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A Pitiful Pauper at the Beautiful Gate
It is impossible for us even to suggest the many striking lessons that surround the story of the pitiful pauper at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple.
Many things are seen on the surface, but the most striking of all are those things which lie deeper in, and are usually overlooked.
For instance the healing of this pitiful pauper was due to two men who, faithful to their spiritual need, went up to the Temple at the hour of prayer. It is in the pathway of duty that opportunity usually lies.
Again, the fact that Peter and John were penniless did not deter them from going up to church. They gave in service and love, what they lacked in coin.
Once more it is worthy to observe that the disciples went up "together." Two by two, is God's plan in Divine service.
We should not overlook that the study before us followed close upon the tidal blessings of spiritual power that came at Pentecost. Peter and John did not think that the sweep of grace at Pentecost, with about three thousand baptized, was the time to let up in the prayer life.
One thing more impresses us: Peter and John went up to pray, with their eyes open for any opportunity to help some needy soul. They moved under the impulse of "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it." They could have passed the pauper up, but they did not. We should live looking for opportunities to serve.
Mark this also: Peter and John gave what they had, and not what they had not. Because they could not do what the lame man asked, was not, to them, an excuse to do nothing. God wants us to bring to Him what we have. If we have only what Moses had, a stick, let us consecrate our stick; if we have, with David, only a sling and pebbles, let us yield them to the Lord; if we have like Samson, no more than the jawbone of an ass, we can at least give that to God.
Finally observe that Peter and John did not cease serving in the realm of the natural, an easy to be accomplished task; they passed into the sphere of the miraculous without hesitancy, and attempted to do that which they well knew could not be humanly done. They believed God for the miraculous, and entered that realm without fear of failure.
We need to step forth in service, into the regions where faith alone operates.
I. A PITIFUL PAUPER (Acts 3:1-2 )
It was enough to be born lame, it was more than enough to be both lame and poor. Lame, and a beggar. Behold, what sin hath wrought! The whole world reels under the curse of sin. Sorrow and sighing, anguish and crying are heard on every hand. The earth is a bridge of sighs that spans the way from the cradle to the grave. Not all are lame, not all are poor, but all are born unto travail and to pain. It is all too true, "Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary." In the world we have tribulation.
We have before us a case of dire extremity a man both lame and poor. Perhaps he was lame that God might make him strong; perhaps he was poor that God might make him truly rich. This we know God heard the moanings of his spirit and came to his rescue. His tears were turned to triumphant praise. He prayed for alms, the pitiful plea of penury; he received healing for his body, the gracious gift from God.
"A pitiful pauper," are not all sinners this? They are both lame and poor. They have neither strength of limb nor of feet to walk in the ways of the Lord. "Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known." They walk according to the prince of the power of the air, They trudge the way that leadeth unto death. They have feet, but feet unguided; feet that cannot walk in the way of life.
They cannot walk in the paths of righteousness, for they are without power to resist the tide that sweeps them on in their evil way. They are taken captive by the devil at his will; they are driven of the devil among the tombs where death lurks and reigns; they are carried and carted by the crowd.
Sinners wear a yoke they cannot break. They are lame, they are poor, and they are carried.
II. A PITIFUL PAUPER SEATED IN THE SIGHT OF PLENTY (Acts 3:2 )
What contrasts are suggested here. A man lame in both of his feet, seated at the place where the hurrying multitudes walk. A man stricken with penury, seated hard by the Temple gate, Beautiful. We wonder if this pauper was dead to these contrasts? Did he not know that his own lameness was the more conspicuous, where the romping rush of the strong of limb were pressing by? Did he not know that the plight of his own dire poverty, was made more bitter by his being placed by the Temple of priceless glory?
Yet, such is life. It is the glow in the cheeks of the child of rollicking health that startles the emaciated sick. It is the majestic grandeur and grace of the hurrying limousine that staggers the swaying form of the impoverished and footsore pedestrian. It is the glory of the glittering lights of the mansion, that makes the hut a hovel.
Yet, such is the way of the sinner. He is sick in the place of health; he is weak in the presence of strength; he is poor where many are rich; he weeps where others laugh; he is dead, in the house of life.
Saddest of all it needs not so to be. The same God over all is rich unto all who call upon Him. God is no respecter of persons. He stands ready to make the lame to walk. He will give healing to the brokenhearted; deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, the opening of the prison to the bound, the oil of joy to the spirit of heaviness, and the joy of liberty to the bruised.
If there was only one leper saved in the days of Elisha the Prophet, it was because but one leper sought his healing. If there was but one man, thirty-eight years sick, who was healed at the pool of Bethesda, it was because only one sought for healing. Our God is not willing that any man should perish. He has written His great "whosoever" over the door of every blessing that He has to proffer.
What then is our conclusion?
Shall the sinner bemoan his fate? Shall the sinner bewail his poverty and his lameness? Not at all. Let him, the rather, know that he can, by faith, be made a partaker of the exuberant joy and rejoicing that characterizes the truly saved. Once more we press this truth, "The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him."
III. A PITIFUL PAUPER SEEKING ALMS INSTEAD OF SALVATION (Acts 3:3 )
Here is a strange state of affairs. Two ambassadors of Heaven drawing near; two men of faith and of power with God, hard by; two men standing ready and willing to bring. spiritual blessings, but the poor pauper seeing them, "asked an alms." Here is the statement of Scripture "Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked an alms."
It is needless to condemn the ignorance and folly of this beggar. He merely allowed the present stress of his need, to hide his greater stress of body and of soul. He asked alms, instead of healing; he asked money, instead of mercy.
Are not many following in his wake? "What did Christ say, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." Christ was plainly asking, "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" It was after these things that the lame beggar sought; it is after these things that the Gentiles commonly seek, but what shall the spiritually enlightened do? They should seek first the "Kingdom of God and His righteousness." God who clothes the grass of the field, and God who robes the lily, will add all of these needed physical things.
The ones who seek their pocketbook more than their salvation are not all dead. Those who think more of a herd of swine, than of the presence and mighty working's of the Saviour, have not all passed and gone.
There are many possessed with the spirit of Esau, who for one morsel of pottage sold his birthright. There are many Lots who can see in the valley of the Jordan a place of splendid pasture, and in Sodom and Gomorrah a great center for commercial success, but they have no vision whatsoever of the all-glorious City, whose Builder and Maker is God. They sell the eternal, the never-dying, the all-magnificent riches of Heaven, for the paltry pennies that may fall into their little tin cup, on earth.
Why should pitiful paupers seek pennies, when they might be securing health and strength and life for evermore? Why should men of great natural ability, of marvelous intellectual efficiency love the world and the things of the world?
IV. A PITIFUL PAUPER SUPPLIED BY GRACE (Acts 3:4-6 )
There is a little verse that is full of meaning: "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Another Scripture says, "How much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
How gracious is this scene: An impotent pauper asking alms, an omnipotent God giving healing and eternal life.
There was something in the penury of the lame man that appealed to Peter and to John. They knew his real need went deeper than a few coins. In fact they had no coins to give, but they had something better by far: Peter quietly, yet forcefully said, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."
The gift was offered, the lame man had the opportunity of being healed; the riches of grace stood knocking at His door. The whole matter was up to him, and to his faith. We will notice this in a moment.
Just now let us press this one thing: God's bounteous grace. There is no human need that staggers Deity; there is no poverty that impoverishes the Heavenly riches. God is able to make all grace abound, that we, having all sufficiency, may abound, by the glories of His grace.
There was a poor lame beggar, but God passed by, and he was made to walk, and to leap, and to praise God.
There was a man dead in his trespasses and in his sins, but God passed by and he was quickened, raised, and made to sit in the Heavenlies with Christ Jesus.
There was a demon-possessed man driven of the devil in the tombs, but God passed by and the man was found sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.
V. A PITIFUL PAUPER SHUT UP TO CHRIST (Acts 4:12 )
As Peter and John stood in the face of the beggar's greater need, they stood helplessly looking on. What could they do? Had not the man been lame from birth? Had not physicians utterly failed to meet his need?
Thousands of pedestrians might have given the beggar alms, but none could give him strength to walk.
We candidly admit that the world can do much to alleviate the pangs of sin; the world can make the sinner more comfortable in his sins. The world can surround him with "divers pleasures" that may help to assuage the agony of the sorrows that sin's curses always bring. There is, however, one thing the world cannot do; it cannot save the sinner from his sins; it cannot give life where there is nought but death; it cannot save that which is lost.
God can operate where man stands helplessly by. Peter said, "In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." The preacher does not serve in his own power, He is sent of God. He is panoplied of Heaven. His power is, a power of the Spirit, in him, and on him. He has no place for boasting in the victories that attend his ministry. He is only a voice. He is a channel. He is a signboard pointing the way. He preaches not himself, but Christ. He leans not on the arm of his flesh.
The secret of all spiritual blessing is the power of a Living Christ.
VI. A PITIFUL PAUPER SHUT UP TO FAITH (Acts 3:7-8 )
As Peter and John looked on the lame man, they proffered him healing; they offered it in Christ; they conditioned it on his faith.
They were not adverse to taking the man by the hand, they were glad to do what they could to encourage his faith, they even lifted him up. However, in all it was only when the lame man caught the fire of their faith, and himself believed, that he was healed. His faith is seen in his leaping up, in his walking, in his entering into the Temple, and in his praising God. Peter and John did not keep hold with their hands upon that leaping, rushing, praising man. The lame man did not need their grip to aid his faith, as his own faith grew.
Here is our lesson. Many a man of little faith needs the hand touch, the encouragement which our faith may lend. Let us go to him in person, let us lead him to the Lord. Soon, encouraged by us, he will, himself, be filled with faith, and be able to stand, and walk, and run in the will and way of God.
AN ILLUSTRATION THE ASTONISHED SLAVE
A British merchant, who had taken his passage in a Turkish vessel on the Levant, had his attention drawn, during the voyage, to an interesting slave, a Mussulman, He soon got into conversation with him, and found him intelligent, quick, and of strong, lively affections. He drew from him some particulars of his history, and found that he had been freeborn, but had been made captive in war. The merchant was touched with sympathy for this helpless captive. The more he knew of him, the deeper was the interest he felt in his welfare; and he actually began to entertain the thought of effecting his release. Cautiously inquiring as to the sum requisite for this purpose, he found that it was considerably greater than the mercantile profits of his entire voyage. Still he could not abandon the thought. An offer was at last accepted; but the slave having overheard part of the conversation between the captain and the merchant, and mistaking the design of the latter supposing that the merchant was purchasing him to retain him in slavery for his own use he sprang forward, his eyes gleaming with indignation, and cried out, "And do you call yourself a freeborn Briton, an enemy to slavery, and yet purchase me? Have I not as much right to freedom as you have yourself?"
He was proceeding in this strain of burning, indignant invective, when the merchant turned his eyes affectionately upon him, and said, "I have bought you to set you free." Instantly the storm of passion was hushed: the slave burst into tears, and, falling at the feet of his deliverer, he exclaimed, "You have taken my heart captive! I am your slave for ever!"
Fulfilled Prophecies Verify Unfulfilled Prophecies
Acts 3:17-21 ; Acts 13:27-41
The Scripture chosen for today, is worth our thought. The first Scripture was spoken by Peter, the second by Paul. Let us note them, one at a time.
1, The first Scripture Acts 3:17-21 . Peter is speaking to the rulers of the Jews, and to national Israel. He is pleading for them to repent, that so God may send Jesus Christ, "whom the Heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all of His holy Prophets since the world began." In these words Peter is asserting the certainty that unfulfilled prophecies must be fulfilled.
In enforcing this contention Peter asserted that "Those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all His Prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled."
It is easy to see that Peter uses the fact of the fulfilment of prophecy concerning Christ's sufferings, as a certain assurance that He will fulfil all the prophecies of His Second Coming, when God shall send Jesus Christ, and the times of restitution shall come.
Peter likewise showed that all the Prophets, from Samuel down, spoke of the very days in which Peter then lived.
2. The second Scripture Acts 13:27-41 . Our second Scripture is much like the first. Paul is now speaking, and he says that they who dwelt in Jerusalem, and the rulers, because they knew not the voices of the Prophets, which were read every Sabbath Day, they had fulfilled in condemning Christ. Then Paul said, "And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree."
With the statement of fulfilled prophecies plainly made, Paul warned the Jews to "Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the Prophets," What Paul actually did, was to use the literal fulfillment of certain prophecies, as an argument that unfulfilled prophecy would be as literally fulfilled.
All will agree that Paul's argument was just. All will agree that if certain prophecies concerning events far distant from the day when they were prophesied, have been fulfilled, then far distant prophecies which remain unfulfilled, must meet a like fulfilment.
We trust this study of fulfilled prophecy will prepare our hearts to accept the message of God to the certainty of unfulfilled prophecy.
I. PROPHECIES FULFILLED TYRE (Ezekiel 26:7-12 )
This is a remarkable prophecy. There are some who tell us that these words were written after Nebuchadrezzar had destroyed Tyre. That is an attempt to rob God of His power to foretell. Here is the striking thing of the prophecy It says, "Nebuchadrezzar * * shall slay" (Ezekiel 26:8 ); in Ezekiel 26:9 , it says, "he shall set engines of war"; in Ezekiel 26:10 it says, "by reason of the abundance of his horses * * he shall enter into thy gates"; in Ezekiel 26:11 , it says, "with the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets." Now, notice, in Ezekiel 26:12 "And they" ah, the word is changed this time from the "he," the singular, to the plural, "they."
"And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise; and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
"And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard."
Here is a prophecy that man could not have uttered. God does not only say that Nebuchadrezzar is coming down upon the city and overthrow it and make a breach in its walls; but He says that they shall spoil the city and that the very walls shall be cast into the sea; He even goes so far as to say that the very dust of the streets shall be dumped into the sea. Nebuchadrezzar did come down in a few years to destroy the city, fulfilling the first stages of this prophecy in detail; but he did not utterly destroy the walls, nor cast them into the sea. He did not care to do it. Why should he? What was the sense of such an undertaking"? Why should any sane man take time to tear up the walls and throw them in the sea?
If I prophesied that an army would come to America and destroy Chicago, and throw its skyscrapers into the lake, you would laugh. The army might come and destroy the city, and raze its buildings with bombs, but they would not take the trouble, after the city was taken, to cast its very stones into our lake. Why should they do that?" Yet, concerning Tyre, one of the great cities of the East, God said just as much as that.
History shows that Nebuchadrezzar lived and died. He had fulfilled the first stage of the prophecy, but not the last. After his victory Tyre moved out. There was a little island half a mile away; there the new Tyre was builded. The city had the sea between them and their old city, which Nebuchadrezzar had destroyed.
The new Tyre felt secure. They said to themselves, "The nations cannot march their armies against us, we are separated by the sea. We are all right here, we can protect ourselves." Some hundreds of years passed by, about 395 years. During those years some one might have been reading this prophecy of Ezekiel, and they might have said, "God did foretell the truth partly, but not in full. He said Nebuchadrezzar would throw the very walls off into the sea, but he did not do it." Wait a minute. After four hundred years, Alexander the Great, came by Tyre. History tells us that he sent word over to the island and asked Tyre to allow him to come over and worship in their temples. Tyre refused the victorious and mighty Alexander. They thought their city was secure, but what did Alexander do? He determined to take the city. But, how could he march his army across the half-mile stretch of sea. He had no cannons to shoot across the bay. This is what he did: He literally took the stones of the ruined city of Tyre; he also took his scrapers and scraped up the very dust of their streets, and threw stones and dust into the sea, and built him a cause-way. Upon this cause-way he marched his armies across, and took the new city of Tyre.
Alexander's conquest happened four hundred years after Nebuchadrezzar had razed the city. Do you see how the very words that God had prophesied were all literally fulfilled? Surely it is time for us to bow before the Word of God, and do it obeisance. There is no other Book like it. No one has ever dared to foretell, like it foretells.
II. FULFILLED PROPHECIES EGYPT (Ezekiel 29:14-15 ; Ezekiel 30:4-6 )
The words of this prophecy were written about three thousand years ago. Egypt was afterwards depleted, and from that day to this, she has never lifted up her head above the nations.
You must remember, when this prophecy was written, Egypt was in her prime, revelling in glory, and in power. Egypt was the granary of the world. Egypt, with her great universities, with her marvelous cities; set the pace for the sciences; lead in literature and in art, and was the head of the nations. Yet the Lord God said, Egypt shall become a base nation, she shall no more lift herself against the nations forever.
What do you think of the Egyptians today? of Egypt as a nation? You say, the Egyptians are an impoverished people. Where is her beauty? where is her glory? where is her strength? where is her power? It is gone and it has been gone for centuries. Time and again they have sought to resuscitate themselves, and to regain their former honor, and glory but God has said, "Neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations."
Egypt was once peer among the nations; a nation that was a marvel to all time; a nation with exhaustless riches in her soil, because of the overflow of the River Nile; yet, the Lord God said that that country should become impoverished. The seemingly impossible is accomplished.
I am quoting now from Urquhart's book concerning the glories of Alexandria and Memphis, Egypt's great cosmopolitan cities in the seventh century. Their culture, the variety of their riches and their beauties, Urquhart thus describes: "Alexandria contains four thousand palaces, four hundred theaters, twelve thousand shops for the sale of vegetable foods, forty thousand tributary Jews." Who. would dare to prophesy that such a country, with a city like Alexandria, would become what it is today? Yet that is just what the Word of God did prophesy in 350 B.C. Until this hour there has never been upon the throne of Egypt a native born king or prince, God had said, "There shall be no more a prince in the land of Egypt."
Her victories have ceased, her glory is departed, her people are illiterate. She who was once a leader, the glory of the world, is now a base nation, never ruling, and never lording it over other nations. God said it should be thus, and thus it is.
III. FULFILLED PROPHECIES CITIES OF ISRAEL (Leviticus 26:27-34 )
"If ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me:
"Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
"And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
"And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and My soul shall abhor you.
"And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
"And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
"And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste."
You know that in the year 70 A.D., Titus came to overthrow the city of Jerusalem. You know that in the year 135 A. D., 580,000 Jews fell in one war.
God said, "I will destroy your sanctuaries, I will bring them into desolation."
Jesus added concerning the great Temple in Jerusalem, "There shall not be left one stone upon another."
He said, "Your enemies shall dwell there, and be established in it,"
In the year 135 the whole land of Israel was put on sale, and the Gentiles flocked in where the Jews once thrived.
God said, "And I will scatter you among all the nations, and will draw out a sword after you."
How wonderfully has that prophecy been fulfilled, you know it as well as I. And He said, "Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land."
Isaiah said, "How long?" And God said, "Until the cities be wasted, without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land."
Do you know, beloved, that today there are cities over there, actually standing without an inhabitant in their houses, and some of those houses are in the most marvelous state of preservation. Those deserted cities, far over in the old Bible lands, are waiting for the Jews to march in and take possession. God also said that the very city of Jerusalem should be plowed as a field. It is true that the vast part of the old city, is not included within the new walls; that part is actually plowed as a field.
Here is one of the most remarkable things in prophecy. Deuteronomy 29:22 : "And the stranger (the foreigner) that shall come from a far land" I wonder why the Holy Ghost said that? When He had said the land and the city would be trodden down, destroyed and devastated; why should people from a far land want to look at it? Perhaps some of you have been in Jerusalem.
Every ship that goes over, carries its sightseers. I have had various descriptive trips to Jerusalem, sent me; they would like us to go. Strangers, from far countries are constantly going to that land. Why? Because it was there the Lord was crucified. People are going to the land that lies desolate; to the land where the old Jews, the fathers, beat their heads against the walls and weep and wail, because their city lies waste:
Listen to Jeremiah: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Zion shall be plowed like a field."
Dr. Thompson says that only the Northern portion of Zion is included in the walls of the present city; the rest of the surface is tilled, that is, plowed as a field. Now, notice another local touch. Jesus Christ said of the Temple, "There shall not one stone remain upon another."
Titus came, and the Temple was destroyed in A. D. 22; but the words were not wholly fulfilled, until 135 A. D. Emperor Julien said, "I will build the Jews' Temple."
He started his work, but judgments from God fell and the workmen were afraid and the emperor stopped the work.
That temple shall never be built until Christ, whose name is the Branch shall come and rebuild it. See. Zechariah 6:12 , Zechariah 6:13 .
IV. PROPHECIES OF TWO COMINGS SIDE BY SIDE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES (1 Peter 1:10-11 )
The Prophets saw two things, the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow; that is, they prophesied two comings, but they understood them not. The age in which we now live is a long-drawn parenthesis, lost to the view of the saints who lived before Christ came. They did not know that centuries would intervene between the two comings; they did not know that the Church would be builded, give its testimony and pass up to be with the Lord, before the second stage of their prophecies came to pass. We know these things. We also know the certainty of unfulfilled prophecies, because of the faithful fulfilment of fulfilled prophecies.
Let us now mark several prophecies which detail, in one breath, the two comings of Christ.
1. Our First Scripture Is Isaiah 9:6-7
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his, name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
Part of this prophecy was fulfilled in Christ when He was born, a Child; and when He was given, a Son. Dare we hesitate to believe that that Son shall fulfill the other part of the prophecy, which is yet unfulfilled, and sit on the throne of David?
2. Our Second Scripture Is from Psalms 22:1-31
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture(Psalms 22:17-18 ), "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. For the Kingdom is the Lord's; and he is the governor among the nations" (Psalms 22:28 ).
At a glance the Scriptures to the left, speak of Christ on the Cross. It was on the Cross that Christ cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!" It was there that His bones were "not broken," although they "looked and stared" upon Him, It was there that they "parted His garments, and cast lots upon His vesture." In fact, all of Psalms 22:1-31 , down to Psalms 22:20 , was distinctively, and decisively fulfilled on the Cross.
The first Scripture in our right hand column was fulfilled in the resurrection, when Christ said, "Go tell My brethren, that I go before them into Galilee." With these fulfilled Scriptures before us, may we not assuredly expect to see the final Scripture, and its surrounding verses just as literally fulfilled?
There is no doubt that Christ has never yet been governor of the nations, nor, has the "Kingdom" been the Lord's yet, He will come and accomplish both prophecies, for the Word of the Lord can never fail.
3. Our Third Scripture Is Psalms 69:1-36
Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink (Psalms 69:20-21 ).
For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah; that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it; and they that love his name shall dwell therein (Psalms 69:35-36 ).
Psalms 69:1-36 , like 22, is strictly a Psalm of the Cross; yet, not exclusively of the Cross. Both Psalms prophesy the Second Coming. This is seen at a glance. He who came and fulfilled the verses in our left column, will just as surely come and save Zion and build the cities of Judah. The fact that twenty centuries since Christ fulfilled the first prophecy have passed without the fulfillment of the second set of prophecies, in no sense makes the Word of God void.
4. Our Fourth Scripture Is Psalms 110:1-7
The Lord said unto my Lord. Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool (Psalms 110:1 ).
The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head (Psalms 110:2 , Psalms 110:6-7 ).
This marvelous Psalm has been fulfilled so far as Christ's sitting at the right hand of the Father is concerned. The same Christ will come and fulfil every jot and tittle of the balance of the Psalm. He will rule in the midst of His enemies; He will judge among the heathens, and fill the places with dead bodies, and wound the head over many countries. In that day He will send forth the rod of His strength out of Zion.
5. Our Fifth Scripture Is Daniel 9:1-27
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity" (Daniel 9:24 , f.c).
"And to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy" (Daniel 9:24 , l.c.).
Bible students know that sixty-nine weeks are past, and that the Scripture in the first column has met its fulfilment; they also know that after the present parenthesis in which Jewish time is not counted, God will just as faithfully fulfil the second portion of the verse, in the second column, and that Christ, the Most Holy, will be anointed.
6. Our Sixth Scripture
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28-29 ).
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call" (Joel 2:30-32 ).
Comment is unnecessary. The first stage of this prophecy, as printed in column one, met at least a partial fulfilment at Pentecost; the second stage of the prophecy will meet as literal a fulfilment, at Christ's Second Coming, when all that Joel said, will be fulfilled to the letter.
Had Israel received the Lord, nationally, as Peter preached and pled, the prophecy would have been completely fulfilled at that time. Israel rejected her call, her house was left unto her desolate, and she shall not see the Lord until He comes back again to complete the fulfilment.
7. Our Seventh Scripture
"Behold the man whose name is The Branch, He shall grow up out of His place" (Zechariah 6:12 ).
"And He shall build the temple of the Lord * *; and He shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a Priest upon His throne" (Zechariah 6:12-13 ).
Christ is the man who was called, "The Branch" He was born, "the root and the offspring of David." He will come again and build the Temple, He will rule on His throne, and be a King-Priest.
8. Our Eighth Scripture
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee, He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9 ).
And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and He shall speak peace unto the heathen; and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9:10 ).
Christ came the first time and fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 ; however Zechariah 9:10 was not then fulfilled. We believe therefore that all of Zechariah's prophecy will be fulfilled, and fulfilled to the letter of its statement.
9. Our Ninth Scripture
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones" (Zechariah 13:7 ).
"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."
"And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one" (Zechariah 14:4 , f.c. and Zechariah 14:9 ).
Where is he who doubts that the first column statement was literally fulfilled as the disciples forsook Christ and fled? Shall we not then believe that Christ will come again? that His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives? that He shall be King over all the earth? Where is our honor and honesty, if we accept one prophecy and reject the other? The fulfilment of the one makes certain the fulfilment of the other.
V. THE SECOND COMING IN TYPES
For a final consideration, we wish to present this fact: The Old Testament typical characters, which so marvelously set forth Christ, in His first coming, have met exact fulfilment; shall not the same characters which continued to set forth Christ in His Second Coming, meet as exact a fulfilment?
1. The Adam and Eve type. All will grant that Adam was put to sleep, and his open side, with the extracted rib and the woman made, was a most striking and realistic type of Christ Jesus, put to sleep on the Cross, of His riven side, and of the Bride formed withal. Who then dare doubt that Eve presented to Adam, is as true a type of that glorious Heavenly scene of the presentation of Christ's Bride unto Himself, at the Heavenly marriage of the Lamb?
2. The type of Noah. Where is the Christian who has not heard the ark used time and again as a type of Christ, saving the trusting sinner from the wrath to come? Shall we then fail to see that the flood, with the subsequent earth, renewed and blessed, is a type of Christ's Second Coming and the Millennial blessedness that will ensue?
3. The type of Joseph. Where is he who has not rejoiced over the detailed foreshadowing of the earlier experiences of Joseph, as they have seen in him, step by step, the life of Jacob's greater Son, outlined? Shall the foreshadowings cease before Joseph is made ruler in the land, with all the earth coming to seek his favor, and with the sons of Jacob repentant and restored by Jacob's grace to plenty and power?
If we had time, we could outline two distinct details of the life of Joseph. The one, would include his supremacy over his brethren, his love from his father, his hatred by his brethren, his search of his brethren, his casting into the pit, his sale to the Ishmeelites, etc. These all spoke with strange clearness of Christ, in His first coming. Then, we could present the other side of Joseph's life: his exaltation in Egypt, his marriage to a Gentile wife, his watchful eye during the seven years of famine, his making himself known to his brethren, with his forgiveness assured, his welcoming back all of Jacob's sons and their families, etc. All of these speak just as plainly of Christ in His resurrection and in His Second Corning.
4. The type of David. David is pre-eminently the foreshadower of Christ in His conflict with the antichrist, and in His ultimate reign over a restored and reunited Kingdom. It is marvelous to watch David as, upon the effort of Absalom to take away his kingdom, he passes weeping over the brook Kedron, and then goes up, by the way of the mount of Olives. It is just as wonderful, after Absalom is dead in battle, to hear the people saying, "Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now, therefore, why speak ye not a word about bringing the king (David) back?"
5. Isaac a type. All are familiar with Isaac's offering on Mount Moriah. All know that, step by step, the Cross of Christ, His death, and resurrection, is set forth, in a most marvelous way, in Genesis 22:1-24 .
Are all as familiar with the story of Rebekah, in chapter 24? Abraham sought a wife for Isaac. His faithful servant of Damascus went to seek that wife. Rebekah gladly left all and went with the servant across the desert sands. Isaac went forth by the well Lahai-roi (the place of meeting), to await Rebekah's coming. He received her with joy, taking her to his mother's tent, where she became his wife. The Lord's seeking a Bride, His Second Coming, and the marriage in the skies, are here all beautifully forecast. Surely he is blind who sees in these Bible-typical characters, the Christ of Calvary; but fails to see the Christ of the Glory Cloud.
Can we sit down at the Lord's Table and remember His death, and fail, withal, to anticipate His Coming? If so, blind, blind, blind, amid the blaze of noon.
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Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Acts 3". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17