2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but Yahweh shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Darkness covers Israel, and gross darkness the nations. Isaiah long since predicted, that when the Redeemer should come to Zion, to deliver her from the oppression of the Gentiles, profound darkness would prevail throughout the earth.
...Gross darkness, then, in regard to the gospel, concurrent with considerable scientific and mechanical improvement, is a sign of the end approaching. Who cannot see that this exists? Look at the nations of old Europe; in science and art they are unsurpassed; but in things spiritual, the Sodom and Egypt of antiquity, were not more corrupt and blind.
...And when we look home here, we find no exception to the universal night. The shallowness of a rippling brook characterizes all clerical thinkings pertaining to the wisdom of God. What we see then in relation to all the world, harmonizes with Isaiah's prediction of the evil to be corrected at the crisis of the Lord's apocalypse. He tells us, that, when
"Yahweh of armies shall make for all peoples a feast of fat things,"
he will find a something to be destroyed. He also informs us, that this is a covering veil spread over all nations; a veil that is styled by Paul,
"a strong delusion causing to believe a lie;"
the peoples' minds are darkened by this delusion, which hallucinates their understandings, and converts them into lunatics, fanatics and fools.
John of Patmos says, that the inhabitants of the earth are all drunk; and that they have become so by drinking of the cup filled with sorceries in the hand of the spirituals of the Apostasy. Sign Nos. 1 & 2, then may be considered as established.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1860
Eden has been a field of blood from the beginning of the contest between the "Seed of the Woman," and the "Seed of the Serpent," until now; and will yet continue to be until the serpent power be broken upon the mountains of Israel. It was in Eden that Abel died by the hand of Cain. There also Abel's antitype was wounded in the heel, when put to death upon the accursed tree; and lastly, to fill up the measure of the iniquity of the blood defiled land, the serpents of Israel slew the son of Barachus between the temple and altar.
But the blood of God's saints shed in Eden, did not cry to Him for vengeance without effect; for as the Lord Jesus declared, so it came to pass. "Behold," said He to the vipers of His day, "I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye will kill and crucify; and some of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the land, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, son of Barachus, whom ye shall slay between the temple and the altar" (Matt. 23:35).
Eden is emphatically the Lord's land, or garden; and from the creation till the breaking off of Israel's olive branch, the principal and almost only, theatre upon which He exhibited His wonders to the nations in the days of old. Egypt and its wilderness may be excepted for forty years. Beyond its limits was outer darkness. Eden only was favoured with light, until the gospel found its way among the nations of the west; and, although darkness covers the land, and gross darkness the people; yet the Lord, its light, will arise upon it and His glory shall be seen there (Isaiah 60:1-2).
Elpis Israel Ch 2.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
"Behold, I come as a thief".
No one, I believe, doubts, that the subject of this thief-like manifestation is THE ANCIENT OF DAYS - He whom the ETERNAL FATHER by his power, "made both Lord and Christ", when he transformed the risen, earthborn, body of Gethsemane, into a life-engendering Spirit. This being beyond dispute, we have next to consider certain testimonies concerning him.
In the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, we are informed, that at a time when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the peoples, Yahweh shall arise upon Zion; that His glory shall be seen upon her; and that kings shall come to the brightness of her rising. Here, Yahweh is the Light arising who sheds forth brightness, which, among other objects previously enveloped in gross darkness, brings Zion into view.
She is seen "rising" before it can be said she is risen. Her coming into view is progressive, as objects come into view in the dawn. Hence she is a rising of this Rising Light, which shines her out of darkness, the gross darkness of Mohammedan, or other Gentile, down-treading, into his marvellous brightness, as by his rising it becomes developed.
"His glory shall be seen upon Zion".
Whose glory? The glory of the Redeemer, who comes to Zion, to turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Isa. 59:20; Rom. 11:26). The glory which shall be seen there, is figuratively exhibited in Apoc. 14:1, as "the Lamb on Mount Zion with 144,000" Sons of his Father, whom He had "redeemed from the earth" - from among all peoples; and from the very dust thereof.
Eureka 16. 1.1.1.
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of Yahweh thy Elohim, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
The Destiny of the British Empire
At his return, the Lord Jesus finds a remnant of his countrymen in Jerusalem and Judea, "a third part" only of those in the land before the invasion, so reduced is their number by the war.
This third part, however, constitutes the subject nucleus of the kingdom, which afterwards becomes a great mountain, or empire, "and fills the whole earth." It is a third part which will have been "brought through the fire," and referred to by Isaiah as "those that escape of them."
Of these, Yahweh says, he will send messengers to Tarshish and the nations, to Greece and the coasts afar off, that have not heard his fame nor seen his glory,
"and they shall declare it among the Gentiles."
The Tarshish fleet being dispersed and broken by storm, the surviving land forces of the Lion power in Palestine have no alternative but retreat or surrender. All knowledge of events must, therefore, be communicated westward by the messengers of the conqueror.
When they arrive at "the isles," or coasts, and at Tarshish, the Lion power of Britain will answer them with words of peace.
The then recent breaking of their Mediterranean ships by the east wind, in obedience to the will of the Stone of Israel, will certainly convince "the young lions" of the State of the impossibility of a maritime power contending successfully against one whom the wind and sea obey.
The very nature of the case is sufficient to prove to the reader that however hostile Britain and other maritime States may be to the King of the Jews, not a single hostile vessel could leave their ports.
...What, then, must be the necessary position of the maritime powers of the world on hearing of the fame of Jesus and his demands upon them, through his ambassadors? The only answer that can be given is, that they shall obey him. This conclusion to which the nature of the case reduces us, is confirmed by the words of Isaiah 60:9, where it is written, ki-li iyyim yaquovvu, i. e.,
"Surely coasts shall obey him;"
and the prophet then goes on to say,
"and the ships of Tarshish among the first."
Thus, then, it is that the Lion power, rendered powerless for evil on the coasts of Palestine by the dispersion of its fleet, and confined to its ports by "the winds," which become "His messengers," it finds no alternative but to place itself at the disposal of the King of the Jews, and to become his naval arm in the Restoration of Israel, and the prosecution of the war upon "the Beast, False Prophet, and kings of the earth, and their armies," all of which will refuse obedience to his will.
Peace being granted, then, to the Lion power of Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish, and to certain other maritime States, styled "coasts," they will blockade the hostile countries which refuse to let Israel go, and thus policing the seas against the king's enemies, proceed to convey his subjects from the friendly "coasts afar off"
"to the place of the Name of Yahweh of armies, Mount Zion."
Thus saith Isaiah,
"The ships of Tarshish, among the first, shall obey him, to bring thy sons, O Zion, from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee;"
and besides this service,
"Kings of Tarshish and of the coasts shall bring presents, Kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts, and the gold of Sheba shall be given to him."
Gold is the last thing governments deliver over to one another; all their financial policy is to keep the gold in their respective countries. The fact, therefore, of Tarshish and Sheba. which we have seen are subject to the same Lion-power, giving up their gold to the Son of David as a gift, is proof of his acknowledged ascendancy in the countries pertaining to that dominion. His imperial sovereignty there being admitted, it is manifest that all things pertaining to the government of the British empire will be at the absolute disposal of "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."
Now, it is not to be supposed that this being the case, the King of Israel will permit the government of that dominion to remain in the hands of the reigning family, and of those hereditary and representative legislators and officials who at present constitute its "young lions."
It will certainly be taken from them, and transferred to the personal friends of His Majesty "the Holy One of Israel." At present the British empire has but one chief, that is styled King, or Queen, who is head of both Church and State. From this person all glory, honour and power proceed, in whose name also all civil and ecclesiastical affairs are administered, and the souls of the people professedly cured!
The intelligent believer of the Gospel of the Kingdom will at once perceive that there will be no place for such a king or queen in an empire whose peoples have come to the acknowledgement of the imperial suzerainty of Yahweh's King.
Hence the Royal Family of England must be dethroned, and all its "lords, spiritual and temporal," be ejected from their present rank, dignity, place and power. Their fate may be more tolerable than that of "the kings of the earth," and their adherents, "who make war upon the Lamb." For these who will not have him to reign will be slain before his face, but the others, who prudently surrender at discretion, shall be conveyed to Jerusalem, and see the glory of him who shall have superseded them in the administration of British affairs.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1858
12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
Let a two edged sword be in their hand
This is the kind of judgment they are to execute in concert with their king. When they have made captives of the royal family of Britain and their nobles and dependants, they will ask no favours of them, but take all they possess as the spoil of the victors. It will become theirs by the sanction of the God of the whole earth. "Do ye not know," says Paul to the saints in Corinth,
"that the saints shall judge the world."
And again he says to them,
"All things are yours; the world, things present, and things to come, all are yours:"
and says Solomon,
"The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."
Now Jerusalem, in her future exaltation, is the mother of all the saints, of whose worldwide dominion she is the throne. Hear, then, the words of the prophet in relation to her,
"The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted."
But the British, after the disaster of their fleet, will become an obedient nation, serving the sons of Zion and their king.
"They shall come to Zion's light, and kings to the brightness of her rising, and shall build up her walls and minister unto her. They shall come bending unto her, and all that despised her shall bow themselves down at the souls of her feet; and her priests shall eat the riches of the Gentiles and in their glory shall they boast themselves."
This is affirmed of those Gentiles whose prudence is the better part of their valor. Finding resistance vain, they surrender to Christ and his associates, the king and nobles of Israel, all of them "kings and priests to God," prepared of him to "reign on earth." Now, concerning them, the prince of these kings of the earth has said,
"I will give them power over the nations, and they shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they (the powers) be broken to shivers."
These testimonies show plainly that all existing governments are doomed to wreck and ruin; their thrones are to be "cast down," and Britain's among the rest.
"O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for thou, O Messiah, shalt judge the people righteously and govern the nations upon earth!"
Seeing, then, that this is inevitable,
"Be wise now, O ye kings; be instructed ye judges of the earth; serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little."
Such will be the exhortation to them before the judgment falls upon their devoted heads. The kings of the great nations will despise it. Some, however, will hear, and surrender their greatness to the saints as the only escape from the sharpness of their two edged sword.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1858
Israel's former state will be reversed. Individuals as well as national groups shall be required to pay homage to the King of kings. Rebellion will not be tolerated for an instant, and will be swiftly punished (Psa. 2:5,9-12; Isa. 65:20; Zech. 14:17-19).
The separation of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:32-34, 45-46 may also be an illustration of the blessings on those who pay homage to Christ and his Saints with cursing upon those who stand idly by.
Bro Trevor Snow
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
Lebanon signifies White, speaking of righteousness and purity. David had a house of cedar built for him by The magnificent cedar of Lebanon Hiram, king of Tyre (2Sam. 5:11), and he prepared "cedar trees without number" for the temple which his son was to build (1Chr. 22:4).
Hiram sent cedar trees to Solomon to be used in the construction of the Temple (1Kgs. 5:8-9), and one of Solomon's most important buildings was known as "the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1Kgs. 7:2; 10:17; 2Chr. 9:16), on account of the source of its materials. Cedar wood was well adapted for beams (1Kgs. 6:9; Song 1:17), boards (Song 8:9), pillars (1Kgs. 7:2) and ceilings (Jer. 22:14).
The spiritual lesson of the cedar suggests a representation of the immortal Saints (Song 4:8), for they form the basis of the spiritual Temple of God (1Pet. 2:5). It is said cedars may live for over a thousand years and would therefore be a fitting representation of immortality for the Saints of God. The cedar fittingly ranks among the "trees of righteousness" (Isa. 61:3).
"The fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together"
These trees speak of the glory and beauty of the Sanctuary will grace Zion's hill.
"To beautify the place of My sanctuary"
The Temple of the Age to Come will not appear as a dry, sterile architectural frame set of
limestone buildings, but will be beautified with a covering of various verdure. Ezekiel 41:16 describes "ceiled wood" from the floor to the ceiling of the building which suggests creepers of some kind, whilst verses 25-26 describes "thick planks" which Bro. Sulley suggests describes the various "arboreal shades", relating back to the Feast of Tabernacles of past ages (Lev. 23) and the future marriage canopy of Christ and his Bride.
"I will make the place of My feet glorious" — This speaks of the coming time of peace, when Yahweh will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, as He dwelt in the tabernacle of the wilderness previously (Eze. 43:7). This will be seen when the glorious Temple is constructed on Zion, and the Deity will be manifested in His Son and the multitudinous Saints.
Bro Trevor Snow
Now Ezekiel (Chap, XLIII. 7) describes the Temple as " the place of the soles of the feet " of Him who is to bear rule in the Temple: thus many trees, " each according to his kind," will be planted within and without the sanctuary, including those of the new kind :
Whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed (i.e., cease or fail), but they shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issue out of the sanctuary ; and the fruit thereof shall be.for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezek. XLVII. 12.)
Some may doubt whether a vine could be grown to such an enormous height as the " ribs of the Temple" and up the corner towers, but those acquainted with the extraordinary productivity of the vine will not apprehend any difficulty.
Those, also, who have pruned the vine, and tended the growth of its fruit, will know the enormous power of its development. In order to make room for the fifty or sixty berries found upon an ordinary bunch of grapes, something like three hundred require to be removed.
So also with the foliage of the vine. Incessant pruning and " dis-budding " is necessary in order to check its growth. Under favourable conditions, the natural exuberance of growth would have full play; with suitable soil and climate its development is illimitable.
Of this we have a hint in the account of the journey of the spies who searched the land of Canaan before the children of Israel took possession. As an evidence of the fruitfulness of the land they
" cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff" (Num. xiii 23.)
But the fruitfulness of the land in the past is to be exceeded in the future :
Then shall the earth yield her increase ; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear him. (Psalm LXVII. 0-7.)
Until now the earth has been burdened with a curse (Gen. in. 17-19). But shortly this will be removed, and then the wonder of the earth's fertility will become apparent.
There is no difficulty, therefore, of a practical kind in the way of tree growth covering the sides and top of the sanctuary, thus converting it into a delightful booth or bower for the people who assemble there. In fact, so suitable for the necessities of the case is the provision for some kind of shelter during certain seasons of the year, that we have the strongest possible reason for accepting this explanation of an otherwise mysterious matter.
From the foregoing premises it follows that trees are to be grown in the precincts of the sanctuary to an unusual extent, and in an unprecedented manner. Further it may be noted that not only is the central building [inner Temple] to be converted into an arboreal retreat (Chap. XL. 15-17), but " the corners of the sanctuary," i.e., the towers or corner courts, are likewise to be furnished with luxurious foliage (ver. 22).
For this reason the towers are shown in the suggested elevation on Plate III. with pillars and arches like those of the courts. See also Plate VIII.
The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.2.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for Yahweh shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Zion, the metropolis of the Jewish kingdom at its restoration, is said to be the light to which the Gentiles shall come: and in his address to her the prophet saith,
"The sun shall no more be thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy Gods for thy glory: thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."
These are expressions which it is impossible to construe of any thing but of that state of the Jewish kingdom when the Lord Jesus shall be both King and Priest upon its throne; particularly the pronoun thy, limiting the sun spoken of to be that which exclusively pertained to the land of Judea.
Zion's sun and moon shall no more suffer eclipse when Jesus reigns upon his father David's throne in her midst: but now,
"if one look into her land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof."
These are her days of mourning, in which her glory is eclipsed by the intervention of the orb of the nations between her and her glorious Day-Star, or Sun of Righteousness, who shall soon arise upon her with healing in his wings.
The filling of a kingdom, then, with darkness, is the consequence of its political luminaries being eclipsed; and so long as this darkness continues, they are days of mourning for that kingdom: but let the darkness pass away, from whatever cause, and its sun, moon, and stars shine forth in all their glory, and its people pass into that national condition indicated in the words applied to Zion,
"the days of thy mourning shall be ended."
"And the Kings of the Earth bring their glory and honour into it".
The Spirit's cubical wife of 144 cubits is the Imperial Governess of the nations for a thousand years. She descends from heaven in the manner explained; and every one of her heavenly constituents is a king and a priest of the Deity - "they shall be priests of the Deity and of the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (ch. 20:6); "and they shall see his face; and his Name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle nor light of the sun; for YAHWEH ELOHIM giveth them light; and they shall reign for the Aions of the Aions," or the thousand years (ch. 22:5).
The darkness and the light are the same to them (Psa. 139:12); for they are no longer flesh and blood, or earthy bodies, but Spirit, because "born from above". Hence, there can be no night to them; for they will be the cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, created by the Spirit upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies (Isa. 4:5).
They are a new race of kings of the earth. Before their manifestation as the Sons of the Deity, the nations never beheld such kings. They will be "kings by the grace of God," and ruling "by Divine right," and asking no favours of mankind. They are "the kings from the risings" of the Sun of Righteousness, to prepare whose way the great Euphratean Power, once the terror of Babylon's kings and nations, has been drying up (ch. 16:12). When they shall appear upon the theatre of humanity, the reigning kings of Europe will make war upon them; because they proclaim themselves to be the sole and rightful sovereigns of the earth saying to their Great Captain,
"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us for the Deity by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us for our Deity kings and priests; and we shall reign upon the earth" (ch. 5:9,10).
Such a song as this sung in the ears of the reigning monarchs of the world will madden them to fury; and they will lead out all their hosts to battle against them in the vain hope of their destruction. But the kings by Divine right will prevail over, and exterminate them (ch. 17:14; 19:19-21); for "all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him" (Psa. 72:11).
Having then, destroyed the old race of kings, "them who destroy the earth" (ch. 11:18), the kingdoms of the world are transferred to the New and Holy Jerusalem. Her royal constituents become "the kings of the earth", according to the promise of the Spirit, saying, "he that overcometh, and keepeth my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with an iron rod; even as I received of my Father" (ch. 2:26). Their glory and honor, and the glory and honor of the nations they have acquired by conquest, become tributary to the New Jerusalem; for these new kings, and the Great and Holy City, are the same.
They are Zion's kings, and their throne of empire is the architectural Jerusalem on Mount Zion, where David reigned. For this now desolate, captive, widowed, and barren city, they have a special and unfailing affection. Even now their words are,
"If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Psa. 137:5).
But, when the day of their glory, honour, and power, is revealed, they show their affection in their policy towards her. They deliver her from her captivity under Gog; and, as the kings her nursing fathers, and their queens her nursing mothers, compel the Gentiles to bow down to her with face toward the earth, and to lick up the dust of her feet (Isa. 49:23).
With Jerusalem redeemed, and the glorified saints enthroned within her walls as the Kings of the Earth,
"the abundance of the sea shall be turned to her, and the wealth of the nations shall come unto her. Her gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that they may bring into her the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought: for the nation and kingdom that will not serve her shall perish. Her officers shall be peace, and her exactors righteousness; her walls Salvation, and her gates Praise. Her sun shall no more go down; neither shall her moon withdraw herself; for YAHWEH shall be her everlasting light and the days of her mourning shall be ended" (Isa. 60).
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I Yahweh will hasten it in his time.
v14, 18, 21, 22
The nations being prepared by coercion, the formula of political adoption is promulgated to them. This is contained in the law which goes forth from Zion. The details of this law are not all specified. In the general, it establishes the power of the Lord, then become "a great mountain filling the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35), above all other powers; and constitutes the newly erected Temple in Jerusalem "the house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7).
This law gives the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem which is Zion; where the Lord reigns over them henceforth for ever (Mic 4:7, 8). The nations accept the law which saves them from extermination. This is evinced by the effects which follow its promulgation. They all flow to Jerusalem as the centre of the world, and fountain of all blessings; for
"My springs," saith the Lord, "are in thee."
They go thither for instruction in the ways of the Lord, and return to walk in His paths, to live at peace among themselves, to abandon the study of war, and to devote themselves to agriculture commerce, and the arts (Isaiah 2:2-4)
This is the millennial future state. Abraham and Jesus are, then, the greatest personages upon the earth; the former being the spiritual father of Jesus and the saints, and the political father of a multitude of nations, over whom Christ and His brethren rule until "the end" (1 Cor. 15:24).
Such is "the world" of which Abraham and his Seed are the heirs. Speaking of the latter in this relation, the apostle says, "whom God hath appointed Heir of all things, and on account of whom He constitutes the Ages" (Heb.1:2) --DI OU KAI TAS AIONAS EPOIESE -- the Age of Jubilees, and the Jubilee Age. And to the joint-heirs of Abraham and Christ He says, "Let no man glory in men: for all things are yours; the world, life, death, things present and things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:21-23). And again,
"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world" (1 Cor. 6:2)?
The verb here rendered judge is the same as is translated "go to law" in the preceding verse. The apostle, therefore, asks if they do not know that they will sit judicially, and dispense justice to the world, according to the divine law.
Elpis Israel 2.2.