| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 41 - Page 233 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
No.1. Introduction and Chart.
Some lessons taught by the parable of the patch.
pp. 166 - 172
The problem of the ages is the problem of the presence of evil, of the apparent
necessity for suffering, accompanied with a baffled feeling of frustration. Men like Job,
and Asaph, and books like Ecclesiastes ventilate these feelings, but the consciousness of
redeeming Love, enabled these men of God to trust where they could not trace. The
present study is set forth with an intense desire, to borrow the words of Milton, "To
justify the ways of God with men" (see also Rom. 3: 4), to show that there is a most
gracious purpose in process, and that there are indications of that purpose in sufficient
clearness, to enable the tried believer to say with Job "When He hath tried me, I shall
come forth as gold".
In the opening study, we commence with the primary creation of Gen. 1: 1 which is
followed by the `rent' of Gen. 1: 2. This we denominate "The Beginning" and conclude
with "The End" of I Cor. 15: 24-28. The New Heavens and Earth, with its Paradise
restored, relates, not to "The Beginning", but to the subsequent creation of Adam and
the Heavens and Earth of the six days. By observing the parallel between the words of
Eph. 1: 4 and II Tim 1: 9 we are able to show that the ages commence with the
reconstruction of the earth in Gen. 1: 3. What follows is a series of "fillings" in the
person of men like Adam, Noah, Abraham or Nebuchadnezzar with the economies
associated with them, but all such are provisional, they are failing and typical only, and
for this reason we call them but "fillings". They but carry the unfolding purpose on to
"the fullness of time" when "The Seed should come to Whom the promises were made",
in Whom alone all the "Fullness" dwells. Adam was but a "filling", he was not "the
fullness", that title belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
The only company of the redeemed who are themselves called "the Fullness" is the
Church of the Mystery, the church of "heavenly places", the church which is now closely
associated with the seated Christ.
Two words, found in Matt. 9: 16 must ever be kept together in the course of this
study, they are the words "fullness" and the "fuller". We shall see presently that God is
preparing during the ages, as it were, a piece of "fulled" cloth, so that at last there may be
a perfected universe, the "rent" of Gen. 1: 2 healed, and "God all in all". Fulling
involves several processes, most of them drastic and rigorous.