Matthew 17; 19; 21; 26

Matthew 17; Matthew 19; Matthew 21; Matthew 26
; 19; 21; 26We will now read a little cluster of Scriptures in Matthew's Gospel: part of chaps. 17., 19., and 21., and one verse in chap. 26.
These four Scriptures belong to each other, as presenting a prophetic scene to us. I think we shall find they beautifully combine. They point our thoughts onward. We see the future, but we see it in very different lights.
Now, you see, in a short passage in chap. 19:28 we get the future spoken of under one simple title, "The regeneration." Now that is a title which we only find in two Places; here, and in Titus. Here it does not mean the process of regeneration, but the condition of the regenerated world; what is commonly called the Millennium. It is called in Hebrews, “The world to come. We call it, for convenience sake, the Millennium. But, we often, for convenience, lose that, which is important. If the only sense I have of the future is that it will last (as the word implies) a thousand years, that is a very poor thought of it. The Millennium will be the scene of a regenerated world―a world in new moral conditions. Now, in Titus, the apostle uses the same word, but there he is speaking of the process of regeneration, not the thing fully regenerated and beautifully these things go together.
Your being regenerated, fits you to stand in the regeneration of glory by-and-bye. Titus uses the same word to express the process in the individual which. is used in Matt, 19., to express the result.
Now this regeneration is to have various departments of glory. The Son of man will then sit on the throne of His glory. But when He seats Himself in that blessed, and glorious scene, He will have the heavens with Him and He will have the earth with Him, as the great departments of that scene. Now the office of the transfiguration in chap. 17., is to present a sketch of the heavenly part of the regeneration. The office of chap. 21., is to present a sample of the earthly part of the regeneration. Thus we see a beautiful link between three of these passages, chaps. 17., 19., and 21.
We will now turn to chap. 17. We find here that, the Lord takes them up to a high mountain." There is a meaning in that Just, as when the Lord took Moses up to the highest summit of Pisgah. God is conducting Moses mystically to the very same spot as that to which the Lord takes Peter, James and John-the heavens of the millennial world. Moses sees the land before him just with the eye of God. He was looking at the footstool in company with Him who sat on the throne. And just what God was doing to Moses at Mount Pisgah (which was mystically heaven), the Lord is doing here with His disciples. And what did God show to Moses? He showed him glory. The earth will be the scene of glory in one style but the glory of the terrestrial is one, and the glory of the celestial is another. Exactly so, the Lord takes these three up, to be witnesses of the glory that is to fill the world to come. And then He Himself is transfigured. This is a pledge and sample of 1 Cor. 15. The Lord here appears in His glorious body, just as those who are the Lord's will pass into their glorious bodies.
In a moment, His face shone as the sun and His raiment was as white as the light. He had a title to pass into the glory at once. He might have had twelve legions of angels; but if He had taken it alone, He would have abided in it alone. The Lord need not die to pass into the glory, but if He had not died He would have passed into it alone. But thy house must be filled. It was morally impossible that the Lord should dwell there alone. The love of God, the counsel of grace, all forbid such a thought. So we find Him here in company with others.
Here, they are in glory with Christ, and talking with Christ. If there is a blessed secret in the Scripture it is the intimacy of the Lord with His people. Whether He comes down to be in our conditions, or He takes us up to be in His conditions, there is the same personal intimacy between us.
They are not only in glory with Christ, but talking with Christ. Will glory estrange Christ from you and me? If my necessities did not throw me at a distance from Him, His glory will not throw Him at a distance from me. This is a volume of delights. I want, in one sense, no other writing to show me the blessedness of the millennial heavens.
"Like Him and with Him forever to be." Moses and Elias are talking intimately with Him, face to face. You may say there is very little told me there about heaven. Volumes are there, and enough to satisfy the heart. You get them "like Him" and "with Him”. Then Peter feels the power of the place, in spite of himself, and says, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” etc. Nothing could be a more exquisite picture of the moral power of the place. It took Peter out of himself, and that is just what you and I want to make us thoroughly happy. Peter was willing to work, and let others enter into his labors. His heart was satisfied.
So we learn here, that glory will not throw us a single inch from Him, the blessed Lord; and it will take us out of ourselves. -When Peter had spoken, the cloud came and separated the glorified from those in flesh and blood, just as it will be in the regeneration. The glory of the celestial will be one, the glory of the terrestrial will be another. The glorified saints may visit the earth, there may be a ladder, but the two glories cannot commingle. The cloud comes in to do its own office. It takes, within its folds, the glorified family, and leaves outside those in flesh and blood. The disciples were not at all prepared for this “They fell on their face, and were sore afraid." Then, Moses and Elias returned to heaven. The Lord Jesus had still to travel on to Calvary, and when they saw Him, His robes of glory were laid aside, and there He was in their intimacy as Jesus again. One moment in the intimacy of glory; the next, in the intimacy of Him who was bound for the altar.
Now we come to chap. 21., and we find ourselves in a scene altogether earthly. It is a scene of royalty. We get no royalty in heaven. People sometimes call the Lord Jesus, King of the Church. This is a great mistake. He is King of Israel, that will be on earth. He will be the Firstborn among many brethren in heaven, having the preeminence there as well as here. He has the fire-eminence wherever He shines; but He will shine there in celestial glory as He will shine here in terrestrial glory.
Now the Lord sends out two disciples to bring Him an ass; and if any man said anything to them, they were to say, “The Lord hath need of him." Now we must be a, little careful here. We are about to pay a visit to the earthly part of the regeneration. Here we get the Lord Jesus in two distinct glories, in His lordship and His kingship. There is a sample of each given here. His lordship of all things, and His kingship in Jerusalem. We get His lordship first, where He sends for the ass. He assumes that the cattle on a thousand hills are His. The owner might have the title of a purchaser, but Christ had the title of Creator.
The two disciples were the representatives of the rights of Christ. As they were about unfastening the ass and the colt, the owner naturally says, “Do not be touching my property." "The Lord hath need of him,and just as Peter was made to feel the power of the holy mount, so this man was made to feel the lordship of Jesus. Human nature keeps what belongs to it, and gets more if it can; but this man was crowning Him Lord of all, and blotting out his own title deed. So the Lord gets the ass and the colt, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah.
Then He gets on the ass, and as soon as He is seated there He is transfigured into royal glory. The Lord of the whole earth, and the King of Jerusalem are only different glories in one Person. So the moment that as Lord of all He gets on the ass, He enters the city in royal glory. Then the whole multitude is forced, just as the owner of the ass, to express the power of the moment. They hail this coining King, and cry, "Hosanna to the Son of David." How beautiful! Is it a happy thing to you that Christ has your heart in His power? He can twist about that wretched heart of yours, and make you to feel the proper virtue of His presence.
As we read somewhere, "the hearts of kings are in Thy rule and governance." Peter was made to feel the power of the moment, and the owner of the ass, and the giddy multitude were forced to take the impression of the occasion and cry out, " Hosanna to the Son of David,―blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," Now we have paid our visit to the earth, the picture has faded and passed away. I do not see the Lordship of Christ on earth now, and He has been rejected as king. And now was not I authorized in placing these three passages together? They are different departments of the regeneration. And do not you be saying, “I wish the Lord had spread out a larger picture of the millennial heaven and earth." Make much of what you have got, and you will find it enough for the moment. I have Himself in various characters of glory. The whole regeneration has been mapped out before me.
Well, now just go with me to chap. 26:64. You will say, What connection has this with the other three? I say if you do not introduce this verse in connection with the passages we have already had, you will have a very imperfect knowledge of the whole way of God in the future. The intimation of the Lord is this, " I am coming back in judgment." He sits in power, not in grace, at the right hand of God, not till His elect are gathered in, but till His enemies are made His footstool. The soldiers of Caesar had seized Him. He was the world's prisoner, and the Lord lets the world know that when He came back it would be in judgment. The judgment of the world introduces Him to the scene of His brilliant glories. Judgment lies in the foreground. The cloud is constantly in Scripture, the symbol of judgment, as in. Isaiah, “The Lord rideth upon a swift cloud"; and in Revelation, Behold He cometh with clouds"; and so here.
So we see the kingdom shining in the distance, and then a solemn awful intimation is given to the world, that the Lord will enter on the scene of His glories through judgment,. Till He has judged the present evil world, the world to come cannot be displayed. Till He has set aside a world of corruption, He cannot enter on a world of glory.
(Continued from page 20).
(To be continued D. V.)