Symbols of Spiritual Ascendency (continued)
3. Angels (continued)
In Ezra 7, we have the bringing in of the "House of the Lord," and immediately the link with the heavens: "Whatsoever is commanded by the God of Heaven let it be done exactly for the House of God of Heaven" (23). It is a marvelous decree of Artaxerxes - "And whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king, let judgement be executed upon him with all diligence, whether it be unto death or to banishment or to confiscation of his goods or to imprisonment" (26). This is to come upon the man who dares to oppose the building of the House of the Lord. Artaxerxes seems to go to the utmost to hasten and ensure the building of this house for God. Three times it is said, "The God of the Heavens"; sovereignty that cannot be overruled is in operation and related to the building of the House of the Lord, the rule of the heavens is seen here.
In Luke's Gospel you have the same fact of the rule of the Heavens being linked with the House of the Lord - His Church; thus emphasizing the Church as the administrative instrument of that sovereignty of the heavens. "The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in Thy Name." "And He said unto them ... behold I have given you authority ... over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall in any wise hurt you... " "In the same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding and didst reveal them unto babes, for so it seemed good in Thy sight" (Luke 10:17). (Seventy is the number of representation.)
And so it is seen to be the "gates of heaven" over against the "gates of hades" and the "counsels of heaven" over against the "counsels of hades": and the House of the Sovereignty over which all the counsels of hell cannot prevail: for the counsels of the Godhead were back in Eternity past unto the securing of that company desiring and determining His will.
The Kingdom of Heaven, or the rule or reign of Heaven, is a sphere in which the sovereignty of God operates but in which everything not suitable is going to be eliminated, and only that which is according to God will remain: see the parables of the "Dragnet" and the "Tares' (Matthew 13). The true will be separated from the false and the Lord secures His "called out ones" from the nations of the world; His redeemed ones, His Church, the City of God as seen in the Book of Revelation.
"After these things I saw and beheld a great multitude, which no man can number, out of every nation and tribes, and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb ... saying, salvation unto Our God who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9-11).
"And he carried me away in the Spirit, to a mountain great and high and showed me the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, her light was like unto a stone most precious ... clear as crystal." "The bride the wife of the Lamb" (Revelation 21:9-11).
(continued with # 11)