6 For thus saith Yahweh [Tzva'os]; Yet once [Once more], it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens [ HaShomayim], and the earth [Ha'Aretz], and the sea [yam ], and the dry land [ kharavah (arid land)];
Amendment of the Old Covenant of the Kingdom
Here then is a change in the Levitical arrangements, and not an abolition of them. The "service" will be amended, not abolished. In the service under the Mosaic Covenant there were "divers washings;" but in the service under the New Covenant of the kingdom "washings" are omitted; for in the Ezekiel Temple, there is no Laver, or brazen sea provided.
But sacrifices remain; for eight tables are appointed to be set up in the entry of the north gate on which the lowest class of the priests are to slay them for the people.
Paul therefore did not mean that the Levitical service was absolutely and finally discontinued—that it should be revived no more; but that it should be amended to adapt it to the new circumstances created by the sacrifice and high priesthood of Jesus, which was to supersede the priesthood of Aaron.
If we be asked the reason for the conclusion that Paul meant amendment, and not final discontinuance of the Levitical service, we reply, that it is found in the phrase
"until the time of reformation"
used by him. His words are mechri kairou diorthoseos.
The Levitical service continued unchanged for forty years after the proclamation of "reformation" by Jesus; so that the kairos or definite time for discontinuance was not at his preaching, or even the rending of the temple vail. The Mosaic service was not "imposed until the time of metanoia," which is the word signifying the "reformation" preached.
Metanoeite "repent ye," said Jesus. No; it was "imposed until the time of diorthosis," which is not "repentance," but emendation, amendment; from diorthoo to correct, or make right.
The subject of the diorthosis is the Mosaic Covenant, not the disposition of men. The Mosaic Constitution must be amended to make way for a new order of priesthood, and a service which shall show forth the perfection of its character. The work of amendment in regard to its foundation was laid in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It then became necessary to gather out of Judah sons for Zadok, and the Prince.
"Behold I and the children whom Elohim has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel."
These children being separated to Jesus from the tribe of Levi and the nation for the purposes to be accomplished through them at "the restitution of all things," nothing remained for that epoch, but to give the Mosaic constitution a thorough shaking.
This is called shaking the heaven, and was the fulfilment of the prophecy by Haggai reproduced by Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews.
"Yet once, it is a little while, saith Yahweh T'zvaoth, and I will shake the heavens and the earth."
The "little while" was 587 years from the delivery of the prediction; and about ten years from the date of the epistle. It was the last time the nation of Israel and the constitution of their kingdom were to be shaken.
Their commonwealth was to be shaken that "the things made," or constituted, by the Mosaic Covenant, which were incompatible with the rights of the Lord Jesus founded upon "the word of the oath," might be "removed;" and that "those things which" were in harmony with that word, and which "cannot be shaken might remain." This then was the first stage of the "emendation," or as the Gentiles would say, of "the amendment of the constitution."
The next work in the carrying out the purpose of emendation is thus expressed in Haggai
—"I will shake the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith Yahweh hosts."
When this was spoken the temple was in ruins, the foundation only being laid. The people then returned from Babylon said,
"The time has not come that Yahweh's house should be built;"
that is, the 70 years that it was to lie waste from the time of its destruction are not yet accomplished, 66 years only having elapsed. But Haggai was sent to them to stir them up to the work, and in four years after, even in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, it was finished.
When therefore Haggai said, "this house shall be filled with glory" he did not refer to the temple which Jesus frequented, but to the temple to stand upon the same site which is described by Ezekiel, into which "the glory of the God of Israel," even the Son of Man in the glory of the Father, "shall come from the way of the east," and cause the neighbouring earth itself to shine.
This is the only interpretation the prophecy will admit of; for when Jesus came, he was neither "the desire of all nations," notwithstanding the fanciful gloss upon Virgil's Pollio, nor was he in glory. The glory of the God of Israel left the temple when the Chaldees were about to destroy it; and it will not return until Jesus shall sit upon his throne and bear the glory in the era of "the regeneration."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1851
7 And I will shake all nations [kol Goyim], and <the Excellency [all the Saints]> [Chemdat kol HaGoyim Moshiach, Shmuel Alef 9:20, Malachi 3:1]s <they> shall come: and I will fill this house with glory [Beis [HaMikdash] with kavod], saith Yahweh [Tzva'os].
In the English Version, kheimdath is rendered the Desire of; and some Lexicons tell us that the word has no plural. But if this be true, by what rule is it made the nominative of the plural verb vahu, "they shall come"?
The Messiah is supposed to be the person desired by all the nations at his coming. But in what sense can he be said to be the Desire of the nations, when they are all to compass him about, and in the Name of Yahweh he will destroy them? Psa. 118:10; Apoc. 17:14.
It seems to me that a letter has been dropped in transcription, and that the word should read khemdoth in the plural; as, "and the excellencies of all the nations shall come;" but if khemdath in the singular be correct, then the construction is to be accounted for upon the same principle that Elohim, plural, is so often construed with a verb in the singular -
"the Excellency of all the nations they shall come,"
or as Zechariah expresses the same thing,
"Yahweh Elohim he shall come in, all the Saints with thee"
- he and all the saints being the Excellency of all the nations.
"the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,"
repeated the Lord Jesus.
This was to accompany the introduction of the desires of all the nations. The shaking was to precede, and be contemporary with the coming Abrahamic blessing, but did not attend Christ's birth, for he was born in a period of profound peace.
The shaking at the destruction of Jerusalem, nor any national convulsions since did at all result in his manifestation, or the coming of any object of Gentile desire. Hence, then, the prophecies of Haggai, Joel, and Jesus, look to the future for their full terminal accomplishment, and as Israel has no longer any heavens and earth to be shaken, the shaking predicted must relate to other heavens, which can therefore only be the heaven of the Gentiles.
The conclusion, then, to which we are led is this: that in the Gentile world in its heavens and earth, will be displayed wonders and signs, attended with
"blood and fire, and pillars of smoke,"
or bloody and destructive war; and that their sun shall be turned into darkness, and their moon into blood, as Judah's has been; that is, that its existing supreme secular sovereignty shall be set aside by the overshadowing of a new power, whose vengeance will be disastrous to the ecclesiastical orders; and that all this shall come to pass
"before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."
Synchronous with these "wonders" and "signs" is the period alluded to by the Lord Jesus in these words, saying,
"And there shall be signs in sun, and moon, and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear and anticipation of the things coming upon the habitable; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And afterwards shall they (who pierced him-the Jews, then hereafter in Palestine) see the Son of Man coming in cloud, with power and great glory."
This period is a time of great trouble, but not the greatest that will be. The coming of the Son of Man is the end of one period, and the beginning of another. His appearing is the standing up of "Michael, the great Commander," who stands for Judah.
Before this standing up there is a period of great trouble; but after the appearing is "the great and terrible day of the Lord," when
"there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation to that same time;" it will also be "the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it;" for "at that time Daniel's people shall be delivered and many of them who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."
The nations have already entered the pre-adventual time of trouble, in which the "wonders" and "signs" in the sun, moon, and stars of the Gentile heavens, and "the blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke," upon the habitable, are being displayed to the eye of enlightened faith, for whose benefit they are alone revealed. The work is begun which Joel did foresee, as well as the apostle John. "The nations are angry;" but not yet so enraged as they will be before "the wrath of the Lord God Almighty comes."
"Secret diplomacy," against which there is so much indignation in Europe, is effectually at work upon "the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable;" and will not intermit its labours until it have involved them all in war, the crowning event of which will be the rushing of the roaring sea and waves-"the upwakened nations"-into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where they will be encountered and rolled back with terrible disaster by the mighty ones of God.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1855
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
But the New Man of the Heavens will spoil the Old Rebel and appropriate his assets upon a higher principle than that of conquest. "Whatsoever," saith Yahweh,
"is under the whole heaven is mine"-Job. 41:2;
he is therefore styled by Melchizedek, "possessor of the heavens and earth"-Gen. 14:10. In another place, it is written, "The earth is Yahweh's"-Exod. 9:29; and
"the earth is Yahweh's and the fullness thereof; the world, even those that dwell in it."-Ps. 24:1; "the gold and the silver are mine, saith Yahweh of hosts"-Hag. 2:8.
These testimonies are sufficient to prove that Yahweh still claims the earth and the world of mankind upon it, and all they call theirs, as his. It is a claim he has never surrendered; and, although the Old Man has possessed it since the Flood, and even taken forcible possession of that portion of it which Yahweh declared to Israel, saying, "the land is mine"-Lev. 25:23, the claim is not extinct, it is only in abeyance, for there is no statute of limitation to bar it against the Lord.
The earth being Yahweh's, its eternal possession can only be acquired by deed from him. It is clear that the Old Man of the Earth has not obtained that deed, because he is corruptible and mortal; and a mortal man cannot acquire more than a tenant-for-life possession. "Corruption cannot inherit incorruption."
A New Man must therefore appear in court with ability to show, first, that he is incorruptible and deathless; and secondly, that Yahweh, the possessor of heaven and earth, hath given the earth and world to him. This Man hath appeared in the Court of Israel, and his name is Jesus. He has put in his claim, and proved by witnesses and by Yahweh, that he is his Son by resurrection from among the dead, and alive for ever more: and having proved this, he hath also proved that Yahweh's promises to his Son are of right his.
Now concerning his Son, Yahweh has said in the second Psalm,
"Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask from me, and I will give the nations for thine inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
Nothing can be plainer than this. Yahweh hath promised the earth to his Son; and that Son he hath acknowledged to be Jesus. Then Jesus, the New Man of the Spirit, is the rightful owner of the earth and world.
Has he got it? Has he ever had it? No, never! What is the hindrance? The Old Man of the Earth has possession of it, and will not surrender it until a stronger than he appears to turn him out. This necessitates a conflict of the deadliest character; a time of tribulation unsurpassed.
The earth and world, and all their fullness, being assigned to Jesus by a divine statute, it is competent for him to say who, if any, shall share with him in fee. Will he enter into treaty with the Old Man, and leave him in possession of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, if he will acknowledge him King of the Jews in Zion; or will he demand the unconditional surrender of the whole. Nothing less than this will be accepted. The present rulers will not be tolerated.
They are a blot upon the face of things; obstacles in the way of righteousness and truth. Jesus is "the Heir of all things," and he has announced his willingness to share his inheritance with all who, like himself, "fulfill the righteousness of God." This excludes the old man totally; but opens the door to all that will forsake him, and turn to God, They are invited
"to put off the Old Man with his deeds, and to put on the New Man."
When they have put on the New Man they are a constitutional part of him, and consequently "joint-heirs with Christ" of the earth and world, and all the fullness thereof. To such Jesus says
"I will give you power over the nations, and you shall rule them with a rod of iron, sitting with me on my throne, as kings and priests, reigning on the earth." Rev. 2:36; 3:21; 5:10.
When they possess this power over the nations, all that the nations and their present rulers call theirs, will then be at the disposal of these joint inheritors. Paul addressing this class at Corinth, said to them,
"the world is yours," "all things are yours," "all things are for your sakes."
It is clear, then, that the gold and the silver, and the power and the riches, extant will all be relinquished to them-
"He will fill the poor with good things, and the rich he will send empty away."
Assuredly the coming panic will be tremendous-fear and disaster on every side.
..."Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments."
...Be warned, then, and trim your lamp; for the time is short, and the terror hasteneth.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1858
22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
The shaking of the heavens and the earth, as we have said, refers to "the end of all things" constituted by the Old Covenant; but the shaking of the sea and dry land, to the kingdoms of the Gentiles...
This period of overthrow is "the time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation to that same time," when Michael shall stand up, the Great Prince who standeth for the Israelites, and who at that time shall be delivered, even all that shall be found written among the living in Jerusalem.
This is the era of the resurrection of "the heirs" of "the kingdom which cannot be moved." Michael (Mi who cha like, el God) the great power of God, even Jesus the great Prince of Israel, appears at this crisis "to subdue all things to himself," and to complete the work of emendation.
He smites the image of Nebuchadnezzar upon its feet, and grinds its fragments to powder. He brings the king of the north, who is Head over an extensive region, (rosh al-eretz ravbah) to his end.
He causes Gog to fall upon the mountains of Israel; and expels the Genules out of his land, that they may tread his holy city under foot no more. Having made the nations lick the dust like a serpent, and bound their power as with a mighty chain, he proceeds in the building again of the tabernacle of David, and in the setting up of its ruins—that is, in the restoring again of the kingdom of God to Israel, or in "the restitution of all things" belonging to the Mosaic law, compatible with his exercise of the functions of High Priest in Israel.
When this work is accomplished the diorthosis or emendation will be complete.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1851