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by Dr. John Thomas
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son"; "and there shall be no more curse".
Now, the creating of all things new implies that the constitution of things which precedes the new creation was an old system, that had answered the end for which it was arranged in the first instance.
This old system, styled by John "the former heaven and earth," is manifestly the system of the world based upon the six days' creation; for "the former things" which had passed away in the vision were the sea, death, sorrow, sin, the curse, and all their correlates.
This old creation, with its temporary mediatorial constitution, then, is but a grand system of means, elementary of a still grander and inconceivably more magnificent creation, which will be of an unchangeable and eternal constitution.
The old Mosaic physical heavens and earth are to the new creation as the accumulated materials of a building are to the edifice about to be built: and hold the same relation to the new heavens, as the natural system does to the spiritual.
We repeat, then, that the creation of the six days, which we have termed Mosaic, because Moses records their generations, was not a finality; but simply the beginning, or ground-work of things, when God commenced the execution of His purpose which He had arranged; the ultimatum of which was, to elaborate by truth and judgment, as His instrumentality, a world of intelligent beings, who should become the glorious and immortal population of the globe, under an immutable and eternal constitution of things.
Such is the superlative of the matter.
The physical creation of the six days is positive; there was an ulterior, however, as well as an ultimate purpose in the work.
The ulterior is the comparative; the ultimate, the transcendent excellency of the design.
The Almighty Builder of all things intended not to translate the whole human race from a state of sin and death at once into a state of unmingled good and glory.
He foresaw that the living race would never be fit for this; but that they must be previously disciplined and prepared for the transition.
Hence, he proposed to develop an intermediate state upon the earth, and among the nations of mortal men contemporary with it; in which, good and evil would still be commingled, but differing from the preceding state (the present) in this, that, though evil would continue to be, sin should not have dominion over the world, but be dethroned by righteousness.
We have styled this state intermediate, because it is designed to occupy a middle place between the present times of the Gentiles, and the unchangeable constitution of the globe, when there will be "no more sea," and all men will be immortal.
This ulterior, but not ultimate, constitution of things is alluded to in these words: "God hath made known unto us the Mystery of his will, which he hath purposed in himself according to his good pleasure: that in the dispensation of the fulness of the times appointed (eij" oiJconomivan tou` plhrwvmato" tw`n cairw`n) he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in the heavens, and the things upon the earth, in him" This elliptical allusion to the revelation of God's will, or purpose, is strikingly interpreted by the following passages from the word.
"The Iron Kingdom (the Roman) shall be divided into ten kingdoms.
And in their days shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these, kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever".
They shall become "like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the tempest shall carry them away, that no place shall be found for them: and the stone (or power) that shall smite them shall become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth".
"There shall be given to the Son of Man dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, may serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and all dominions, or rulers, shall serve and obey him".
"The Lord," Jesus, "shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his Name one.
"The Lord of Hosts," Jesus, "shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously".
"I, Jesus, was born that I might be a King".
"The righteous dead shall live again: A thousand years with Christ to reign".
"The nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into scythes: nation shall not hit up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.