(5a) Die Tage in Johannes 1 und 2 *) by WJO
Die Übereinstimmungen zwischen dem Anfang des ersten Buches Mose und dem des Evangeliums nach Johannes sind
auffallend. Beide beginnen mit "Im Anfang" und geben dann in Bildern eine Vorausschau auf die Wege Gottes. Auch in
Johannes 1 und 2 ist von einer Reihe von Tagen die Rede (außer im ersten Abschnitt). Der "dritte Tag" in Johannes 2,1
stimmt mit dem sechsten Tag in 1. Mose 1 überein, was ver-
ständlich ist, da die ersten drei Tage in 1. Mose 1 mit den
letzten dreien parallel laufen. Das ist auch deutlich in Johan-
nes 1 und 2 zu sehen, denn auch da finden wir, wie in
sechs Abschnitten nacheinander die Rede ist von Licht, Wasser
und Erde, und wieder von Licht, Wasser und Erde, wie in
1. Mose 1. Außerdem liegt auch hier an den ersten drei Tagen
der Nachdruck auf "Trennung" und an den letzten dreien
Johannes 1, 1-3 ist ein Vorwort, wie wir auch eines in
1. Mose 1 finden; es spricht von Schöpfer und Schöpfung.
Am ersten "Tag" (1,4-14) scheint das Licht in der Finsternis,
und es findet eine Scheidung zwischen den Gläubigen (Vers
12. 13) und den Ungläubigen (Vers 10. 11) statt. Vergleiche
auch (2). Der zweite "Tag" (1, 15-28) spricht von Abson-
derung durch Wasser hindurch; siehe (1), (3) und (4) (Noah).
Durch die Taufe im Jordan wurde der jüdische Ueberrest von
dem Volke geschieden und zu Christus hin abgesondert und
unter Seine Herrschaft gebracht. Vergleiche was bereits über
1. Korinther 10, 2 und 1. Petri 3, 20. 21 gesagt wurde. Der
dritte "Tag" (1, 29-34) spricht von Auferstehungsleben; das
Lamm Gottes wird die Sünde der Welt wegnehmen, und
°, Vgl. LeBaron Kinney: "Types and Mysteries In John".
das wird Leben aus den Toten bringen (vgl. Röm 11, 15),
wie einst in Israel und in der Zukunft in der ganzen
Schöpfung. Dieser Tag läuft also moralisch durch bis zur
Endzeit, wie wir das auch unter (4) sahen. Wie Noahs Taube
auf einer gereinigten Erde Ruhe fand, so findet die Taube
Ruhe bei Christus (1, 32), wenn das Trockene aus den
Wassern zum Vorschein gekommen ist.
Der dritte Tag ist der Tag des Zeugnisses gegenüber Israel
(1, 31), und der vierte Tag (1, 35-43) ist der Tag der Ge-
meinde (vgl. (4», an welchem der Herr die Seinen zu Sich
zieht und um Sich versammelt. Hier ist nicht die Rede von Licht
im allgemeinen, sondern der Nachdruck liegt auf dem Licht-
träger selbst: "Siehe, das Lamm Gottes". Gottes Ratschluß
in der Gemeinde wird entfaltet, und da fällt der Kontrast
mit dem Versagen des ersten Menschen auf: auch hier wan-
delt Gott (der Sohn) in der Kühle des Abends, und es folgt
die Frage: "Wo.. .?" (1. Mo 3, 8. 9). Aber jetzt von Seiten
des Menschen, der mit Gott Gemeinschaft haben möchte. Es
ist nicht die Zeit Israels, sondern die der Völker; darum wird
hier dreimal eine Übersetzung hebräischer Wörter gegeben.
Den Weg des Evangeliums finden wir in Simon; sein Name
bedeutet "hören" (vgl. Röm 10, 14-17), er ist geboren aus
Jona ("Taube" -der Heilige Geist) und wird ein "Stein"
("Petrus"; Matth 16, 18; 1. Petr 2, 5).
Der fünfte Tag (1, 44-52) versetzt uns in das "Galiläa
der Nationen" (Jes 9, 1), zum großen "Fischzug" unter den
Völkern; Bethsaida bedeutet "Ort der Netze". Es ist auch die
Periode, da der jüdische Überrest zur Bekehrung kommt und
seinen Messias anerkennt (Vers 45. 49). Philippus bedeutet
"Pferdeliebhaber" (vgl. Hohel, 9; Sach 10, 3), und Nathanael
"Gott gibt"; er sitzt unter dem Feigenbaum (vgl. Luk 21, 29.
30). Der Glaube schaut nach dem Tage aus, da die "Vögel",
die geflügelten Engel, auf- und niedersteigen auf den Sohn
des Menschen. Dies wird am sechsten Tag Wirklichkeit (2,
1-11), wo die Freude des Friedensreiches eingeführt wird. Die
Hochzeit läutet den Beginn dieses Reiches ein durch die Ver-
bindung von Mann und Frau. Das gibt Veranlassung zu der
Freude, von der der Wein spricht (vgl. Matth 26, 29;
; 25, 6; 27, 2). Der sechste Tag schöpft Freude aus sechs
assergefäßen. Dieser "Anfang der Zeichen" weist hin auf
s letzte Seiner Zeichen (Matth 24, 30); beide offenbaren
Seine Herrlichkeit und führen zum Glauben (Vers 11).
Das typische "nach diesem" von Vers 12 gibt uns die End-
phase des siebenten Tages. Der Herr findet Ruhe in Seiner
eigenen Stadt (Matth 9, 1; vgl. Joh 6, 24). Das bezieht sich
erster Linie auf das Friedensreich; Kapernaum bedeutet
"Stadt des Trostes", und dies ist der Trost des Friedens-
reiches, wie wir schon früher in 1. Mose 5, 29 gesehen haben
(Siehe (4)). Siehe auch Matthäus 5, 4; Jesaja 40, 1 u. f. Das
wird auch dadurch bestätigt, daß Er Seine Ruhe mit Seiner
Mutter, Seinen Brüdern und Seinen Jüngern teilt; Seine Mut-
ter ist ein Bild des ursprünglichen, vollzähligen Israel (siehe
Jes. 50,1; Hes 23, 2; Hos 2, 2); Seine Brüder sind ein Bild
es zukünftigen jüdischen Überrestes (siehe Matth 25, 40;
.8, 10; Micha 5, 2) und Seine Jünger ein Bild der Gemeinde,
wie in Kapitel 1, 37. Auf der neuen Erde gibt es keinen
Unterschied mehr zwischen Israel und den Völkern; da gibt
es nur "Menschen" (Offb 21, 3). Was übrigens nicht auszu-
schließen braucht, daß nach der Freude und Herrlichkeit
Kanas der Trost von Kapernaum auch hinweist auf den
schließlichen vollkommenen Trost; wie auch der Trost von
Jesaja 25, 8 und Offenbarung 7, 17 (im Friedensreich) in
Offenbarung 21, 4 ausgeweitet wird auf die neue Erde.
THE PROLOGUES IN GENESIS AND JOHN
BEFORE we consider the "days" of John's Gospel and compare them with the "days" in Genesis let us notice that there is a prologue to each of these books about a "beginning" which, in each account, was long before the first day. In Genesis we read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This sentence stands apart in some of the old Hebrew manuscripts as if to indicate that it should be considered as being separate from the record that follows. We believe with many Christians that this creation of the heavens and the earth may have happened long ages before the work of the six days, during which the earth was made over for the habitation of man. The beings who were on the earth before the creation of Adam were not men, for Adam was the first man. What sort of bodies they had we do not know, but they may have been the fallen spirits called "demons" in the New Testament. After their fall, which must have occurred during the time indicated between the first and the second verses of Genesis, then came the ruin about which we read in the second verse: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." This has also been translated, "The earth became waste and empty." It is thought that the passages in Jeremiah
4: 23-26 and Isaiah 24: 1 both refer to the judgment of the earth at that time. The same Hebrew words are used in both places for "waste" and "void." We read in Isaiah (45: 18) about the time when "the LORD created the heavens, God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." The word rendered "in vain" is the same Hebrew word as that translated "without form" in Genesis (1: 1). Scripture reveals that there had been a rebellion long before man
was created, when Satan and his followers fell. We are not told how long the earth continued in its ruined state nor of the ages before the first rebellion. This could account for the apparent age of the earth before man. "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the
water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water,
perished: but the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:4, 5). The very fact that God Himself used the history of the earth and its darkness and ruin at that time to picture man in the darkness of sin and rebellion, strengthens our belief in what we have said, that the earth, like man, had gone through much the same experience of judgment because of rebellion, and that the darkness of Genesis (1:2) was the result of a judgment. (See also note in the Scofield Bible). Let us read the passage in which God speaks of this first darkness and uses it as a type: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. . . . For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). To complete this picture another type is mentioned, for just as the first thing that happens in the conversion of a lost soul is that the Holy Spirit moves upon him to convict him of sin, so we read that the first work in the beginning of God's dealings with this earth in its darkness was that, "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The point to be particularly noticed here is that unless the earth, like man, had been a ruin because of some sin before this darkness, the type would not be complete, God would not have made the comparison. But now let us return to the Gospel of John, remembering that John was inspired to use the Genesis account as a vantage
ground from which we may better appreciate other spiritual truths. By comparing the "beginning" in John with the "beginning" in Genesis we are first led to look at the ages of time, across the great gulf that extended from that first creation and over the period of darkness that may have been so long that it seems more than our minds could grasp, but still in "time," which did have a beginning, on back to the very edge of eternity itself. "In the beginning was the Word." This "beginning" was before the creation of angels or any other created thing, before all worlds. We seem to stand there holding the hand of the LORD, as He says to us, "Farther than this you cannot go, for man is finite and cannot comprehend eternity." Back there, "THE WORD WAS." He always was. He is without beginning of days or end of life. We see then how this prologue to John's Gospel when compared with the prologue to Genesis helps us to realize something of the infinite depths of the eternity in which God dwelt. It is so with the other hints that remind us of things that happened in Genesis which we find all through the Gospel of John and which we have called "types". Their comparative study helps us to understand the deep spiritual truths of John's Gospel. There is also an epilogue to both Genesis and John which we must mention in our last chapter.
(Genesis 1: 2-5 with John 1: 5-18.)
IF we look carefully at the six days of creation we see that they may be divided, according to subject matter, into two sections of three days each. The subject of the first day is "light," the subject of the second day
"waters," and that of the third day, "earth." Then when we come to the
fourth day we find that the subject is the same as that of the first day, or
light. The fifth day is again "waters," like the second, and the sixth day
is about the "earth."
To refresh our memories, we recall that on the first day God said, "Let there be light." On the second day the waters were divided from the waters. Then on the third day the earth brought forth grass, etc. These three subjects are repeated on the last three days, for we read that on the fourth day "God made two great lights." On the fifth day God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly." Then on the sixth day God said, "Let the earth bring forth." So we have here the two sets of three days as follows;
Day 1 light. Day 4 light.
Day 2 waters. Day 5 waters.
Day 3 earth. Day 6 earth.
This division has been noticed by other writers. We call attention to it here because it fits in with the divisions of the subject matter of the first part of John's Gospel when we come to consider the typical and prophetical significance of the "days" of John. It should also be noticed that the first three days all speak of a separating, while the last three all speak of a multiplying.
The following is a summary of the six days in John 1: 5 to 2: 11, in the light of their typical significance when considered in comparison with the six days of creation in Genesis. We are concerned here with the subject of each day, and not with its time or length. We believe the days of Genesis to have been days of twenty-four hours each, regardless of the fact that the sun and moon are not mentioned until the fourth day. We do not believe that any of these days of creation represent long periods of time. The typical days of John are not defined in that way, but can only be distinguished by comparing the subject matter of each day, as suggested, Light, water, earth. As we have already considered the prelude to each book, we start here with the "days." Day One.-Gen. 1: 2-5 with John 1: 5-14. On this day in Genesis the light came at God's command. The light was divided from the darkness. The light and darkness were named. In John our LORD Jesus was born, and was manifested, and named, the Light of the World. The True Light still shines in the darkness. In believers the light, but in unbelievers the darkness. Note that the subject of this day is LIGHT. Day Two.-Gen. 1: 6-8 with John 1: 15-28. In Genesis the waters were divided from the waters. Waters in Scripture type represent nations. In John, Israel is being separated by baptism and prepared for the LORD. Just as the dividing of the waters in Genesis had become necessary because of some prehistoric sin, so the nation Israel which had long before been separated, (Deut. 32:8), now needs to be separated again by the waters of baptism. Note that the subject in both places is WATER and separation. Day Three.-Gen. 1: 9-13 with John 1: 29-34. In Genesis the "earth" is seen being blessed with resurrection life. In John our LORD is seen as manifest to Israel. This always means life from the dead for the nations. While "Salvation is of the Jews," John the Baptist cries, "Behold the LAMB of God which taketh
away the sin of the world." He is pointing to the time when this shall come true for the world. Note the subject, "the earth" in Genesis and "the world" in John, or the inhabited earth. Day Four-Gen. 1:14-19 with John 1: 35-42. This is the fourth day of Genesis and its subject is "light," like the first
day; so we call it both a fourth and a first day, remembering that we are comparing subjects. In Genesis our attention is called to the sun and the moon and the stars. In John we are reminded of the subject of "light" by the fact that the word "day" occurs first here in verse 31 in the Greek (see Revised Version). This day in John speaks clearly of the Church age. The Church gives light during this night, a reflected light like the light of the moon. The stars of Genesis represent individual Christians. The subject is "light." Day Five-Gen. 1: 20-23 with John 1: 43-45. This is a second day subject of waters, in both Genesis and John. In Genesis the waters are not divided as on the second day, but there is a multiplying of the living creatures within them. In John we see God again dealing with Israel, just as He will after the Church has been gathered out. When God begins to deal with Israel in the Great Tribulation, He will not stop until the millennial times are come. Day Six.-Genesis 1: 24-31 with John 2: 1-11. The sixth day in Genesis pictures the times of earth's blessing, the millennial times. The subject in Genesis is "earth," the same as the third day. In John it is the same. The beginning of this time is to be the Great Tribulation for the world and "the time of Jacob's trouble," but it will be followed by the visible coming of the LORD Jesus Christ to earth and the blessing of the whole earth through Israel. Nathaniel, like the tribulation Israelites, had been given an intimation of those coming glories and the promise of the restored communication between heaven and earth. But in this sixth day, which in John is the second third day, we see that the blessed time has come.
Day Seven.-Genesis 2: 1-3 with John 2: 12.
This is the sabbath, the wonderful Scripture type of God's rest and of how we may rest with Him in His finished work. The subject is REST. We read about "days" in the first chapter of John but they are not numbered until we read of the "third day" in John 2: 1, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee." Going back from this we see that the first day in relation to this would be one which again refers to a day before it, "Again the next day after" (John 1: 35). This shows that there are other days to be noticed before this first day, or other days than the three. Going back to the fifth verse of the first chapter we find words which remind us of the subject of the first day of Genesis, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Here we have "light" as the subject, and a light shining out in the darkness as in the beginning, or first day of Genesis. This would indicate that we are to look for two sets of three days in John as in Genesis. These six days of John we believe are to be found in the following order.
Day 1. Light, John 1:5-14. Day 1. Light, John 1:35-42.
Day 2. Water, John 1:15-28. Day 2. Water, John 1:43-51.
Day 3. Earth, John 1: 29-34. Day 3. Earth, John 2: 1-11.
This method of seeming to work backwards in interpreting Scripture is not new. It has been noticed by many writers that God often appears to reveal truth from Himself out to man. Then when we come to apprehend those truths it seems easier to consider them in the reverse order, or from man to God. It was so in regard to the tabernacle, God began with instructions about the Ark and the Holy Place and on out to the gate. When we study those types it seems better for us to start with the gate, and think of our entering there and approaching to the sacrifice and altar, and then on to the Holy Place. It is the same with the sacrifices in the first chapter of Leviticus; God began with the burnt offering, but we think of our first need of Him as our trespass offering in
oar approach to God. We do not however, propose to follow the days of John in their reverse order, but having found the six days we shall proceed to study them as they are mentioned and to compare them with the six days of Genesis. (See chapter 24 where we have compared the tabernacle types to John's Gospel.) "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. and God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness called He Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen. 1:2-5). Not only was the light caused to shine out in the darkness by the Word of God but it was revealed just what it was: it was named, "Light." This light was for all the earth, but there was still darkness. Now we turn to the Gospel of John. "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This is He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1:5-18).
The subject of these verses is surely the LORD Jesus as the Light of the world. We are told very plainly who He is, He is "The True Light," He is the One who made the world. The world is His, and the Jews are His people. He is the Word made flesh. He is the Only Begotten of the Father. He is Jesus Christ. Then we have those wonderful words, "He hath declared Him." He declared, or made known, the Father. What a flood of light we have in these statements for this sin-darkened world! It is not difficult to make a comparison between these things in Genesis and John. There was spiritual darkness in the world when our LORD Jesus came as the Light of the world. The blessed Holy Spirit had been moving here too, just as in the beginning in Genesis. The very birth of our LORD Jesus, the LORD of glory, was prepared and arranged by the Holy Spirit. The angel explained the wonder to Mary. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1: 35). The Spirit of God prepared the way for the coming of the Light in Genesis. "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." The Hebrew word for "moved" here in Genesis is one that is used elsewhere to describe the hovering of a bird over her young: "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spread-eth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the LORD alone did lead him" (Deut. 32: 11). How dense and awful must the darkness have seemed to the holy angels when it was necessary that a man must "witness" of the Light! Only those who are totally blind need to be told that the light shines. But we must not think of this LIGHT as if it were a weak glimmer that once tried to shine but was not received and was therefore defeated. We are saddened to know that the Light was rejected, but, beloved, the Light is not defeated. Oh, let us not miss the note of triumph here! It is not that the Light once did shine, but the Light shineth in darkness; it still shines, and it shall shine on until every vestige of darkness disappears. The
LORD Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world." This Light is brought before us in all its eternal glory and victory in Revelation, where we read, "The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the LAMB is the Light thereof . . . And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the
sun; for the LORD God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 21: 23; 22: 5). O beloved, if men in sin could only understand this and believe it, they would not settle back in confidence and delight in sin, as if the powers of darkness had the complete mastery. If Christians would only live as those who had perfect confidence in this final victory of Him who is the Light of the world, instead of listening to its proclamation as to "a tale that had been told," what a difference it would make in their lives too. The coming of the creation light into the world was only one step in the majestic march of God as He moved on to complete the six days' work of creation. Just so the coming of our LORD Jesus at His birth in Bethlehem, when He is made known as The Light of the World, is a positive proof and assurance of His completed work and of the time when it shall be said, "There shall be no night there." Not that the world is gradually getting better, as some teach, but the judgment of the wicked will come, and so will the eternal day. A glance at the completed work of God on earth as He has told us of it in the Book of Revelation, will show that there too He brings before us these same key words, "Light, water, earth," which are so prominent in the account of creation and in John's Gospel. The order in which they are mentioned is not the same, for in Revelation it is first "earth," then "Light," and then "Water." Let us read from the last pages of our Bibles: "And
* saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Rev. *1:1). Here we have the heaven and the earth mentioned together as at the first. Next we read of Light and glory, which go together. "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jeru-
salem, descending out of heaven from God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (Rev. 21: 10,11). Then we read of the water. "And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the LAMB . . . And the Spirit and the bride say, Come . . . And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22: 1,17). In that blessed day it shall be realized that all our supplies come from Him, from God and the LAMB. The LAMB is Himself the LIGHT, and He gives the water of life which proceeds out of the throne of God. It shall be joyfully realized that He is all and in all. God revealed this precious secret to Israel long ago and when He said, "The sun shall be no more 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 God 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" (Isa. 60: 19,20). The figure of Light as a type of our LORD Jesus is found more often in the Gospel of John than in any other book of the Bible. This word "light," from the Greek phos, occurs some thirty-six times in John, and only seven times in Matthew, four times in Mark, and five times in Luke. Our LORD calls Himself "The Light of Life." "I am the LIGHT of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life." This thought of following a light reminds us at once of the light of the Shekinah glory, the cloud in which God showed His presence, and which the children of Israel followed in the wilderness. But here is something vastly different from following an object like the cloud, for this is a promise that we shall have the Light of Life. It is the glory come to dwell within us! He guides through His indwelling presence. This is taught in other places in the Word of God. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the ex-
cellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:6,7). Think of having the very same Shekinah presence of God within us! Our Lord said, "I am the Light of the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in darkness . . . While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." He is the Water of Life, the Bread of Life and the Light of Life. Now all these figures speak of inward life. As the Water of Life He not only gives life to those who partake of Him, sufficient for themselves, but there is an overflow: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4: 14). He declared that He was the fulfillment of the "manna" type. "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me and I in him. As the Living Father hath sent Me, and as I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven" (John 6: 56-58). It is the same with the light, He not only gives us light for our own souls but we are to shine, or be flooded with light as light-bearers. This is seen in the passage quoted before, which tells us that "God hath shined in our hearts to give (or as it may be understood, to give out, the shining forth) the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." There you have the Shekinah glory again, within us! Then the passage goes on to speak of us as "earthen vessels," very likely referring to Gideon and the earthen pitchers in which he and his followers had hidden the lights, and which must be broken before the light could shine out. "But we have this treasure (the light) in earthen vessels." Our Lord said, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt. 5: 14). Again, "Among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the Word of Life." Let us remember too that we are to shine in glory with His eternal light. Immediately before the words, "And there shall be no night there," we read what appears to be the reason, "And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Then the words are repeated, "And there shall
"* no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the LORD God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever
and ever" (Rev. 22:4,5). It is no wonder that they need no candle nor other light from outside when they "shall see His face." We remember what happened when Moses saw His face up on the mount. The glory light shone so brightly from the face of Moses that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly upon him. Moses, for this reason, had to wear a veil. We "shall see His face," and then we too shall shine. What a glimpse this gives us of the glories to come! There seems to be music in the very words, "There shall be no night there." Such shining, glorious being shall need no candle, neither light of the sun. Light is one of our greatest blessings and one about which we perhaps know the least. We can only judge of light relatively. There is the light of the sun, and the light of the stars and moon at night (See Rev. 8: 12). God seems to have given us all the light we could stand in our present state. Sin evidently hinders men from being able to receive benefits from more light. During the millennial days to come we read that, "The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of His people" (Isa. 30:26). During the Great Tribulation days when God is punishing men for sin the moon and sun shall be darkened (Rev.
6: 12; 8: 12). God dwells in light "which no man can approach unto" (1 Tim. 6:16). "God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). We shall know something of the glories of that Light for it is one of the things for which we should be thankful that we share. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1: 12). We cannot see purity, and yet light and purity are inseparably connected in Scripture. The glories of God's attributes will be visible to us in that uncreated light of His presence. But there can be no true light apart from Him, for He is "The Dayspring from on High," "The Day-star," and "The Sun of Righteousness."
CHAPTER FOUR THE SECOND DAY
IN this chapter we shall compare Genesis 1:6-8 with John 1: 15-28. The key-word here is "waters." "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day" (Gen. 1: 6-8). In this second day we have the waters, and separation. This is what we might expect from the meaning of the number "two" as it is used in Scripture. If the number "one" speaks of unity and the Deity, "two" speaks of division and often of another, which may be either a Saviour or else an opposer. The LORD Jesus is called the "Second Man," as such He is "The LORD from heaven." But He spoke of "another who shall come in His own name," this is the opposer. We quote part of the passage in John which is to be compared with the above and speaks of the second day, at least in its spiritual significance. "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. . . . I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the LORD, as said the prophet Esaias. . . . John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth One among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John Was baptizing" (John 1: 19-28).
The waters in Genesis were divided from the waters. This was made necessary because there had been a pre-historic sin on this earth when Satan fell and the beings who were here on earth were judged with a flood, long ages before the flood in Noah's time. The judgment-waters were allowed to rest upon the earth during all those dark ages of time until God said, "Let there be light." So in the account in John's Gospel, the Jewish nation had long before been separated from the nations, and in God's plans provision had been made for this separation at the beginning of His dealings with nations. God tells us that, "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Deut. 32:8, 9). God brought them out of Egypt and actually separated them from the nations to be a people unto Himself in His own good time. But they "forsook God . . . and lightly esteemed the rock of their salvation" (Deut. 32: 15). So we see here in John that this people who had once been separated from the nations and unto the LORD, are being separated again through the baptism of John the Baptist. They were called to repent and prepare to receive Him, and this shows that He was rejected. Not all would receive Him who came as the Light of the world. There would still be darkness and light as at the beginning, but many were taken down into the separating waters of baptism. Following this suggestion that the earth was destroyed at some time which occurred between the first and second verses of the first chapter of Genesis, we remember that the flood of Noah's time was likened by God to baptism. "When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3: 20,21). Baptism represented death and burial, through which men were separated from the old things that were under God's judgment.
It pictured death and burial under the waters, and then a resurrection from those waters of death. When God delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt He separated them from their old life of bondage by bringing them through the Red Sea. This was also called baptism. "All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor. 10: 1, 2). So we see that this second day in John goes with the second day in Genesis. It is quite evident that this is a portion of Scripture that brings before us the Jewish nation. On the first day in John we were told of "the world": He came into the world; He was the Light of the world. But on this second day our attention is confined to the separate people, the Jews. The word "Jews" in John first occurs here. Then the Levites, the prophets, and Jerusalem are all first mentioned in this section. This second day in John is to be regarded as a time of a preparing, a separating of a people to receive Him. John had not yet pointed Him out, for he said, "There standeth One among you whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me." It was not until the next day that John the Baptist made Him known. Do we realize what it meant for the world, and what it still means, that God separated Israel from the nations? Some seem to read about this in the Word of God, and decide that God just separated them at first, and then because of their failure to receive the LORD when He came, and because of their many sins, He has been defeated in His original plans to bless them. Then they say, "Perhaps it was just the blessings that have come through the Church that God had planned." No, beloved; sin cannot upset God's eternal purposes. His plans for the blessing of the world through Israel as a nation still hold good. They shall be fulfilled. Our LORD told the woman of Samaria that "Salvation is of the Jews." In His day, as now, that still held good. Sin may seem to hinder God's plans, but He knew all about sin when He told us through the prophets about Israel. The prophets told the People of their sins and then promised that after the nation had
been punished for these things God would fulfill His Word. In the first chapter of Isaiah the prophet was inspired to say, "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are
corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they have gone away backward." In the fifty-eighth chapter we read, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." But in the fifty-ninth chapter we learn that in spite of this God promised, "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD." This does not refer to just a few who may happen to turn to the LORD, but God shall turn them about and bring them back to Himself. He says, "And / will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away all thy dross, and take away all thy tin" (Isa. 1: 25). "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified" (Isa. 60: 21). "I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God" (Ezek. 11: 19, 20). Note that God takes to Himself the credit for their turning to Him. It is the work of God to bring men to Himself. For two thousand years they have been away from Him and living in rebellion, long enough to demonstrate that they would never turn to Him of themselves; it must be His work. Then He tells them something else that He will bring about, not just something that He knows is sure to happen but He will bring it to pass. "And the sons of the strangers shall build thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open
continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted" (Isa. 60:10-12).
Yes, God has a ruling people, but they are the Jews! God has decreed that no matter what happens to Israel the world shall be blessed through them. It is for this reason that God tells us that, "If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness ... for if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (Rom. 11:11-15). It will be life from the dead for the world when Israel is blessed and made the ruling nation. That blessing must come, like the dividing of the waters of the second day, before we can have the blessings of the third day to follow. Israel has no desire to rule the nations at the present time; all they ask is to be let alone and treated fairly. We do not doubt that every unsaved Jew who reads these lines would rather they had never been written, for fear we might arouse an ill-feeling against them. But it is not their desire but God's desire, and it shall come to pass that Israel shall be the head of all the nations and a blessing to all. Israel's experience in the wilderness after they came out of Egypt is a picture of how God will bless them in the latter days in spite of their sins. He does not overlook sins; He punished His people and then brings blessing. In the wilderness they turned from Him in heart, and sinned in making the golden calf, and in many other ways. That generation all died in the wilderness, excepting two men, Caleb and Joshua. But God brought the next generation, the children of these rebels, into the promised land. All God's plans to bless the world through Israel shall be accomplished. But God delights in Israel. He loves them and takes de-fight in all His work for them. Our LORD Jesus spoke of them as "the treasure hid in a field: the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field . . . the field is the world" (Mart. 13: 44, 38). The LORD Jesus is the Man who bought the field. Who else could buy the world? But notice that He says "for joy thereof!" Then He pictures Himself as selling all He had, and doing it with joy! He bought this world because of the treasure in it, Israel.
Oh, how He must love Israel! There are other passages that are meant to show His love for the Church, but let us not steal those that belong to Israel. Then after He bought the field He hid the treasure in the field, and went and took the pearl of great price, the Church, first to Himself. He did not hide the pearl in the field, for as soon as the Church is complete and all the members are called out, He will take her to Himself in glory. Then He will return to get the treasure hid in the field, Israel. Our LORD Jesus loves the Church, but let us not forget that Israel is "His peculiar treasure" (Ps. 135:4). Israel has a special place. Have you not heard people say that they could not believe this, that they think that God must love everybody the same, so that Israel could not have any special consideration? We make no apologies for God, He does what is right and what seemeth good to Him. Let us praise Him and rejoice that we have a God who has a real Personality, a God who can choose and who can love those whom He chooses. Does the reader hate the Jews? Have you something terrible you would like to tell us about them? Do you say, "Well I don't hate them, but they are . . ." and then you go on to tell their faults? Now if you are a Christian we beseech you not to do that. God loves them and He hears. After men have told all about Israel's sins, God seems to answer, "Yes; I know all about it and more than you know, and I will bless them." He has found a way to bless them because He loves them. And is this not true of all of us as sinners saved by grace?
THE THIRD DAY
LET us compare the third day of Genesis 1:9-13 with John 1: 29-34. "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land
Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day." This passage in Genesis concerning the third day surely pictures resurrection things for this earth. It is like life from the dead. The earth coming up out of the waters of judgment and then yielding fruit. The third day in John which corresponds to this is described as follows: "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the LAMB of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." These words bring us to consider a true third day, according *° the meaning of the number "three" in Scripture, for "three"
always speaks of resurrection things, final victory and Divine manifestation. In the last section, which we considered as a second day, we saw that the Jews were being prepared for the coming of the LIGHT of the world. In this third-day section He is shown as coming to John the Baptist, whose ministry was for the purpose that our LORD might "be made manifest to Israel." But while John announced that He had come to Israel, yet he makes it clear that His mission would include the whole world, or earth: "Behold the LAMB of God which taketh away the sin of the world." This is the first occurrence of His name "THE LAMB" in the New Testament. It occurs twenty-eight times in the Book of Revelation where the fulfilment of this prophecy is unfolded. This section closes with another name of our LORD in John's declaration that, "This is the Son of God." These two names reveal Him as the One who has the right to bring in the resurrection things of this third day, the redemption and the eternal rule of the new heavens and earth. These titles, "The Lamb of God" and "The Son of God," are so bound together with His work of bringing in the third day that we must consider them here. Let us meditate upon the first of these names, "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." When men use this as a gospel text they often seem to forget its full significance and apply it exclusively to individuals who may be willing in our day to receive the LORD Jesus as Saviour. It is a gospel text, and does have that significance, but John the Baptist looked forward to the day when sin shall be removed from the world, and when He shall be known by Israel. When we preach the gospel time would fail to bring in all that there is in the passage, but the full gospel includes the completed work of the new heavens and the new earth. The work of the LAMB of God includes the "wrath of the LAMB" and His judgment and purging out of all sin. It was fitting that this message about the LAMB of God should be given to Israel first, for God had prepared them through giving them the sacrifices and offerings of lambs to know what must be done to remove sin from those who were to be saved. They must
be redeemed, bought back to God. God's justice must be satisfied. A way must be provided "that God might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth." Sinners must be saved righteously. God is a Judge, THE JUDGE of all the earth, and so He cannot just forget sin, any more than an earthly judge could satisfy just laws and at the same time pardon all criminals. But God had the way provided before He created the world. He who created the world planned to come as the LAMB of God and bear the punishment that was due to the sinner. Our LORD Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." This was not an after-thought but a forethought that was back in the eternal counsels of God in eternity. We believe that He was "led as a lamb to the slaughter," for our sins. "The LORD laid on Him the iniquity of us all." He has said so, and we believe it. (See Isaiah 53: 6 and 1 Peter 2: 24). We who trust in Him are as safe as those Jewish people of old when they trusted in the Word of God about the blood that had been sprinkled on their door-posts on that first passover night in Egypt. They believed; the blood was shed; the blood was applied; and they were safe from the destroying angel. They would not have been safe if they had not believed and applied the blood, and neither are we until we believe and receive Him as our Saviour. On the cross our LORD Jesus paid all our debt and bore the punishment that was due to us for our sins. All who come to Him now, believing these things and trusting in Him, receive full pardon for all sin. God can righteously pardon the sinner in this way, reckoning that his sins have been righteously judged on the cross-all of his sin. We are reckoned by God to have been "in Christ" when He died for us, and to be "in Him" now, both in His resurrection and victory at God's right hand. Has the reader come to realize the beauty and reality of these precious truths of the gospel? This is salvation for the soul. But God also had the whole world in mind when He inspired John to speak the words, "Behold the LAMB of God which taketh away the sin of the world." This is prophecy, and it shall come to pass. This does not mean that all sinners who reject Him are to be as some teach. Sinners will be forever removed from earth.
Yes, beloved, the time is surely coming when there shall be no sin in this world. We know that there shall be no sin in the new heavens and the new earth. He shall very literally, through judgment and the new creation, take away the sin of the world. It is as the LAMB of God that He has the right to do this. So when we read these words of John the Baptist we should not forget that they are a prediction of what shall surely come to pass. We may consider this third day as a time which overlooked the present Church age and reached down to the end. John the Baptist did not have the Church in mind, that was a mystery hid in God which was revealed later. We shall hear of it in the next or last three days of John's Gospel. This third day period goes with what is said about the LAMB of God in the Book of Revelation and the things that are to happen after the Church has gone to glory. We believe that the first three chapters of Revelation speak of the Church age, and the Church is pictured as being caught up to heaven with John in the first two verses of the fourth chapter of Revelation. The rest of the Book of Revelation tells us about what shall come to pass "after these things," or after the Church has gone to glory. It is true that the LAMB of God was the meek and lowly One who died for our sins but that is only one side of the truth about His work as the Lamb of God. To be able to know what John the Baptist meant we must consider those things in Revelation. The fifth chapter of Revelation describes a scene in heaven: "And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts,
and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the LAMB, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5: 1-10). The "book" mentioned here seems to picture the title-deeds to earth, and only He who as the LAMB of God has paid the price of its redemption has the right to open the book. When He opens the book he brings punishment upon the rebels who have usurped the rule of earth. He then casts out the rebels and takes His own great power and reigns. He is seen worthy, because He is the LAMB slain. Then follows the praise of men and angels, which has quite a different message from the gospel we preach now of the meek and Lowly One who died for our sins, a picture of weakness and suffering. "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the LAMB that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the LAMB for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever" (Rev. 5: 11-14). We too shall be there to praise Him, for this book is no doubt the title-deed to earth, and this speaks °f how He will take possession of what He has redeemed.
We are told that the heavens shall depart as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island shall be moved out of their places, when the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the chief captains and the mighty men, and every bond man and every free man shall hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains, and shall call for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the LAMB: "For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6: 17). We cannot say as we preach the gospel that "The great day of His wrath is come." It is coming. This question, "Who shall be able to stand?" answers the question of the Satan-worshippers of the last days when they shall exalt the man of sin, and cry, "Who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:4). The Lamb of God is able. As we preach the gospel now we proclaim the good news that He died as the LAMB of God for our sins. In the coming age the wrath of the LAMB will be manifested. The time will have come then when the saints are to be comforted, instead of suffering as now. It is also as the LAMB of God He comforts and rewards them. We read of those who "have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the LAMB: therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the LAMB which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Rev. 7: 14-17). The bride is called "the LAMB'S wife" (Rev. 21:9). The apostles are called "the twelve apostles of the LAMB" (Rev. 21: 14). The LAMB is the Light and the glory of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. "And I saw no temple therein: for the LORD God Almighty and the LAMB are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the LAMB is the Light
thereof. . . . And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the LAMB'S book of life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the LAMB" (Rev. 21:22-27; 22:1). Beloved, these are some of the things of which John the Baptist spoke when he was inspired to say, "Behold the LAMB of God which taketh away the sin of the world." The LAMB of God is the All-conquering One. He shall take away sin and all its dreadful effects. What a mighty work this is, and who but He is sufficient for it? In the last section, as to the second day, we had before us the Jews and the separating of Israel for the great purposes and plans of God, but here on the third day we have the whole world in view, just as the earth was the subject of the third day in Genesis. Here it is the world, or the inhabited earth. In considering the time when the sin of the world shall be taken away, it is as if we had left out all of the time of Israel's rejection, as if it had not been. It has been noticed by many students of prophecy that in several places God seems to reckon this way and to blot out all their lost time with their sins. If He will "remember their sins no more" surely He will also blot out all their lost time, or the time of their sin as a nation. We shall find in our next chapter and the "next day," that the Church age is taken up there; but here, as in prophecy, we look on down to the end as if passing over the Church Period, which was not revealed to the Jews. There are men who say they do not believe in types! It would be difficult to understand what John the Baptist meant when he spoke of a lamb taking away sin if we did not believe that the lambs that were offered in sacrifice at God's command were meant to be types of the great sacrifice of our LORD Jesus Christ for our sins. Another beautiful type in this third day is also found in the words of John the Baptist: "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon
Him." We know from another Scripture that this took place when our LORD Jesus came up out of the waters of baptism. "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3: 16, 17). This scene reminds us at once of Noah and the waters of judgment that came down upon the ark. The ark was a type of our LORD, for it bore the judgment for all those who were in it. Our LORD is our ark of safety who has borne all the judgment for us. God reckons that we were "in Christ," and that we died with Him. The baptism of our LORD was a type of His death and resurrection for us. After the flood, Noah let the dove go from the ark, but because the waters of judgment had not completely subsided the dove could not find rest. We read she could find "no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth." This surely is meant to remind us too of the first picture of the earth in ruins when the waters covered the face of the earth and the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep." God could not find rest in that scene of judgment. But when our LORD Jesus came and pictured in His baptism how He would bear all the wrath of God on the cross in our place, then, when He came up out of the water, the Spirit of God came upon Him in the form of a dove, and rested, or abode upon Him. Here at last was One in whom God could rest. Beloved, this is all written in God's Word for you and for me, for the LORD Jesus did not need to die for Himself. God was always well pleased in Him. God can now be pleased, delighted, in us as we are reckoned to be "in Him," our own LORD Jesus Christ. Our God speaks very plainly here in this type. If He had not sent the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove we should not have understood the other two pictures which show how the earth was twice covered with the waters of judgment. We would not have understood why Noah sent out the dove nor why the Holy Spirit was said to be moving (hovering as a bird) upon the face
of the waters in the beginning. God was picturing Himself as seeking a place of rest from the very beginning. This was to be a place of precious communion for us, a place where judgment was all past and where there was something or some ONE in whom He could delight. It is not that He did not know that there was no other place but in His Son, but that He would have us know it. Beloved, how very few there are even today who rejoice in this truth! But there is something else here that is important; it is the relationship that was declared, "This is My beloved SON." This is for us too. We can never be the SON Himself, for He is God, but we can be, and we are, reckoned to be in His Son! Yes, we are born again and we have become children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. There is so much that is for us in this name that it will be profitable for us to look at this other third-day-name here. John the Baptist knew that this was the Son of God because he had been told by God, "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." John said, "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." He not only "taketh away the sin of the world" but He brings us to the place of sons. He brings us into the Father's love and favor. God says of Israel: "He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing" (Zeph. 3: 17). Beloved, we need not be jealous of Israel, we are redeemed with the same price, by the same Saviour. He has brought us into this same place of love. This "rest" is a rest of His love. It speaks of the Father's satisfaction in Him and in us who are in Him. We are reminded here too of the other judgment scenes when the earth came up out of the water, only here at His baptism He gives us a type of how He will bear the judgment and come up in resurrection, bringing the redeemed world with Him. This surely reminds of the third-day scenes.
The title, the Son of God, fits this third-day section, and it goes well with the other title given Him here by John the Baptist, "The LAMB of God which taketh away the sin of the world." It is the Son of God who takes away our sins. Let us note how this truth is emphasized: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds: who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1: 1-3). The following is a comment on this Scripture by Dr. Adolph Saphir: "Now when the apostle had given us this idea of the wonderful glory of the LORD Jesus, the Son, whom God had appointed Heir of all things, by whom He has made the worlds, who is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Being, He continues by stating something still more marvelous. Why has this glorious Being, in whom all things are summed up, and who is before all things, the Father's delight and the Father's glory; why has this infinite Light, this infinite power, this infinite majesty, come down to our poor earth. For what purpose? To shine? To show forth the splendor of His majesty? To teach heavenly wisdom? To rule by His just and holy might? No! He came to purge our sins." Can the reader understand how some of our great men of the world and even some who claim to be gospel preachers, can give every reason under the sun for His having come into the world and leave this out? It was the Son of God Himself, who purged our sins, and He did it by offering Himself. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). The revelation to our souls that the LORD Jesus is the Son of God is a proof that we have received Him as our Saviour; it is accompanied by a complete trust in Him and acceptance of Him as Saviour and LORD. No man knoweth the Son of himself, but that revelation comes from God. We read of Peter that when he confessed, "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God," our
LORD said, "Blessed art them, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:16-18). So we read, "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God." In the early days of the Church the knowledge that He is the Son of God was made the test of true faith. They said, "So great a thing is it for a poor sinner to know that the only begotten of God the Father was made flesh and dwelt among us, and died for our salvation, that whenever any one among the Jews or Gentiles said, 'I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,' the apostles said; 'Come, let us baptize him.' What need we more? He has discovered the secret. God has come to him: God dwelleth in him and he in God. Let us baptize him." There are many passages that we might quote to show that it is the Son of God who takes away sin, not only our sins as individuals, but that He had the whole world in view and its final judgment and cleansing when He died for us. "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). This word shall be completed when He comes again, not that every soul shall be saved, but every sinner who rejects all His offers of mercy shall be purged from the earth. John the Baptist put great emphasis upon this all-important statement, "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." Our LORD Jesus Himself asked this question of the man He had healed, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, LORD, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, LORD, I believe. And he worshipped Him" (John 9:35-38). The Gospel of John was written, "That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing ye might have life through His name" (John 20:31). Philip used this as a test question to
if the Ethiopian knew the Son of God. "And Philip said, If
believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered
and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37). Those who reject God's great revelation of His Son are to be punished for that very thing. "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Heb. 10: 29). Then we who are saved are to come into a more perfect knowledge of the SON OF GOD. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).
DAY FOUR AND ONE
HERE we shall compare the fourth day of Genesis 1:14-19 with the first day of John 1:35-42. We shall see that both come under the subject "light," and that they both are "day one" of the last three. This section in John speaks in type of the Church age in which we now live. "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the
earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day." We had light brought before us on the first day and now we have it again as the subject of the fourth day. There are many "lights" here, and we may note that things are multiplied on all the last three days, where on the first three there was only the 'thought of dividing and separating. The sun is a very clear type of the LORD Jesus and the moon is a type of the Church. This has been ridiculed many times by the destructive critics, who for some reason seem to have taken a peculiar dislike for the type which presents our LORD as "The Sun of Righteousness." They ignore the fact that Scripture tells us that He is just that. He shall come as the rising sun when He comes again to rule in righteousness. His enemies do not like to hear about that. They ^y it would be impossible that He should come again in Person
to this earth! The Scripture says, "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And He shall be as the Light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain" (2 Sam. 23:3,4). "Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of Thine Anointed. . . . For the LORD God is a sun and shield" (Psalm 84: 9-11). Then the Old Testament closes with another promise of the coming of the "Anointed," or Messiah. "But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings" (Mal. 4:2). The moon sees the sun all through the night and reflects the light which she enjoys upon those who are in darkness. So the moon is a Scriptural type of the Church, and a very clear one. "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" (Song of Songs 6:10). Israel too was pictured by these figures (see Gen. 37:9,10). But we turn now to the passage in John which we believe should be compared with this fourth day of Genesis. "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the LAMB of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone" (John 1:35-42). We have seen that the last section which we called the third day covered the time down to the end when the LAMB of God
shall take away the sin of the world. Now it may seem strange to some that in the day following we should find another first day, and that we should be brought back in thought to the beginning of the Church age. It is not new to students of Old Testament prophecy that the Church was passed over there as if it did not exist. The Church was then a "mystery," "which in other ages was not made known" (Eph. 3:5; Col. 1:26). It was however all hidden in Old Testament types to be revealed to us later. This is one reason that these Old Testament types are so important and helpful to us. Another remarkable thing here is the fact that there was light on the first day in Genesis, but the sun, moon and stars were not appointed to their places until the fourth day. There was light before the sun, and there was some light of the knowledge of God before our LORD Jesus came as God-Man, and before the Church was ordained to be a witness of Him. The present Church age might be considered as a fourth day if we reckon in the direct order of history as in Genesis, but it is a first day too because of its subject, light, and because Israel is set aside for a time and God is now calling out His Church as His witness. It is like another beginning, or first day. This division is marked off in John as a "next day," or more literally, "on the morrow." We are reminded of our key-subject "light" which we would expect to find here, by the fact that the word "day" in verse 39, "abode with Him that day," is the first occurrence of the word "day" in the original Greek in John. The other occurrences of the term, in verses 29 and 35, of the A. V., read literally, "on the morrow." Here then we shall find hidden beneath the surface in the typical language of this section, a picture of the present gospel day, or Church age. In Genesis Adam and Eve were a type of our LORD and His Church. Adam and Eve heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the
day: and Adam and his Wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD amidst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Gen. 3:8,9). This was the
first time God is said to have walked, and it is the first recorded word of God that was spoken after the fall of man. Compare this with the fact that in John we have here the first recorded words of our Lord, "What seek ye?" and the first time our LORD was said to have "walked." Then again the time, "the cool of the day" is the same time of day mentioned as the "tenth hour" in John. His walking and His voice seem to go together. They saw Him walking on the sea and heard Him saying, "It is I; be not afraid" (John 6: 19). It speaks of fellowship too for He "Walked in the temple in Solomon's porch" (John 10: 23), and rebuked the Jews for their unbelief. ''He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him" (7: 1). When they "Took counsel together to put Him to death, Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews" (11:53,54). But "walking with Him" is the grand climax of His walking in the Church. John heard His voice "As of a great trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last" (Rev. 1: 10,11). Then John heard Him say, "These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks" (Rev. 2:1). Here is the voice and the same LORD God walking. Then the Church of Sardis had the promise to the overcomer, "They shall walk with Me in
white: for they are worthy" (Rev. 3:4). Not naked, as in Eden but clothed in white raiment, and now, "walking with Him." Not guilty and ashamed as Adam and Eve, but declared by the same LORD to be "worthy." What a beautiful ending to that walk of the Son of God in Eden! Truly this is God's great love story. This is Church truth which fits well into this section. In the words "Behold the LAMB of God!" we have something quite different from the last word of John the Baptist the day before, which was "Behold the LAMB of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." That was telling what He, the LAMB of God, would do, directing attention to His work, while this is simply directing attention to Him, "Behold the LAMB of God"! This reminds us of Church truth and of how we are now directed to the Person of the LAMB of God, Himself. We are to be occupied
wholly with Him, to abide in Him and to find our delight, our all, in Him. The two disciples of John who followed the LORD Jesus asked, "Where dwellest Thou?" in answer to our LORD'S question, "What seek ye?" They wanted Him, and to go with Him that they might know Him. "What seek ye?" is the first recorded utterance of our LORD Jesus in this Gospel. What a searching word it is! It would be well to stop here just for a moment and ask ourselves, or let Him ask us, "What seek ye?" If it is not Himself, then let us right-about-face and seek Him only as our all in all. These disciples were not merely curious to know where He dwelt, they were timidly suggesting that they would like to go with Him, just to be with Him. Then the gracious LORD Jesus uttered that precious word, "Come," for the first time in John, and it was the first time they had heard it from His lips. "Come and see". Thousands since have heard that word and have come to Him. His Word is with authority and power, some day many who have refused to come will hear His other word, that awful word for all those who have refused His grace. That word will be "Go", and they shall go. Oh, let us pass on that word, "Come," and "Come and see," while this age of grace lasts, it is a word for this age. We can safely challenge men to come and see, for no man was ever yet disappointed in Him. "They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour." They spent the rest of the day abiding with Him. That is Church truth again, abiding with Him only. But why do we have this word "about" in the Word of God? God wrote the book, He always knows exactly the time when things happen. Well, beloved, we never need to tremble for the Word of God; we should tremble at it. Poor old Eli's heart trembled for the ark of God (1 Sam. 4:13), but God could take care of His ark. In Ezra's time it was those who trembled at the commandment of God who made a covenant with the LORD and were restored (Ezra 9:4;10:3). God still says to us, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word" (Isa. 66:2-5). But look again at this word "about" in the text. It is another proof of the accuracy
of God's mighty Word, in that it pictures the end near, but indefinite in time, all through the Church age. It was "about the tenth hour," near the end but uncertain. The time is short, but we do not know the day nor the hour when the LORD shall come. We are ever to be aware that the day is far spent and that the night cometh when no man can work. Our part is like that of those two disciples, to "follow" the LORD Jesus, and to dwell apart from the world with Him, all "that day." But first of all we must know Him as "The LAMB of God" We do not try to follow the Shepherd until we have become His sheep. Have we not seen men who say they are confused about which to believe of all the doctrines in the world, and about "which group to join?" We usually find that their difficulty is in the fact that they have not first come to Him as the LAMB of God and found perfect confidence in Him as the One who without doubt blotted out all their sins. They are trying to find the way without the Shepherd. The order of Scripture truth is always
perfect: first, "Behold the LAMB of God," then, "Follow Him." Then as soon as we know Him ourselves, like Andrew, we start at once to bring others to Him. All these things speak of this present Church age. This was not always the order, for God saw that the nations knew about His dealings with Israel, but Israel did not send out missionaries as we do. But as to the Light, this Church age is known as the gospel day. "The true light now shineth." The One who is the Light of the World is known through the Church, as she witnesses of the Sun of Righteousness. Then individual believers are like the stars. We are told to "shine as lights in the world," and we are to "give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." We are said to be "light in the LORD," and therefore are to "walk in the light as children of the light". We are commanded to walk separate from those who are in darkness, not that we should not give them light but we should have no fellowship with them, for, "What communion hath light with darkness?" The glorified saints are likened to stars in several places in Scripture (See Daniel 12:3; 1 Cor. 15:41).
The first visit our LORD made to the Gentile borders of "Galilee of the Gentiles" was said to be a time when the Gentiles had seen a great light. It was something new and wonderful for Gentiles and it reminds us of the Church age, "The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region of the shadow of death Light is sprung up" (Matt. 4:16) . . . "By the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light" (Isa. 9:1,2). This word about our LORD as the LIGHT, is a joy note in the messages of the inspired Zacharias and Simeon. "Whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Luke 1:78,79). The present day of grace is called the time when "the True Light now shineth" and is therefore well marked as a first day of the last three. We see too how this first day corresponds to the fourth day of Genesis where we read, "God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night." There are lights here instead of "light" on the first day of Genesis 1:2. Then we learn what these lights represent or typify. The sun, the Sun of Righteousness, the moon, the Church, and the stars, the individual believers. In Deuteronomy there is a beautiful word about the moon which may be applied to the Church of this age. The word is "precious," and occurs five times in four verses. There are "the precious things of heaven," "the precious fruits brought forth by the sun," "the precious things put forth by the moon," "the precious things of the lasting hills," and, "the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof" (Deut. 33: 13-16). This Hebrew word fits the thought as a type of the Church. Its first occurrence is in a passage which speaks in type, of the Church. The servant of Abraham gave to Rebekah and also to her brother and to her mother "precious things" (Gen. 24: 53). The Church, like Rebekah, first receives her "precious things" from the LORD and then gives them out. The word is used to speak of precious fruits and of jewels (see 2 Chron. 21:3; 32:23; Ezra 1:6; Song of Songs 4:13-16;
7:13). Then we have the New Testament word "precious" which shows the Source of all these precious things: "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious" (1 Peter 1:7). The same Greek original here is also used to speak of precious fruit, like the Hebrew word, in James 5:7, and of that which is "more precious than gold" (1 Peter 1:7). The Church is God's treasure house through which He pours the precious things of God on earth, the knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ, to a lost and sin-sick world. Those who receive these precious truths and find Him, are enriched indeed. It is interesting to note that three times in this short section words are "interpreted": "Rabbi, being interpreted, Master" (or Teacher). "Messias, being interpreted, the Christ," and "Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." But why all this interpretation of Hebrew names into the Gentile or Greek? We believe it calls attention to the fact that the Church of this age would be mostly Gentile. Any Jew of those times would have understood all these names without interpreting them. // this means, as some say, that the Gospel of John as a whole was addressed to Greeks then why do we not find this interpreting all through the book? It occurs in only one other place (John 9:7). It is just another mark that speaks to us of the Church age, the Gentile Church, that we should find here within eight verses that this word occurs three times. The Hebrew, or Aramaic, word "Rabbi" is explained by the Greek word didaskalos, meaning "teacher." "Cephas," an Aramaic word meaning "rock," is interpreted by the Greek word petros, A stone. Aramaic was not the original Hebrew but was used by the Hebrews, and so this half-Jewish word must be made more clear for the Gentile Church truth. "Messias" is Hebrew for "Anointed," and "Christ" is the Greek word meaning "Anointed." Our LORD said, "Thou are Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." "Simon" means "hearing," and "to hear;" in Hebrew it also means "to obey." Then "Jona" means a "dove." The dove is a type of the Holy Spirit and through hearing we become sons of the Dove, or born of the Spirit. Then we are all made living stones and are being built up a spiritual house for an habitation of God through
the Spirit. The temple of God which is built of living stones is the
Church of this age.
The very last word of this section, verse 42, is "A stone," "petros." This is significant. When the Church is complete, and the last living stone has been built into this temple we shall be called away to meet Him in the air! Then we know from other Scriptures that after that, our God will begin again to deal with Israel as a nation in the tribulation times. During those times the Jewish remnant will be called out, and God will not cease to deal with the nation until He has brought in the Millennium and blessed them. Now this is just what we shall find to be the subject of the next day.
DAY FIVE AND TWO
THE fifth day of Genesis 1 -.20-23 is also a second day, when we consider its second-day subject, waters, and the second day of John 1:43-51 is a second with the same subject, and the day following it is called the "third day." In the last chapter we had before us the Church age. After the Church has been caught away to be with the LORD according to 1 Thess. 4: 16-18, God will begin again with Israel as a nation. He will first bring a number of them to repent and prepare for the coming of the LORD. This "remnant," as it is called in prophecy, will be gathered out during the time known as the Great Tribulation, the "time of Jacob's trouble." While we sometimes speak of the Great Tribulation and the Millennium which follows as two different dispensations, yet both are included in the Old Testament term, "the day of the LORD." This is because of the fact that when God begins to deal with His people, Israel, He will not stop until He has brought in the millennial times. These things are all hidden in the type of this fifth day, which also is a second day, according to its subject, "waters." We are not founding this prophetic teaching on the types; it is all taught clearly in prophecy but it is confirmed by the types. Let us read first about the fifth day in Genesis. "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply
in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day" (Gen. 1:20-23). Here we have the key word, "waters," as in the second day of Genesis, not a dividing, but a multiplying of the life in the waters. When Israel has been brought back to God it will be like life from the dead for all the nations. (Waters are many times used in Scripture as a type of nations). Because this is both a second day, as to its subject, and a fifth day, in order, we are not surprised to find the meaning of the number "five" hidden here also. The number "five" in Scripture speaks of man with God, and man responsible to God. Israel and the nations will be brought to realize their responsibility to God in those coming days as never before. But let us consider the passage in John. "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael saith unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man" (John 1:43-51). We might have given this section another title, and called it "heaven open," for that thought occurs both in Genesis and in John. Heaven is to be open in those glad times that are to follow the Great Tribulation. The fowl mentioned in the passage quoted
from Genesis, flying "above the earth in the open heaven" remind us of the "angels of God ascending and descending" in these same opened heavens. This is one of the many intimations of Scripture that the present things of creation may speak to us of the future things in glory if we could understand them better. But the angels of God shall "ascend and descend upon the Son of Man." Here our LORD is giving us the interpretation of Jacob's dream of the ladder that reached from earth to heaven. Just as He shows that the other types speak of Him as the bread, or manna from heaven, the water from the smitten rock, so here He is Himself the Ladder. He is the means of communication between heaven and earth. Our own majestic and glorious LORD Jesus shall open the heavens and establish communication between heaven and earth. We shall take this up in detail in the last of this chapter. This second-day section (John 1:43-51) speaks of the time to come after the Church has been taken away to heaven, when the living stones have become the house or complete Temple of God, and when God has again begun to deal with His earthly people, Israel. It looks forward, especially in these last words about the "heaven open," to the glory of the Millennium that is to follow in the sixth day, which in John is called "the third day" (John 2:1-11). God is again dealing with nations of the earth, and so we have here the "waters" of both second-day periods. We have two disciples introduced here. The name of one is Philip, a Greek name meaning "Lover of the horse." This man with a Gentile name, this "lover of the horse," went out to find "Nathanael." Nathanael is a Hebrew word meaning "gift of God." Here we have a picture of a Gentile lover of Israel, going out to seek an Israelite, "gift of God," to bring him to the LORD Jesus. But why is he called "Lover of the horse?" We believe it is because Israel during those times is said to be like a wayward horse, wandering away from Him. "But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them. Then He remembered the days of old, Moses, and His people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of
the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He that put His Holy Spirit within him? That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a glorious name" (Isaiah 63:10-14). Do not the words of Philip as he dealt with Nathanael sound like a believer dealing with a Jew of our day? The horse in the passage above was led by Moses, and it is true that it is still a most powerful argument today to refer them to the writings of Moses. Philip said, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Then Nathanael answers much as we might expect a Jew of today would
do; he especially rejects Him by the name, "Nazareth." For nearly two thousand years the Jews have been calling Him "Jesus of Nazareth" in a reproachful way. Philip leads the horse with the words "Come and see." Notice too how the sea is mentioned in the passage from Isaiah. Then Philip was from Bethsaida, which means, the place of nets. Bethsaida was by the sea. Here we have the subject "water" for the second day, and by a very significant name for the nations of the last days, "the place of nets," Bethsaida. If the sea is the nations, then the sea as a place of nets would be a most descriptive name for the nations of the last days, because all men seem to be drawn into nation-wide nets or sects of Nazis, Fascists, etc. Israel today is mixed up in the nets and traps of the nations, but God shall deliver them. Shall we not cry out in prayer to God with the Prophet Isaiah, "Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock?" Where are the Philips who will be used of God to lead them through the deep, as an "horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?" God loves Israel, and He will only use those who like Philip are "Lovers of the horse," Israel. This is brought out in our LORD'S conversation with Peter. The gospel of the circumcision "was
committed unto Peter" (Gal. 2:7). Our LORD asked Peter to shepherd His sheep, Israel (John 21:15-17). But notice that our LORD said to him, "Lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep." Brother, if you do not really love the LORD Himself and Israel, don't try to be a Jewish missionary. God chooses Philips, "Lovers of the horse," Israel, while she is still wayward. Philip is a beautiful picture of the Gentile believer and some Jewish believers, who love Israel and are being used to bring Jews to the LORD Jesus just before the Church is caught away to be with the LORD. There seems to be a little overlapping of the age divisions so that one age always witnesses to the next, as Noah and John the Baptist did. The Church will not go into the Great Tribulation, but many Jews to whom we now witness will go on into those times, not saved, but with the gospel still ringing in their ears. Nathanael, "the gift of God," has a fitting name to represent the believing Jewish "remnant" of those days. Our LORD regards those who come to Him as a gift from the Father. Of the Church He said, "Those whom Thou hast given Me" (John 17:11). It is an endearing name, reminding us that we are like a valued present from the Father's love, and always reminding Him of that love. So the Jewish remnant is a precious gift to Him, a "Nathanael." Our LORD has spoken many tender things about them in His Word. We read that as Nathanael approached the LORD, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him." These words remind us that our blessed LORD has looked forward through the long ages to the time when this Jewish remnant shall come to Him. We know this because we find it in a number of types, such as Joseph being reconciled to His brethren and weeping over "little Benjamin," the "son of my sorrow" (tribulation times), who became "the son of His right hand," or power, also known as the "time of tribulation," or judgment. This joy of the LORD at the sight of Nathanael coming to Him reminds us of that scene, We read, "And he (Joseph) lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my
son. And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there" (Gen. 43:29,30). We believe that this was written because our LORD wants the Jewish remnant of those times to see this in the types and to know how He loved them. This love shines out again in Moses' blessing: "And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders" (Deut. 33:12). What comfort those tribulation saints, the Jewish remnant, may derive from these passages! Just as Nathanael was overcome with joy to think that he was known in secret before (under the fig-tree), so shall these delight in that very truth. In the story of Benjamin we have the longing of our LORD for Israel during all these long years of their rejection of Him, and particularly for Benjamin, the remnant. But the Church need not feel that she is loved less, for He foreknew us too, and at the last Supper He speaks of His longing for fellowship with His Church. He said, "With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer." We believe this spoke of His longing which He had for us back in eternity. And so it seems to us that Our LORD must have looked with great delight upon Nathanael as He said those words, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." There are men who do not see the deep things hidden here, and who think that here, at last, our LORD had found a man who was naturally without guile, one in whom He could delight! Many a man has heard this interpretation and has honestly said in his heart, "I know that if I had been there our LORD would have turned and said, 'But this man's heart is full of guile.'" How then did Nathanael come to be a man in whom there was no guile? The answer is, The very same way in which the believing remnant shall one day come before the LORD without guile, the same way that is open to every sinner, through coming to Him in all their sins and in confession of them in such words as, "LORD be merciful to me a sinner." Nathanael must have been taking the place of the penitent sinner, confessing his sins, while he was under the fig-tree.
He is a type of the Jewish remnant and we know that they will do that. We learn this secret in Psalm 32 the first of the "Maschil Psalms." All the Psalms which have the inspired title, "Maschil," were written with a special message for the Jewish remnant of tribulation times. Psalm 32 tells of this blessedness of being without guile, and also reveals that it comes through acknowledging sin and confessing it to the LORD. Then comes forgiveness and cleansing. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. .... I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah" (Psalm 32:1-5). There it is, beloved, Sins forgiven, covered, not imputed. Then God pronounces the word, "No guile." O beloved, this is the way, and it is open to all sinners. We see this believing remnant of Jews again in Revelation 14, and again it is said that they are without guile. "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God" (Rev. 14:5). How can they sing before the throne of God without guile? Just read the verse before the one quoted above, "These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the LAMB" (Rev. 14:4). Only those who have sinned need to be redeemed. Through the LAMB, the blood of the LAMB, they stand before the throne of God without guile. What wonderful power there must be in the blood of the LAMB of God when our sins and iniquities can be so completely covered and blotted out that the sinner can stand before the throne of God, singing His praises, and without guile, "Redeemed from among men!" There has been much conjecture about what happened to Nathanael under the fig-tree and why our LORD referred to that time when he was there, apparently alone, just before Philip called him. We believe that a little further study of the types will show that he was, as we have suggested, confessing sin. Our LORD called him "an Israelite indeed." This brings us to consider who
Israel was, and how he first received his name, "Israel." Jacob was the first to receive the name which was afterwards put upon his children. The time was when he was alone with God, like Nathanael. "And Jacob was left
alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his
thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but
Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Gen. 32:24-30). This experience of Jacob seems to us to picture the believing remnant of Israel as they shall turn to the LORD during the Great Tribulation. We learn from Hosea that Jacob wept during this time when he wrestled with the angel. We know that during the time of sorrow the remnant shall be brought to Him. We quote the passage from Hosea, written so long after Jacob's experience, to show how God weaves this into His warnings of the judgment to come, and pleads with His people from this to turn to Him. "The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him. He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto
him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the LORD God of Hosts; the LORD is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually" (Hosea 12:2-6). As the angel wrestled with Jacob so shall God wrestle with Israel in those tribulation times soon to come. When wrestling alone did not prevail with Jacob, then the angel touched the hollow
of his thigh. Then when Jacob's strength was gone he clung to the angel. (This Angel was God, the Redeemer, for Jacob spoke afterwards of "the angel that redeemed me," as, "The God who fed me all my life long"). It seems strange to read that it was Jacob who prevailed when he was so overcome that he could only cling to the angel. But the angel did not tell him that he had overcome until he had confessed that his name was Jacob. The angel asked him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. This seems like a confession, for the name Jacob means "crooked, deceitful, supplanter." The word "deceitful," in the well-known passage which describes the human heart is from the same word "Jacob." "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). To name a person in Scripture is to tell what he is. Jacob not only confessed that lie had sinned but that he was, as to his nature, a sinner; his name told what he was. It was then that Jacob
prevailed; he became a prince with God and had power with God and with men. The same way is open to sinful men now. God reckons that men prevail when they take their right place before Him as sinners. It is an easy thing to confess that we have committed sin, and then to add quickly, "of course all have sinned." But to realize and to confess that our very nature is desperately wicked seems to require a considerable wrestling now as then. If we take this place, like Jacob, and then cling to Him for blessing, we shall prevail. We shall then be able to move the Mighty God, and men. This is grace, God's grace. Our God delights to have us prevail in this way. So shall it be with the remnant of Israel in those days to come; they shall acknowledge their sins and their transgression shall be forgiven and their sin covered, just as the psalm predicts. Then they shall be the true Israel (Israelites indeed), unto whom the LORD will not impute iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile. Then they, like Nathanael, shall know His Name as "The Son 0} God", and "The King of Israel." So we think that Nathanael too must have been acknowledging his sin in order that "THE LORD" should call him "An Israelite indeed," for that is the only way men can be "without guile" before God. As
God, the LORD Jesus had already heard Nathanael's prayers and had forgiven him when he was under the fig-tree. (The fig-tree in Scripture represents
There are some contrasts between Jacob and Nathanael, for Jacob asked the "angel" his name, while Nathanael knew it. The angel seems to rebuke Jacob for not knowing His name as a true Israelite should. The angel said to Jacob, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there." Then Jacob received his new name "Israel" and we know that Nathanael received his name of "An Israelite indeed" from the same LORD who had appeared to Jacob as the Angel. Jacob was alone with God, and Nathanael seems to have been alone with God, for he was surprised that the LORD Jesus should know about it. Now do you see why God told us that little detail in the life of Jacob and mentioned that he was "alone"? It was to make the type clear for us, "upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor. 10:11). Jacob "wept" during the experience and we may infer that both Nathanael and the Jewish remnant may be thought of as weeping. Then since a confession of sin is necessary before one can be "without guile" we believe there was confession of sin under the fig tree and that the remnant shall take their place before God just as Jacob did. It is beautiful to notice how our blessed LORD let Nathanael know how He had fore-known him. Then to notice that this fact of his being fore-known so rejoices Nathanael's heart and brings out that spirit of worship. "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee." We believe that this is the way our LORD will talk to the remnant after they have come to him. He will show them all those precious references to the "remnant" and the "Maschilim" or "understanding ones" in the Psalms, in prophesy and type. They are the "wise" of Daniel twelve. "The wise (the
maschilim) shall understand." This revelation on the fore-knowledge of God and His loving provision for them, telling out His love for them even while they were in sin, is evidently going to be the thing that will touch their hearts as we see it did the heart of Nathanael. They are going to delight
in this, His love, declared before they were born, in a way that should make us Gentile Christians ashamed that we do not rejoice in the truths of what men call "per-destination," and quarrel about. We believe that the joy bells were ringing in Nathanael's heart when he said, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of
God; thou art the King of Israel."
Now notice these two titles, "THE SON OF GOD," and "THE KING OF ISRAEL." It was by these very titles that He was rejected by Israel long ago. After they took Him from the garden and led Him to Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest. At this first trial before the Jews we read that, "Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? and He said unto them, Ye say tint I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth" (Luke 22: 70,71). "And the high priest answered and said unto Him, I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said" (Matt. 26:63). Our LORD was rejected officially, by the Jewish rulers, as the Son of God. They condemned Him to death on this one charge, that He said He was the Son of God. The High Priest said, "What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death" (Matt. 26:66). But before the civil ruler they brought another charge, that He said He was the King of the Jews. "And when they had bound Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. .... And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked Him, saying, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, thou sayest" (Matt. 27:2,11). Then, since according to these scriptures our LORD was rejected by the Jews as The Son of God and as The King of Israel is it not fitting that when they come back to Him they shall acknowledge Him as both THE SON OF GOD and THE KING OF ISRAEL? May those days soon come when Israel shall know their God and thus confess Him! The only accusation that was placed over the cross was the one that was brought before the Roman ruler, that He was The King of the Jews; but the other, that He claimed to be the Son
of God, was the one that was uppermost in the minds of the Jews. This is still the question in the minds of all the unsaved Jews today; they continually ask, "How could God have a Son?" This too in spite of the testimony of the second Psalm, which a large number of Jews have committed to memory. It stands as a testimony against them in their blindness. The question put by the Jewish High Priest, "I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God?" shows us that in those times the Jews believed that The Christ, when He did come, would indeed be the Son of God. But the Jews of today do not want to believe this. The time is coming when the Jewish nation shall be the greatest witness to that very truth, that He is the Son of God and so it is that Nathanael, a type of the coming Jewish remnant, bursts out with the words, "Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel." Then our LORD gave Nathanael a promise which certainly referred to Jacob and Jacob's dream of seeing a ladder set up on earth, whose top reached to heaven, on which he saw the angels of God ascending and descending. Our LORD promised Nathanael, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." From this we learn that the Lord Himself is the ladder between heaven and earth. Through Him the heavens shall be opened and communication be established between heaven and earth, so that the angels may go back and forth in glorious freedom in the sight of redeemed men. This is a prophecy of the coming age. Nathanael did not see it during his life then, but, like the believing remnant whom he represents and typifies here, he shall see it. Men are now planning, while we write, for better communication around the earth by air, but God has His plans all laid for communication between heaven and earth. Men are self-centered, but God has plans to draw attention to Him. Think of men whirling around the earth, centered upon the earth only and forgetting about communication with heaven! When we read the account of Jacob's dream that night so
long ago at Bethel, we understand that our LORD Jesus reminded Nathanael here of His covenant of old with Israel, and of those long-expected times yet to come when Israel shall be restored and heaven and earth shall be joined in happy communion. Man talks largely of his "ONE WORLD," but there are two worlds. It might have been all one world including heaven and earth if man had not sinned, or if he had received the LORD Jesus as Saviour and LORD. The other world is completely forgotten in man's plans for "ONE WORLD" now. But God will bring these two worlds together. This can be only through the ONE who calls Himself the Ladder whose top reaches to heaven. He is God and Man. Heaven and earth are joined in Him. This is the reason He called Himself "The Son of Man," here. But there are other reasons for the use of this title, "The Son of Man." There is no help in this title for those who wish to think of our LORD as only a man, for it speaks also of His Deity. The Jewish minds of our LORD'S day certainly remembered where they had heard this word or read it in Daniel. Daniel said, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve
Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:13,14). Other men were called "sons of men" in Scripture, but not as a title, "THE SON OF MAN." The Jews knew that our LORD claimed to be "THE Son of Man" of Scripture, He who shall come "with clouds," the Shekinah cloud which spoke of the very presence of Deity. Who else could receive such an "everlasting kingdom"? This then is a picture of the Millennial times yet to come when Israel shall reign through their Messiah-King. Prophecy and type are all to be fulfilled in the mighty Son of God, the King of Israel. Hallelujah! We note that the dream of Jacob was connected with blessing for Israel as a nation. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set
up on earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed: and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 28: 12-14). These blessings all go with the times when the ladder scene of Jacob's dream shall be fulfilled, and so Nathanael was being reminded of these times of blessing for Israel. This fifth-day period which begins with the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14; Dan. 12:1), comes just before the Millennium which we call the sixth day. When God begins to deal with Jews as a nation, just after the Church has been taken to glory, He will not cease to deal with them until He has brought them to repentance, and then the blessing to come on the sixth day. We say, "Israel as a nation," because as individuals they are now offered the same terms of grace as the other nations in the gospel message, but as a nation they have a future assured to them of great blessing. All this was pictured in Joseph's dealings with his brethren. The time of famine, when Joseph brought his brethren to repent for their treatment of him, corresponds to the coming period of seven years' tribulation; both times are marked off as periods of seven years. But Joseph did not cease testing his brethren until he had brought them to a place of blessing. They were restored to his own loving embrace. This second day of John corresponding to the fifth day of Genesis looks forward to the opened heavens as something about to be revealed but which had not yet happened. On the fifth day of Genesis we read of the fowl that "fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." The command was given for this on the fifth day, and the promise was given to Nathanael of the day which corresponds to it. The fowl seem to be a type of the angels in the later "open heavens," when angels shall ascend
and descend upon the Son of Man. This reminds us that many things in this world seem to be figures of things in the next, if we could only understand them better. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and his wisdom was a gift from God. He not only spoke "three thousand proverbs," but "he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" (1 Kings 4:32,33). No doubt Solomon understood the spiritual lessons that lie hidden in these things, and the reasons for the creation of every living thing. Then what blessed times are ahead for Israel and for us when we shall have our redeemed bodies and can go back and forth with the angels of God! What glorious things do these words portend?-"Heaven open". We have seen what it means for the earth to have a closed heaven. What a contrast that will be when redeemed men shall have constant fellowship with all the glorified beings. We shall be able to go through space without any effort, perhaps with the speed of light, or thought. Men in their glorified state will not rush about aimlessly and foolishly as now, but every journey shall be with a glorious purpose and profitable. Nothing shall ever mar or hinder our joy and song. Do not the birds sing? Then surely the redeemed shall fill the heavens with more joyous songs. Many do not stop to think that the songs of the birds have all been composed by their Creator, the LORD Jesus Himself. Do we realize how each song fits the different birds? We do not hear the vulture singing like the canary nor the brown thrush croaking like the vulture. Everything God has made is indeed "very good." Then may we not gather from this that the songs of the redeemed will be much more wonderful, and that they will seem still more fitting to us in our redeemed state? It has been noticed many times that God did not say that every thing was very good at the end of the fifth day in Genesis, as He did of the other days. This has been thought to be because the heavens had not been cleansed from the fallen spirits. But we do know that in that coming day there will be nothing to hinder His saying that all is good. So how glorious will be the songs and sounds of those
opened heavens! We know from other scriptures that the redeemed in heaven shall sing. We know too what is to be the theme of their song. Can we not believe that it will be fitting and marvelous? What glorious things we may expect from all the sights and sounds in the new heaven and the new earth after the Millennial days when sin shall have been forever removed. Heaven shall be open, and, beloved, thou too shalt go back and forth with all that joyous throng. God has told us that there is an innumerable company of angels, not just a few. We shall enjoy their company too. Then there are the millions of redeemed men and women. This is said to be a "great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Rev. 7:9). We shall consider the joy of the coming Millennial age in the next chapter.
"There is a strange hush in my soul,
A stirring in my heart,
A singing eagerness for flight,
As one who would depart,
And in the sentient, waiting air
A hint of brushing wings:
I strain against my fetters and
The pull of earthly things.
There is a quickening sense of lights,
Of dawns about to break,
As glory paints the morning sky
To bid the earth awake.
Come quickly, Lord, and break our bonds
At last, and set us free,
And soaring, we shall rise, and dwell
Forevermore with thee."
- Martha Snell Nicholson.
DAY SIX AND DAY THREE
WE shall compare Genesis 1:24-31 with John 2:1-11, for both picture the same time of earth's blessing, the future Millennial reign of our LORD Jesus. In Genesis it is called the sixth day, but the subject is again "earth" as on the third day. In John it is called a third day. Let us first read about the sixth day of creation in Genesis. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, the beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so .... And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth. ... So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. . . . And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Adam and Eve, made in the likeness of God, and given the renewed earth over which they were to rule, picture our LORD Jesus and His Church and all the redeemed of the coming day. In Psalm 8, in words which speak of that Millennial day, we hear of "Man" placed over the earth. Let us read now from the Gospel of John.
"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drank, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him." Here we are plainly told that this was a "third day" and we shall see that it pictures the Millennial day. We have explained how this may be reckoned both a sixth day and a third day according to the design we found in the subject matter of the days in Genesis and John. Both the sixth day of Genesis and this third day of John picture a marriage scene. In Genesis the woman, Eve, is hidden in the "man," who was created in "His image". The first man, Adam, made in the image of God was a type of the Second Man who is The LORD from heaven, the "image of the invisible God." "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." This word comes after God had said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth." The woman is reckoned to be in the man here in the word "them," and also in Genesis 2:5, where we read that "God called their name Adam.'
This is such an important type of the LORD and His Church that we have carried it out through the centuries in the custom of the woman giving up her name at marriage and taking the name of her husband. God intended that man and wife should be a type of the LORD Jesus and His Church in their unity (see Eph. 5: 22,23). But we remember that Israel is also spoken of as a wife, figuratively, in many Scriptures. She is to be joined to the LORD after she has been brought back to Him on the third day. In Hosea we read, "After two days He will revive us: and we shall live in His sight." This marriage feast in John does not picture the marriage supper of the LAMB but sets forth the exaltation of Israel over the nations. So we see that Our LORD Jesus and His disciples were invited to the feast, while the mother of the LORD Jesus was said to be "there," as if to show that it was her place. The mother of the LORD Jesus represents Israel here, just as "the woman that brought forth the Man-child" that was caught up to God and His throne, (Rev. 12:1,2), represents Israel. Our LORD'S mother is called "His mother" in a number of places in the Gospels, and once she is called "Mary the mother of Jesus" (Acts 1:14), but only here is the wording used, "the mother of Jesus," and it is used twice in a manner that seems to suggest that God purposely avoided using her name in order to call attention to her typical significance in this story of the wedding-feast. The bride is not mentioned, but the "bridegroom" was called and was complimented for what had been the work of the LORD Jesus. He is the real Bridegroom of the feast. The near relation of Israel to the LORD is also brought out in the name "the mother of Jesus." This name also reminds us that in those Millennial times it shall be Israel's glory that the LORD of all the earth was "made of the seed of David according to the flesh." Many among the Gentiles may now feel free to speak of Israel as "the Jews," and with considerable ill-feeling, but then men shall scarcely ever mention that nation without a loving reference to their close relationship to Him. His great NAME, "Jesus," is repeated six times here in this short section, as we shall again notice, and of these
six times, two are in connection with her, "the mother of Jesus." Then when she is mentioned alone she is called "His mother." Some folks who now object to our speaking of our LORD as being Jewish, and of the seed of David, will be quite surprised in those days. Our LORD and His disciples are joined together here in the invitation, as we read, "And both Jesus was called, and His disciples." The disciples here represent the glorified Church from heaven. This is the time when our LORD shall rule over all the earth. The LORD is pictured in the "MAN" of Psalm 8 who is over all the earth, yet He is going to take His own redeemed ones into fellowship with Him in it all and they shall reign with Him. If we compare the words of Psalm 8 with the account of the sixth day of Genesis we see how perfectly one fits into the other. In the psalm we see all redeemed mankind in this picture of "MAN" exalted in Him. It was God's original intention that man should have dominion over all the earth; that shall come to pass. God never fails; He had it all planned from the beginning, and knew just what He would permit, and what He would do. God shall have all the glory when His work is completed. We never like to hear men say that "God tried this, and then brought in something else." Psalm 8 carries us over into those times that are pictured in this marriage feast. It begins and ends with the words, "0 LORD our LORD, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth." Now compare this with what is said to have been the purpose of the feast at Cana, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him." He will manifest His glory in all the earth, and at the same time He shall bless with joy and salvation. We learn from Hebrews 2:6-9 the true application of this psalm, for the New Testament passage tells us that our LORD Jesus is to be crowned with glory and honor and set over the works of His hands. Psalm 8 seems to glance back at the work of the fourth day of creation in the words, "The moon and the stars, which Thou ordained," but there is clearly a reference to the sixth day
in the words, "All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea." This sounds like a quotation from the sixth-day work in Genesis 1:26. But now let us look at the words quoted from John more carefully in detail in their typical significance. We have said that the words, "The mother of Jesus was there," distinguished her from the invited guests, she belonged there. Israel's reward is on earth (as a nation). In the Millennial days to come Israel is to have her full reward. Abraham was promised "a land" and descendants without number. He was promised that his seed would be a blessing in the earth. The "seed" in some places speaks of the LORD, but the seed "without number" means the nation. The disciples picture the Church whose place is in glory. The home of the Church is in the heavenly places. So we see that the disciples were "invited" guests to this marriage feast with the LORD. This is not the marriage supper of the LAMB, but a feast to celebrate the blessings that are to come to Israel and to the nations through Israel. Most expositors see only a rebuke for the doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the supposed right of Mary to intercede, in the words of our LORD to Mary when she called attention to the fact that there was no wine. We may agree with them that this Scripture does rebuke that doctrine, but there is more in the passage. Our LORD said, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come." It looks to us like a reference to a future time when "the woman," Israel, intercedes for the nations. Mary's intercession was untimely, for the time had not yet come for our LORD to bring the joy to the nations of which the wine here speaks, but He did fulfil her request in a way that gives us a picture of those glad times. Looking at it in this typical light the use of the word "Woman," would not be a rebuke but very fitting. Mary was a type of the "Woman," Israel-the woman that "brought forth a Man-child" (Rev. 12:4). This gives meaning to the rest of His words, "Mine hour is not come." When the time comes, of which the type speaks, then Israel, who is pictured by Mary here, shall intercede for the nation's joy, and she shall be heard.
If this is true, and we believe it is, then what a beautiful picture this is for all who love Israel. Here we have Israel interceding for the nations! The wine speaks of joy in Scripture, and a holy joy, "wine, which cheereth God and man" (Judges 9:13). This is not intoxicating wine, for it can be shown that that is forbidden by Scripture. We know what cheers both God and man, both God and man find joy in the LORD Jesus. Now let us stop and consider who this is who is so concerned about the lack of true spiritual joy among the nations. It is the same Israel, who, both as a nation and as individuals have for two thousand years been despised, persecuted, hated and murdered by those very nations-Israel concerned about their lack of joy! But to whom did Mary go? She went to the right place about it, for, "the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine." This is a beautiful thing, for it shows us what a wonderful leadership the nations may expect from the Jews during the coming Millennium. In return for all the suffering and sorrows the Jews have gone through they will repay these same nations with a tender solicitude for their every need! This old world has never seen such leadership, such wise care for the needs of the people, as will be given to Israel to manifest to them in those days. Glorious things shall come to this sin-sick world, and through Israel! Then shall the words of our LORD Jesus, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them which despitefully use you," be exemplified as never before in such a world-wide manner. The "servants" here who "drew the water" may represent the obedient among the nations. "The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee (the Jew) shall perish" (Isa. 60:12). There are to be two classes of nations, those who will be forced to serve and those truly converted who will serve as being obedient to the LORD. At the end of the Millennium these rebel nations are to be judged. But these "servants" at the feast are true servants. They must have kept their eyes on the LORD Jesus after Mary spoke the word, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it," for they obeyed the command given them. Even the ruler of the feast "knew not," where the wine came from; but "the servants which
drew the water knew." They must have kept their eyes fixed on the LORD for the slightest word that might come from Him. It is always the great privilege of servants to see the King's face and to hear his word. Now if this word from "the mother of Jesus" is an example of how Israel will direct the nations, then we can see from it how kindly, wisely and lovingly they shall carry on their work of bringing those nations to Him, that Ht may direct them. O beloved, will that not be a glorious day when Israel shall say to the nations of the earth, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it"? Then it will come to pass that the King shall give that command with a note of joy and triumph in His blessed voice, "Fill the waterpots with water." There is a suggestion of wholehearted obedience in the words, "And they filled them up to the brim." Let us remind the reader that this is not the marriage supper of the Lamb, mentioned in Revelation, but it speaks of setting up the kingdom on earth. These are those times of refreshing when Israel shall reign over the earth for a thousand years. The Church, like the disciples here, shall be with Him as the wife of the King. But we shall have our glorified bodies and shall be His heavenly people. Israel, as a nation, will still have their unglorified bodies. The connection of Israel with the earthly kingdom during the Millennial reign of our LORD is to be quite different from that of the glorified Church. But why is it that our God always makes a feast and a time of rejoicing when men are restored to fellowship with Him? We believe it is because He loves us and delights to have us come to Him. There was a feast when the prodigal son returned. The father was the one who rejoiced in the fact that the son had returned, and called others to rejoice with him. The father said, "Let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." The LORD Jesus gave this beautiful story to picture the Father, our Father. How have men received it? Well, for nearly two thousand years we have so missed the point of the story that we have called it "the story of the prodigal son" when
it is the story of a "certain man," which had two sons. The love of the Father is the subject not the experience of the son, which was only mentioned to bring that love to our attention and to turn our hearts to Him. We redeemed sinners have had the feast of the LORD'S Supper for nearly two thousand years What a deep joy should be ours as we remember His death till He come. This is a feasting with Him. There were many feasts in Israel of old which were called "feasts of the LORD." They all show us how God and redeemed man may feast together in holy communion and delight in the LORD Jesus, for He is the delight of both God and man, the true "wine" which cheereth the heart of God and man. "And there were six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews." We believe that these waterpots also speak of Israel as cleansed. There is a reason for the information that these waterpots were of stone. The history of the "stones" of Scripture would be a history of Israel. The Messiah was called "The Stone of Israel," "A stumbling Stone and Rock of offence." "A tried Stone and a sure Foundation," "A precious Corner Stone.' He is the "Stone cut out without hands" who shall smite the powers of darkness when He comes again. Both Joshua and Elijah used twelve stones to represent Israel. The tables of the law were of stone. Altars were built of stone. Stones were used for just weights. Stones were used to build the Temple of God. Stones were used to carry out the death penalty. There were precious stones in the breastplate of the High Priest. The LORD Jesus is called a "Living Stone" in the New Testament. A stone was rolled at the mouth of the tomb of our LORD. The Church is said to be built of living stones. This is not a complete list but will show how much there is about stones in Scripture But the subject here is stone vessels, and it happens that vessels of stone are only mentioned in one other place in Scripture. In Exodus 7:19 We read of stone vessels that were filled with blood. Israel has been denied with blood. They said, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matt. 27:25). Nothing is to be gained by denying it, like the Jewish rulers in Acts 5:28. God says, "Who both killed
the LORD Jesus, and their own prophets" (1 Thess. 2:15). In the last days when they turn to the LORD they shall cry, "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation" (Ps. 51:14-19). The last words of this psalm clearly indicate the restoration of Israel. Israel, like the stone vessels, shall one day be cleansed. There were vessels in Egypt of stone and wood. Stone vessels may be included in the list mentioned in Numbers 31: 23 and Lev. 11: 32, where the Jews were directed how all manner of vessels should be cleansed. There we are told, "Everything that may abide the fire ye shall make it to go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water," "and whatsoever vessel it be wherein any work is done, it must be put into water." God demands that cleansing shall be by fire and water. But Israel, like the vessels of stone, could not abide the fire excepting for the almighty power of God. This is just what happened in the case of the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace; God did bring them through the fire. These three men were a type of the experience of Israel in the tribulation times. God speaks of this same Jewish remnant when He says, "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God" (Zech. 13: 8, 9). Then shall Israel say, "Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place" (Ps. 66: 12). And so it is that, like the vessels of stone, Israel was directed in the New Testament to baptism in a way that was entirely different from the baptism of the Church. We speak now of Israel as she was in the days of our LORD Jesus and the early days of the Church, before the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. A better understanding of this would
have prevented much controversy about baptism and consequent division in the Church. Let us notice first that the baptism of John the Baptist was so different from the baptism of the Church that those who had been baptized by John the Baptist were baptized over again when they later came into the Church (see Acts 19: 3-5). Then let us notice that on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached that inspired sermon, he was preaching only to Jews and to proselyte Jews. They were all on Jewish ground up to that time. Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many the LORD our God shall call" (Acts 2:38,39). This "gospel of the circumcision" (see Gal. 2:7) was never preached to the Gentiles. It was never once preached by Paul nor any one else after the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 14:27). Let us compare Peter's gospel message to the Gentiles with the above message to the Jews. Peter said, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins." "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word" (Acts 10:43-44). Notice that they had not yet been baptized, but they had received the Holy Ghost as soon as they believed. This is quite different from what happened on the day of Pentecost when Peter was inspired to tell the Jews that they must first be baptized and then after baptism they might receive the Holy Spirit. These who believed in the house of Cornelius were all Gentiles. The Jews who were with Peter when he went to the house of Cornelius were "astonished" because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. "Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the LORD" (Acts 10: 45-48). The point we wish to make clear is that God dealt differently with the Jews at that time than with the Gentiles in the matter of baptism.
The Jews, like the type taught in the earthen vessels must be purified with water, the water of baptism, for baptism for the remission of sins was only preached to the Jews. They were told to be baptized with water before they could receive the Holy Spirit. The Gentiles received the Holy Spirit the moment they believed and before being baptized. Baptism was not even mentioned in Peter's sermon to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius until after they had received the Holy Spirit. The words, "baptized for the remission of sins," were never preached again. Baptism is for believers who have been justified by faith and are therefore already saved. When Peter "rehearsed the matter" (see Acts 11: 4; 15:7-9), he said that God "put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9). There was no difference in the fact that both Jews and Gentiles were purified by faith, but there was a difference in the manner and order of the events and a difference in the message about baptism. The Gentiles were not told that they must be baptized for the remission of sins, nor that they could not receive the Holy Spirit until they were baptized. Since that time when the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius when Peter used his second "key" with those words in Acts 10:43, the gospel to the Gentiles has always been, "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Baptism is the privilege of every believer and is commanded. But we return now to the six waterpots of stone. We see that as a nation Israel will be purified and must go through both fire and water, and then as "empty vessels" they will be ready to be "filled up to the brim" at the word of the LORD Jesus. Then at His word too they will become the means and channel of the joy of the earth as men "draw out," and the knowledge of the LORD Jesus is given to the nations through them. But if these six waterpots represent Israel why were there not twelve of them like the twelve stones of Joshua (Joshua 4:3)? We believe it was in order that God may speak of the number "six," in this place, which according to the good meaning of that number is fellowship, man brought into communion with God.
The food of the sixth day in Genesis and of the feasting here in John speaks of communion. The "shew-bread," or bread of presence, was in "two rows, six loaves in a row." Six days the Israelites gathered manna, which spoke of communion. Boaz, the strong, the redeemer, measured out "six measures of barley" for Ruth. Leah must have known the meaning of the number "six" when she said, "Now shall my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six
sons: and she called his name Zebulun" (Gen. 30:20). Zebulun means "dwelling." There were six branches to the candlestick in the Holy Place. Although there were seven lamps yet the six branches are mentioned several times (see Exod. 25:31,32, 33, 35; 37:19-21). We learn from Revelation 1:13-20 that the candlestick speaks of union with the LORD, and fellowship. The princes of Israel were twelve, but they joined together and gave six wagons in which the tabernacle, or parts of it, were to be carried. The %tabernacle was the place of communion with God. There were six cities of refuge. We could give other scriptures that would bring out this same thought, but this will suffice for the purpose here. A glance at the sixth day in Genesis, which tells of man in the image of God and placed over the earth and blessed with the fruit of the earth for food, surely speaks of communion with God. All the blessings of the sixth day speak of our blessing as being in and through the LORD Jesus, who is the One in the image of God, "the express image of His Person," the image of the invisible God." But Adam only pictured in type that these things would come to us in that glorious day when the LORD Jesus shall be LORD over all the earth. But why has God so carefully recorded the words of the governor of the feast, when he said, "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now?" It is that we who have some spiritual understanding may read in this a reminder of how much better it is that He is keeping the good things for us until the last. God has not treated us as "men" would, He has a better plan. Men would have us riot and revel
now in sin, and then at the last heap upon us its dregs and sorrows. We would not be able now to enjoy the glories and joys that are being kept up for us until we are changed into His image. This little word in the typical picture again shows us our God is concerned about our present sorrows and would have us understand that He is reserving the good things until the last. Can we not just believe that there will be many such exclamations from the saints who suffered in this world when they enter into the "joys of their LORD"? Can we not imagine we see the shining, joyous faces as they draw near and praise the Governor of the feast, and say, "Thou hast kept the good wine until now"? Israel too shall be heard using similar words. In this life we have the sorrows, but then shall come the joys which He has "kept until the last." "This beginning of miracles (or signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory." The Greek word for "miracles" in the Gospel of John is one that also means a "sign," or symbol. It is another hint of the typical significance of these things. Our LORD "manifested His glory," the glory which He shall have in Millennial times, those times of which Psalm 8 speaks when Israel shall exultantly exclaim, "0 LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in >all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens." But let us stop and consider His Name here. Is there anything to be noticed about His Name in this third-day division? We believe there is. In order to be able to appreciate the significance of His Name in this section we must consider briefly the wonderful Names that have been given to Him so far in John, which will be found to fit into the things that are revealed in each section. We will not go into the details but give a list of His Names and titles. In the first verses, which we treated as a "prelude" to the "days" which follow, He is called, "THE WORD," "GOD," "LIFE," "HIM," "THE LIGHT." All these speak of His eternal Being in the infinite past. It is interesting to notice that the titles "THE WORD" (or "Logos"), "GOD," and "HIM" are each repeated three times, and seem to us to refer to the Triune God, as if to remind us of the fact that "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Then on the "first day" which was ushered in by the birth of our LORD Jesus we were given the beautiful Names of "LIGHT," "THE TRUE LIGHT," "THE WORD," "THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER," "JESUS CHRIST," "THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON." The ONE who came out of the infinite past as pictured in the prelude is here identified as "JESUS CHRIST" and "THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON." On the "next day" of John 1:19-28 we have the titles, "THE CHRIST," "THE LORD," "ONE WHOM YE KNOW NOT." These are fitting titles for the God of Israel, the Messiah whom they know not. The "next day" of John 1:29-34 gives us the titles, "THE LAMB OF GOD WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD" and "THE SON OF GOD." We have already shown how these titles fit the section and the truths of this "day." The "next day after" of John 1:35-42 gives us the titles, "JESUS," "THE LAMB OF GOD," "RABBI" (or MASTER), and "MESSIAH." On the "day following" of John 1:43-51 we are given the fitting names of "JESUS," "HIM OF WHOM MOSES IN THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS DID WRITE," "JESUS OF NAZARETH THE SON OF JOSEPH," "THE SON OF GOD," "THE KING OF ISRAEL," "THE SON OF MAN." We have explained how fittingly these names have been chosen for this section. But now we come to this last or "THIRD DAY" of John 2:1-12, where we find only one NAME, the NAME which is above every name, "JESUS." This NAME is repeated six times in this division of only twelve verses, the number six no doubt speaks here of communion. Does not this tell us how that worthy NAME "JESUS" shall then be exalted in the earth? as the eighth Psalm tells us it shall be? All the other titles may be considered as included in the glory of this precious NAME. But we address Him as our LORD Jesus, as we are directed in Scripture. He is LORD of all. He is not given the title of "LORD" here in the text because, as we may note if we read the passage carefully, no man spoke the
NAME here. His NAME, "JESUS," is only mentioned here (John 2:1-12) by the Divine Author, the Holy Spirit. When "His mother" addressed Him she did not speak His NAME. It is profitable to study the use of His names in Scripture if it is done with great reverence, but we pass on to consider more of the details of the marriage feast at Cana. The fact that this scene occurred in Cana of Galilee is mentioned both at the beginning and at the end of the account, and in chapter 4 we are again for a third time reminded that "Cana of Galilee" was the place where the water was made wine. This must be very important, for a repetition in Scripture is always intended to give emphasis to something of importance. The word "Cana" is derived from a Hebrew word which means "purchased," or "acquired." The root word first occurs in the name of Adam's first son, Cain, which meant "acquired." We are reminded at once by this of the sin of Adam and of how the world was lost to man, and then of how it was purchased back, or redeemed by our LORD Jesus, whom Scripture calls the Second Man Adam. Man, like Cain, went out from the presence of the LORD, and builded cities and tried to make the world a pleasant place in which to live and riot, while constantly digging the graves of those who are going out into an endless suffering. At the feast of Cana our LORD manifested His glory beforehand and showed us how He will change this fool's paradise into the garden of God. But Israel is prominent in all the scenes of earth's blessing and so Cana was said to have been the home town of Nathanael (John 21:2). Then the word "Galilee" means "round," or "as a circle," but many times refers to great joy, as of men dancing for joy, going in a circle. The first time Galilee is mentioned in Scripture is where we are told that Kadesh in Galilee was appointed to be a city of refuge, one of those places provided by God for the unhappy man who had slain a man by accident or without premeditation, and to which he might flee from the avenger of blood and be safe. It was cause for rejoicing for such a man when he reached the city. We read where Isaiah speaks of "Galilee of the
nations," and then he immediately tells of those glorious times to come, saying, ". . . By the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath light shined . . . they joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil" (Isa. 9:2,3). Israel shall first be blessed, and then the blessing and joy shall flow out to the nations. We have seen this thought of joy in our study of the word "wine," and now we have it again in this word "Galilee." The word "rejoice" in the passage just quoted from Isaiah is from this same root word "Galilee." This root, "Geel," pictures a man so filled with joy that he cannot contain himself, "he goes in a circle." This would not seem to be such an important point if it were not for the fact that Scripture uses this word over and over again when speaking of the future joy and rejoicing of Israel. It should be like a tonic for Israel and all those who love Israel to read these remarkable passages. We have no such a word for joy in our language and we do not need it, for we have no such manifestations of holy joy in our days. Think of it, beloved, the former sorrows shall all be forgotten and there shall be no future sorrows to dread, just joy and more joy in Him! Listen then to some of the passages which speak of this future joy. "Sing, O heavens; and be joyful (geele), O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted" (Isa. 49:13). Let us ask ourselves the question, Are we in tune for this joy? Would we dance for joy if Israel were comforted now? God says, "But be ye glad and rejoice (Geelu) for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice (Geel} in Jerusalem, and joy in her people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying" (Isa. 65:18,19). Not only men but everything shall take on a reflection of this joy. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; the desert shall rejoice (Geel), and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abund-
antly, and rejoice even with joy and singing" (Isa. 35:1,2). "With gladness and rejoicing (Geel) shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King's palace" (Ps. 45:15). "In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou
not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice (Geel) over thee with
joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing" (Zeph. 3:16,17). "Rejoice (Geel) greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having
salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zech. 9:9). "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice (Geel), and Israel shall be glad" (Ps. 53:6). If our hearts are not in tune with these things so that we can delight in the exaltation of Israel we surely will be out of place in the Millennial joy over them. There will be no place there for the Christians who now are saying, "I do not hate the Jews; I would not do them any harm; but they are no better than any other nation." Does that sound like the rejoicing nations we read about above? Love for Israel is of God; it comes from God; it is God's love in us and can only be accounted for as a supernatural love. God brings those of the Gentiles whom He loves into fellowship with Himself so thoroughly that they are made to love what He loves. We brought these Scriptures before the reader to show that the word (Geel), the root from which the word "Galilee" is derived, means to rejoice, and also to show that it is used mostly to speak of the joy that will take place over Israel. This is the subject of the feast at "Cana of Galilee." When those glorious days come men shall be better able to understand why God has kept the good wine of joy until the last. Then too we shall look back to these days in which we now live and we shall understand why it was that Satan was so anxious to kill all the Jews. Satan would like to prevent those glorious blessings which shall come to earth through Israel and her Messiah, The King of the Jews.
We read that "His disciples believed on Him" when they saw this manifestation of His glory. Those who were weak in faith were strengthened when they saw the water turned into wine by the power of God. It was all done without a word from Him. He willed it so and the water was changed into wine. So will the affairs of the world be controlled in those times to come. His will shall be done in earth as it is in heaven. Then, like the governor of the feast, but with greater wonderings, shall the world marvel as they behold the blessings and joy of those times. The half has not been told of those glories, and what has been revealed to us is so lightly regarded and little understood! But men shall rejoice; it will not be left to their own inclination then. Let us remember how He rode into Jerusalem on a colt the foal of an ass and how when the people rejoiced the Pharisees from among the multitude said to our LORD, "Rebuke Thy disciples." The LORD answered them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." He meant that the Scripture had said that Israel would rejoice at that time and that it must be so. God is able to make children of Abraham out of stones if necessary, but the Scripture must be fulfilled.
CHAPTER NINE THE SEVENTH DAY
THE next day in Genesis is the Sabbath of rest. There was no work done on this day but a profound emphasis is laid upon the fact that God rested because His work was finished. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3). We are told twice here that God rested, and because His work was finished. Now let us see if there is anything in John that comes immediately after the sixth day that would seem to speak of God resting and taking His people with Him into that rest. The very next verse in John 2: 12 tells us, "After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days." This passage is not connected with what comes after it in the text and is only connected with what goes before to show us that it was "After this." There is no name of our LORD here but the words "He" or "His" occur five times. This points to the fact that He is joined to His own in this day. Why are we told this incident if it has no significance? We believe that the words "After this" just show us that this is to be regarded as another type of the same times. Coming as it does immediately after the sixth day, the "After this" would be the time corresponding to the Sabbath. Now the word "Capernaum" means "Town of comfort." Capernaum is once called "the LORD'S own city" (Matt. 9:1). It is recorded in another place that "the people came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus" (John 6:24). Is there
not an intimation here of the glorious things that are in store for the Son of God, and of the comfort that shall come to Him and to His redeemed ones as they are all gathered around Him? HE and "HIS" in Capernaum! What a place of comfort, or Capernaum, that will be! Our LORD lovingly gives us the names of all who are included here in detail, "His mother," redeemed Israel, "His brethren," that beloved Jewish remnant of tribulation times, always named separately like little Benjamin. Then there are "His disciples" who seem to represent His glorious Church which by this time shall have been presented to Him "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing." This assembly of different companies will be bound together with many ties. The Church will always have a vital interest in the nations for she is made up of individuals who were gathered from all nations. What a comfort to Him when all the sorrow is past and all His loved ones can be gathered together for great times of fellowship! There are not many details given about it, for it pictures that quiet, secret time between the bride and bridegroom which is too precious to spread out before the world. The last psalms tell us of the joy and singing of those times Then shall they shout for joy and say, "Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the
heavens: praise Him in the heights. . . . Let them praise the Name of the
LORD: for His Name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His
saints; even the children of Israel, a people near unto Him. Praise ye the LORD" (Ps. 148). That will be His Capernaum, when Israel is again known by the name, "a people near unto Him." Praise ye the LORD! But what was this type of the Old Testament Sabbath? We note two things in the account in Genesis, that God had "finished" His work and that He "rested". These words are wrought into a very important lesson in the New Testament to show us that this rest of God very vitally concerns us believers. These words must have seemed strange to thousands of men who
read them and did not understand the type of the sabbath, for how could God rest? God could not become weary. Then later we read that God commanded that His people should rest on the sabbath day because His work was finished on that day. Why should one rest because another has completed a work? How could we enter into God's rest if we had no part in His work? In the answer to these questions we have the unfolding of a beautiful Scripture type of the LORD Jesus and His work. Let us consider the sabbath type. The first mention of the word "sabbath" in the Gospel of John is in the fifth chapter, where we read that our. LORD healed the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, which means "house of mercy." This was on the sabbath day. "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore they sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God" (John 5:16-18). God could not rest on the work of creation after it had been ruined by sin, so God The Father had been working and He, the Son, worked. God must find another rest after the work which He was then doing was completed. If He was working, as our LORD told the Jews, then there must be a time when His work would again be finished and He could rest. Our LORD Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That was the great work which the Father gave Him to do. In doing this He had as His chief end the glory of God the Father. But He came to save helpless sinners, like this impotent man. The Father had planned for this before the foundation of the world, and then after sin entered, God is pictured as working to bring it about. He gave us types in the Old Testament to show this. Then He pictures Himself as "sending the prophets, rising early and sending them" (Jer. 25:4). Abraham also rose up early in the morning to prepare to offer up his son, Isaac, which was to show us how diligently God the Father was working. So it was
that our LORD could say, "My Father worketh and I work." This work must be completed before God could "rest." The word, "It is finished," must again be spoken by God, the God who created all things, the LORD Jesus Christ. But there were two men healed on the sabbath day in John, and they should be considered together in order to understand the typical truths connected with them. Sin has not only made man helpless, like the impotent man; but it has also blinded men so that they are blind to their own condition and blind to the things of God, spiritually blind. Some times we overlook this and talk to blind sinners as if we could reason them into salvation without the power of God, or as if we could scare them, or startle them in some way by our own efforts, so that they could see. Nothing but the power of God can open these blind eyes. This man was born blind. There are many lessons here, but the one great point seems to be that men are born spiritually blind, not because of their own sins nor because of the sin of their immediate ancestors but because of the original sin of Adam. This was permitted by God in His wisdom. God does not blame men for the original sin nor condemn them in any way that would seem to us unjust if men only knew all His purposes. Some things we cannot understand, but one thing we know, and that is that God is not unjust. Men are born in sin and are sinners by nature as well as by practice. Now whatever the purpose of God is in allowing this, we know that God will be glorified. ; 5"" The type here shows that our Saviour is equal to the task for which He came into the world-that of saving sinners who are born blind to their own condition, blind to the things of God. This man did not cry to the LORD for
sight; he could not see Him and did not know what it was to see. The LORD came where he was. He healed him and caused him to trust in His word, a greater thing than healing. "Jesus saith unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and
so passed by. And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world" (John 8:58,59; 9:1-5). Notice that our LORD used the word "work" here four times in succession. "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work." Remember that He was just about to do a work on the Sabbath day. He put great emphasis upon the fact that it was work, and it was on the Sabbath day. Then He healed the man immediately after this in a very remarkable way. "When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." In type He was speaking of the work of God in forming man from the dust of the ground. It reminded them of the original sin which is aptly pictured by the man born blind, when He put the clay formed thus by God the Son, on the eyes that were blind from birth. This alone did not heal, for that must be done by the One who was sent by the Father to do that work. He had just said that He was "sent." "I must work the works of Him that sent Me." He sent the man to the pool of "Siloam" which God tells us meant "sent," and he washed in that pool and came seeing. The blind man was healed and saved by a definite act of believing His Word, just as all men are saved. The Jews cast out the blind man and said unto him, "Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?" This is just what he did picture, a man born in sins, and they might have learned something through our LORD'S dealings with him. After they had cast him
out we read, "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, LORD, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, LORD, I believe. And he worshipped Him." Reader, do you know what it is to be helpless in sin and blind to the things of God and spiritual truths? Have you then been made every whit whole through believing His Word? That is just what He does today for all who come to Him and believe in Him as the Son of God. The blood has been shed, but it must be sprinkled, applied. This is done when I say from my heart, "I believe that I am cleansed by His precious blood." Those who put their whole trust in Him as the One who has borne all their sins and all the punishment that was due to them because of sin when He died on the cross, all those who fully believe that "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin," and thus have come to know Him as Saviour and LORD, always "come seeing." They saw nothing attractive in Him before, but now He is their all in all, the One altogether lovely. They realize that He paid all their debt when He died on the cross because God transferred all their sins to Him, and saw them there under judgment. To them the Word of God is sufficient, "The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6), and, "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). All His suffering for our sin is finished, God is satisfied and can be righteous in passing over our sins. God did not rest from His creation work until He could say that it was "finished." "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them." So it was with the work of God for our salvation. We read how He accomplished all things on the cross, and then of how He spoke those very words, "It is finished." "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:28-30). After the finished work of God comes the rest of God, the sabbath. The next verse implies that the sabbath day followed (John 19:31). Our LORD Jesus finished the work necessary to atone for our sins, and then His body was laid in the tomb where it lay through the sabbath. This surely did not just happen by accident that He rested in the tomb on that sabbath day after those words from the cross, "It is finished." He was the same God who spoke those words after the creation work. Now He could rest about your sins and mine, and so may we. Now we begin to see how it was that God could ask men to rest when and where He rests. He reckons that we were in Christ when He died on the cross, and if the work is reckoned to us so may the rest be ours. The work that was done there was reckoned by God to have been done by and for us. If then we are credited with the value of the work, we can be invited to rest in His finished work. The sabbath type is to teach us to rest where God rests. God rested from all His creation work after it was finished, on the seventh day; now He rests, not in a day, but in the finished work of our LORD Jesus Christ. The creation work was spoiled by sin and was put under the curse of God. Then it was that the Father could work, as our LORD said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." He was referring to the sabbath when they questioned Him about His work on the sabbath day. God had begun a great work which was finished on the cross. Those who say they are trusting in Him and yet say they must add work of their own to save them, have not found this rest of God. They are not resting where God rests. This truth is explained in the Book of Hebrews, chapters three and four. It is not something we have thought out, it is God's Word. First He tells us of some among the Jews who would not enter into His "rest." "So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest, . . . And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Heb. 3: 11,18,19). That is plain then that those who do not enter into God's rest are those who do not believe. If we believe that it is all finished, and that He has paid the whole debt, then of course it follows that there is rest about it all. God is satisfied about the cancelled debt for our sins. If He is satisfied that the price our LORD paid is sufficient, then we should rest there where He rests, and enter into God's rest. "It is finished!" His great work is all done, and you and I rest from trying to save ourselves. We are saved, God says so, "By grace ye are saved" (Eph. 2:5). We are saved from the wrath to come. He says that we shall not come into judgment (or condemnation) about those sins if we are thus trusting in Him. Our LORD said this in very emphatic terms, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). It is a fearful thing not to trust Him, to doubt His Word about this. He says, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into My rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again, He limited a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. . . . There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Heb. 4:1-9). We have quoted all the above from Scripture because it explains the sabbath type, in Scripture words. How then do we enter into God's rest? God says, "Let us labor therefore to enter into that
rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Heb. 4:11). Unbelief is the thing that keeps men from enjoying the rest of God. Unbelief keeps men from resting where God rests, on the finished work of Christ our LORD. The language of true faith is, "I am saved, eternally saved, because He died for me. My future works or good life would not save me. If I thought so then I would be breaking God's sabbath rest, adding to His finished work. God says, "Let us therefore fear." Why should they be told to fear? Not that they may be lost, but fear lest they do not really believe the good news that it is all paid. Not fear lest they might not live up to a certain standard, but fear that they do not really believe that "It is finished." Our LORD could have chosen an easier way and healed these two men on some other day than the sabbath, and so have avoided the anger of the Jews at that time. This is the way those Jews who rejected Him reasoned: there were six days, they said, in which men could come and be healed. But our LORD chose to do these things on that very sabbath day and He had a purpose in choosing the sabbath. He chose the kind of healing He was to do, an impotent man and a blind man. His work was all planned and carried out perfectly and righteously. He was Himself the fulfilment of the sabbath types. He revealed to mankind that He was and is the rest of God, and that in Him we may find rest. All the feverish thirst and labor for "that which satisfieth not" can be removed by Him alone. Standing there apart from all the rest of humanity He cries to every human being, all those who have ever lived and all those who will live, and says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of
Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Did the reader ever notice how this is connected with the sabbath in the text? The very next words tell us that, "At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the
corn; and His disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which
is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, that in this place is One greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is LORD even of the sabbath day" (Matt. 12: 1-8). Why did they excuse the priests and David? Simply because they did not believe that He was as great even as David, who called Him "LORD." He was pointing to the fact that there was unbelief in their hearts about who He was, for if He had asked them to answer His question, "Why do you not condemn David or the priests and yet you condemn Me?" they would no doubt have answered that "David was God's anointed King, and the priests were God's anointed priests, doing what God told them to do." But He was greater than the king or the priests, and greater than the
temple; He was God, and God had a right to work. But had they said, "But we did not know this." He could have said, "Then who did you think gave the power to do these works?" If the work was the work of God then they were condemning God. But if there was a reason for choosing to do those miracles of healing on the sabbath days which we have considered, there was certainly a reason for bringing into prominence the plucking of the corn here. He had just offered Himself as being sufficient to satisfy the heart of man, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and I will give you rest." Never man spake like this Man. Think for a moment of the magnitude of that offer! Only God could even conceive of such a thing as satisfying the heart of every man through all eternity. His word, "// any man," was an offer to individuals, as if to show that He would consider each case as an individual, and yet it was to all men. Ok, how mighty is the Son of God! But they turned from this gracious
offer and began to quibble about the disciples eating corn on the sabbath because it was labor to pick it. He referred them at once to the shewbread in the temple, a type of Himself as the Bread of Life who could satisfy every man, the very thing He had been saying. The reason for all the material things in the world is just to teach us about the real, lasting things, which are the spiritual. The words "Labor" and "heavy laden" referred to the sabbath type, for the two things that were unlawful to do on the sabbath were to labor and to bear a burden. Man in sin labors to try to save himself, and all the while carries a burden of sin. To such He said, "Come unto Me." He would take the burden and give rest. We have seen many men who, like Bunyan's "Pilgrim," have come to Him and been relieved of the burden of sin. What happy faces these men have! But there are those who would try to persuade them that they must go back and take up the load and keep the sabbath day on Saturday or else be lost! What do these men get out of these beautiful types? What do they offer in the place of Him who is the true sabbath, the fulfilment of all the types? Endless debate about the law. Pride of sect and cut-and-dried answers to questions. In order to give this rest He must heal, and give strength and power, and so He accomplished the other works on the sabbath days which we have considered, power for the impotent sinner, life to the withered arm, sight to the blind eyes. What a wonderful Saviour who can fulfil the type of the sabbath!