THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THE CERTAINTY OF THE KINGDOM
THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM
THE KING AND THE KINGDOM
THE SON AND THE SONS
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:13)
The prayer which for centuries has been known as the Lord’s prayer is a pattern prayer. Jesus introduced it to His people with these significant words: “But thou when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou Last shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be ye not therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye:”
For centuries men have practiced their vain repetitions before the Lord, thinking they would be heard for their much speaking, hoping that by often repeating their requests God would at last take heed to their supplication and grant them the answer they desired, all the time forgetting that our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of before we ask. It is not our intention here to give an exposition on the subject of prayer, but let it be forever known that faith can never operate until first you are sure of the will of God. Therefore our quest should never be an effort to coax God to do a thousand things we think should be done, but rather to wait before Him until He fills our being with the prayer that is born of His own will. Once the heart has become one with the will of God, there need be no striving to exercise faith, for the will of God about any matter is the supreme element of faith. Study the lives of the great heroes of faith as Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and a host of others and you will find that the secret of their mighty works lay in one thing and in one thing alone. They did what God told them to do. Therefore all the faith they needed was to obey His will.
You may be shocked at first by the following statement, but consider it well and you will find it true: Any man on earth could do the works of Moses or Elijah providing God Almighty commanded him to do them, or any man could do the works of Noah, Abraham, or Samson providing God ordained they should be done. The secret of faith is the will of God, not some exploding gift of power within you that can demand from God anything imaginable and see it accomplished. Certainly faith can remove a mountain, but Father must first say that He wants the mountain moved. Outside of the will of God there is no such thing as a commanding faith.
The first request made in this prayer was “Thy kingdom come.” The second was “Thy will be done.“ The coming of the kingdom of God to the earth was without doubt the uppermost thought in the mind of Jesus Christ. That was the thought of thoughts and the prayer of prayers. The entire life of Jesus Christ on the earth was a parable of the coming kingdom. Every man fie healed, every leper He cleansed, every sin He forgave, every blind eye He opened, every deaf ear He unstopped, every word of wisdom He spoke, every act of kindness He performed was a display of the glory that should be revealed when He, the King of kings and Lord of lords, reigns in the glory of His Father on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
His entire life on earth from birth to resurrection was a testimony to the glory and wonder of the kingdom age to come when He will reign as King and prosper, and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. Where could place be found for sin, sickness, war, hate, poverty, greed, anarchy, violence, disobedience, lust, and a thousand other curses when He reigns who during His life on earth abolished these things from the lives of all who trusted Him?
The prayer, Thy kingdom come, has gripped the heart of all creation. There is a secret longing in the innermost being, of all mankind that the kingdom of God shall come and God’s, will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven. For almost two thousand years this prayer has been both upon the lips and in the hearts of countless millions of people. Some have prayed it with the revelation and understanding given them by Almighty God, who has already taken His throne within them, for it is in the heart of the believer that the kingdom of God first appears.
That is why Jesus told us, “The kingdom of God is within you.” As a seed sprouts in the ground, so the kingdom of God begins within His faithful sons and daughters. Thence it will spring forth, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear, until its fertile fruit fills the whole earth.
Not all have prayed with understanding, yet because of the universal hope of the kingdom in God’s creation, all have prayed. The wonderful words, “Thy kingdom come,” have been mumbled in the litanies of the unthinking, they have been recited at the death beds of men who knew not God, and they have been intoned by condemned men as they stood on the scaffold waiting to be dropped to their death. Men hiding in fox-holes, knowing no other prayer, have prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” and in the heat of battle amid the blood and fire and vapor of smoke both the living and the dying have sighed out their longing to God, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven.” The mind of man, struck dumb and insensible through the fall, still responds to the longing born of God within him that eventually the glory of the kingdom age will dawn upon the earth when God’s will shall be done from sea to sea, and the dread rule of the carnal mind will be no more. When the British armies under General Allenby marched into the city of Jerusalem in 1917, their massed bands played as they marched:
‘Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run,
His kingdom reach from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.’
Without doubt the hope of the kingdom is in every heart and somehow by divine power God has placed these three words, Thy kingdom come, in the hearts of all creation. And is it any wonder that man should long for that glad hour to come, for the beasts likewise, together with the trees, the winds, and the waters, without understanding groan in travail for the day of sonship and the kingdom? It was Paul the apostle who said, “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, for the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8: 18-21)
Man does not understand the longing that is within him and we may be sure that all the inanimate creation is also blind and in the dark. We have become like babies who sometimes cry for reasons they know not, refusing to be comforted. Our souls often deplore the awesome conditions that are in the world – the rebellion, anarchy, delinquency, self-assertion, and war – yet if we could look deeper than the surface, we would understand that all these things actually spring from man’s hatred and rebellion against the bondage he is in. In his darkness and bondage he imagines that could he but throw off his restraints he would be happy, that could he have all he wants, he would be content, but he does not know that his discontent lies far deeper than his outward life. While he thus seeks liberty from without, he does not know that the inner man is seeking for freedom from the bondage of corruption and all the wretchedness into which the carnal mind has brought him. Man is longing for freedom from the slavish thralldom he is in, but, not knowing God, he seeks freedom by rebellion only to find that his new found freedom is even a greater and more hateful bondage than the one from which he escaped. But those to whom Christ the King has revealed Himself know that true freedom is found only when Christ is crowned King. When He comes into the life, the snares of the fowler are broken, the tears of sorrow turn to pearls of praise, and sins of years are washed away by His blood.
THE CERTAINTY OF THE KINGDOM
We need no greater evidence of the certainty of the coming kingdom of God on earth than the fact that Jesus taught us to pray for its coming. The prayer prayed by Christ, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven,” should in itself be indisputable proof that God intends to set up a literal kingdom in which His will shall be done in the entire earth even as it is done in the entire heaven. The evidence, as we shall abundantly see, does not stop with this prayer, but rather the prayer “Thy kingdom come” was the earnest request of Christ that the eternal purpose of God for such a kingdom would soon be accomplished.
The hope of a kingdom in which God’s sons would reign existed long before Eden and was first manifested to us in the words, “Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness and let Us give him dominion.” The kingdom of God was the theme of the prophets as we shall presently see. When the birth of Jesus was announced to Mary, these words were spoken by the mighty Gabriel, who came from the very presence of God: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring fourth a Son and shalt call Him name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33) What greater proof do we need at the birth of a king than the word of God as to what His future shall be? No better identification can be given than this: “The Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.” Therefore let God be true though every man should be a liar. The earth is yet to see the literal and glorious reign of Christ in a kingdom that shall have no end.
When Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” He was certainly looking beyond this age when good and bad are everywhere together and light is mixed with darkness. He was looking to the age of the kingdom of His Father when the will of God should be done in the earth, and the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. When the angels of God gather out of the kingdom of heaven all things that offend (Matt. 13:41), that at last will be the true beginning of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the Father on earth.
David was anointed to be king of Israel while Saul was still on the throne. David is typical of Christ while Saul is typical of the carnal systems that have ruled the world in Christ’s stead for thousands of years. David, though anointed king of Israel, never once put forth his hand to wrest the kingdom from Saul, but waited patiently until God’s hour came in which he would be set upon the throne. Even so it is now and has been for centuries past. Christ (the anointed) has made no effort by force or by power of arms to take the kingdom for which He is anointed, but like David is waiting until the Father shall give Him the kingdom and the government of the whole earth. Though David would not lift a finger to take the kingdom from Saul, yet all through his rejection he reigned as king in the hearts of all who loved him and followed him even though Saul was still on the throne of Israel. David had his mighty men. There were those with him who were ready to lay down their lives for him. He ever delivered those who were oppressed and gathered unto himself all who were discontent with the reign of Saul. His followers were a motley crowd indeed, for it is said, “And every one that was in distress and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” (I Sam. 22:2) They were indeed an unlikely group, but they were mighty and they were faithful to him. They were the ones who followed him in his distress and in his humiliation and they were the ones who entered with him into the glory of his kingdom and of his reign. So also it is today. The flesh and the carnal mind are usurping the throne of Jesus Christ while the anointed Christ, like David, is rejected by His enemies. Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath nowhere to lay His head. But in His rejection and His humiliation He has His faithful followers to whom He says, “Ye that have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28)
The days of David’s rejection came to an end, and the days of the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, are also near their end. Soon Saul will be dead and David (Christ) will be king. The kingdom of heaven is an age of mixtures, an age when it is difficult to know who is who, a day when sheep and goats flock together, when wheat and tares grow in the same fields, when the leaven is working in the meal, when good fish and bad are in the kingdom of heaven net. But at the end of the age God will send forth His angels to gather the wicked from among the just. He will set the sheep on the right hand and the goats on the left. He will gather up the good fish and cast the bad away. He will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie, and then His kingdom will have come and His will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven.
The kingdom for which Christ prayed was the Father’s kingdom. “Thy kingdom come,” He said. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” He was not praying for the kingdom of heaven to come, but for the kingdom of God to come when He should reign in the kingdom of His Father. That is why it is said, “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matt. 13:41-43) The kingdom of God is the kingdom of the Father. “But I say unto you I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.” (Matt. 26:29) Jesus Christ with all the sons of God will reign in the kingdom of the Father even as Joseph reigned under Pharaoh, having complete authority in all things. “And He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, He is excepted which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (Cor. 15:25-28)
When we realize that there is so much similarity between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, it is not difficult to understand why the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM
Whenever it pleases God to reveal a truth, it will immediately be found that the whole Bible springs into life regarding that revelation until every page of Holy Scripture breathes forth the fragrance of its message. You discover that wherever you look within its inspired pages golden threads appear, weaving themselves into a pattern of truth until the finished product shines forth with a magnificent beauty and fullness that only God Himself can devise.
Both New Testament and Old Testament writers are forever forging links in the golden chain of kingdom truth until we are left to marvel at so great a restitution and so wonderful a regeneration. These significant words of Peter fill the soul with wonder: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets from the beginning of the world.” Is it then any wonder that the Bible literally breathes the message of the kingdom of God and the restoration of all things that fell under the curse even from the beginning of the world?
The Bible itself does not contain all the things that could be written on this subject. How much less are we able in such limited space to unfold more than a mere outline of the majesty of that kingdom which is even now at hand. We must therefore confine ourselves to small portions from one or two books that we might better understand the whole.
Isaiah is certainly a prophet of the kingdom of God. His prophetic ear seemed always tuned in to the glory of the coming age. His prophetic eye overlooked the scenes of his own day. Spanning the centuries, he saw a Saviour who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and chastised for our peace. Then, leaping far beyond the sorrow of the cross, he saw every valley exalted, every mountain made low, every crooked place made straight, and every rough place smooth. Isa. 40:4. He saw a king who would not fail nor be discouraged till He had set judgment in the earth, and the isles would wait for His law. Isa. 42:4.
THE KING AND THE KINGDOM
It is the king that determines the kingdom. If the king is righteous, so also is the kingdom. If the king is iniquitous, the kingdom will be filled with evil. “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” The nations of the earth have been plagued for thousands of years by strife, inequity, and every imaginable evil because there has been an unceasing reign of the carnal mind in every kingdom from the beginning of time. Throughout all the history of Israel the testimony was “like people, like priest.” If the king was righteous, the people were righteous. If the king was evil, so also were the people. The kingdom of God will be all glorious because the King is all glorious. All that He is will fall in blessing upon His kingdom as the dew of Hermon falls in blessing upon the mountains in Zion, for there the Lord commandeth the blessing, even life forevermore.
The life which Jesus lived on earth was the greatest parable ever known. It was a parable of the kingdom of God. He fully demonstrated by His divine life and power all the blessings that Were to follow in His kingdom. The evil things which we have learned to live with and accept as part of our very existence He conquered, putting them beneath His feet. He delivered those who believe from every sickness known to man! The word of His mouth makes the lame man to leap as an hart. Hear Him as He commands deaf ears to be unstopped and blind eves to see. Listen ah His wisdom puts all His enemies to silence, causing them to ray, “Never man spake like this man!” Stand in awe beside the tomb of the dead while He who is the resurrection and the life calls, “Lazarus, come forth!” Weep with the forgiven woman to whom He said, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” Feast as He feeds the hungry multitude with enough and to spare. Rejoice as He preaches, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Stand in awe as He stills the raging storm even as He stilled the fevered brow. Weep with His friends as He died. Rejoice that He liveth again soon to return on the clouds of glory to reign, no more in humility and rejection in tiny Palestine, but in power and wonderful glory over all the earth. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps. Fire and hail, snow and vapors; stormy winds fulfilling His word: Mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all Cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl: Kings of the earth and all people; princes, and all judges of The earth. Both young men and maidens; old men and Children: Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His Name alone is excellent. His glory is above the earth and the heaven.
It is almost possible to hear the thrill of Isaiah’s voice as it comes ringing o’er the centuries; “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” (Isa. 9:6, 7) I stand in awe before these mighty words. They are too much for my feeble words to describe. Think of it! A King reigning whose very name is Wonderful, whose very title is Counselor, who has a name written The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace! We who are accustomed to seeing the increase of strife, anarchy, war, and evil are asked to behold the increase of His government and peace which shall flow like a river over all the earth until every sword is a plow share and every spear a pruning hook. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. Thus upon the throne of David and from Jerusalem (the city of peace) shall the throne of the Lord be established with judgment and justice from henceforth for the kingdom age. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isa. 9:7.
THE SON AND THE SONS
The apostle Paul taught that “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19) Sonship is the hope of the entire creation. In sonship we are to include that first glorious Son, Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn of God’s creation of sons, but with Him we are to include also that vast family of sons who are to follow after Him to finally come into His glorious image. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of many brethren, many sons who through His grace were to come into that same image. When John saw the fullness of Christ in his blessed vision on Patmos, he fell as one dead before Him, for he saw Him in completeness, His voice as the sound of many waters, for all the sons of God were complete in Him.
Though the apostles taught the truths of sonship, we must not think that the doctrine began with them, for it did not. Isaiah, David, and many others wrote of sonship. Isaiah in his prophecy opened a revelation which Jesus later completed when He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.“ (John. 15:5) In Isaiah 11:1 we have these wonderful words: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of His roots.” Jesse was the father of David (Matt. 1:6) from whom according to the flesh Christ came. Rom. 1:3, Matt. 1:1. Jesus Christ was the rod out of the stem of Jesse and the sons of God are the branch that grew out of His root. For this reason Jesus declared, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” His inspired words without doubt explain the true meaning of the prophecy. Speaking again of the kingdom day in chapter 4:2, Isaiah says, “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious. . .” Jesus Christ was the corn of wheat which fell into the ground and died. The sons of God are the full corn in the ear. He was the seed; they are the fruit in His image. Let us not miss this great truth, for it shows us as nothing else can what the place of the sons of God will be in the kingdom of the Father. Indeed, it manifests the true meaning and purpose of sonship. The manifestation of the sons of God will be during the kingdom age. Then the works that Christ did they will do also and far greater works than these. Their ministry will be to restore the whole creation to the glory of Eden during the entire thousand years of the millennial kingdom.
Let us not be deceived by crafty men who now profess to be manifested sons of God. If they were such, they would have no need to proclaim it, for their undeniable glory and power would stand open before all the world, none being able to dispute nor gainsay it. For the most part these men are as unlike Jesus as it is possible to be. When the sons of God are manifested, all the world will feel the power and authority of their ministry, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
When John saw the 144,000 stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev. 14), he was actually beholding the complete body of sons gathered out of the church age and prepared for the government of the kingdom, for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. To understand the character and glory of the millennial reign, which is identical with the kingdom of God, we will need far more than ordinary understanding. God grant that His revelation may be given us to see beyond the misty shadows of doubt and fear that belong to this age of carnal men that we may behold the day which the Lord has made, even His Sabbath of rest.
Men who are accustomed to fighting every curse in this age would not know what to do if they were to suddenly find themselves in Eden where no curse is. All our lives we have struggled against the curse of thorns and weeds. In the sweat of our faces we have fought with drought and heat; we have wrestled with floods and endless pests. Frost and hail have snatched away the hope of our labors; fire has devoured the dreams of a lifetime. During the days we have been scorched with heat; in the night we have been bitten with frost. Sickness, disease, war, fear, and death have dogged our pilgrim pathway from the cradle to the grave. Our days have been full of trouble and sorrow as the sparks fly upward. To understand, therefore, the character and glory of the kingdom reign we must know that the nations who then will inhabit the earth will be free from all these blighting curses, for the ministry of the sons of God, the branch of the Lord, will have removed them all. Then shall be brought to pass the saying of Jesus, “The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these ye do because I go to the Father.”
Let us now notice that upon this branch of the Lord, which is the sons of God, will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of might, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of reverence or the fear of the Lord. Isa. 11:2. This is the Spirit and anointing which will rest upon the sons of God who will reign with Christ to govern the earth in the kingdom of the Father. The sevenfold Spirit that is named in detail here is the same as that which John in the Revelation calls the .seven spirits which are before His throne. Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6. (Please read these references. Their teaching is most enlightening.) Need we remind ourselves that the throne is the seat of government? Therefore these seven glorious spirits appear before the throne.
The very thought of an age governed by sons of God who are full of the sevenfold Spirit of God leaves us almost breathless. Words become totally inadequate and human expression collapses completely. Our innermost beings must begin to respond to the revelation and the inspiration of the almighty God; otherwise we will be as dumb beasts in our understanding. Compare the governments of our day with all their graft and greed, their political maneuvering, their heartless intrigue, their oppression and inequality, with the government of the sons of God upon whom shall rest the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the .spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and reverence for the Lord. If our hearts Can comprehend the vast gulf that lies between these two systems, then we will see that all who enter into that blessed realm of the kingdom of God will have awakened to a new age where old things have truly passed away and, behold, all things are become new. Is it any wonder that Paul, thrilling to the inspiration of the Spirit, cried, “I reckon that the sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us, for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth [Or the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:18, 19)
Now notice the kind of judgment the earth will share in that age. “And He shall make Him (the branch, or the body of sons) of quick (living) understanding in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of the ears. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, and He shall smite the earth with the rod (authority) of His mouth and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11:4, 5) The judges of the earth for centuries past have judged by the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears. But we have yet to learn that what the natural eye sees and the natural ear hears are outward and undependable. Man can see only the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. I know of only one judge who cast outward evidence aside and judged righteously by the Spirit. That judge was, of course, Jesus Christ, the first glorious Son who was the pattern for all God’s sons. When the woman taken in the very act of adultery was brought before Him, He judged neither by what He heard nor by what He saw. Casting aside the outward and visible, He judged by what His spirit knew within. Therefore He was able to release her without condemnation and send her away to sin no more. John 8:1-I 1. His gracious act on this important occasion proved and confirmed His own inimitable teaching, for He had taught that we should ‘judge not according to the outward appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24. The Holy Spirit centuries earlier, speaking by the lips of Isaiah, had said, “With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” This without doubt is to be the character of the reign of Christ in the kingdom of the Father. Upon Him with all the sons of God will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God that “righteousness might be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11.5)
GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM, THE [George R. Hawtin] 1