The vision of Micaiah (1 Kings 22) the opening scene in Job – the Lord’s word in Luke 10: 18 as well as the teaching of the apostle in Ephesians 6: 12 — and the action of the angel in Revelation 12, all tell us that our adversary, our accuser, is in the heavenly places.
But does it not strike the soul with relief and comfort that those heavens, where all this action proceeds, are lower heavens than the Father’s house? Be sure that this is so. There is a region to which the prince of the power of the air has access now (just as of old he had access to the garden of Eden) to carry on his accusings there, as once he conducted his temptations in the garden. This region is distinctly called heaven, or heavenly places, where principalities conduct their action and spiritual wickednesses are recognised. But this is a lower heaven. This is not the Father’s house. This is not the residence of the excellent glory. It may be the seat of government, but it is not the place of the excellent glory.
I understand, moreover, that it is the place to which the holy Jerusalem descends, to take her government of, or her connection with, the millennial earth in “the world to come,” as we see in Revelation 21. But she had descended ere she reached that spot — a witness that she belonged to a higher place. And so she does. She is more properly or personally an inhabitant of the Father’s house, which is in higher regions. The place of government is not so high as the place of the family.
The marriage of the Lamb takes place in the Father’s house. A marriage is a family action, and suits the family dwelling. But when the marriage is celebrated there, the bride is introduced to her place of dominion, which she reaches by descending, though it too is full of glory. Now it is this lower place, this place of government, this region occupied by the Lamb’s wife in the day of her manifested glory, which is now the heaven, or the heavenly places, of the principalities and. powers of darkness. From that heaven they will be cast down, and in due season that place will be occupied by that redeemed and glorified church which is to have government in “the world to come.”
The vision of the holy hill was not the vision of a scene laid in the Father’s house, so properly as of a scene laid in the place of government in the world to come. For two reasons we may say: (1) The excellent glory, or the place of the Father, was separated from that hill, as the narrative of the vision shews us. (2) The place of this glory was within the ken of the earthly people, as the holy Jerusalem, or the church in her place of government will be, but as the Father’s house, as I judge, will not be.
All this, beloved, is neither poetry nor speculation. Your souls will not judge it so, but it has its value for us, by again witnessing to our hearts, that the family scene is above the courtly scene, the place of affections higher than the place of power.
John G. Bellett
Food for the Faithful (Volume 4 p. 144)