This was morally true from Acts 3, where the Jewish leaders refuse the testimony to a glorified Christ who would return, as they had rejected a humbled One. Acts 7, by the mouth of Stephen, closes God's dealings with them in testimony, and the heavenly gathering begins, his spirit being received on high. The destruction of Jerusalem closed Jewish history judicially.
Paul, of course, is no way noticed. For him the assembly belonged to heaven-was the body of Christ, the house of God. He was a builder.
And hence in particular assemblies, which of course could be judged and removed. There is another point of divine wisdom here. Though we have I doubt not, the whole history of the assembly to its end in this world, it is given in facts then present, so that there should be no putting off the coming of the Lord. So, in the parables, the virgins who go to sleep are the same that wake up; the servants that receive the talents are the same found on the Lord's return, though we know ages have passed and death come in.
 Note this immensely important principle: the church judged by the word, not the church a judge; and the individual Christian called to give heed to this judgment. The church (I use the word designedly here as used to claim this authority) cannot be an authority when the Lord calls me, if I have ears to hear, to hear and receive the judgment pronounced by Him on it. I judge its state by the words of the Spirit, am bound to do so: it cannot be an authority therefore on the Lord's behalf over me in that state. Discipline is not in question here, but the church as wielding authority.
There are moral reasons from the contents. We shall see, farther on, that the structure of the book fully confirms this.
 "erchomenos" not "o esomenos"
We shall find the same thing at the close when the prophecy is ended. Here what He has been to the saints and has done: there what He is for the future. See chapter 22:17.
 Except in the new world, those called bishops are always bishops of a city, shewing, historically that dioceses are a subsequent arrangement. Angels were not chief officers of the synagogue.
His character too was for judgment among the assemblies and the assembly on earth; not His own bride, but the outward body here on earth.
 For the judgment at the end, though governmental, closing earth's history, was not mercy so (cherubic), but according to God's holiness and nature (seraphic), particularly as in Isaiah 6, a known God in Israel.
That is, "echontes" does not apply to elders only.
 It is very possible that the plural " righteousnesses " is a Hebraism for righteousness. It is a common case in moral things. At any rate it is of the saints.
Where the throne is set for judgment, it is characterized only by what proceeds directly from God. There are no earth quakes and hail; here there are.
I do not continue to put the voice as Christ's. The application to Him is too questionable.
 We are not to be surprised, therefore, if the beast at the end had only local empire, though originally God had given universal empire to the beats: how widely exercised we know.
 It is important to remark that formal religion, which rests on ancient claims as established, and which is left behind as to the truth by others who have received it, is the regular habitual instigator of persecution, though others may be the persecutors. So it was with the Jews, so in the Imperial history of the world. It always becomes false as regards truth, though it may retain some and important truths. The truths which test theheart and its obedience are not there.
So it was as to His Person and service. No one knew the Son but the Father. It was the secret of His rejection. He was that, and so necessarily such in the world. But the world under Satan's influence would not have that. In His humiliation His divine glory was maintained in the unsounded depths of His Person. Now He is revealed in glory; but there ever remained what none could search or penetrate into-His own Person and nature. His revealed name was the Word of God. As revealing God in grace or power so as to make Him known, we know Him. But His Person as Son always remains unsearchable. His name is written, so that we know it is unknowable-not unknown but unknowable. But He made good now the character and requirements of God in respect of men-what they ought to be with God, and what God was to them in their natural relationship, revealed in respect of their responsibility. Judgment refers to these, and to ourselves.
 This too He does alone- not that the saints may not be with Him as His cortege, so to speak, but the execution of judgment is His. In Isaiah it is only said that of the people none were with Him. In sessional judgment, judgment is given to them.
I have already stated that the harvest is discriminative judgment: there is wheat for the garner. The wine-press is vengeance, righteous vengeance.
It may be noted here that, according to the true reading, the living and reigning is certainly resurrection. "The rest of the dead lived not until," & etc.; so that it is clearly used here for resurrection, as the following words confirm: "This is the first resurrection."
Thus purpose and man's responsibility are never confounded, but, from the two trees of the garden on, are in juxtaposition; life brought into connection with responsibility in the law, responsibility being put first, and thus proof given that man cannot stand before God; but the question is solved only in Christ, who bore our sins, died for us to sin, and is life. Counsels and promise of life in Christ come first, then responsibility in the creature on earth, then grace making good counsels, in righteousness, through the cross.
The true reading here is "tree," not "book,"; but the book of life is not life, nor our being written there final, though 'prime facie' register, unless indeed written there before the foundation of the world: but, even so, it is not the same thing the possession of life.
Compare the place of the bright cloud in Luke 9. There it is the Father's, voice.