The Song for Yehudah-the Kingdom age to come

1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will Elohim appoint for walls and bulwarks.

2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 

This declaration of the Spirit introduces us to a subject of great depth and beauty-and one also of great and abiding importance. We do well to meditate upon it-to consider it word by word.

"Thou"-God is the beginning and foundation. God is also the ending and completion. This divine charter of eternal peace is encompassed by God: "...whose mind is stayed on Thee."

"Thou wilt." Here is purpose and assurance. No yea and nay. No perhaps, or possibly, or usually-but a sure and all-powerful guarantee: "Thou WILT."

"Keep." Permanence and stability. What value is this peace, if it will not endure? But here we are dealing with One who wearies or changes not. "Thou wilt KEEP."

"Thou wilt keep him." Who? Everyone? All who ask? No. Only a certain class. Only those who follow a certain, prescribed course. Only the ones described in the latter part of this promise.

In natural things, intelligent men do not take the road south, and expect to reach the north, or the downhill road and expect to reach the top. Rather are they very careful as to their methods and directions. But in spiritual things-the only things of any real importance-wishing and assuming so often take the place of planning and doing.

The Scriptures say: "As a man sows, so shall he reap." It is as simple as that. This is not recorded for us in bitterness or anger, but it is a plain statement of fact. In natural things, men accept this fact. They do not sow one crop, and expect to reap another; or sow nothing at all, and expect to reap as if they had sown.

If we give our lives and time and energy to natural, passing things, we shall reap natural, passing things-very nice and gratifying natural things, if we work hard in that direction.

If we give our lives and time and energy to spiritual, eternal things, we shall reap spiritual, eternal things (and our crop of natural things will be poor, but what matters that?).

The choice is ours. We each have our life. We can invest it exactly as we choose. But let us be sure that we have thought it well out, that we know just which we are doing, and that we will be satisfied in the end with the results.

Christ will not wave a magic wand at the judgment-seat, changing wishes and intentions into facts. He will be judging sober judgment-according as every man's works shall be found to be

Bro Growcott

4 Trust ye in Yahweh for ever: for in Yah, Yahweh is everlasting [ Olamin] strength [Tzur]:

There never has been an occasion on earth in which the human mind will be so much stayed on God as the mind of that exultant assembly will be stayed on Him: never such powerful trust as will be reposed by them. We, too, naturally assume that the need for trust and mental stay on God will have passed when the day of triumph has come. The reverse state of facts will be found to be true when that happy day arrives.

Mortal men cannot in the nature of things stay on God and trust in Him as those will stay and trust, whose iron heart will have been opened to God with the change from the earth-cleaving nature of present experience to a nature instinct with divine sympathies and affinities. Those who experience this change will be able to apostrophise each other in the exultant adjuration of this song:

"Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Yahweh is everlasting strength."

They will be able to feel the reality of God with a strength and ardour impossible in the mere day of faith. They will be able to realise practically their dependence upon His everlasting strength. Now, it is a matter of faith merely: then it will be self-manifest knowledge and experience. Now, the acknowledgment is liable to die on the lips of weary faith, or degenerate to cant through human weakness: then, it will be a vivid sensation whose fervent expression will be the highest satisfaction.

Sunday Morning 170

Tzur - The Rock

The rock, then, we are led to understand, is a symbol, representative of the One who is the only enduring foundation - the only source of everlasting strength and power - the place of refuge, of shelter, and of safety.

Sis Lasius - Yahweh Elohim

5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.

8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Yahweh, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

9 With my soul [nefesh] have I desired thee in the night [lailah]; yea, with my spirit [ruach] within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [mishpatim] are in the earth, the inhabitants [ha'aretz] of the world will learn righteousness [tevel will learn tzede].

"Early" is suggestive of morning. The morning has come when the song is sung: but the seeking for God has not ceased. Only now it is a seeking with a finding, which differs from the seeking of these days of darkness. The sons of God will always seek God. They will never forget Him or tire in their love. They will always feel what David says: "Thy love is better than life."

Sunday Morning 171

10 Let favour [ grace] be shewed to the wicked [rasha], yet will he not learn righteousness [tzedek]: in the land of uprightness [Eretz Nekhochot (Land of Straightforwardness)] he [will] deal unjustly, and will not behold [regard] the majesty [ge'ut (majesty, exaltedness)] of Yahweh.

The judgment to be inflicted upon the world is not in wantonness or superfluity. It is a necessity: it cannot be dispensed with. The righteous, rejoicing together, recognise it.

... The history of the world is the proof of this. God's favour has been shewn to the race of Adam since the day the first sinner was driven out of Eden; and the result is before our eyes in a world lying in wickedness.

The wickedness differs in form, complexion and intensity: but in its most cultured forms, it is wickedness still-the rejection of the law God has given; the refusal of his rights and honour: the assertion of man's right to what he enjoys by favour: the appropriation of earth's goodness to human service and glory.

Favour does not teach mankind righteousness-judgment will

Sunday Morning 171. The Christadelphian, Sept 1886

11 Yahweh, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

They will not see

It is probable that for a good while, men all over the earth will refuse to recognise anything divine in the events that will have expelled the Russian army from the Holy Land, and checked the British advance in the South West and in the Mediterranean.

In the pride and wilfulness of their "manly" hearts, they will attribute them to a natural origin. Have they not heard of volcanic convulsions in Java that have sunk whole districts in the ocean, and upheaved the bottom of the sea so as to become dry land?

Have they not heard of terrific phenomena in New Zealand causing quiet hills to roar and flame for four hours at a time, lighting up the darkness of night with fearful glare and covering the adjacent country with blue mud ten feet deep?

Have they forgotten the destruction of Lisbon by earthquake, and repulsion and appalling re-rush of the Tagus! Has not all the world heard of the volcanic submergence of Pompeii and Herculaneum?

With these occurrences of nature, they will try to class the earthquake that divides the Mount of Olives and the bituminous rain that decimates the Gogian hosts: and for a while they will calm themselves with this view, in which they will doubtless be fortified by the arguments and opinions of scientific experts at the various continental capitals.

But they shall see

But the delusion will vanish at last.

...Repeated efforts to continue the war only entail repeated disaster and overthrow. Vast multitudes are slain in all the earth (Is. 66:16, Jer. 25:33). Now, the conviction steals over the population that the hand of God is in the situation, and that the demands addressed to the courts are not those of fanaticism, but of Omnipotence incarnate in Jesus and his brethren.

At last they "see" and are ashamed, and surrender, and wait for the law that will come to them from Zion, in compliance with which, they will everywhere bend themselves willingly to the work of Jewish restoration.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1886

11 Yahweh, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

12 Yahweh, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

13 O Yahweh our Elohim, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Yahweh, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.

16 Yahweh, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Yahweh.

18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

We have been in pain

The faithful in Israel, national or spiritual, are powerless to change the situation by any effort or combination in the absence of God's interposition. ...

But all this is changed now. God has arisen to judgment; and the reigning governments of the Gentiles in every land and tongue will have to come down and stoop low at Israel's feet. Here the song ends: and God, by the prophet, responds. His words indicate the means by which the great salvation is to be wrought:

"Thy dead shall live,"

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, and all of their type and family in all their generations.

"Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Dan. 12:2).

"Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in dust."

Receiving this summons, "the earth shall cast out the dead." The dead, reorganised where the preserved nuclei of their remains repose, being fully reformed, will be projected to the surface to resume those relations of life that were interrupted by the occurrence of death.

They find themselves in new circumstances and a new time. After the judgment preliminaries of the era, they are summoned into retirement for protection from the fearful visitation about to burst forth in all the earth, in "the time of trouble such as never was."

"Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."

...This slaying of the political dragon that swims in the sea of peoples will involve the suppression of the governments, the punishment of the population, and the transfer of all power to Yahweh's anointed and his multitudinous consort-"the Bride, the Lamb's wife," consisting of the justified and glorified brethren of the Lord, manifested by resurrection, as a new, practical, living reality in earth's affairs, with blessed consequence to all lands and peoples. All will at last say with them:

"We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."

...We have waited long. We shall not have to wait always. The hour will come when we shall unite in the rapturous words: "Lo this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is Yahweh: we have waited for Him. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."-Editor.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1886

19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 

Identity in the Resurrection

The identity of a man does not depend upon the particular atoms of substance of which he is made. This is shown by the fact that he is the same man at 60 that he was at 20, though having entirely changed his substance during the interval.

The thing that perpetuates his identity from the one time to the other during the change, is the sum total of those electrical impressions that have been made on and embedded in his brain by the action of the senses through the nerves: which constitute what we call memory.

What these electrical impressions are, no man can tell, but their existence is as unquestionable as the existence of light, which is equally incomprehensible. Now, in the resurrection, all that is necessary is for God to reproduce in a new body the memories of our previous lives. He does not require to use the identical substance that once belonged to us. How could he?

We use a mountain of substance during our lifetime. Consider what a pile the breakfasts and dinners of a lifetime would make. No: a handful of any dust will be sufficient to enable Omnipotence to reproduce the man that lived before, however far squandered the stuff may be that he went into the grave with.

The identity of the man will lie in those memories that God will know how to write on the new brain.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" 

The man who believes in God can never be troubled with practical difficulties on this head.

The Christadelphian, July 1898

20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

...the resurrection of the saints, their judgment, and consequent recompense, are set forth.

These, in their spiritual relations, constitute "the Nave," or the Most Holy Heavenly, within the veil; no longer flesh and blood, but spirit, as Jesus now is; for they are to be "like Him" (1 John iii. 2). Being thus identified with him, and "glorified together," and in the free reception of all things with him (Rom. viii. 17,52) only not equal to him in rank (Eph. i. 22; Col. i. 18) the saints are also

"the ark of the covenant in the nave."

This being all developed in the hidden chambers (Isa. xxvi. 20) into which the outer world has no admission, the doors being shut against it, they are apocalyptically "in the heaven," though standing upon the globe. In this secret place of the Highest, they are in preparation, or being prepared for manifestation -- for the epiphaneia and apokalupsis, epiphany and apocalypse, of Rom. viii. 19, and 2 Thess. ii. 8.

When thus prepared in the chamber under all the circumstances indicated in the phrase,

"Behold I come as a thief" (xvi. 15),

they stand forth in manifestation as the "powerful angel descended out of the heaven, clothed with a cloud; a rainbow upon the head; his face as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." This is the Strong Man of Psa. xix. 5; in other words, "the Spirit and the Bride" of Apoc. xxii. 17, who in this glorious manifestation are "one," as the head, and the body, and the life, are one. As a bridegroom, he will have come out of his chamber; and as a strong man he will rejoice for the race he has to run.

Eureka 10.

21 For, behold, Yahweh cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

It must be obvious, then, that before this judgment period commences, the saints will be removed from the spheres which they occupy in the world; otherwise they would not be with Christ, and would be involved in the general troubles

...The mode of this "entering into the chamber, and shutting the door" to hide, is made apparent in the New Testament; first, by reference to Matt. 25:10, where we read

"They that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut":

and second, by reference to Rev. 19:7, 8, where we find that this marriage is the reunion between Christ and his people at his coming. This is further manifest from the teaching of Paul in I Thess. 4:16-17:-

"The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then, WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD."

This is referred to in II Thess. 2:1, as

"the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him."

The first event that takes place, then, after the return of the Lord from heaven, is the "gathering together" of all His saints to him, including the dead of past ages, who shall have been raised for the purpose. This gathering together is to judgment. Paul says:

"We (brethren) must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5:10);

and the parables which Christ spake on earth, illustrative of his then approaching departure to heaven, and his subsequent return, have this characteristic:

"And it came to pass that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants TO BE CALLED UNTO HIM, to whom he had given the money." 

(Luke 19:15).

From all this, it appears, that on his return, his dead servants will be raised, and his living servants gathered with them from every part of the earth where they may be scattered, to be arraigned before him, that he may "take account of them" (Matt. 18:23).

He will approve of some, and reject others: the latter will be sentenced to share in the judgments which will descend upon the apocalyptic "beast and his armies," or sin, as politically and ecclesiastically incorporate in the powers that will "make war with the Lamb" and his army; the former will be admitted to the marriage ceremony, in which they will be confessed, "before the Father and all the holy angels" (Matt. 10:32; Rev. 3:5), and will thenceforward "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth" (Rev. 14:4), and co-operate with him in the infliction upon the nations of that "judgment written" which was treated of in the earlier part of the lecture.

All this takes place before divine judgments commence, but not before that "distress of nations with perplexity," which is the preliminary symptom of the approaching "time of trouble, such as never was."

That state of political embarrassment will, probably, prevail for a considerable time before the saints are called away to the reckoning, and men will only consider it a repetition of commotions that have many times recurred in the course of history. They will only look to its proximate cause. They will never suspect that a divine hand is guiding the development of events, or that "the judge is nigh, even at the door."

They will never dream that the world is on the verge of the most awful crisis that has ever occurred in its history--that divine indignation, long restrained, is about to visit the world in destroying judgments that will break up the entire system of human society, as politically, ecclesiastically, and socially organised.

But like the little hand-cloud presaging the coming storm, the saints will be removed at a particular juncture of affairs without previous intimation. In all probability, the event will be so inconspicuous as to attract little attention. All that the world in general will know of it will be that a few obscure individuals, holding "fanatical" doctrines, have mysteriously disappeared; few will ever seriously suppose that there is anything supernatural in the occurrence.

Theories of the phenomenon will be ready to hand, and the incident will be forgotten-at least by the majority. Some who happened to know that this expected removal was part of the doctrine of these fanatical people, may be unable to quell a certain feeling of uneasiness which will trouble their breasts; but the world at large will be unaffected, and will move on to the destruction that awaits it at the revelation of Jesus with all his saints.

Christendom Astray Lecture 15