From the Editor’s Notebook: Walter Scott

MIF 7:2 (Mar-Apr 1975)

From the Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

Walter Scott

In February 1969 I took time out of my schedule to assist my father in the somewhat tedious task of selling and disbanding the old family homestead in Mt. Plymouth, Florida. The old house, the second on the site (the first had been destroyed by fire), and the adjacent property had been on my mother’s side of the family for the better part of a century. Mother had gone to be with Christ three years before and, because of his extended preaching trips, it was difficult for my father to try and maintain the house, coupled with the fact that while away on one of his trips, the house had been robbed.

It was in this home that an assembly work had been carried on for many years and later developed into what is today the Hiawassa Bible Chapel in Orlando. Then from the Hiawassa work still another local assembly was established in the Winter Park area, known presently as Lake Howell Bible Chapel. It was to this chapel that my father gave many hundreds of choice books from his extensive library. There were, however about 200 volumes which I rightfully appropriated for my own library, and among them a splendid book by Walter Scott, entitled, Selections from Fifty Years’ Written Ministry, and published in 1913. Today, Walter Scott is probably best remembered for his classic Exposition of Revelation, which I think is still the choicest volume available on Revelation, although there are some no doubt who would dispute my words.

At any rate, from time to time I will be sharing selections from this book which has long been out of print, assured that our reader family will be spiritually blessed and enriched as a result. Our first selection is, fittingly enough, a brief commentary on Revelation 21, and called, “The Gates of Pearl.”

In the magnificent jasper wall (Divine glory) are set twelve gates of pearl, and adds the seer, “every several gate was of one pearl.” In Matthew 13:46, to which reference is here made, we learn that the pearl was of “great price,” costing the Lord all that He had in order to procure it and make it His own. Now in His love He is cleansing and beautifying it, and will not rest till He has set it in glory—in the jasper wall. Matchless pearl! Divine beauty is thine! O Church, thy Lover has thrown His own loveliness over thee, and He is about to present thee, fruit of His agony and death, to Himself spotless and in glory!

Amongst the symbolic numerals of Scripture, twelve is largely employed when human administration is in view. The gate of the city in the east from time immemorial is the place of judgment. Thus in the twelve gates set in the jasper wall, and arranged in triplets on the four sides of the golden city, and thus facing all parts of the redeemed earth, we witness in perfection the true union of Church and State, of which chapter 17 presents Satan’s counterfeit. The seat of government over the gladsome earth will be the golden city—the Church in eternal association with Christ—a blaze of glory, grandly resting as a canopy over Mount Zion (Isaiah 4:5,6), the light of the millennial world (Revelation 21:24), and the object to which are brought the treasures and homage of kings and nations (24, 26). O believer, what a destiny is before thee! We are of God (1 Corinthians 1:30). What an origin is thine, rivalling that of the proudest monarch on earth! Grand times these when the aristocracy are all heaven-born! The government will be administered not as in Judaism by angels, but by Christ and the heavenly saints (Hebrews 2:5-8; Ephesians 1:22). Dear cast-down saint, look up, God thinks much of thee. Thou art forgetful of thy high dignity: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” And as if that were not an honour great enough for thee, adds the inspired record, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3).

The “names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” on the gates of the golden city signify the fulfilment of Matthew 19:28, when the twelve apostles from their royal seats of glory will govern Israel. And what mean the waiting angels as porters at the gates (21:12)? Now they are sent forth on their mission of mercy to the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1: 14); there they will be sent forth by the glorified saints on governmental missions. Wondrous gates of pearl! Christ will exhibit the Church to an admiring world. Pearl-like, her beauty and value will be witnessed by creation as He regards her. Her unity too—“one pearl”. May our God send our hearts bounding forward in eager desire to His and our wondrous future! Matthew (Matthew 13) shows Christ seeking for, buying, and finding the pearl. Paul (Ephesians 5) reveals Christ in the highest glory beautifying the pearl. John (Revelation 21) displays the grandeur of the pearl in its Divine setting.

Eye On Iran

The January 1975 National Geographic magazine has a lead pictorial article entitled, “Iran: Desert Miracle.” Snail-like in shape, but not in progress, this Middle Eastern country has an area of 636,293 square miles and a population of 32,000,000 (it is expected to rise to 36,000,000 by 1980). Its capital city is Tehran (population 3,500,000). Iran is rapidly being industrialized, its economy centering on oil, grain, wool, cotton, and tobacco, coupled with a plentiful supply of natural gas, and raw materials including coal, iron, copper, zinc, lead, manganese, chromite, sulphur and barite.

Many Bible prophecy students think that Iran—the ancient Persia—will play an important role in the future. Various Scripture passages tend to confirm this, among them Ezekiel 38:5, which places Persia among the nations that will ultimately move against Israel and be involved in the coming great tribulation battle of Armageddon. As we watch the Middle East, keep an eye on Iran.

New Privacy Law

The growing federal bureaucracy of the United States has information on millions of Americans stored in its computers. As a result, on December 18, 1974, Congress moved to check the use and abuse of this information when it passed the bulk of the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and which goes into effect in nine months.

Privacy is an extremely important element in life. We need it and we have a right to it. However, thinking about this new law and the subject of privacy in general, I was reminded that there is no privacy from God’s absolute knowledge of every detail of our words and deeds, even though multitudes of men and women the world over like to think otherwise. The Word of God tells us that “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). Believers and unbelievers alike need to realize this truth, the former in particular reminding ourselves that some day, perhaps sooner than we think, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).