W. W. Fereday.
ETERNITY - Three things are told us in Scripture.
(1). The Father loved the Son (John 17:24); Comp. Prov. 8:30.
(2). The Lamb appointed for sacrifice (1 Peter 1:20).
(3). The Saints chosen in Christ for blessing, and their names written in the book of life (Eph. 1:4; Rev. 13:8).
CREATION — Gen. 1:1; Job 38:6-7. The Son the active person in the Godhead (John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:8).
CHAOS. — Gen. 1:2. Earth only, not the heavens. A condition subsequent to the original creation (Isa. 45:18; Deut. 32:4). The geologic ages come in here.
CONSTRUCTION — Gen. 1:3 - 2:7. "The renewing and refurnishing of our planet as a home for man. "Done in six days (Ex. 20:11). MAN created last (Gen. 1:26-27). "Image" refers to his position as representing God in rule; "likeness" refers to his moral being as an intelligent creature, capable of receiving communications from God. Neither God's image nor God's likeness lost by the fall (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9).
Two steps in man's creation — first, the body; then soul and spirit (Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4).
THE FALL — occasioned by the woman listening to the tempter who raised questions both as to the truth of God and the love of God.
The Seed of the woman man's hope now (Gen. 3:15).
Man driven out of Eden.
ADAM to NOAH — 10 patriarchs. The Age of Conscience.
No written revelation from God.
CAIN and ABEL representative characters — the false worshipper and the true (Gen. 4:1-8).
CAIN'S LINE given next (Gen. 4:16-24). Seven (number of completeness) in all, ending with a second Cain. (Tubal Cain means "flowing from Cain.") In this line we have the beginnings of "society," and the cultivation of the arts and sciences. God left out of it all. No ages given here, nor in the case of descendants of Ishmael (Gen. 25:12-18) and Esau (Gen. 36)
Enoch. — "Seventh from Adam," translated 67 years after the death of the first man (Gen. 5:22-23). Reminds of 1 Thess. 4:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:51. Prophet as well as saint (Jude 14-15). There were two Enochs — one "dedicated" to the world (Gen. 4:1), the other "dedicated" to God.
NOAH. — "Preacher of righteousness " (2 Peter 2:5). The earth now full of corruption and violence (Gen. 6:11). The apostasy of the sons of God (Gen. 6:1-4; Job 1:6, 38:7; Jude 6).
Divine warning and long-suffering (Gen. 6:3).
Man's indifference (Luke 17:26-27); Comp. 1 Thess. 5:3.
Noah believed God (Heb. 11:7).
Ark — type of Christ, in Whom alone is salvation.
The flood universal (Gen. 7:19).
The ark rested on the day of our Lord's resurrection (Gen. 8:4).
NOAH to ABRAM — 10 patriarchs. But compare Gen. 11:12 with Luke 3:36.
The Earth given a new start on the ground of sacrifice. God's covenant with Noah and the earth described in Gen. 8:21 — Gen. 9:17. Two hearts revealed in chap. 8:21: God's — full of goodness; man's — full of evil.
MAGISTRACY now established (Gen. 9:5-6). The two first recorded rulers failed: Noah through weakness; Nimrod through oppression (Gen. 9:21; Gen. 10:9).
Jehovah connects His name with Shem (Gen. 9:26); from him the Seed should come.
The beginnings of national life in Gen. 10; 11.
BABEL the cause of the break-up. The end of political confederacy is found in Ps. 2 of religious confederacy in Rev. 17.
IDOLATRY soon appeared, and became universal (Rom. 1:20-23; Joshua 24:2).
ABRAM now called out, and made the depositary of God's promises. Separation God's invariable principle from this point.
Abraham's three seeds: the Natural ("dust," Gen. 13:16; John 8:37); the Spiritual ("stars," Gen. 15:5; Gal. 3:29); the Personal (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16).
Abraham's life given in three parts. Gen. 12-14 is the history of God's public dealings with him; chaps. 15-21 is the history of God's private dealings with his soul; chaps. 22-25 is his history in connection with the risen heir. Each part concludes with a millennial picture.
The world's FIRST BATTLE recorded in Gen. 14. It is noticed because it is a type of the world's last conflict (Rev. 16:14-16).
Genesis closes with Abraham's seed in Egypt in fulfilment of 15:13.
ISRAEL called out. God enters into relationship with this people by His name Jehovah (Ex. 6:1-8). His name the guarantee of their ultimate blessing (Jer. 31:35-37; Mal. 3: 6).
Pharaoh's decree a Satanic blow at Christ (Ex. 1:16). For similar efforts, see 2 Chr. 22:10-11; Isa. 7:3-7.
Israel delivered in sovereign grace, on the ground of the blood of the lamb.
LAW given at Sinai. not intended to give either life or righteousness (Gal. 3:21); this impossible because of man's condition (Rom. 8:3).
Designed to show up the awfulness [of the?] calf sin. It made sin transgression (Gal. 3:19; Rom. 4:15). At the close of the "law chapter" we read of altar and sacrifices (Ex. 20). Here the heart of God expresses itself. Note — along with the law was given the Tabernacle system, which speaks throughout of Divine grace. Law broken before the tables entered the camp (Ex. 32). Fresh tables given with the accompaniments of Ex. 34.
The promises stand spite of the broken law (Gal. 3:15-18).
SCRIPTURE began to be written by Moses. Human life now shortened (Ps. 90:10).
MOSES' SONG (Deut. 32) shows how Israel entered Canaan. It speaks of Jehovah's election and grace, Israel's evil and punishment, and of Divine goodness at the end at the epoch of till world's blessing. This song, intended to be a witness to, Israel.
CANAAN. Moses could not lead Israel in (1) because of his personal failure (Deut. 1:37); (2) because the law is unable to bring men into blessing (Rom. 8:3). Joshua — type of Christ acting by His Spirit — the leader into Canaan (Deut. 1:38). AMORITES' iniquity now full (Gen. 15:13-14). The land vomited them out (Lev. 18:25-28) Israel God's scavengers.
The guilty inhabitants saw judgment approaching, yet did not repent (Joshua 2:10-11, Joshua 9:24; Jer. 18:7-8). Contrast Jonah 3.
Israel's course in Canaan marked by failure of faith and open sin (Judges 1, 2). Divine judgment repeatedly brought them low. Twelve judges raised up as deliverers. Four periods of respite are noted; three of 40, and one of 80 years (Judges 3:11, 30; Judges 5:31; Judges 8:28).
PRIESTHOOD broke down in Eli's day (1 Sam. 1, 2, 3). After Moses it was the formal link between God and His people (Num. 27:18-21). Ark carried into captivity (1 Sam. 4:11; Ps. 78:61).
God now speaks of a king (1 Sam. 2:10, 35).
SAUL man's experiment. Victorious over every foe but the particular one he was commissioned to subdue (1 Sam. 9:16; 1 Sam. 15:47-48; 1 Sam. 31:1-6). He reigned 40 years. Type of Israel's latter-day experiment (Dan. 11:36).
DAVID God's king. Also reigned 40 years. God's choice of David and Zion a new start in grace (Ps. 78:59-72). God's covenant with David in Ps. 79.
SOLOMON man of peace as David man of war. Both typify Christ as King. Solomon's reign a third period of 40 years.
REVOLT of ten tribes as result of the unfaithfulness of the house of David (1 Kings 11). Nineteen kings reigned during 260 years; all of Jeroboam's evil type. Prophets raised up from time to time as witnesses. CAPTIVITY followed, partial at first, then total (2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 17:6-22).
JUDAH subsisted as a separate kingdom under 20 sovereigns during 390 years. Not having profited by Israel's calamities, Judah also swept out of the land (2 Chron. 36:15-21).
While God was bearing with the house of David, no Gentile power was permitted to attain to supremacy in the earth, though both Assyria and Egypt struggled for it. Now Nebuchadnezzar raised up, and permitted to subdue all the kingdoms round about him.
CAPTIVITY of the two tribes — Judah and Benjamin — involving the overturning of Jehovah's earthly throne (1 Chron. 29:23); and the forsaking of His earthly sanctuary. Glory cloud then departed (Ezek. 10:4, 18; Ezek. 11:23; Hosea 5:15). For the feelings of the godly at this crisis see Jer. 14:17-21; and for Jehovah's feelings see Jer. 12:7-9; Hosea 11:8.
God now assumes the title of "God of Heaven." See the books of Ezra and Daniel.
GENTILES now in possession of supreme power, and Israel subject (Luke 21:24).
The Book of Daniel is entirely occupied with "the times of the Gentiles." The world-power shown to Nebuchadnezzar in the vision of the image (Dan. 2) and to Daniel in the vision of the wild beasts (Dan. 7). The image presents Gentile dominion as one whole, with its successive deteriorations in character of rule. The wild beasts present the powers separately, and from a moral point of view.
BABYLON — Gold (Dan. 2:38); Lion (chap. 7:4). Power divinely granted (Jer. 40:2-3; Dan. 2:37-38; Jer. 25:8-12).
PERSIA. — Silver (Dan. 2:39); Bear (chap. 7:5); Ram (chap. 8:3). Cyrus named before he was born (Isa. 44:28 45:5). Jews returned by his decree (Ezra 1:1-4).
GREECE. — Brass (Dan. 2:39); Leopard (chap. 7:6); Goat (chap. 8:6). Alexander the Great noticed in chap. 11:3.
ROME. — Iron, &c. (Dan. 2:40); Nondescript (chap. 7:7). Christ born under this empire (Luke 2:1). Rome to re-appear as an imperial power (Rev. 13:1-3; Rev. 17:8). A confederacy of 10 Kingdoms (Dan. 7:7, 24; Rev. 17:12-14).
LITTLE HORN. — The last Emperor of Rome (Dan. 7:8, 24-25; Rev. 13:9-11).
CHRIST'S KINGDOM will destroy and supersede all other Kingdoms (Dan. 2:44-45, Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 17:14, Rev. 19:11-21).
SEVENTY WEEKS prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27) is divided into three parts — 7, 62, and 1. The period begins with the decree to build Jerusalem (B.C. 445: Dan. 9:25; Neh. 2) and ends with Christ's appearing. They are weeks of years — thus 490 years. Seven weeks — 49 years — were occupied with the re-building of the city and the wall (Neh. 3, 4); add to these 62 weeks — 434 years — making 483 in all, and we come to Messiah the Prince. His rejection by Israel (Dan. 9:26) has deferred the blessing; hence the missing week remains for fulfilment in the future (Dan. 9:27) Seven years of trouble — 3.5 of which will be intense — thus await the restored Jews before the final blessing is brought in by Christ's appearing (Rev. 12:6, 12-14; Dan. 12:1, 7, 11).
CHRIST God's last test for Israel (Matt. 21:37).
Rejected (Isa. 50; 53; Micah 5:1-3; John 19:13-15).
Exalted by God (Acts 2:33-36). Remains in the heavens until Israel's repentance (Acts 3:19-21). BOOK OF ACTS the story of God's grace and forbearance with Israel. Gospel first preached to them (Acts 2:30; Acts 3:26). Kingdom again presented to them (Acts 3:19-21). Stephen's testimony refused, and Luke 19:14 fulfilled. Divine sentence passed upon them in Acts 28:25-28. Comp. 1 Thess. 2:15-16.
CHURCH now being gathered. The Gospel at present preached differs both from the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 3:3; Matt. 4:17; Matt. 10:5-7), and from the everlasting Gospel (Rev. 14:6-7). It is the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). For other descriptions of it see Rom. 1:1-9; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim. 1:11, etc. The Church period lies outside prophecy. It is an interruption of, or interval in, the ways of God with Israel. It comes in between the 69th and 70th of Daniel's 70 weeks. Church first mentioned in Matt. 16:18, and then as a thing still future. It began in Acts 2, but the truth concerning it was not revealed while God's grace still lingered over Israel. The mystery ultimately revealed to Paul (Eph. 3:3-6). He was pre-eminently the minister of the Church (Col. 1:24-25).
The Church is the BODY of Christ — a competent vessel for the display of the glories and perfections of its Head (Eph. 1:23).
It is the HABITATION of God (Eph. 2:22). Thus the place where God dwells.
It is the TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 3:16-17). Thus the place of Divine manifestation and worship (Ps. 29:9).
It is the HOUSE of God (1 Tim. 3:15). Thus a place of responsibility for all God's servants.
The Church period is the most privileged of all. The Holy Ghost is personally present in the saints on earth, and the heavenly calling is in operation. This will close with the Lord's descent into the air according to 1 Thess. 4:15-17.
The history of the Church viewed as a system of profession is given prophetically in the epistles to the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 2; 3).
AFTER the Church of God is removed to the Father's house evil will run riot in the world.
BABYLON THE GREAT will be developed out of the union of the religious bodies of Christendom (Rev. 17).
TO ROMAN EMPIRE will come together again as a confederacy of ten kingdoms (Rev. 17:12). It will be essentially infidel (Rev. 13:5-6), though it will suffer the religious power to ride it for a while (Rev. 17:3, 16).
The ANTICHRIST will appear in Judea, and be accepted by the returned Jews (John 5:43). On their behalf he will confirm a covenant for seven years with the Roman head (Dan. 9:27). This is the missing "week" already referred to. In the midst of the term these confederates will turn upon the Jews, and seek to force idolatry upon them (Dan. 11:36-39; Rev. 13:11-18). This will bring about the great tribulation (Matt. 24:15-22). A special testimony rendered at this period in the streets of Jerusalem by witnesses similar in character to Moses and Elijah (Rev. 11:3-13). Satan will be active with special malignity at this time, having just been cast down from heaven (Rev. 12:13-17). From Judea as a centre Antichristian apostasy will spread itself over all who have "not received the love of the truth" (2 Thess. 2)
In the East, both the Kings of the North and South — Syria and Egypt make war upon the Antichrist (Dan. 11:40-45). The King of the North will be a great troubler of the returned Jews (Dan. 8:9-12, 23-25), and will meet his doom at the Lord's appearing.
During this short period much is transpiring in heaven. The glorified saints will stand before Christ's judgment seat to have their works [reviewd](Matt. 25:19; 2 Cor. 5:10). Then will be settled the places all are to occupy in the millennial Kingdom. The marriage of the Lamb will then be celebrated (Rev. 19:7-9). The Seals, Trumpet, and Vials of Revelation — various judgments are all poured out upon the earth at this time.
APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS describe it symbolically in Rev. 19:11-16. Angels are in attendance (2 Thess. 1:7). It is the day of Christ's power (Ps. 110:3), and wrath. Contrast John 3:17. Armed hosts oppose Him, only to provide a feast for the birds of the air (Rev. 19:17-21). The Beast and the false proph et, the Roman chief and the Antichrist — sent forthwith to the lake of fire. Comp. Isa. 14:12-20 for the doom of the Beast. Christ's feet stand upon the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem in the last extremity when He appears (Zech. 14:1-5).
ISRAEL then gathered, the two tribes only being in the land at His appearing (Matt: 24:31; Isa. 11:11-16).
The rebels among them purged out (Ezek. 20:33-38).
Mercy shown to the remnant (Rom. 11:26-32). The whole twelve tribes re-united (Ezek. 37:15-27).
Israel then led against Edom, Moab and Ammon (Isa. 11:14; Ezek. 25:14, Ezek. 35:14-15). The Russian invasion (Ezek. 38; 39). In this enemy will probably be fulfilled the many unaccomplished prophecies concerning the Assyrian (Micah 5:5-6; Isa. 10:12, Isa. 14:24-27) The Spirit of God again poured out (Joel 2:28-32). The temple rebuilt (Ezek. 40-42). The Shekinah returns (Ezek. 43:1-6).
A prince appointed as vice-gerent for Christ (Ezek. 44:1-3; Ezek. 46:1-18). The priesthood re-appointed (Ezek. 44:9-31). Sacrifices again offered (Ezek. 46:13-15). The Passover, Feasts of Unleavened bread, and Tabernacles revived, but not Pentecost or the Day of Atonement (Ezek. 47:18-25). A river will flow out of the temple (Ezek. 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8). The land divided on a new plan — temple in the midst, six tribes to the North of it, and six tribes to the South (Ezek. 48).
MILLENNIUM brings in universal blessing, but through Israel as channel (Ps. 47; Deut. 32:43). All nations recognise Israel's special place (Zech. 8:20-23; Ps. 68:29). Ambassadors from every land attend at Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16-19). Each nation retains its own sovereign, but all own the supremacy of Christ (Ps. 72:10-11; Rev. 21:24).
THE HOLY CITY JERUSALEM — the glorified Church of God — in close proximity to the earth during the 1,000 years (Rev. 21:9 - Rev. 22:5). All Christ's saints share His rule. See Dan. 7:18 for Old Testament believers; Eph. 1:22 for the Church, His body; Rev. 20:4 for the Apocalyptic martyrs. Places in the kingdom allotted according to faithfulness (Luke 19:15-19; Matt. 16:27, 19:28; 2 Tim. 4:1-2). Our standing in the Father's house, the fruit of grace alone (John 17:24).
TYPES of Christ as King: —
David the man of war (Ps. 45).
Solomon the man of peace (Ps. 72).
Melchizedek the man of blessing (Ps. 110).
At present He sits in Jehovah's throne; then He will sit in His own. "Sit Thou" describes His position now; "Rule Thou" will describe His position then (Ps. 110:1-2).
Christ to be the Head of all glory (Eph. 1:9-10; Heb. 1:2).
RIGHTEOUSNESS the leading characteristic of His reign (Isa. 32:1; Ps. 72:2-3). See Ps. 101 for His sentiments as King. Punishment for transgressors (Isa. 65:20). Compare 2 Sam. 23:1-7.
PEACE will prevail as the fruit of righteousness (Isa. 32:17; Ps. 72:7). No more war (Isa. 2:4).
All creation blessed and delivered (Rom. 8:19-22; Ps. 8:7-8; Rev. 5:13). See Isa. 65:25 for the single exception.
THE CROSS the foundation of Kingdom-glory and blessing (John 12:12-24; Heb. 2:6-9). This will be acknowledged (Ps. 22:31). Christ will lead the praises of "the great congregation" (Ps. 22:25). His Kingdom is "the world to come" of Heb. 2:5.
AFTER the 1,000 years Satan is loosed from the abyss, and provokes revolt against the great King. Swift retribution follows, and Satan is consigned to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10). Under all God's tests —
Law, Grace, Glory — man has failed. John, 2:23-25).
The great white throne set up at the epoch of the dissolution of all things (Rev. 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:10-12). The last resurrection and the last judgment now take place.
ETERNITY. Time and dispensations over. New heavens and new earth appear (Rev. 21:1; 2 Peter 3:13). Both occupied for ever by redeemed ones. The Holy city Jerusalem in eternal proximity to the earth (Rev. 21:2-4). The Rest of God has come, and the everlasting Sabbath of His people (Heb. 4:1-9). The saints reign in life for ever (Rev. 22:5; Rom. 5:17). Heaven and earth now reconciled to God (Col. 1:20). Hell subjected (Phil. 2:10-11).
"God All in All." — 1 Cor. 15:28.