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Three Worlds

Part 12

THE TWO COVENANTS:

or

Jewish and Gospel Dispensations.


A clear and comprehensive Time argument can be drawn from these two dispensations. One being the exact counterpart of the other, by measuring the first we are enabled to get the duration of the second. And we shall show that Zion's warfare was to be "double;" that is, in two equal parts, and that there are two nations; the one representing the people and kingdom of God on the plane of the flesh, and which was purely typical; the other representing the people and kingdom of God on the plane of the spirit, and is therefore in its nature eternal. That as the first man, Adam, was of the earth, earthy; so in the order of God, the seed, the people, the kingdom, and all that pertained to the first covenant, was of the earth, earthy. That as the
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second man, Adam, is the Lord from heaven, so the seed, the people, the kingdom, and all that pertains to the kingdom and the inheritance, are spiritual, or heavenly. That one was designed as a pattern of the other, "see thou make everything after the pattern shown thee in the holy mount," and what a wood pattern in a foundry, is to a casting made with precious metal, so is the first covenant, the natural, to the second covenant, the spiritual. Hence, in one, we have the measurement of the other.
I will state a few points in which the similarity is strongly marked: The one was from twelve tribes; the other from twelve apostles. They were both children of Abraham, the one after the flesh, the other after the promise. Each have their warfare, the one with flesh and blood, the other against spiritual powers. "We war not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers in heavenly places." Both are overcome and taken captive, the one by Babylon, and the other by mystic Babylon, the mother of harlots. The one were children of the earthly, and the other of the heavenly, Jerusalem. To one Christ came in the flesh, "a body hast thou prepared me;" to the other he comes in a spiritual body, for description of which see Rev. 1: 12. Hence, the apostle could say, "yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, henceforth know we him no more." Both were to be a kingdom of priests; "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation," (Exo. 19: 6). "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth," (l Peter, 2: 9, and Rev. 5: 10). Did the first covenant have its temple and sacrifices? so have the second. "Ye also, as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices," (1 Peter, 2: 5). Did they have the tabernacle made with hands? we also have one "not made with hands." Did they have their holy place into which the high priest entered to make the atonement? we also have a High Priest "who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," and who entered in beyond the vail, "that is the flesh." Incense was offered under the first covenant; "and he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail; and he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony that he die not," (Lev. 16: 12). "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having
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a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God, out of the angel's hand," (Rev. 8: 3). "Full of incense beaten small." Long prayers made to be heard of men, "have their reward," and never reach that golden censer before the throne.
Each dispensation also ends, not only with an advent of Christ, but with a harvest, (compare John 4: 35, and Matt. 13: 39). In the first harvest the reapers were men in the flesh, in the second harvest "the reapers are the angels," Thus the two dispensations are double, in every particular.
Paul makes this clear in Gal. 4: 22, "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-maid the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman, by promise. Which things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar, . . . and answereth to the Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all. . . Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. . . . Nevertheless, what saith the Scriptures? Cast out the bond-woman and her son, for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free. .Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and not be again entangled with the yoke of bondage." Fleshly Israel are the real sons of the real Isaac, the seed of promise. But all this, on the plane of the flesh, the first Adam, is but an allegory. And fleshly Israel never has, and never will, represent the real kingdom of God, any more than Isaac represented the real seed of promise. "The promise was unto thy seed, which is Christ" says the apostle. So the first covenant simply represents what the second is in reality.
These things being true, is it strange that God has carried these parallels a little further, and that the measure of the two should also be equal? That there is no direct measurement of the gospel age, between the lids of the Bible, we are fully convinced. In fact, the gospel dispensation is thrown in, as it were, in a parenthesis, as if the children of the flesh having failed,
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every thing in the regular order of events had stopped, until this wonderful process of developing a seed on a higher plane should be accomplished. Prophecy, in the Old Testament never speaks of two advents of Christ; and almost always, if not invariably, associates the works of the first and the second together, as if they were one and the same. Read Isa. 9: 10. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders," &c. Where in that, can the first advent, to suffer, and the second advent, to reign, and the long years between the two, be distinguished? Read Luke 1: 31-33, "Thou shalt call his name JESUS, and he shall be great, and shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." Where could Mary see the whole gospel dispensation, between the beginning and end of that sentence? Compare also Isa. 6l: 2, and Luke 4: 19. "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;" at the word "and," between "Lord" and "thee," in the above prophecy, the gospel parenthesis comes in; also see Zech. 9: 9, 10. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the ass, he speaks peace to the heathen, and his dominion is from sea to sea; all of which, except the riding into Jerusalem, belongs to the restitution age.
From the above, many suppose that the reckoning of time stopped between the two advents, so far as prophecy is concerned. Hence, they feel at liberty to place the last week of the "seventy weeks" of Dan. 9: somewhere in the future, while admitting that sixty-nine of those weeks ended at the coming of "Messiah the prince," when he came to his own, after the preaching of John, and count the gospel age a blank, and connect the other week with the second advent. But although events found in close connection in prophecy, may, in the fulfillment, be wide apart, time never ceases, either in prophecy or otherwise.
The gospel church is referred to in prophecy, if at all, only in types and dark sayings, and all the prophecies concerning the work of the first and the second advent, would read just as smoothly if the restitution age, when Christ takes the kingdom and reigns, had followed the Jewish age, without the introduction of a gospel dispensation.
God has certainly promised a restitution and a glorious future to Israel in the flesh; and it is only in the New Testament we learn that these same prophecies are also to be fulfilled, in a higher sense, to spiritual Israel. For the children of the promise are counted for the seed; "and the children of the bond-woman shall not be heirs with the children of the free woman,"
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nevertheless there are great promises in store for them; because, like Ishmael, they are the seed of Abraham.
It is between the casting off of fleshly Israel, and their restoration, that the gospel dispensation to the Gentiles, to take out from them "a people for his name," comes in, "I would not have you to be ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part, is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." And here, during the period in which they were to be cast off, is where we find the measure of the gospel age. For blindness cannot be turned away from them, until the gospel to the Gentiles shall end.
When they have received "double" for all their sins, "their appointed time will be accomplished, and their iniquity pardoned," Double means two equal parts, and if God has thus divided their chastisement, so that the two parts are distinctly marked, and we can find the measure of the first part, of course the length of the other half will be determined. "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God: speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare [margin, appointed time] is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received at the Lord's hand, double, for all her sins," (Isa. 40: 2).
From the beginning of their history until the coming of Shiloh, or Christ, they held a peculiar relation to God. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." During the time Christ was in the loins of Judah, their relation to God remained unchanged, although they were continually being chastised. But when Christ had come, offered himself to fleshly Israel, and was rejected, "and put to death in the flesh," they lost that relationship; since which he has been taking out a people "for his name," by a new process, begotten and born of the Spirit, and "not of the flesh, nor of the will of man;" and Israel in the flesh has been utterly forsaken of God, and their "house left unto them desolate." This was certainly the turning point in their history, for from that day to this, their relationship to God has remained unacknowledged, and they, left to their blindness, "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
The idea may be a little startling, but in the spring of 1878, a point in their history will be reached when this latter half will be just equal to the former. In other words, the measure of the period during which they held a peculiar relationship to God, and the measure of this time during which they have been
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utterly cast off, will be equal. Double, means two equal parts; and in the spring of 1678, they will have received "double for all their sins," Will not the comforting message then go forth? and the work of their restitution commence?
This prophecy of Isaiah concerning the "double," or their chastisement in two equal parts is not alone; we find it in Jeremiah. And in Zechariah we find the very day the double, or last half began.
In Jer. 16: 13 to 18, there is a clear statement that he would cast them off "where he would not show them favor" which did not occur until they rejected their Messiah; and this is followed by a promise of a restoration back to their own land. "And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double," (verse 18); and in Zech. 9: 9-12, the prophecy of Christ's rideing into Jerusalem, and the statement occurs, "even to-day do I declare I will render double unto thee," (verse 12); and it was that very day he wept over the city, left their house desolate, and the second half, which makes the double, began.
These are all strong points, and to me they do not appear far fetched; while the facts of their history, and the probabilities that they are on the eve of a restoration to Palestine, also lend their support to this view.
The argument from the phrophecies leaves the last half of this double period a blank; but there is a second argument drawn from the types in the law, which touches the gospel church that was to fill this latter half, and makes the Jewish and gospel dispensations equal, not merely in duration, but in all those parallels we have named.
If you ask, can you prove your present position so absolutely that one who is opposed to the whole thing, will be compelled, in his own mind, to acknowledge its truth? I answer, no! I am not trying to reach that class, but am writing for those who are hungry for truth, and are willing to search for it in this direction.
These two covenants were represented by the two cherubim over the mercy seat, each cherub had its wings extended so as to touch the walls of the house; that is, the one on the one side of the mercy seat had its wings extended from the one wall to the centre, over the mercy seat; and the other, from the other wall to the centre, and their faces were turned inward toward the mercy seat. The Jewish covenant looked forward, in all its sacrifices, to Christ. The gospel looks back to the Rock from whence it was hewn; and these cherubim were to be "of equal
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measure and of equal size," (see Exo. 25: 22, and 1 Kings, 6: 23).
The mercy seat, where "I will meet with thee," (Exo. 25: 22), represents Christ. The Greek for "mercy seat," is hilasteerian, and occurs but twice in the New Testament. "And over it the cherubim of Gold, shadowing the mercy seat," (Heb. 9: 5). The other text is in Rom. 3: 25. "The redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a hilasteerian through faith in his blood." The cherubim looked, the one forward, and the other back to the mercy seat; and we know the Jewish covenant looked forward, and the gospel back to Christ. The cherubim spanned the house, temple, or church of God; and we know that the church complete, is to be made up from the two covenants; "and thou shalt make them of equal measure and of equal size."
We have not exhausted the evidence to prove that these cherubim represent the two covenants, or testaments, it is the same word; for to do so, involves the introduction of the "two witnesses," of Rev. 11, for which we have no space in this chapter; but will add that the evidence from this source, that the two are to be of equal measure, is fully as strong as from the prophetic argument.
The measure of the first dispensation, under the twelve tribes, was 1845 years, as we will show. That dispensation began at the death of Jacob, and ended at the death of Christ. Prior to the death of Jacob, the one-man age obtained; that is, one man represented God's church. Abraham was alone, as was Noah. Isaac was the only son chosen; then Jacob. Until Jacob's death his children were not recognized as the twelve tribes of Israel, but simply as the sons of Jacob, and brethren of Joseph. . At his death a radical change occurs. It is no longer one man, but the twelve tribes of Israel, that represent God's people. And they continued so to do until Shiloh came, and with him, the one man age began again. Christ and his body, "all members of the one body," &c. Between the death of Jacob and the death of Christ, events occurred in their history, such as the exodus, the giving of the law, "which was added because of transgression," their entrance into the promised land, captivities, &c., but no change occurred; the twelve tribes remained the twelve tribes, and the representatives of God's church, through all their ups and downs. And on the death bed of Jacob, it was said, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall be the gathering of the people," (Gen. 49: 10). And it was then
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they were first recognized in these words: "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel," (verse 28). The chronology from the death of Jacob to the death of Christ, is as follows:
The death of Jacob occurred 232 years after the covenant was made with Abraham; for at that time Abraham was seventy-five years old, (Gen. 12: 4). Isaac was born 25 years after, or when Abraham was a hundred, (Gen. 25: 5), Isaac was 60 years old when Jacob was born, (Gen. 25: 26) Jacob lived 147 years, (Gen. 47: 18). 25, and 60, and 147, make 232. As from the covenant to the day they left Egypt was 430 years, and from the covenant to the death of Jacob was 232 years, the time from the death of Jacob, to the day they left Egypt, was 198 years.

The Measure.

From death of Jacob to leaving Egypt,198 years.
In the wilderness,40     "     
To the division of the land,6     "     
Space of time for the judges,450     "     
Under the Kings,513     "     
Captivity, while the land enjoyed her Sabbaths,70     "     
To beginning of the Christian era,536     "     
To the death of Christ,32     "     
Total,1845 years.


This 32 years comes thus: Christ was crucified in the spring of A. D. 33, on the day after the evening of the passover; and hence, on the fifteenth day of the first month, Jewish ecclesiastical time; and as the Jewish ecclesiastical year begins in the spring, He was, therefore, crucified fifteen days after the Jewish year, corresponding to A. D. 32, ended. Hence, only 32 years and fifteen days, (Jewish time), had passed on this side of the Christian era, at his death. There is good evidence that Christ was thirty in the autumn of A. D. 29, or six months before our A. D. 30 began. Hence, in the spring of A. D. 33, he was thirty-three years and six months old.
It was remarked in the early part of this chapter, that the Jewish dispensation ended with a "harvest." "Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. . . I send you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour," &c. And as proof that this harvest was the closing work of the Jewish age, and belonged exclusively to them, we give Christ's testimony that he was sent "but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel;" and further, he would not permit his "reapers" to go to any other; "Go not in the way of the Gentiles, and into
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any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." As proof that this age also ends with a harvest, I refer you to Matt. 13: or the parable of the "tares and wheat." "Let both grow together until the harvest.". . . "The harvest is the end of the world." "And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares."
A harvest is the time of gathering fruit, but the work of the gospel is sowing seed. Hence, you are not to mistake, and suppose that the end of the world, aion, or age, has been the gospel itself. The end of the Jewish world (aion), came at the first advent of Christ; "now once in the end of the world, (age), hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," (Heb. 9: 26); and the end of the gospel aion, comes at the second advent of Christ. "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24: 3). "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, as a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come," (verse 14).
The harvest to the Jewish age, was the three and a-half years of Christ's ministry; and the harvest of this age is also one of three years and a-half, to transpire during the personal presence of Christ; not in the flesh, but in the character, in which he comes to his "spiritual house." And all the details of the closing up of that age have their parallels in the closing up of this age. And, as from the death of Jacob, to the death of Christ, was 1845 years, so from the spring of A. D. 33, to the spring of A. D. 1878, will be 1845 years, at which time they will have received "double," and when blindness begins to be turned away from them, the fullness of the Gentiles will have come in, and the gospel dispensation close.
But we must now drop this subject, as two or three other lines of argument must first be presented, before this part of the "double" can be understood by the reader.




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