"Thou shalt be called by a new name; … thou shalt also bea crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diademin the hand of thy God."— Isa. 62:2, 3.
IN ONE PLACE the Prophet Jeremiah declares, "This is the name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness." In another place he says, "She shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness [or, the Righteousness of Jehovah]." And so the Apostle declares, "That we might be made the Righteousness of God through Him."—Jer. 23:6; 33:16; 2 Cor. 5:21.
These statements refer to Zion. The typical Zion is the Jewish nation; and the antitypical Zion is the glorified Christ. Very properly, then, we may understand that the blessings which belong to the Church on the spirit plane will, naturally, on the earthly plane, belong to the Ancient Worthies, who will be in Divine favor forever.
The two expressions, "a crown of glory" and "a royal diadem," express practically the same thought, the repetition making the sentiment doubly impressive. A diadem is a crown. Crowns are generally used to add dignity and honor to the individuals wearing them; but the Scriptural expression, "A crown of glory, … a royal diadem in the hand of thy God," does not include the thought of a diadem that is to be worn, as giving glory to God; but rather as representing a beautiful ornament in theDivine hand, as you take something in your hand to look at the beauty and workmanship.
The jewels that will make this diadem beautiful, when properly tested by the great Master-Workman, are the Church. The Lord will come to make up His jewels, to secure His jewels. "God hath set the members in the Body." The text refers to the final setting in the future, in the Kingdom condition. As star differeth from star in glory, so shall these jewels differ in setting and position. This also applies to the present time. The present arrangement is subject to change in proportion as the individual will or will not be fully submissive to the Lord's will. There has been a selection of a jewel class; and the experiences of this class during the Gospel Age have been the polishing processes; and there will be a setting in the end of this Age, when the Church is completed. This began when the First Resurrection began.
The first setting in this royal diadem was, undoubtedly, our Lord Jesus Himself. He is the first in this great diadem which Jehovah has in His hand. Next will come the members of the Body, as they shall be perfected in the First Resurrection—the Apostles and sleeping saints, each as he is granted his change, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." Each jewel will be placed in that particular setting for which Jehovah has seen that it is prepared.
When the mother of James and John went with them to Jesus and requested that her sons might sit, the one on His right hand and the other on His left hand, He said that these places would be given to those for whom they are intended by the Father. Those positions will not be given through favor, but through justice. Any place will be glorious in this company. Only the Lord is competent to say who shall sit on the right hand and on the left. We shall be pleased to have His will done; and beyond the veil we shall have such a large sense of justice that we shall be glad to have the matter as the Father has arranged.
The Lord is first; we think probably St. Paul is next. And we think St. Peter and St. John have prominent places. We shall all be perfectly content and pleased with whatever the Father will decide. We shall be glad of any place. And any one who would not be of that spirit, of that disposition, will thereby indicate that he is not of that class which the Lord would have there. Any who will be of that class will be glad to accept the Father's decree and to prefer it to anything they could have devised.
So the Church in the hand of God is the Church in the hand of Divine power. That power will use the Church and she will be a crown of glory and a thing of beauty, gloriously reflecting to all eternity the workmanshipof our God. How glorious it will be! How beautiful! The Lord Jehovah will have the setting of these precious jewels, one reflecting upon another in that crown of glory and diadem of beauty, with the Lord Jesus in the chief place, for the Father will not give to the Church any glory that He would not give to the Lord Himself. The Church is to be displayed before men as "a thing of beauty and a joy forever"—God's handiwork.
He is selecting the jewels now, and is providentially dealing with them. When the process of polishing shall have been completed, He will use them in a very special sense for a thousand years. As a star blazes in glory, so the Lord will make use of each one of the Church. But the use of the Church which the Lord will make at that time will be only a part of the work which He intends to accomplish. The Apostle says, "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."—Eph. 2:7.
All who are in Christ, all who are in the "elect" Body of Christ—to these God will show His exceeding grace. His grace and favor will be showered upon the Church. And the world will eventually see in the Church the culmination of all of God's creative work. The glory of the Church will be manifested in the sight of angels and of men. And so the Lord indicates the blessings that are to be ours if we are faithful in making our "calling and election sure."
Let us never forget that we are a "peculiar people," separate from the great body of nominal Christians, as well as from the world, having higher hopes, aims and ambitions and favored with a clearer insight into the deep things of God, having been called out of our former darkness into His marvelous light. And if thus separate from the world and from Christians who partake largely of the worldly spirit, what wonder if we find them all out of harmony with us, and either ignoring or opposing us in the performance of the Master's will.