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Volume 34 - Page 141 of 261 Index | Zoom | |
The Second Sphere of Blessing.
The New Jerusalem.
(Being the substance of an address given by the Principal
at one of the Saturday Conferences at the Chapel of the Opened Book.)
The subject introduced.
pp. 36 - 40
Self-government! Democracy! The voice of the people! What visions of peace, of
liberty, of prosperity, these words conjure up in the mind of man! Ever since the absolute
autocracy of Nebuchadnezzar Gentile rule has gravitated towards this goal. Each
succeeding stage of development however has been a step downward. The limited
monarchy of the Medo-Persian succession is likened, not to gold, but to silver, and, at the
time of the end, Gentile rule will be an unholy mixture of "iron and clay". Babel early
usurped dominion in the earth, and its dread power persists right through until the Day of
the Lord. In the book of the Revelation, Babylon "reigns over the kings of the earth" and
corrupts them. By a dread ordeal Nebuchadnezzar himself learned that "the heavens do
rule", and the Saviour taught His disciples to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be
done on earth, as it is in heaven".
For a period the earthly Jerusalem will be the Lord's centre of government on the
earth, but the Satanic rebellion that arises at the end of the Millennium shows that the
earthly Jerusalem had neither the wisdom nor the power to succeed. Hence, at the last,
we see God's solution in the form of the New Jerusalem that descends from God out of
heaven. Those who are the destined rulers and who occupy this city are the
overcomers--those who have endured; those who have been "faithful over a few things".
These and allied features will be presented in the course of the following study, and
though our calling and sphere of blessing are far removed from this heavenly city that
comes down to earth, we can rejoice at the prospect it holds out for "peace on earth" in
the fullest and most enduring sense of the term.
That "God made the country, but man made the town" is one of those sayings that are
only partly true. If we limit its application to the days of industrialism, its force can be
felt, but if we project it into the prophetic future, it will be found to be false, for in each
of the three spheres of blessing our attention is focused upon a city and citizenship. Of
the earthly Jerusalem the sum of glory is expressed in the proud boast, "This man was
born here" (Psa. 87: 6). Of the second sphere, all that is revealed of it is concerned
with the "Heavenly City". That the third sphere of blessing--that pertaining to the
mystery and the church of the One Body--is no exception is also clear, for members of
the One Body are "fellow-citizens of the saints" (Eph. 2: 19), and Phil. 3: 20, using the
word politeuma, translated in the A.V. "conversation", reveals that "our citizenship is in