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THE BELIEVER referred to in this text is he who believes with the heart—not merely one with an intellectual appreciation of the fact that Christ is the Son of God: "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." It means one who has come into relationship to the Son of God, to acknowledge Him as his Leader, the Head over the Body! "He that hath the Son hath life." At the present time such a one has this life imputed to him; but he does not, of course, possess it in its full sense. He has merely the begetting to the new nature and the promise that, if faithful, he shall have part in the First Resurrection. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years."—Rev. 20:6.
In this resurrection change, which will come in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, such will, in the fullest sense, have life. Now, they are looked upon as New Creatures. They have passed from under the death condemnation; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23.) Those who have accepted this gift are, therefore, in this condition. The remainder of mankind are still under the death sentence, the wrath of God. They are not under the sentence of eternal torment, but under the curse, the condemnation of death. All mankind were born under this sentence. So the Apostle again says that we "have escaped the corruption which is upon the world." (2 Pet. 1:4.) It is still upon the world, but we are free.
There is a difference, however, between this Age and the next. Before the world shall be put on trial it will have a Mediator provided, composed of Christ, the Head, and the Church His Body. This Mediator will stand between Divine Justice and the masses of mankind. The first act of the Mediator will be to put into operation the New Covenant. Jeremiah the Prophet (31:31) tells us that the New Covenant will be inaugurated with Israel: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." Messiah will be the Mediator of that New Covenant. Moses was a type of this greater Mediator; and the Law Covenant a type of this New Law Covenant. All the Jews will be transferred from Moses to Christ, the better Mediator; and from the Old Law Covenant to the New Law Covenant.
This New Covenant will be open to all mankind as they come to realize their need, the supplying of which can be accomplished only through the Mediator. All must come under the arrangements of the Messianic Kingdom in order to share with the Jews in the blessings of that time. So we read, "And many nations will go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3; Mic. 4:2.) They will say, He has done for the Jew first; but he will also do for us.
Thus the Lord's blessing will extend from one nation to another until the whole world will be full of Divine blessings; and thus all the families of the earth will be blessed. This New Covenant arrangement, however, will bring blessings to mankind only in proportion as they accept the Mediator. All down through the Millennial Age the eyes of their understanding will be opened as they come into harmony with the New Covenant arrangements. Thus to gain life through the great Life-Giver in the next Age will be very different from the attaining of life now. All through that thousand years of His glorious ministration and reign, Christ, as the Mediator of the New Covenant, will be developing Israel and the world, raising them from their fallen condition and bringing them up to perfection.
As Isaiah the Prophet puts it, "He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isa. 9:6.) So the relationship of the great Mediator to all the people will be that of a Father to His own children. The period of Christ's reign will be the time in which everlasting life will be given to whomsoever will; and every creature will have fullest trial, fullest opportunity to come up to everlasting life. At the end of the thousand years mankind will be delivered up to the Father to be finally tested.
The relationship of Christ to the Church, however, is a different one. He is not our Father. He is our Brother. Nevertheless, He is the Advocate through whom we must come to the Father; through whom we may cry, Abba, Father.
Our text applies now, primarily. It will apply in the Millennial Age, gradually, as men shall come to a knowledge of the Truth. The Jews will be transferred as a nation from the Law Covenant to the New Covenant. God kept them bound up under the Law especially to that end, that they might be transferred in due time. But as for other people, they will be obliged to accept the great Mediator; and thus from the moment they accept Christ the provisions of the New Covenant will cover them. But upon those who do not accept God's arrangements the wrath of God will still abide.