« PreviousContinue »
God Calls His People Out.
Israel was a type of the church. Her captivity of seventy years in literal Babylon was a striking figure of the captivity of the church in spiritual Babylon; that is, in popery and Protestant sectism. During this time the holy city (church) was trodden under foot; was covered up under the ecclesiastical rubbish of men, just as Jerusalem was a heap of ruins and rubbish while the children of Israel were in Babylon. But as seen in a previous chapter, the children of Israel returned from their Babylonish captivity, restored Jerusalem and Zion, and built up the house of God again. They finally all forsook Babylon. God delivered all his people out of the land of the Chaldees. “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” Jer. 50:4, 5. “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.” Jer. 51:45.
Babylon had been a golden cup in the Lord's hand in accomplishing his design in bringing evil upon Israel because of their iniquities. God Almighty himself brought Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean hosts to Jerusalem, and through them he accomplished his will in destroying the Jewish polity (2 Chron. 36:17). God also used Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, during the captivity in fulfilling his will in many ways. But the time came when God set forth his hand and gathered all the children of Israel back to Zion and Jerusalem. The return of Israel from their captivity in Babylon to Zion and Jerusalem was a precious type of the return of the church from their captivity in spiritual sect-Babylon to the new Jerusalem, the spiritual Zion, and mount of holiness. Thank God! this blessed gathering is now taking place.
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there: and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
" Isa. 35: 8-10. “There shall be there a pure way, and it shall be called a holy way; and there shall not pass by there any unclean person, neither shall there be there an unclean way; but the dispersed shall walk on it, and they shall not go astray. And there shall be no lion there, neither shall any evil beast go up upon it, nor at all be found there; but the redeemed and gathered on the Lord's behalf, shall walk in it, and shall return, and come to Sion with joy, and everlasting joy shall be over their head; for on their heads shall be praise and exultation, and joy shall take possession of them : sorrow and pain, and groaning have fled away.” Isa. 35: 8-10, LXX. On the pure way of holiness thousands are today returning to Zion-to the same Zion where the early church stood. Forsaking the confusion of sect Babylon, the redeemed of the Lord are returning to the same standard of unity, purity, and power that adorned the apostolic church.
"Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." Isa. 51:11. “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” Obadiah 17. “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision : for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:14, 16, 17.
Joel 3:14, 16, 17. These texts have a present fulfilment. Under the present judgments of truth, multitudes are being brought into the valley of decision, where they must decide either for or against God. Those who decide on the side of truth come to the mount of holiness, the mount of deliverance; and in this holy mount the Lord has made a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees.
This gathering of God's people out of sectBabylon back to Zion, into one fold, was foretold by Ezekiel as follows: “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen