refers to the throne, of which Solomon's was in every respect the ideal type.
This, the highest promise, is given to the overcomers in the lowest condition of Israel's degradation, which is described as in danger of being |spued out.|
What that was we have already seen (page 89), and now we have the chiefest of all the promises. The overcomers in that last terrible condition of things are the ones who most need the greatest of Divine help and encouragement. Hence the highest promise is given.
|To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne| (Rev. iii.21).
To Solomon is the great promise of the throne vouchsafed through David. |When thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee... and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever| ( 2 Sam. vii.12, 13).
The defection of those who should follow Solomon on that throne was foreknown and provided for. The whole of Psalm lxxxix. should be read in this connection, as explaining how and why the throne should come to be in abeyance. After referring to this in verse 14, the promise goes on: Yet
|My mercy shall not depart away from him...
|And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee:
|Thy throne shall be established for ever| (2 Sam. vii.15, 16).
How and when this promise will be fulfilled, after the period of chastening referred to in verse 14 (of 2 Sam. vii.) shall have ended, is described in Dan. vii. There we have fully set forth how |the Son of Man| shall receive the kingdom and the throne, and how |the saints of the Most High| shall share that throne with Him, as promised in this Epistle.
The title used in Dan. vii., |The Most High| is very significant, and shows that the whole scene relates to the earth. Whenever this title is used this is its meaning and teaching. Its first occurrence, in Gen. xiv.18-24 marks it as belonging to the |possessor of heaven and earth.| It was as |the Most High| that He divided to the nations |their inheritance| in the earth (Deut. xxxii.8), which, as its |possessor,| He alone had the right or the power to do. In Psa. lxxxiii.18 He is called |the Most High over all the earth.| And so it is in all the thirty-six occurrences of the title in the Old Testament.
The expression, |the saints of the Most High,| tells us that the people referred to are an earthly people, even those whose promise is an earthly throne and an earthly kingdom. Not the church of God, therefore, whose calling, standing, hope and destiny are heavenly.
Four times is the expression used in Dan. vii. In verse 18 |the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.|
In verses 21, 22 the fourth Beast |made war with the saints and prevailed against them (as related in Rev. xiii.7); until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.|
In verse 25 the Beast |shall speak great words against the Most High,| &c. (as related also in 2 Thess. ii.4, and Rev. xiii.5, 6).
In verse 27 we read that |the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.|
These are the |elect,| who shall be |gathered together from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other,| when the |Son of Man| shall come down on the earth (Matt. xxiv.30, 31). Then shall His |call| go forth, |Gather my saints together unto me.| This is when He will call |to the earth, that He may judge His People| (Psa. l.4, 5; read the whole Psalm).
And when, later, in Matt. xxv.31, we read, |When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory|: then there will be a different gathering, not of His |elect| (see Matt. xxiv.31), but |before him shall be gathered all nations,| according to Joel iii.1, 2 and 11, 12.
This throne of the special judgment of the |nations| leads up to and ends in the permanent throne of Divine government, according to Jer. iii.17.
Then will this promise be fulfilled to the overcomer: |I will grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne (Rev. iii.21).
This promise, therefore, like all the others is not given to the Church of God. The members of that glorious body will have already been 'caught up to meet the Lord in the air,| and will have had their part in the |gathering together unto him| there, before the cry of Psa. l.5 goes forth to |the earth, that he may judge his people,| and |gather his (earthly) saints together.|
Thus we have traced the upward path -- the ascending scale of the seven promises of these seven Epistles, and seen how are they to be interpreted of Israel, whose downward path is here also so wonderfully set forth in these same Epistles.
This concludes our fifteen preliminary points; and we submit that their cumulative evidence establishes our fundamental position that, the |Church of God| does not form the subject of the Apocalypse. Our interpretation confines that subject to the |Jew| and the |Gentile| (I Cor. x.32). Whether |the word of truth| is thus |rightly| divided is for our readers to determine for themselves, according to the evidence which we shall put before them.