« PreviousContinue »
as would be the case at his coming, by the rushing in of his Holy Spirit—this material world, and all which surround us, must be dissolved in the twinkling of an eye! So that the elements which surround us, are consistent, and in accordance with the description given us in the prophetic revelations.
But, as these prophetic revelations assure us, “ That unto you that fear my name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings, and
forth and grow up as calves of the stall : and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts;" our important business is to illustrate the subject from the Scriptures, to give that confidence and comfort they certainly inspire.
Among the parables our Saviour used to illustrate the final redemption, he likened the progressive growth, and strength of our souls in the Holy Spirit, to a plant breaking through the ground from a seed unto the light of day :—and by the words spoken by the prophets, as the progressive growth of a child in the womb until its birth :-and also, as being in the snare of a fowler whose net is broken —when all, of the Spirit of the Lord, unite face to face in the effulgence of his glory.
We have already noticed, that the two veils before the altar, under the Mosaic law, represented the dark state of mankind in regard to their knowledge of God—of heaven—and of themselves : that
Heb. x. 19.
the first veil was upon the heart in the unregenerate or natural state, as is the case of those who expect justification by the Mosaic law. The second veil is yet over all the christian world, formed by
the malignant passions, and called by IsaiahIsaiah xxv. 7. “ The covering cast over all people, and the veil
that is spread over all nations”—which gross spirit of darkness, or of the flesh, separates from the light of heaven: and called the flesh in the words of St. Paul-he says, “ Having, therefore, boldness (or liberty) brethren, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the veil; that is to say, through the flesh" (by overcoming the spirit of it,); " which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."
To illustrate, however, the subject progressively from the scriptures. The bodies of christians are called the Temple of God. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it again;
but he spake of the temple of his body.” And St. 1 Cor. vi. 19. Paul, addressing his disciples, says, “ Your body is
the temple of the Holy Spirit :" and that Holy Spirit, forming the soul and mind, has the veil before it, which separates from the light of heaven: for “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” And that the disciples of the Lord might know his
John ii. 19.
1 John i. 5.
purity, and the ultimate state of theirs-he said, “ If Luke xi. 36. thy whole body, therefore, be full of light, having no part dark,” (by the spirit of malignity,)“ the whole shall be full of light, as when a candle by its bright shining doth give thee light.” And which St. Paul's words accord with, “For now we see through 1 Cor. xii. 12. a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Again, “ We all with open face beholding as in 2 Cor. iii. 18, a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed to the same image from glory to glory, even as the Lord in spirit.” The prayer of David accords with it, “ Turn again, O God of Hosts, and cause thy face Ps. lxxx.7. to shine, and we shall be saved.”
But to satisfy Peter, James, and John, of their ultimate state, our Saviour"
into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his rai- Matt. xvii. I. ment was white as the light.” The revelation by St. John of our ultimate state, also accords with it; “ He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed Rev. ii. 5. with white raiment."
Again, “And one of the elders answered, saying Rev. vii. 13. unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest; and he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white by the blood of the Lamb of God; therefore, are
they before the throne of God, and serve him day
Again—The reply of our Saviour to the ques
tions of the Sadducees, relative to the resurrection, Matt. xxii. 29. makes clear our future state-" Jesus answered
and said, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God: for in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as
the angels of God in heaven.” Which is in unison 1 Cor. xv. 44. with St. Paul's words, “ It is sown a natural body, ,
it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; and so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also which are earthy ; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this, I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible (body) must put on (the spirit of) incorruption; and this mortal must put on (the spirit of) immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality; then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law: but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”