The Hopes of the Church of God: Lecture 7 - Judgment of the Nations

Psalm 82
There are yet two facts to remark on. First, it is at Jerusalem principally that all this disaster will take place; secondly, God has named in His word all the nations who will participate in it. We shall see all the descendants of Noah, of whom we have the catalog in Gen. 10., reappear on the scene at the moment of this judgment of God. We shall find nearly all of them under the beast or under Gog.
As to the passages which concern Jerusalem, we may cite Joel 3:1,9-111For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, (Joel 3:1)
9Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. (Joel 3:9‑11)
: Mic. 4:1111Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. (Micah 4:11) to the end of the chapter: and Zech. 12:3-113And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. 4In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 5And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. 6In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 9And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. (Zechariah 12:3‑11): " And iii that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against, it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah; and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son-, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon." Chapter 14:3,4: "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
It is said (Acts 1) Jesus " shall come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," that is, upon the Mount of Olives. (Compare Ezek. 11:2323And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. (Ezekiel 11:23).) " And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives," says the Holy Ghost in Zech. 14:44And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4); " his feet," the feet of Jehovah. Though indeed He was the man of sorrows, Jesus is Jehovah, and has been so from eternity.
As to the second point on which we have to remark, namely, that the nations, the descendants of Noah, will be ranged either under the beast or under Gog-the two principal powers; if' you consult Gen. 10. you will read (ver. 5). " By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands." In the generations of the sons of Japheth are named Gomer, *Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Mesec, and Thus. Of these we get Gomer, Magog, Tubal, Mesec, under the same names in Ezek. 38., as followers of Gog; you will also find there Persia which was united to Media (Madai), and from whose hands it received the crown (as we are told in Dan. 8, and other places), so that there only remain Javan and Tiras to be accounted for. Those mentioned above are the nations which comprise Russia, Asia Minor, Tartary, and Persia (all the people, in short, of which the empire of Russia is composed, or which are under its influence). They are described as under the dominion of Gog, prince of Rosh (the Russians), Mesec (Moscow), and Tubal (Tobolsk).
(*See Hales' Analysis of Chronology. Vol. 1., pp. 352, 357.)
The children of Ham are pointed out in Gen. 10:66And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. (Genesis 10:6). Of these, Canaan has been destroyed, and his country turned over to Israel; Cush (Ethiopia) and Phut are also found (Ezek. 38:55Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: (Ezekiel 38:5), see margin) under Gog; those of Cush only in part, and for the reason that one part of the family of Cush established itself on the Euphrates, the other on the Nile, * that is, north and south of Israel. Those of the north are then, by their position, in direct relation with the partisans of Gog. Mizraim, or Egypt (for Mizraim is the Hebrew name for Egypt), and the remainder of Cush and the Libyans, you will find in the scenes of the last day. (Dan. 11:4343But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. (Daniel 11:43).)
(*We learn from Dr. Hales' Analysis of Chronology vol. 1. 879. that the descendants of Cush extended their settlements from Chusistan, " the land of Cush," or Susiana, on the coast of the Persian Gulph (into which the Euphrates falls), through Arabia to the Red sea, and thence crossed into Africa beyond the Nile. The rivers of Cush (Isa. 18) may therefore-well mean the Nile and Euphrates. He also makes (page 355) the descendants of Nimrod settled in Assyria to be called Chusdim, or "Godlike Cushites.” (p. 354.))
As to the children of Shorn (Gen. 10:2222The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. (Genesis 10:22)), Elam is the same as Persia, of which we have already spoken. Asshur is mooed in the judgment, which will take place in the last times (Mic. 5:66And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. (Micah 5:6); Isa. 14:25; 30: 3125That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. (Isaiah 14:25)); also in the conspiracy of Psa. 83, and in other places. Arphaxad is one of the ancestors of the Israelites. We know nothing of the family of Joktan: it is supposed to be a people of the East. Aram, or Syria, was displaced by Asshur, and is found under the title of the king of the North. The same remarks, it appears, may be made of Lud. Javan (Greece) is to be in the last combat (Zech. 9:1313When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. (Zechariah 9:13)). Of all the tin lions, liras is the only one besides Joktan which is not 'lamed as to be in this great judgment. We speak only of the word of God. Profane authors unite Time and Javan in Greece; but with this we have not to do.
In the present day, we may observe Russia extending her power exactly over the nations who will be found under Gog.*
(*We must take care to distinguish the Gog of Ezekiel from the Gog and Magog in the Revelation.)
Dan. 11, introduces its to two other powers, to which we must direct our regards; they are the king of the South, and the king of the North. The chapter contains a long account of already accomplished events, as to their wars, &c.; but after this come the ships of Chittim (ver. 30), and then there is an interruption in their history. These kings were the successors of the great king of Javan (Greece): the one, possessor of Assyria; the other, of Egypt. The object of their fightings was Syria and the Holy Land. In vs. 31-35, the Jews are introduced as set aside during a long period of time (see verse 33). It is said, " And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end because it is yet for a time appointed:" and then (verse 36), " And the king shall do according to his own will:' this is Antichrist. In verse 41, we have him in the land of Israel, in that territory which is the cause of the difference which exists between the king of the North and the king of the South. " And at the time of the end, shall the king of the South push at him.' That is, after a long interval, behold again the king of the South brought, in this chapter, upon the scene. And this has historically occurred only four years ago (A.D. 1836), after an interval of nearly two thousand years. The greater part of the nations who, as we are told, are to be at the feet of Gog, are now coming under the dominion of Russia; ' and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind." Antichrist will be the object of the attack, at one and the same time, of the king of the South, or Egypt; and of tilt king of the North, the possessor of Asiatic Turkey, or Assyria. I do not say who the king of the North will be at the end; but we see that the circumstances and the personages described in the prophecies which have reference to this time appointed―" the time of the end "―begin to appear. It is nearly two thousand years since there has been a king of the South; and it is but a few years that he has appeared anew. In the same way a great people has appeared, of which the world a century ago hardly knew the existence, and which now rules over the exact countries of the Gog in Ezekiel. We do not desire that you should fix your attention too much upon events which are taking place in our time; it is only when we have explained the prophecy, that we advert to the circumstances which pass around us. All nations have their attention occupied about Jerusalem (Zech. 12:33And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:3)), and know not what to do about it. The king of Egypt wants to call the whole country his own; the king of the North is unwilling to cede it (the Turk being the actual king of the North, or Assyria). The kings of the North and South dispute for the same country, which they fought over two thousand years ago. This is just what the prophecy says is to occur at " a time appointed." We do not mean that all this yet comes out plain; for example, the ten kings cannot be enumerated and Antichrist has not yet appeared. But the principles which are found in the word of God are acting in the midst of the kingdoms where the ten horns are to appear: that is, we find all western Europe occupied about Jerusalem, and preparing for war; and Russia, on her side, preparing herself, and exercising influence over the countries given to her in the word; and all the thoughts of the politicians of this world *concentrate themselves on the scene where their final gathering in the presence of the judgment of God will take place―where " the Lord shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor " (Mic. 4:1212But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. (Micah 4:12)). It is a remarkable coincidence.
(*Every one is aware how touch more largely this is the case since these lectures were delivered, and that the dispute about the holy places has been the occasion of the Crimean war. The nations are burdening themselves with Jerusalem. (Editor).)
In observing what is passing around us, we recognize certain prophetical descriptions; at least we see those who are to act, or upon whom God will act, developing the characters which prophecy signalizes.
If you take the trouble, dear friends, to follow the chapters which we have been quoting (many others, as doubtless there are), you will understand Matt. 25, which speaks of the Lord sitting upon His
throne, and gathering all the nations (an allusion to Joel 3), judging them, and separating them " as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats.*
(*It is commonly supposed that the judgment which is spoken of in this chapter is I he last judgment―the general judgment: this is a mistake. It is the judgment of the nations living o pen this earth, not not of the dead. There is no question of the resurrection, but only of the judgment of I lie Gentiles. What will happen to the Jews is mentioned in chapter 24: then, what will happen to believers, or at least professors of the faith of Christ; and then, the fate of the Gentiles. It is the judgment of the living, and not of the dead. We say it is the judgment of the living, because we read, Before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divide' It the sheep from the goats." That which has given rise to the supposition that it is the judgment of the (lead, is this passage, " These shall go away into everlasting punishment, hut the righteous into life eternal: but this only means, that the judgment of the living will be final, like that of the dead. When God judges, whether the dead or the living his judgment sends the good 'into life eternal, and the wicked into everlasting punishment. The judgment of the living is as sore as that of the dead.)
Let us remember one thing; it is, that we Christians are sheltered from the approaching storm. We have said nothing this evening about the church: but let us recall its place to our memory. It is, that during these events (yea, even at present, as united to Him by faith), its place is to be with Christ, to accompany I Him; the church has this privilege, this glory. this special character, that of union with the 'Lord Jesus
Christ; and if we search for the church' in the Old Testament, it is Jesus Christ we find. A striking example of this truth is found in Paul's quotation (Rom. 8), taken from Isa. 1., where Christ says," Who is be that shall condemn me?" which Paul applies to the church, the church being united to Christ.
The union of the church in a single body, whether Jews or Gentiles, was not revealed in the Old Testament; if we seek for it, it is Christ Himself that we find. Although there are many things in the relationship of Jehovah with Zion, which also exist between God the Father and the church, nevertheless it is not in Zion that we are to look for the church. In the Old Testament, the privileges of the church are in Christ Himself, in the person of Christ, because the church has the same portion as Christ. This is it (see Eph. 1:22. 23), " which is the fullness of him that filleth all in all:" for this reason we are not to look for the church in the prophecies. The church is the body of Christ Himself; and Christ is to judge, not to be judged. We have seen that Christ is to smite, to break in pieces the nations: this is said also of the church. The church has nothing to do with that of which we have been speaking, as if it were to be subjected to the same judgments (Rev. 2:26, 2726And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26‑27)). Its place is not to be in the midst of the nations that are to be.„ broken in pieces, but to be united to Christ, enjoying the same privileges its Christ, and breaking in pieces the nations with Christ. There is nothing true, as regards Christ, in the glory which He has taken, which is not also true of the church.
It is always precious for us thus to understand our place, that of joint-heirs with Christ. And the more we think of this, the more our strength will be increased, and the more we shall become in our minds, as heirs of God, detached from this world, which is judged, as, indeed, the church is -justified. The church is justified: we see not yet the effects of it, bemuse the glory is riot come. The church only has the fruits: of justification in glory; the world only has the fruits of wickedness in the judgment. Nevertheless, it is true that the church is united to Christ. The world is judged because it has rejected Christ. " Holy Father, said the Savior, " the world had) not known thee.But this is what grace has done for us. Just as unbelief separates men entirely and for all eternity front Christ, grace by faith has united us entirely and tor ever to Hint; and we ought to bless God for it.
(Continued from page 220.)
( To be continued D. V.)