And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no man was able to enter into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. [Rev. 15:8.] In two articles preceding we have endeavored to set forth the manner in which we will be taken, or changed to spiritual bodies, and yet for a time remain under the vail, while the dead in Christ will at some time be spiritual bodies, and not under the vail. In this position we understand they are before the throne, but believing that we shall finally sit with Jesus on the throne, let us see if there is anything to throw light on this point, though the saints, after they are taken, will be seen for a time. It is also clear that we will finally pass beyond the vail and be seen no more.
We found in looking at the taking of Elijah, who is one type, that there were two events. He was first parted from Elisha by a chariot of fire and horses of fire, but he went up into heaven by a whirlwind. The first we expressed as showing our change, and that we would then be seen as was Elijah, but the latter we understand to show, when we will leave the vail and be seen no more, and this is in harmony with the statement in 2 Kings 2:12. I also find there were two changes in the movements of Aaron, who is also a type. You will remember that during the three first plagues he was represented as the prophet of Moses and as spokesman unto the people. We explained this as teaching that we, after our change, would under the vail of flesh be as prophets (teachers) to the people here, but we find that after the third plague Aaron is never spoken of as the prophet of Moses or as spokesman unto the people. Notice Ex. 9:8. The Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, (Previous to this the Lord said unto Moses; Say unto Aaron), take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh, and they (Moses and Aaron) did so. At this point there seems to be some difference in Aaron. The Lord now speaks to him direct, as He had done to Moses. At this point, when Aaron is no longer the mouthpiece, his leaving the vailed condition seems to be typified. Now, at the same point, when Elijah went up into heaven and the Lord speaks face to face with him he is no longer seen.
When we cease to appear under the vail is when the glorification of all takes place, and this is in harmony with Jesus, our forerunner. He was a spiritual body, and for forty days appeared at times under the vail, but when He ascended into heaven, (Acts 1:11), and was seen no more, then He was glorified. In our text we come to a time when the temple is to be filled with smoke from the glory of God. We find this takes place just before the pouring out of the seven plagues, and is a parallel to the time when Aaron changes his position. After that he was no longer prophet. Neither will we be after our glorification. This glorification of all, I understand to be, the marriage of the Lamb. We are to be changed, that we may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, (Phil. 3:21), and if so be that we suffer with Him, then we may also be glorified together with Him. (Rom. 8:17.)
This glorifying together we believe is the making one with Him in the fullest sense, and this follows the spiritual body condition. This will be when we shall be exalted to His throne and sit with Him. Jesus cannot appear with us in glory until we are glorified with Him. We find in Matt. 25:31-40 that 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. We are with Him on the throne, hence the glory and our being on the throne are associated, but we can be spiritual bodies without the glory, and be before the throne. This same thought, viz.: first the change and then the glorification, or marriage, is also shown in the type of Isaac and Rebecca. When she lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac seems to show our change. We see Him when like him, but when he took her into his mother Sarah's tent, and she became his wife, [Gen. 24:67], which was after they met, seems to bring us to the point when the temple would be glorified and we become His wife.
The thought that the glorification is the marriage and not the change to spiritual bodies is further proven by the following: Jesus ascended unglorified. [John 7:39]. He was to come in like manner, [Acts 1:11], then when we see Him it will be when He is unglorified, represented by Rebecca's seeing Isaac, but when we are glorified together with Him, would be shown by Isaac's taking Rebecca and making her his wife. Hence we go in with Him to the marriage. This is progressive: first, into a condition for the change; second, from that into glory with Him.
We find in our text that just when the temple is filled with glory, is just before the pouring out of the seven plagues, and that is when the church is called the bride, viz.: when glorified. [See Rev. 21:9-11]. Then came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, [Full? yes,] saying, come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. He showed me the Holy Jerusalem. Having the glory of God, etc., here when glorified the church is called the bride. Hence this must be at or after the temple is filled with glory. The glorification and exaltation of the bride to the throne seems to be the main difference between the little flock and the great multitude, [the servants]. They certainly get spiritual life but apparently do not have the glory of the bride. The city was lighted by the temple for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it, and the glory of those [the temple] did lighten it [the city]. [Rev. 21:22-23]. Then the city is the light of the nation. [Verse 24]. In order to fully understand this matter and harmonize the various scriptures, it seems necessary to recognize the difference between one change [when we are made spiritual bodies] and the glorification of those spiritual bodies. This thought seems suggested by the building of the temple by Solomon. The getting out of the stones and timbers seems to be the work done during the gospel age, from Pentecost down. [1 Kings 3:18]. The building of the temple we apprehend is something different. It was built of stone made ready before brought thither to place of building, so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building. [1 Kings 6:7]. This shows the noiseless resurrection of the dead in Christ and change of the living, both classes changed to spiritual bodies. It was, however, after the temple was built that the glory of the Lord filled the House of the Lord. [1 Kings, 8:11]. Hence, if the building shows the change of dead and living to spiritual bodies, then the glorification must be something different from the change. Again, the fact that the temple was built and then glorified rather proves that all, dead and [R170 : page 5] living, will be made spiritual bodies before any are glorified. This would be in harmony with [Rev. 15:1-8]. The seven angels, clothed in pure and white linen [righteousness of the saints, Rev. 19:8] and having their breasts girded with golden girdles, [verse 6], seem to represent the overcoming church complete, dead raised, and living changed. If so, we find these on the sea of glass condition, [before the throne], singing a song [making a proclamation] before they are glorified—exalted to the throne. When on the sea of glass they are spiritual bodies, hence the temple is built before it is filled with glory. This sea of glass or spiritual body condition, we believe, will obtain before long, while the glorification or final exaltation of the saints will not take place for some time afterwards. Let us watch and be sober. Let us assemble ourselves together, and so much the more, as we see the day [time] approaching. The time seems short. A. D. J.