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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 2

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    THE HOLY CITY—FORTY-TWO MONTHS

    The remark has frequently been made in the course of this work, especially in Vol. I., that Jerusalem is the holy city, and the metropolis of the Kingdom of God; that while Jerusalem, the capital, is in the hand of the enemy, and the king, Jesus Christ, is an exile, rejected by his own nation and banished from his country, as Christ now is from Jerusalem, so long the church must continue in bondage and dispersion. It has already been shown, in the first chapter of this volume, that the appointed time, (Levit. 26.,) for the enemies of the church to reign over her, is seven times, or 2520 years. That period, as was shown, began in 677 before Christ, by the conquest of Jerusalem and the captivity of Manasseh, king of Judah, by the king of Assyria. One half of that period is three and a half times-forty-two months-or 1260 years. That long period began 677 B. C; consequently, it was in a course of fulfilment when John wrote. His office was to write “the things which must shortly come to pass.” In doing it, he had nothing to do with the past, except so far as was necessary to show the connexion of the past with the future. An instance of this occurs in the 12th chapter, where it became necessary to give a view of the imperial Roman government at the birth of Christ, in order to give its connexion with subsequent events.PREX2 202.1

    Thus he was to give a view of the history of the church, through her exile, to her final triumph, when the kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and reign forever and ever. The church once possessed a kingdom in Jerusalem; a temple and an altar, where she worshipped and paid her vows. But those scenes had long since passed away, end the holy city was in Gentile hands when John had his vision.PREX2 202.2

    Chap, 11., verses 1, 2: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.PREX2 203.1

    Measure the temple, altar,” worshippers during, the time when the church was in her glory, before, the “seven times” captivity began, and ere the, temple and holy city came under the power and, dominion of the Gentiles. Measure them to ascertain what honor, power and glory God conferred, on them, and what they lost by abuse of those, blessings.PREX2 203.2

    But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not.” The inner temple was only to be entered by the covenant people; it was held sacred, to signify the sacred character and superior honor God put upon his church while obedient to him. An outer court, prepared for the admission of the Gentiles, to signify that the city, temple and people would be profaned and trodden down of the Gentiles. Beginning 677 B. C, some seven or eight hundred years of the desolation of the holy city, during which it had been under the dominion of the Gentiles, had passed away. The division of the 2520 years was thus characterized:PREX2 203.3

    The Gentile kings were to tread down the holy city forty-two months, or 1260 years; and the two witnesses were to be clothed in sackcloth 1260 days or years: the two periods making 2520 years, or seven prophetic times. Not that the holy city would cease to be trodden down of the Gentiles during the prophesying of the witnesses in sackcloth; but the general characteristics of half the time would be the desolation of the city and dispersion of the church, while the characteristic of the other half of the period would be, a state of great spiritual darkness and affliction of the church, not from the kings or civil powers of the earth, but from the professed, exclusive church of Christ, because she should clothe Christ’s witnesses in sackcloth. Part of the forty-two months were filled up when the 1260 days began; the balance of them, under the civil powers of the earth, will be fulfilled in 1843.PREX2 204.1

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