QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST.
Question. Please state whether you consider as typical the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine in Joseph's time, and their significance in relation to the events of the next few years. There are some passages of Scripture which seem to indicate that there will be a period of prosperity prior to the breaking forth of the divine wrath.
Answer. We are inclined to think that the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine were typical: but it had not occurred to us (as you suggest) that the antitype would be like the type. We incline rather to the opinion that the seven years of plenty represent the grace and bounty of God in Christ laid up in the present time, and that the years of famine represent the Millennial age in which the world (perhaps the majority) will come to hunger after righteousness and find none except that which the antitype of Joseph (Christ) possesses and controls in the name of the great King.
And the selling by the Egyptians of their goods and themselves to the king through Joseph, in order to obtain food, we would understand to typify the consecration of the above mentioned of mankind, of themselves and all they have to Christ, if they would obtain the bread of eternal life.--See Gen. 41:54-56; 47:13-25.
Question. Is heaven a place or a condition? If a place, where is it?
Answer. While it is true that beings might be in a heavenly condition; that is, spiritual and invisible to human sight, and yet be near us who are in the flesh; and while we believe that is the condition in which our Lord is now present, a spiritual or heavenly being, we could not agree that heaven is only a condition; it must also [R2075 : page 291] be a place, just as truly as the earth is a place. The most reasonable suggestion we know of is that offered in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., page 327; namely, that heaven is located in or in connection with the heavenly group, Pleiades.
In evidence that heaven is a place and at a distance from the earth, and that it requires time to go and come, notice the fact that our Lord said that he would "go away" and "come again." This could not be true if to go to heaven means merely a change from human conditions to spiritual conditions, because he will never come again to human conditions. He took upon him the form of a servant, and was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death... that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Heb. 2:9.) He has finished that work and has no further use for the body of humiliation and has been glorified; and is the express image of the Father's person.
Again our Lord says in the parable that the Nobleman went away to a far country.--Luke 19:12.
Again we are informed that the holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39), indicating that as soon as Jesus would be glorified the holy Spirit would be given to the waiting Church. And we know that from the time our Lord ascended up on high until the descent of the holy Spirit was ten days.