« AnteriorContinuar »
unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." For strictly speaking, God never did, and never will, pardon a single sin. He pardons the sinner, of course; but this is on account of the atonement for sin, which Christ Jesus Himself has offered up for him on the cross : for “without shedding of blood” there “is no remission."
Hence St. John, speaking to believers, says, “If any man have sinned,” ájáptnte, i.e., have fallen into sin, “ we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous : and He is the propitiation for our sins : from whence we see, that when Satan accuses the brethren before God, our blessed Lord has, as it were, to say unto Satan, “Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan. I cannot allow that plea : for that is My sin. It has been atoned for, and, therefore, put away from them for ever.” When we think of this, how unutterably hateful ought every sin to be to the people of the living God; and how intensely grateful ought we to be to that infinitely blessed One, Who has thus" put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself;"6 and has“ brought in " an "everlasting righteousness" for us !
And so the vision proceeds :“And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."
From the many passages of Scripture which I have already quoted, as well as from the account of the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart of a saved sinner, in John xvi. 7-11, an Exposition of which I have given in Chapter IV. Section 3, we learn that no soul is ever savingly convinced of righteousness, unless he has previously been savingly convinced of sin. While, therefore, Satan was pleading for Joshua's condemnation under law, Joshua was.
11 Cor. xv. 3,
4. 41 John ii. 1, 2. 6 Heb. ix. 26.
Heb. ix. 22.
3 See Gal. vi. 1. 5 See Psalm xl. 6-13 ; especially ver. 12. 7 Dan. ix. 24.
ignorant of the machinations of the Adversary against him : but as soon as Satan had been “rebuked,” he was "quickened ” by God the Holy Ghost; and he then saw himself to be a sinner indeed, clothed in the "filthy rags" of his own polluted “righteousness; and could of course expect nothing but “condemnation :" for he now saw that he richly deserved it.
But while thus bemoaning his sad state before God, One, Who had drawn nigh unto him, but Who was then hidden from him, " is gracious unto him,” because he was one of His “chosen," or elected ones; and the trembling Joshua at length hears a sweet and loving voice, which “saith, Deliver him from going down into the pit : I have found a ransom” (margin, an atonement) “ for him ”—“Take away the filthy garments from him : " while the sweet word of comfort comes “expressly” and directly also unto himself, “ Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment"_" It is not your doing, O Sinner! it is Mine!" For this Blessed One, as we have seen, is now sent, “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that He might be glorified.” And so thus " born of God," and "filled with the Spirit,” even Joshua himself can now exultantly sing, “I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness "3"even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe "4 in Him. For “ in Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
In all which passages we again see, that the justification of a saved sinner before God, consists, (as I have before
3 Isaiah lxi. 10.
I Job xxxiji. 24.
2 Isaiah lxi. 3.
observed) not only in the non-imputation to him of his sin —“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity"_but also in the imputation to him of the righteousness of Jehovah Jesus Himself—“ Blessed is the man," "unto whom God imputeth righteousness apart from works,”? i.e., to be performed of course by the man himself; and that all such justified persons are necessarily also born again of the Spirit, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost : for in the “spirit” of such there is said to be now “no guile." Hence the vision proceeds :—“And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of Jehovah stood by.”. Now as there was written upon this mitre, “Holiness to Jehovah,"! this signifies that the nation had now become what God purposed that it should be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation :" for, as we shall see in the next Chapter, Israel will then have supreme dominion in the earth, and be an untold blessing to the nations that will be left in it. And so the vision closes, "and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith Jehovah of Hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree"—A passage which should be read in conjunction with Jer. 1., 18-20, which runs thus :-“Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. In those days, and in that time, saith Jehovah, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for,” (as we have seen by Satan, the great adversary of souls,) " and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah,” (in "crucifying the Lord of glory,")
i Psalm xxxii. 1, 2.
; Rom. iv. 6. 3 Psalm xxxii. 2. Compare with this John i. 47 ; Rom. ix. 6 ; ï. 28, 29. * Exod. xxviii. 36, 37.
i.e., Antichrist. See and compare Isaiah xiv., particularly ver. 4.
" and they shall not be found : for I will pardon them WHOM I RESERVE," i.e., "the remnant according to the election of grace."
And so, after ages of long suffering and patient discipline on God's part towards Israel, His purposes respecting them will at length be fully carried out; the will of the whole nation will at last be wholly bent to the will of God; and they will thenceforth and for ever shew forth the Lord's glory in the earth.
Introductory. We now come to the Fourth period of man's history, as given by God in His Word, i.e., the Millennium; or the thousand years' reign of Christ and His saints over the world—the saints then taking the place of the angels, who are now sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation:" during which period, Satan will be a prisoner “ in the abyss;" and, therefore, no longer able to deceive the nations ;; while the visible glory of Jehovah on Mount Zion, the appearance of the saints themselves from time to time in glory,' and a place on this earth's surface where men may look down into “the abyss,” and see the awful consequences of God's judgments upon certain notorious transgressors, will make this a Dispensation of sight, equally with that of faith.
In unfolding the purposes of God with respect to this earth, so far as He has been pleased to reveal them to us in His Divine Word, I pointed out in my First Volume of “Outlines,” that God had, at the beginning of the Creation, reserved to Himself, out of the time which he has allotted "to the children of men,” one day, which is peculiarly His own, and which is now called “The Lord's Day;” that He had likewise reserved to Himself, out of “the earth,” which
i Rev. xx. 4.
? Heb. i. 14; Dan. vii. 22, 27; 1 Cor. vi. 2. 3 Rev. xx. 1-3.
4 Isaiah iv. 5. 5 John i. 51; Luke xx. 36. 6 Isaiah lxvi. 24 ; Mark ix. 44, 46, 48.