better translated in the margin, plain, and refers to that expansion of the Jordan valley just north of the Dead Sea in which the city of Jericho was situated. So far the course of the river has been due east; now, without any allusion to the Jordan, it apparently takes its place and flows into the sea. Both the situation and the description show that the Dead Sea is intended. By its entrance "the waters of the sea shall be healed," that is, they shall be so changed that, from being incapable of supporting life, they shall become the home of life in all abundance and variety (verses 9, 10).

(9) The rivers.—According to the pointing of the Hebrew text this is the two rivers, as is expressed in the margin. This peculiar form has occasioned some perplexity, especially because in the vision of Zechariah (chap. xiv. 8) the waters are represented as divided, half of them flowing to the Dead Sea and half of them to the Mediterranean. It is plain, however, that but one river is intended here, flowing into the Dead Sea. Possibly there is an allusion in the dual form to the Jordan flowing with it into the sea; but this vision throughout pays so little regard to the natural features of the country that it seems more likely that the dual form is simply used to express the greatness of the river, "a double river." By a division of the word and a slight change in the vowels the expression would become "river of the sea," that is, flowing into the sea.

Shall live.—This is to be understood as a pregnant expression; all kinds of life shall spring into being whithersoever the waters come. The same thing is emphatically repeated at the close of the verse, and in the intermediate clause the same thought is expressed by the " very great multitude of fish."

(10) From En-gedi even unto En-eglaim.—En-gedi, "the fountain of the goat," is a well-known copious spring about midway on the western coast of the Dead Sea. En-eglaim occurs only here, and has not been certainly identified. St. Jerome speaks of "Engallim" as at the junction of the Jordan with the sea, and near this point there is a fountain now known as Ain-el-Feshkhah. Others consider that the dual form of the name indicates "one of the double cities of Moab," thus placing it on the eastern side of the sea, and this seems more probable, since the expression would then be equivalent to "the whole breadth of the sea." Everywhere they shall stretch their nets, and the variety and abundance of the fish shall be as great as in "the great sea," that is, the Mediterranean. This whole verse in regard to the fishermen is a striking illustration of Ezekiel's way of carrying out the most ideal description into detail.

(11) The marshes thereof shall not be healed.—The picture of the life-giving waters would be imperfect without this exception to their effects. The Dead Sea at the southern end is very shallow, and beyond there is an extensive tract of very low land. In the season of the flood of the Jordan this is overflowed to a considerable distance, and as the river subsides, is again left bare and encrusted with salt from the evaporation of the water. This allusion, therefore, shows plainly that the prophet did not have in mind a flowing on of the river through the Arabah, or valley leading from the Dead to the Red Sea, and that the effect of the life-giving waters should cease where the waters themselves ceased to flow; at the same time, in the thing symbolised, it shows that we are not to expect, as the effect of the Gospel, a perfect and universal obedience to its teachings. Man is still left free to hear or forbear, and the world must be expected always to contain its unhealed miry and marshy places.

(12) Be consumed.—Better, fail. The fruit is to be eaten, but shall not fail to grow as it is wanted. These trees with their supernatural virtues are represented as produced by the waters because "they issued out of the sanctuary," thus presenting a most effective image of the life-giving power of those spiritual influences which come from God upon men.

It has been objected to the spiritual interpretation of this vision, that under it nothing can be made of the fishermen of verse 10, and that, therefore, the whole is to be considered as a glorification of nature in the future Palestine. But this is to forget that in every figure and parable there are, and must be, details necessary to the figure which have nothing answering to them in the thing signified, and that it is the habit of Ezekiel to carry out such details very far. In this case, the mention of the fishermen greatly heightens the imagery of the life-giving power of the waters; while, if the whole were to be literally understood, they would really have no place, because there would be no such fishermen in the supposed glorified condition of the land.

[/quote]

Doug

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2012, 01:40:11 AM »
hi doug

'  No man can cross it...is the same as tell no man..cause it is a spiritual life-giving river......the river known as death/Jordan baptised into his death...

       is now life giving through the free gift of the water of life.  the fishermen on the otherside are the angelic spiritual angels that catch you in nets

   the kingdom of heaven is like a net that brought up both good and bad fish.......

  he gave me a vision of this when I had my heart trouble and asked if it was my time to leave.....i was on a highway and a bridge crossed the river...

   but the bridge was invisible....it is the permanent entering into the eternal spiritual realm

   it is a passing over from the realm of this flesh and blood dwelling into the eternal...I was stopped from crossing over and went to the bank

  and began cooking in a pot[camp type expierence at rivers edge]  Zechariah 14;8 on that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem...

   v 2 on that day holy to the lLord will be inscribed  on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord's house will be like the sacred bowls

  in front of the altar.  every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots

  qand cook in them. and on that day there will no longer be a Caananite in the house of the Lord almighty

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2012, 03:12:51 AM »
I think that the fish in Ezekiel's river are men, and the ministers of the Gospel are those casting nets. Jesus was probably thinking of this prophecy when he called Andrew and Peter. and James and John, to be his disciples.

Mark 1
4 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

I find the statement by Gardiner, that some have claimed that under a spiritual interpretation of the river, "nothing can be made of the fishermen of verse 10," a bit odd. For example, Clarke's Commentary on the Bible states:

The fishers shall stand upon it - On the above plan of interpretation these must mean -

1. The apostles of our Lord Jesus.

2. The preachers of the everlasting Gospel. See Matthew 4:19.

From En-gedi - At the southern extremity of the Dead Sea.

Unto En-eglaim - At the northern extremity of the same.

Their fish shall be according to their kinds - Every kind of fish, and the fish all excellent of their kinds. All nations, and kindreds, and people shall be called by the Gospel; it shall not be an excluding system like that of Judaism, for its Author tasted death for every man.


Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible says:

These "fishers" are the apostles of Christ, who, of fishermen, were made fishers of men by him; to whom he gave a call, and a commission, and gifts qualifying them to preach the Gospel; whereby they caught men, and brought them to Christ; and so were the instruments of saving them, even of great numbers, both in Judea, and in the Gentile world; of which some instances of their fishing, after their call to the ministry, were emblematical; Matthew 4:18, likewise all other ministers of the Gospel are here meant, especially those that will be in the latter day; ...   
They shall be a place to spread forth nets; that is, the above said places shall be made use of for that purpose; which design the Gospel, and the ministry of it, compared to a net, for its meanness in the esteem of the world; and yet is a piece of curious artifice and wisdom, even the manifold wisdom of God, and is contrived for the gathering in of sinners to Christ; and, though it may be like a net "per accidens", the means of troubling the world, and drawing out the corruptions of the men of it; yet its principal design, and the use that is made of it, is to draw souls out of the depths of sin unto the grace of Christ; see Matthew 13:47, the spreading and casting of nets design the preaching of the Gospel, and the opening and explaining the doctrines of it, which are shut up and hidden to men; and to do which requires wisdom and skill, strength, diligence, and patience, and is done at a venture; and sometimes is cast where fish are, and sometimes not; but here, and at this time, with great success.



Doug


Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2012, 04:36:20 AM »
 i agree..but also the children of the resurrection are like the angels.....the kingdom of heaven come to earth..thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

  thus the tree of life being on both sides of the river.....   

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2012, 06:23:36 AM »
The following are comments by David Dickson (c. 1583-1663) on the metaphorical river of Psalm 46:4-5 in his commentary.

David Dickson. A brief explication of the first fifty Psalms

Psalm 46
4. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God: the Holy place of the Tabernacles of the most High.
5. God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The Kirk doth look upon the Lord's word and ordinances joyned with the blessing of his Spirit among them, as upon a sufficient consolation against whatsoever trouble can be imagined. Whence learn,

1. Although there be many particular persons in the Lord's Kirk militant, and many particular Congregations, as there were many habitations in Jerusalem, and many tabernacles at the time of the solemne feast, when all the Lord's people were gathered together to the keeping thereof; yet are they all one Kirk universal, one Kingdome of God; one City compact together in the union of one sealed Covenant, one true faith and Spirit; The plurality of the Tabernacles of God doth make but one City of God here.

2. Albeit trouble without comfort may fall on men who know not God; yet to believers within the Kirk there can no trouble come, wherein the true Citizens may not finde consolation and joy to uphold them against all causes of sorrow; There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the City of God.

3. The consolations which God furnisheth to all who will make use of them within the Kirk, are not like the consolations which the world can afford, which are in all respects inefficient to overcome trouble;  but the consolations of God are abundant, constantly running, ready at hand, and able to make a man a conquerour over trouble effectually, and to make him rejoyce in the Lord in the midst of trouble; for this is imported in the similitude of refreshing water; There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the City of God.

4. God will never forsake his people who seek after him, but where they are following his ordinances in any measure of sincerity, there will he be; God is in the midst of her.

5. As the consolation of the Kirk, so also the liability of the Kirk, and continuance of it from generation to generation, dependeth upon God's settled residence therein; God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.

6. God's presence among his people will not exempt them from trouble, but from perdition in trouble: he will not exempt the bush from burning, but from being consumed, For God shall help her.

7. Albeit the Lord do not appear at the point of time when we would, yet shall he come and help in time of need most timeously, God shall help her, and that right early.

Doug
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 02:48:35 PM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: The better land
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2012, 05:30:11 PM »
The following quote is from a commentary compiled mainly from quotes selected from various previous commentators. It is the section on the vision of the river of the temple waters, Ezekiel 47:1-12. From: George Barlow, David Gilkison Watt, Thomas Henry Leale. A homiletic commentary on the Book of the prophet Ezekiel. Richard D. Dickinson, London. 1890. pp. 484-487.

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Vers. 1-12. "The effect of the establishment of the mountain of the house of the Lord on the top of mountains, or of Christianity generally, is a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit signified by these waters. As they were not to be seen before the issue of the man with the measuring-line, they are to accompany the preaching of the Word by the ministers of Christ, and the operations of the Spirit shall become the more admirable and profound as they proceed in their spread over all the world, as is signified by their increasing depth. By them shall the evil influences of the world be healed and everlasting life conveyed to all that will receive them. Still, some shall harden even then under its influence, and become more rank and nauseous in sin than before, as is signified by the unhealed bays."—M'Farlan.

— "Issuing as this stream does from the threshold of the Temple, from the very foot of the throne of God, it must be, like all the special manifestations of God to His Church, itself of a spiritual nature, and only in its effects productive of outward material good. It is the efflux of that infinite fulness of life and blessing which is treasured up in His spiritual Temple, and continually pours itself forth as the operations of His grace proceed among men. It is emphatically a river of life. Wherever it is experienced, the barren soil of nature fructifies, the dead live again, the soul is replenished with joy and gladness. Instead of spending itself, like the streams of nature, as it advances through the moral deserts of the world, it multiplies and grows, until corruption is changed into incorruption, mortality is swallowed up of life, and the earth, which God had cursed for man's sin, is transformed into the inheritance of the saints in light."—Fairbairn.

Vers. 1-5. "Ezekiel's Temple, with its ritual, ministers, and congregation, symbolises the presence of Jehovah in the midst of a loyal people. The waters are the blessings which flow from this source to animate and refresh all the inhabitants of the earth. The deepening of the waters in their course shows the continual deepening of spiritual life and multiplication of spiritual blessings in the growth of the Kingdom of God." —Speaker's Commentary.

— "In the Kingdom of God things proceed from little to great: in the kingdoms of the world often from great to little. Satan begins his things with lofty impetuosity, but finally they end in nothing and everything comes to disgrace."—Hafenreffer.

Ver. 1, 2. The Progress of Truth. "1. As it is Christ who makes known the things of the Temple, so He makes known some at one time, some at another. 2. The waters of the Gospel, the gifts and graces of the Spirit, flow from Zion. 3. These spiritual waters, although they flow from Zion, Christ is the fountain and original of them. 4. Sanctuary waters are not common but choice mercies; they are right-side mercies, south-side blessings."—Greenhill.

Ver. 1. The Gradualness of Divine Revelation—1. Accommodated to our imperfect faculties. 2. Suited to our varying circumstances. 3. Educative in its process. 4. Enables us more clearly to grasp the meaning and grandeur of the truths unfolded.

Vers. 3-9. "The Atheistic Idea. It is affirmed that Christianity is waning because of the advancement of science. The business of the scientist is with matter. There is something back of matter — a force beneath life. No painter, there is no picture: no God, there is no nature. What doctrine has science demolished? 1. Has science done away with the Incarnation? The scientist knows that the sum of the history of nature is made up by the entrances at epochs of higher types of being. Are not all these appearances prophecies of the grand entrance of the Higher Being? 2. Has science done away with the Atonement? The law everywhere manifest is the dependence of one creature on another. 3. Has science done away with sin? Sin is as much a fact, a phenomenon of human life, as the circulation of the blood. 4. Where is Christianity waning? In Germany? Compare this century with the last. A short time ago thousands of students flocked to the great universities to hear the doctrines of Fichte, Hegel, Kant, and the Rationalists of Tubingen. Now scarcely a class of twenty can be collected for that purpose. In France? Compare this century with the times when a deluge of blood followed the blasphemies of Rousseau, D'Alembert, Diderot, and Voltaire. In England? Compare the Britain of to-day with the Britain of yesterday, when Chubb, Hume, and Bolingbroke could sneer at the story of the Cross—when the clergy were immoral. In America? Compare it with the time when the students in our colleges called themselves by the names of leading French atheists. Where will you find such a college to-day? 5. What is the motive power of science? Compare the ages of faith and the ages of scepticism and see the results. How high has science lifted the shadows that rest on the human heart? It is only this blessed religion, this radiance from the throne of God, that can lighten the gloom."—Homiletic Monthly.

Vers. 3-5. The Temple-River emblematic of Religion in the different stages of Human Life. 1. Childhood. "The waters were to the ankles" (ver. 3). Religion may be shallow and yet genuine. 2. Youth. "The waters were to the knees" (ver. 4). Still exposed to much of the world and its attractions, yet standing in the truth. 3. Manhood. "The waters were to the loins" (ver. 4). In the midway of life's struggle, but deepening in piety. 4. Old age. "Waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over" (ver. 5). A more prolonged and profound study of the truth revealing its unfathomable vastness and prompting the strongest veteran-swimmer to exclaim, "Oh, the depth of the riches!" (Rom. xi. 33).

— "Holy Scripture and its revelations also resemble these sacred waters, in that whosoever searches into them will find some parts intelligible to all who sincerely desire to know them. Other parts require a deeper investigation; others a deeper still; and others are beyond our depth, and in respect to these, we can only adore the infinitude of God's unsearchable wisdom, and humbly wait for His own time of revealing their now hidden meaning. The growth of grace in the individual soul, similarly, is a progressive work, beginning with but a small stream from the fountain-head, but sure to go on increasing until it is expanded into the boundless and unfathomable river of heavenly pleasures (Ps. xxxvi. 8)."—Fausset.

— "This vision may be applied—1. To the gradual discoveries of the plan of salvation. (1.) In the patriarchal ages. (2.) In the giving of the Law. (3.) In the ministry of John the Baptist. (4.) In the full manifestation of Christ by the Holy Ghost. 2. To the growth of a believer in the grace and knowledge of God. (1.) The seed of the Kingdom. (2.) The blade from that seed. (3.) The ear out of that blade. (4.) The full corn in that ear. 3. To the discoveries a penitent believer receives of the mercy of God in his salvation. (1.) A little child, born of God, he begins to taste and feed on the heavenly food. (2.) He grows up and increases in stature and strength, and becomes a young man. (3.) He becomes matured in the Divine lite, and has his spiritual senses exercised so as to become a father in Christ. 4. To the progress of Christianity. (1.) A few poor fishermen. (2.) Afterwards many Jews. (3.) Then the Gentiles of Asia Minor and Greece. (4.) The continent and isles of Europe. (5.) Now spreading through Africa, Asia, and America, at present these waters are no longer a river, but an immense sea; and the Gospel-fishers are daily bringing multitudes of souls to God."—A. Clarke.

The Spread of the Gospel. "1. Christ is the architect and measurer of all things belonging to His Church. 2. The motion of Sanctuary waters is not accidental, but according to Divine appointment. 3. The doctrine of the Gospel is never rightly understood unless taught by Christ. 4. The doctrine of the Gospel, the conversion of sinners, and the graces of the Spirit proceed gradually. 5. The Gospel has depths and mysteries no human understanding can comprehend. 6. Sanctuary waters afford comfort to the saints in their deepest distresses."—Greenhill.

Ver. 5. "There was no such natural course of waters in the place, nor is it imaginable that in three miles or thereabouts the waters should so rise; but it is emblematical, hath a deep mysterious meaning, and includes spiritual things and their wonderful growth from small beginnings, and these from the Temple."—Pool.

— "This marks the rich and overflowing grace which God designs to shed down on the earth in the Gospel age and in the glory of the latter us"; and it apprises believers that they should not remain in a loitering state, trampling the shallow waters of grace, but go on to a deeper baptism of the Spirit till they can swim in the abounding streams."—Sutcliffe.

— "Representing the fathomless depth of the Scriptures, which is such that we may well do by it as the Romans did by a lake, the depth whereof they could not sound, and dedicated it to Victory: also the abundance of spiritual graces in the Church, the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, and the over-abounding goodness of God. Speaking of the subject, Chrysostom said: 'I am like a man digging in a deep spring; I stand here, and the water rises upon me; I stand there, and still the water rise upon me. It is indeed a sea that has neither bank nor bottom.'"—Trapp.

Ver. 6. "Hast thou seen this?" A Suggestive Question—1. As asked to the well-informed. He knows more than I do, or why the question? 2. As addressed to the anxious inquirer. This may meet my case. 3. As addressed to the thoughtless and indifferent. There is a world of knowledge hitherto closed to him. 4. Indicates there is much we miss for want of a keener insight into truth.

Vers. 7-10. Fishers in Gospel Waters. "1. The waters of the Gospel have their own course. 2. That people without the Gospel are like the Dead Sea (ver. 8). 3. The waters of the Sanctuary have curing and quickening virtue (vers. 8, 9). 4. The preacher of the Gospel are fishers (ver. 10). 5. These Gospel-fishers catch fish of all sorts (ver. 10)."—Greenhill.

Vers. 8, 11. The Power of the Gospel—1 Seen in its penetrating the most unlikely places. "The desert—the Dead Sea" (ver. 8). 2. Efficacious in giving life and healing to all who accept it. "The waters shall be healed" (ver. 8). 3. Inefficacious where it is resisted and rejected. "The miry places and marshes shall be given to salt" (ver. 11).

Ver. 8. "God's Sanctuary a wellspring of life for the Dead Sea of the world (Ps. lxxxvii. 7). God's thoughts of peace over the abysses of the world's wretchedness. In other cases a clear and wholesome stream which flows into a muddy and putrid lake becomes corrupt: it is otherwise with the Gospel, which brings recovery and health to the earthly-minded heart. It is a power of God, but man will not let the power work."—Lange.

Ver. 11. "Those whom the Gospel waters of life do not reach, through their own indolence and carnality, shall be given over to everlasting barrenness; nor can any more awful punishment be imagined than that the sinner should be given up to the unrestricted and everlasting workings of his own sin, bitterness, and filthiness."—Fausset.

— The Hebrew language often expresses irremediable barrenness and unprofitableness by being given up to salt, salt being equivalent to barrenness in that language. When Abimelech destroyed Shechem he sowed the ground whereon it stood with salt, to denote that it should never be cultivated or inhabited again (Judges ix. 45).

— "Unsound, rotten parts, neither sea nor yet sound ground, an emblem of hypocrites. Low land, sopped with the overflowings of unhealthful waters, neither fit to breed fish as the sea, nor bear trees as the land."—Pool.

Vers. 9-12. Spiritual Influence—1. Vitalises all it touches (ver. 9). 2. The active principle of fertility and plenty (vers. 9, 10, 12). 3. Cannot be resisted without disaster (ver. 11). 4. Is ever flowing from the Divine Temple. "Because they issued out of the sanctuary" (ver. 12). 5. Is both the food and medicine of the soul. "The fruit shall be for meat, and the leaf for medicine" (ver. 12).

Ver. 10. "The ministers of the Church are compared to fishers because of the contempt with which they are regarded by the rich and powerful of this world; because of their labour by day and night, in heat and cold; because of the fruitlessness of their labour at times—'We have caught nothing;' because of the dangers they incur in stormy weather; because of their confidence, which, as in the case of the husbandman, must rest on God; because of the various kinds of implements they use. They rescue souls from the abyss."—Starck.

Vers. 11, 12. Moral Barrenness and Fruitfulness. "1. Those places and persons to which the waters of the Sanctuary come, or coming do not heal, are designed to barrenness and destruction (ver. 11). 2. True Christians are fruitful (ver. 12). 3. The cause of fruitfulness is the doctrine and grace of the Gospel (ver. 12). 4. The holy examples of true saints are medicinal (ver. 12)."—Greenhill.

Ver. 12. Never-ending Spring. "The text a promise and picture of a neverfading spring. Goodness and spiritual beauty are eternal. 1. The everlasting youthfulness of a Christly soul. 2. The everlasting fruitfulness of a Christly soul. 3. The explanation of the glorious phenomenon is in this— 'Because their waters issued out of the sanctuary.' A sacred place, a pure sanctuary, a holy fountain where the soul may cleanse itself from the dust and stains of the world. Fruit for meat and leaves for medicine. A healthy inner life ensures a fruitful outer life. A Christly soul is always young and beautiful."—Homilelic Monthly.

— "The blessed growth close by the river of life. Evergreen leaves, yet not leaves merely, but also fruit! Thus it is with life from God's Sanctuary."—Lange.

[/quote]

Doug


Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2012, 06:00:06 PM »
greatly enjoyed and was blessed reading these posts Doug.  but just as ministers in the flesh by the spirit..fish us out on this side..unto the kingdom of

  heaven.  so,too angels fish us out of death in the flesh to eternal life in the spirit/heaven John 20;12.two angels in white seated where Jesus body had been

   there are always ministering angels..accompanying  a resurrection...having access to these that stand by..ever ready to minister to those who inherit eternal life.

  be it life more abundantly now..or us being away from the body.