God makes everything of the Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing of the creature. In the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross, He was everything. I have got to be practically consistent with the place in which I am set; to walk down here as Jesus Christ walked; the future glory of the Lord before us and our glory with Him. For thirty-three and a half years He was the Man of Sorrows; nearly two thousand years He has been the Man of Patience at God's right hand. Soon He will come forth as the king, "anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows." He comes first to change His own. The Lord Jesus in his Father's house, ourselves with Him there! To think of being surrounded with a company innumerable to man! Of what immense importance is my walk down here; it should be in thorough consistency with the two great points -- forgiveness of sins and righteousness: the heavenly glory and the whole history of the period of suffering.
I thought it might be well this evening to give an outline from different Scriptures. There is God's corn of wheat in death, through whom all blessings come. What can I say from Scripture for certain, concerning the plan of God? Of course all Scripture is certain. First, in 2 Peter 3: 7, "the heavens and the earth reserved unto fire," in the 13th verse we get His promise of "a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness." People imagine "the great white throne" will be the general judgment. That would make it the principal act of Christ! Salvation and redemption are the main points. When does the making of that new heaven and earth take place? In Revelation 21: 1-7, he goes on to show the final state. Behold the tabernacle of God with men and He will dwell with them! When the Lord Jesus spoke of a Tabernacle, it was on the earth (John 14). In the verses from the 1st and 7th, it is as God, He dwells among them. When the work of redemption and restoration is completed, He takes up His title as God, all in all. In John 17 Jesus speaks of glory, but it is "I in them and thou in me." The tabernacle is where God and the Lamb dwell. What is the state of things immediately preceding this? Is there any Scripture giving a direct answer? In 1 Cor. 15: 24, 26, "then the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father," we get the last Adam a life-giving spirit. In Romans 11 we read He will be known as the God of cutting off, Paul looked forward to it -- there has not been the continuing in God's goodness. We see that Israel as a whole shall know the Lord! Stephen's history and testimony tell us of the bright state of things at the beginning. Also Acts 11, John 1, and Cor. 10, we find the things that have happened to Israel presented as types and warnings to us. The Jews kept so carefully the books that speak of the Messiah, although they did not as a nation receive Him, only He took one of a family or two of a city. Why have nominal and even real Christians taken for granted that mercy will for ever abide with the Gentiles? because the Lord turned away from the Jews. Now there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Babylon comes in in the course of the history of Christianity. See also the seven churches in Asia. If Christ were the king of Israel, He could not be reigning in the present state of things! The Church and the Jewish order could not go on together. I find the Lord is about to bring in the Sabbath. He gathered all who have been with Him, to be with Him in glory. There is also mercy for Israel, when the day of mercy comes; forgiveness of all sin. The reign of Christ is spoken of as following: Resurrection; Every knee shall bow to Him; all shall know the power of that Jesus crucified; Satan will have been put down before; Death, as an enemy, he will be destroyed. People forget that Christ's kingdom is a Mediatorial kingdom.
There will be then no need of a mediator. All foes will be put down; that connects this with Rev. 20. Death and Hades cast into the lake of fire. The devil that deceived had already been cast into the lake of fire; then the great white throne set up. Do things go on in the state we are in up to that time? Some assume that they do; that is to be ignorant of the word of God. At the time of Pentecost we see Him sitting at the right hand of God, a Prince and a Saviour. Is that to continue for ever? Did He not say "ye shall see me no more till ye shall say Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord?" Himself gathers Israel. Our own apostle Paul has been setting forth there is no one truly righteous but the Righteous One. The Lord, when He leaves His present place at the right hand of God, puts forth His power to raise His present suffering saints.
Then he turns to Israel. He is "Jehovah Shammah," and reigns for a time there. The distinction between the Old and New Testament Scriptures is not sufficiently considered by christians. God gives no account of His matters; because He is God, He acts as God. There had always been to His mind the last Adam as well as the first: the great truth of God manifest in the flesh. When Peter was putting before the Jews their great sin, that with wicked hands they had crucified Him, he spoke of God's counsels and foreknowledge. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words," etc. The actions from God were perfect. God had deep counsels -- "He made him to be sin who had no sin." Turn to Ephesians, not to the ground of Malachi. God had chosen a people. He had a most magnificent history of this Man, His own beloved Son; this was that Jesus who went about doing good. The Church is the antitype of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Christ -- He loved the Church, He gave Himself for her. From the raw bone taken out of Adam, the Lord God formed a most beautiful object; the woman was an exceedingly lovely companion for him. People ask, how can Christ want a company? He wants them for Himself; God wants them for His Son. God had compassion in His bosom, but none understood it. If God had not chosen a company, the great work of redemption would have been smothered. The work of creation was beautiful: beautiful trees, fruits, rivers, etc. Seven days a creature may have stood in his perfect beauty, and then the creation marred and spoiled! Compare the highest man or creature with God, the distance is infinite. Before this earth was occupied by man there may have been existence on it. A little insect in the water, how very inferior to me! It is only the distance from a creature to creature, a little tiny insect that had a beginning; but what is that compared with the distance between God and man! God never can act contrary to His own character. What is the centre of this heavenly system in the wide universe of God? It is guess as to it on the part of man. All to be the property of the Son of God -- the last Man -- the second Adam -- the life-giving Spirit. That He should become a man, the highest wonder! A denial of the right of Israel was the cross: the highest wonder of God read in the great work of redemption! It is not the garden of Eden spoiled only, but the fall of Adam. Satan watched occasion to take advantage of the weakness of the woman. Then the Lord God took up the controversy between man and Satan. After this all flesh corrupted its way on the earth. Then came the deluge, and Noah, the man of rest, a type of Christ, becomes the deliverer and head.
Afterwards people turn to idolatry, and Abraham is called out. One sees in Abraham's seed the Lord Jesus Christ to be a Redeemer for earth and for heaven. What about the law given to His people in Mount Sinai? The ordinance good, but not suitable for me as a sinner. Draw nigh to God, as a sinner, could not have been said, had not Christ gone as a man into heaven. He sends light about heaven when the Holy Ghost was sent down. When the Lord has gathered all those who are set apart by the blood of Christ, He will come forth and take them into His Father's house. "By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified," or set apart by the blood, is a truth not sufficiently considered by christians. After the church is with Him He will then deal with Israel; the nations will come into judgment to make way for the blessing of His people Israel. John's work is brought to a close. We have the testimony by Daniel. Daniel means "judgment of God" -- the name is significant. God said that Israel should be the head of' all the nations, but if disobedient the tail; and what has come to pass is His own work. Babylon had power over them, then the Medes and others, all keeping Israel down. The book ends with Daniel standing in his lot at the end of the days. Christ will have a kingdom set up, not entirely a spiritual one, but where people can be put to death for sin.
My thought was to give an outline of what God will do with this Man Christ Jesus. But God had tried man, Jew and Gentile, in various ways, till they met together in their sins at the cross. The ten tribes, no one knew where to find them. Two tribes of Judah and Benjamin cut up into small bits. Four Tetrarchies abounding with lepers, demons, and diseases of various kinds. They have been led on and are now blinded by Satan. God has been manifested in the flesh, for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. People say, How can God want to have any with Him? The Paradise of God is where redemption tells its tale. Does He not want poor sinners, can any one say? Look at Saul, the one who was rejecting the testimony of Stephen, and putting saints to death. He can say, this is the one I plucked as a brand from the burning. He has toiled, laboured, and suffered, for He knew His Father's mind. His name is Jesus. There is that which is beautiful in Christ's life and character. A beautiful Bridegroom! The bride one in spirit, not in the flesh. There is the love of God; His purpose that goes back to before the foundation of the world. Not a word in the garden of Eden about the last Adam. Failure has come in, everything has failed but God and his purposes. The Lord deals in patience and gives warning. He told Israel what would be, and it came to pass. He has told christians what will be. Can I say that people of God are delivered from selfishness and live like christians at Pentecost? Can I say that christians are now like unto men that wait for their Lord? Certainly not. There will then be judgment on the failure. Take up Daniel, the earthly side of it, it is failure and judgment; those kingdoms are to be followed by a kingdom supplanting them, which is to stand for ever.
Delivered in Georgetown, Demarara, March, 1873. Publishers: George Cooper, George Morrish.