TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 2
THY KINGDOM COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
TITLE and SUBTITLES
THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM
The Certainty of the Kingdom
The Glory of the Kingdom
The King and the Kingdom
The Son and the Sons
The Restoration of all Things
Restoration of Light and Understanding
The End of Oppression
Restoration of the Earth
Restoration of the Animal Kingdom
Restoration of Universal Peace
The Increase of the Kingdom
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN
The Ever Expanding Kingdom
The Kingdom Within
THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT
The Gathering of the Elect and the Reign of Christ in Their Hearts
The Reign with His Sons in the Kingdom
His Reign over the Entire Earth
The Transformation of the People
The Increase of His Government and the
Dispensation of the Fullness of Times
THE KINGDOM of GOD and the KINGDOMS of
The Kingdom of God
Our Father Which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it
Is done in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power
And the Glory, for ever.
THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”— Math. 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 hast 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 i tike 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 he 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 He 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, hale, 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 misled 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 car, 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 thraldom 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 shall conceive in thy womb and bring fourth a Son and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall he 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 (he 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.” 1 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 thethrone 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 Savior 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 nil 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 eyes to see. Listen as His wisdom puts all His enemies to silence, causing them to say, “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’ stormv wind* 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 11 is 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 thin.” 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 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 Cod, 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 shall 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, 4:4, 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 the 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 as 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 for 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 8:1-11) 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
THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
The dispensation of the kingdom of God is to be a dispensation of restoration. The things lost through the fall are to be restored from the least to the greatest. Certainly there is a further vast unspeakable gathering of all things into Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:9, 10), which dispensation follows the dispensation of the kingdom of God. But, during the kingdom of God, when Christ reigns on the earth with His sons from Zion and Jerusalem, there will be a restoration beyond man’s ability to comprehend. We must believe the word of God as we read it and seek the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of the unspeakable glory of that coming age.
When Peter spoke of the restitution of all things (Act 3:21), he was without doubt speaking of the kingdom day. He said that the heavens must receive Jesus until the times of restitution of all things. The blighting traditions of the church have stolen the truth of this scripture from the hearts of believing men, teaching them that God would not restore all things, but I am sure that He who gathered up the fragments of bread and fish that nothing be lost cannot consent to the loss of the greatest purposes of His creation. Nor will He who left the ninety and nine sheep in the fold to seek the one that was lost be content to have one sheep in the fold while ninety and nine are lost. Such thoughts are inconsistent with the very nature of God and contrary to all He is and does. Let us then follow the prophet Isaiah and move with him in inspiration as he paints the picture of restoration on the canvas of our faith.
RESTORATION OF LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING
Since the day that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, man has lacked spiritual understanding. His heart has been blinded because he has walked almost entirely by the dictates of the carnal mind. The chief interest of a carnal mind is the preservation of his flesh, which is naught but the physical body of flesh. A heavy darkening veil has clouded his spiritual mind. He has groped about in darkness neither knowing nor understanding spiritual things. Like Nebuchadnezzar he has become as a beast because he was given the mind of a beast. But all this dimness will be removed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father, which is even now at our doors.
In the ninth chapter of Isaiah the prophet overwhelms our minds with these truths. After describing the darkness of the earth (Isa. 8:21, 22) which has prevailed in all ages, he throws open the gates of light to illumine the kingdom day. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light hath shined.” 9:2. For centuries humanity has been as prisoners gathered in a dark pit, but after many days we will be visited. So great will be the light that the moon will be confounded and the nun ashamed when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously. Isa. 24:22,23
The dark covering that has been cast over the hearts and minds of the people for ages and dispensations will be completely destroyed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father from Jerusalem and from Mount Zion. For thus saith the Lord by the mouth of Isaiah, “And He will destroy the covering cast over all the people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, and it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us: This is our God; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isa. 25:7-9
Few people have believed in ages past because there has been a veil over their understanding. Even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts; nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. (2 Cor. 3:15) God has a definite purpose in allowing a veil to cloud all human understanding. Contrary to the tradition of the church it is not God’s intention to bring all the world into the fold in this age. His intention is to choose out a people for his name, who in a coming glorious age would be used to bring light to all men. This is the plan laid down by the inspired word of the apostle James when he said, “God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And lo (his agree the words of the prophets; as it is written. After this (after He has taken out the people) I will return and huild again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and will build again the ruins thereof, and will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18
It is after Christ’s return to set up the kingdom that the residue of men are to be saved. To look for a world-wide ingathering during the church age is unscriptural and ridiculous. The world-wide revival will be during the kingdom age under the government of the sons of God. For then shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Some years ago it was revealed to me that the evangelization of the nations during the kingdom age would be accomplished in exactly the opposite way to the method used in this age. In the church age the commission has been, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.” In the kingdom age entire nations will come to Jerusalem and to Zion to seek and find the Lord. What could be more certain than the words spoken by Micah the prophet when he said, “But in the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain (Zion) of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow into it and many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord (Zion), and to the house of the God of Jacob (Jerusalem) and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1,2
During this age of grace the Lord has sought the people, but in the age of the kingdom He will pour upon them die spirit of grace and supplication and the millions of earth will come as nations, seeking the Lord in Jerusalem and in Zion. What an indescribable wonder! But once the Lord removes the covering cast over the minds of all people, then all men will see in a clear light and will come by the millions to seek His face. To this also agree the words of the other prophets. Isaiah has said with great clearness, “Behold, thou shall call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations which knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” Isa. 55:5,6 Here we have the wonderful promise of whole nations running to seek the Lord, because God has glorified His sons.
“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then shall thou see and flow together and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged: because the abundance of the sea (the people) shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” Isa. 60:1-5 “Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands that I have glorified.” Isa. 60:20,21 Please read Isaiah, chapter 60.
It is completely hopeless here to even try to quote all the scriptures that refer to the universal conversion of the seeking nations during the dispensation of the kingdom of God; therefore, with these scriptures we will pass on: “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that onto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear.” Isa. 45:22,23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts. It shall yet come to pass that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: For we have heard that God is with you.” Zech. 8:20-23 Thus shall the covering cast upon the minds jf the people since Eden be destroyed by the sons of God, and ill nations will see the light and seek the Lord.
THE END OF OPPRESSION
What a dreadful sermon could be preached on the theme of oppression! But the subject is too well known by most people to speak of it here. From time immemorial the history of the world has been one of the oppressor and the oppressed. The poor have been robbed because they were poor. The hireling has been cheated of his pittance while rich men have grown fat by his loss. The widow’s house has been devoured while the rich man’s riches have cankered and rusted. The wages of the hireling that reaped the field have been kept back by fraud that the rich might heap treasure for the last day. The innocent have been condemned and killed while the guilty have gone free. The strong have made slaves of the weak and have taken by force the little he had. But the end of all oppression will immediately come when the law of the Lord goes forth from the 144,000 sons who stand upon Mount Zion, for the righteousness and justice of Christ will fill the entire earth. “For the extortioner is at an end, and the spoiler ceaseth; the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking judgment and hasting righteousness.” Isa. 16:4-5 “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 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 reigns.” Isa. 11:4,5 Thus shall all oppression end.
The kingdom age will see the final end of all sickness and physical disability. A pitiful cry is rising today from all mankind, saying, “I am sick!” Every part of the human body is subject to disease. No member of the physical body has escaped. In spite of all the remarkable accomplishments of medical science we may safely say that the human race becomes weaker as the years go by. Practically every doctor and dentist has a long waiting list. Hospitals are filled to overflowing all the time. One out of every twelve persons requires mental treatment during his life, and cancer and heart disease have reached epidemic proportions. The whole creation groans in pain and the cry of the sufferer never ceases. Is it any wonder that the suffering creation sighs in a sort of universal travail, longing for the manifestation of the sons of God when at last they will be delivered from the awful bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the sons of God.
Jesus Christ, who will reign in the kingdom of His Father, demonstrated while upon earth that His power over every human ailment .was complete. Even the maimed (people who had lost limbs) were healed by His matchless power and went away rejoicing. Demons who had filled men’s minds with wild insanity were cast out. Lepers were cleansed with a word and dead men raised to life again. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” “I am the resurrection and the life,” He said, “Whosoever believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” The healings and miracles of Jesus were performed, not to try to rid the earth of sickness nor even to prove His power as the son of God, but rather to demonstrate the power, the authority, and the character of that King whom God has fore-ordained to reign over all the earth in the coming age. If He did these mighty things in His rejection and humiliation, what will He do in His glory? Or if these things be done in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?
The prophecies which concern the kingdom of God leave no stone unturned to fully assure us that there will be a full and complete deliverance from all the diseases and sicknesses which have brought such a night of suffering and death upon the whole earth. The deliverance of the entire creation from this bondage will be one of the greater works of which Jesus spoke. When Zion is the city of our solemnities and Jerusalem a quiet habitation, the inhabitant shall not say, “I am sick.” (Isa. 33:20, 24) What a change that will be! “Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35:5, 6, 10 In that glorious day man shall be satisfied with long life (Psa. 91:16), and they will see the salvation of the Lord, for He gives His followers aionian life and they shall never perish.
RESTORATION OF THE EARTH
Like all other things the good earth has suffered the result of the curse ever since the fall. The very ground itself has been cursed for man’s sake. The productiveness and life-giving power it once possessed has vanished from it with the coming of the curse, for God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded of thee saying, Thou shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and thou shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return lo the ground.” Gen. 3:17-19
Never has man been able lo remove the curse from the earth. He does not know how much the earth is capable of bringing forth, nor does he understand the creative ministry that Adam enjoyed when he was given the joy of dressing the garden. Of the earth man knows only toil and sweat that he might eat the herb of the field to keep life within him until he returns lo the dust. But to His glorious sons God has given the ministry of removing the curse from the earth. This, too, will be restored, for it is written, “Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” Isa. 40:4, 5 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: … The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” Isa. 35:1, 2, 7 “Ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and hills will break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isa. 35:12, 13 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the ‘lawman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him hat soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all he hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit hem; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; hey shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them, and I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:13-15. Thus shall the kingdom restore the earth to an Eden of glory.
RESTORATION OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
Not least of all that fell beneath the weight of the curse was he animal kingdom. Their once bright minds were forced downward by the fall of man lest they should be wiser than their alien lord. Throughout the dispensations they have groaned under a fearful travail which even man has not known. They lave unwillingly been made man’s enemy. They have been sacrificed on the altar for his sin. They have been butchered for his meat. They have been hunted for his pleasure, and made laves for his industry. But the days of their bondage and thraldom are almost over, for the sons of God will restore them o their original glory. Then shall “the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the falling together; and a little child shall lead hem. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:6-9
Most men have a love for animals, and I cannot resist saying that I think I shall weep with joy when I see a mighty lion lying in peace with the calf and the falling. How I shall rejoice to pal his lawny head and see him restored lo the peace of Eden! Then shall our glad hearts repeat, “Greater works than these shall ye do, because I go to My Father.”
Then the bear shall be gentle,
And the wolf shall be lame;
And the lion shall lie down with the lamb.
Then the beast from the wild
Shall be led by the child,
And I shall be changed from the creature that I am.
RESTORATION OF UNIVERSAL PEACE
The reign of King Solomon with its universal peace is symbolic of the millennial reign of Christ From the beginning of time war and strife have been so universal that mankind has accepted them as necessary evils and an important part of international relations. All nations have their ministers of war and all have their armies, either small or large. War is the method of the carnal mind. Carnage and the carnal mind go hand in hand. Though nothing is ever truly settled by war, yet the carnal mind never learns that lesson. Should this age go on forever, there would still be armies and bloody battles in the earth. War exists not only on the level of nations, but it exists in the hearts of the people. Il is waged between members of families, between husbands and wives, between rival gangs, and even in sports. The world of religion gives no relief from this spirit of rivalry, for the bitterest of all struggles have been the religious ones, for they never end, neither are they ever forgiven.
All wars in history come from the carnal mind. The carnal mind is the mind that is interested only in the carni, which is the flesh. The carnal mind is the physical mind and not the spiritual mind. The carnal mind is concerned only with the things of the body – what it tastes, feels, hears, sees, and smells. For the sake if these five senses the whole physical world exists and for their ratification all war and strife is waged. But the kingdom of God will not be governed by the carnal mind but by the mind of Christ, which is the Father’s mind. That glorious mind of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will be possessed in fullest measure by every reigning Son of God that peace might reign supreme among all nations and all families of the earth. It will change the nature of carnivorous beasts. Then the wolf and he lamb shall lie down together and nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (Jas. 3:17) This is the wisdom that comes from above and this is the wisdom of the mind of Christ. The wisdom from beneath is earthly, sensual, devilish (Jas. 3:14-16), and the result of it has been war and continual confusion throughout all ages. But the wisdom from hove, which is pure and peaceable, gentle and easily entreated, will bring a reign of peace, purity, and gentleness.
With wisdom there is always authority. There is no true authority apart from wisdom. It could not possibly be. Therefore he wisdom God has given to His sons possesses the authority to remove all greed and the resulting strife from the face of the earth, for “He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up word against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:4 “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one n the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:4, 5
During that glorious reign there will be no lawlessness, reed, graft, or rebellion permitted, for the “spoiler ceaseth, and he oppressors are consumed from the land. And in mercy shall he throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness,” Isa. 16:4, 5. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord… Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts. – And in that day there shall be no more Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 14:20, 21
THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM
The kingdom of God will not spread over the entire earth in a moment of time. Never in any dispensation has God undertaken to fulfill His purposes in an instant. There will be increase and a steady growth of the kingdom that will gradually fill all the earth until no man will say, “Know the Lord, for all will know Him from the least to the greatest.” Isaiah certainly gives a wonderful understanding of the increase of the kingdom when he says, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever (the age). The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isa. 9:7
When Daniel saw the vision of the destruction of the Babylon of the world systems, he saw a stone (Christ) cut from the mountain (Zion) which smote the image of the world systems on the feet. The whole image collapsed, and the stone became a great mountain that filled the whole earth. (Dan. 2:34,35)
I am convinced that we are at the end of this age. The dispensation of the kingdom of heaven, which we have known as the church age, or the dispensation of grace is at an end. It has been an age of good and evil, right and wrong, wheat and tares, sheep and goats, light and darkness, mingled together so that scarcely anyone knew which was which. Jesus Christ, like David, though anointed to reign, has seen Saul seated on His throne while He in His rejection has reigned only in the hearts of His true followers. But those who have truly followed Him in this age of uncertainties, division, and carnality will be the ones who sit with Him in His throne in the kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:28)
Two thousand years ago John the Baptist came proclaiming, ”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His message was true and that age came with great power. From its fields of wheat and tares the Lord has gathered the seed of the kingdom of God. The message today is not “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is it hand,” but, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” It is scarcely necessary to repeat the signs which Jesus declared would precede the end of this age, but certainly they have been fulfilled and are being fulfilled on an ever, increasing scale. We read in the seventeenth chapter of Luke that the disciples asked Jesus when the kingdom of God should come. Verse 20. In the following verses of the chapter He outlined many signs. “The Son of man must be rejected of this generation,” He said, and so it has been. As it was in the days of Noah, so should it be in the lays of the Son of man. Certainly the days of Noah are with us. The kingdom of God is at hand.
Great preparations are being made in the spiritual world for he coming age. The image of great Babylon is rising to its fullest height. The sons of God are being secretly prepared and anointed to reign. Very soon the little stone cut from the mountain without hands will strike the image on the feet, and he kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall resign for ever and ever.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN
“And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come. He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say Lo here! or Lo there! For behold the kingdom of God is within you.“ Luke 17:20, 21
The end of all things as we have known them is at hand. The unsound and worthless feet of the image of Babylon, part of iron and part of miry clay, are even now crumbling beneath the awesome weight of the legs of iron, the belly and thighs of brass, the breast of silver and the haughty head of gold. (Dan. 2:31-45) The image of Babylon is complete. This art of human device now stands before the deceived but admiring eyes of men, a thing of infinite beauty, an image to be trusted, having stood the ravages of millenniums of time. But they do not seem to know that its feet are dross, mingled, weak and corrupt, for they are formed of iron and clay which cannot cling together, and, should a stone but fall upon them, collapse they must and with them the haughty image of the systems of this world.
I need not tell you that Daniel, a prophet dearly loved of God, saw the total collapse of the confused systems and governments of this world when in spirit he saw a stone, cut out without hands, smite the image on its useless feet of iron and clay, shattering them in pieces. “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind (the Spirit) carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” Dan. 2:35
The stone that smote the image, utterly destroying it with one blow upon its deficient feet, must not be regarded as another of earth’s corrupt governments. This stone is not of flint or granite. This is a stone, chosen of God and precious. This is the stone, which the builders rejected, but God has made it the head stone of the corner. (Psa. 118:22) This precious stone is also a living stone, a person who is none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ the King. It was of Him that Peter wrote, saying, “To ‘horn coming, as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively (living) stones, re built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also icy were appointed,” (1 Peter 2:4-8) The inspiration of the Almighty leaves us in no doubt as to what and who this precious one is that smote the image of Babylon on its feet and then went on to build a kingdom that filled the whole earth. God has declared that “in the days of these kings (represented by the image) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall ever be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44
There are many sacred realms in scripture where I often fear I tread, not because I doubt their truth or fear to believe the wonders which their truths portray, but I fear those impious men ho would with rough-shod feet and unbowed head stomp in to gaze with unsanctified eyes at the burning bush of God’s sacred revelation, or who, like Uzzah, stretch forth an unsanctified hand to steady and adjust that which is wholly of the Lord, “There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.” Job 28:7, 8 It was because of such as these that Jesus always spoke in parables that He might safely hide the deep things of God from the carnal heads of the wise id prudent men and reveal them unto babes who walked in the love and fear of the Lord. I find little difficulty in persuading men and women to believe in sonship. They pounce on the truth like vultures and peddle the message like the hucksters of Petticoat Lane, but I find very, very few men who have the spirit of sonship, the spirit that with bowed head and contrite heart breathes in love and yieldedness, “Abba, Father!” He who has the spirit of sonship has no will of his own; neither has he any plans of his own, nor any ambitions of his own. He has no joy or humility of his own, nor gifts, nor sacrifices, nor righteousness, but his soul is bound in a bundle of life with the Lord his God, and the souls of his enemies, them shall he sling out as out of the middle of a sling. 1 Sam. 25:29. His one love and all-consuming passion is bound up in the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
I have written these solemn facts with purpose and fear lest the ambitious and unsanctified Christian should seize upon the truth we now discuss as just so much more ammunition for his gun or wind for his bag, for some preach Christ of envy and strife and some of good will, while others preach Christ of contention, not sincerely. (See Phil. 1:15,16)
The stone, which the builders rejected, is Christ. He is the head stone or the cap stone. The builders of the systems of this world, whether of government or of religion, have rejected Him as their head. Through all the ages the defiant shout of the multitude has been, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from Him. My heart’s desire and prayer to God for those who read is that the Holy Spirit would now open our eyes to clearly see the full force of the truth set forth in this inspired statement of Peter: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively (living) stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5 May God now open the eyes of our understanding to see that the precious living stone of whom the Spirit speaks is not one stone, but many individual living stones, united by the Spirit of God to become one stone. We, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another. With all reverence and godly fear I tell you that that one stone, formed of many living stones, is the fullness of God’s Christ. The spiritual house which God is building of many living stones is nothing less than the body of Christ, livery stone in this building, this house not made with hands, is a living stone. Every living stone is an elect and chosen son of God. Every elect and chosen Son of God is a member of His spiritual body. This is the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5:1. This is the Father’s house of many mansions which Jesus called “My Father’s house”. John 14:1,2 It is in this spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5), this holy temple, this spiritual body, that God is preparing a place for us even as Jesus said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2,3
While we entertain the idea that the Father’s house is heaven and the many mansions are beautiful palaces in which we will live when we get to heaven, we miss a whole realm of truth as well as being guilty of very childish understanding. The truth that God would have us know is this: He at infinite cost is building a house for Himself, an eternal mansion in the heavens from which He will govern the whole universe in glory and righteousness. The stones of that mansion are living stones. The living stones are elect and precious saints of God. With reverence and godly fear I proclaim the ineffable truth that these living stones are the enchristed, the people Paul speaks of as being “in Christ”. They are members of His body (1 Cor. 12:12), of His flesh, and of His bones (Eph. 5:30). In one Spirit, even the Holy Spirit, they are all baptized into one body (I Cor. 12:13), and that me body is Christ’s body (verse 12), the spiritual house (1 Peter 1:5), the temple of the Lord (2 Cor. 6:16), an house not made with hands (2 Cor. 5:1), and My Father’s house (John 14:2).
Oh, the goodness and the greatness of the purpose of God! How infinite His understanding! How wise His ways! How almighty His acts! How infinitely patient His longsuffering! Who among men can fathom or describe the purpose of the Lord? Who can ever add to His wisdom or detract from His power? God in wisdom has created the heavens and the earth. From the lass of the earth He took a portion of its dust to form a man, and from the mass of mankind and all the stones thereof He elected and chose the living stones who would form His living temple, His house not made with hands. See with what infinite power the Almighty presses His searching and edifying question upon us, for thus the Lord demands: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Cor. 3:16, 17
Read these inspired and holy statements with all diligence and prayer. Halt now in your reading, if you will, and with bowed head and contrite heart ask the Spirit of God to fill your spirit with the reality of the infinite work He is doing. Through suffering, fiery trial and tribulation, with infinite care He is chipping and cutting, fashioning and polishing that living stone which you are that as a finished, mature, and adopted son you may be placed by Him in the temple of the Lord, the house not made with hands, the Father’s own house and eternal dwelling place. Faithfully does He rebuke us, saying, “If any man defile the temple of the Lord, him shall God destroy.” In the end of this age the proclamation will be heralded from sea to sea and to the four winds of heaven, “All who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14 It is the combination of these three – called, chosen, and faithful – that will decide our place in His temple. None but these can reign. When I consider the universe, the work of God’s hands, the sun, the moon, and the stars with all their infinite and timeless majesty, I fain would fall before God in wonder and adoration; yet all the myriad stars, the suns and planets are but lifeless dust. But when I consider God’s holy temple, formed of the living stones which we are, each precious stone chosen of God, each one a son of God, each one a stone of fire, each one a temple in itself where God sits enthroned, every stone filled with the life that God is, the wisdom which God is, the understanding which God is, the omnipotence which God is, then there is no strength left in me, nor scarcely room for praise nor any word at all, for my spirit is struck dumb by the majesty of such infinite purpose.
It is not my intention here to write concerning the temple of the Lord. Perhaps at a later date we can explore more fully the infinite greatness of God and the wonder of the mansion He is building, but we will close the thought with this one question posed to us by the wisdom of God. “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living rod; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Cor.6:16 This magnificent statement of truth is followed by definite and infinitely important instruction which millions of Christians now reject. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Verses 17, 18 What, my brother, and what, my sister, does this demand mean to you? Can you not see that those saints who are to be members of His true body, His true temple, His true church, must of necessity separate themselves from the unclean harlots of this resent evil age? However violent may be our reaction to the Spirit’s constant call to come out from among them, I tell you in sincerity and truth that you will never be able to understand, much less partake of, the depths of the things I have written until you deliver yourself from the blinding tradition of the harlot system. In these dreadful days, days such as have never been known since the violent and corrupt days before the flood, can you not see that the shadows of night are falling all about us and tat Babylon, both spiritual and political, is tottering on its feet “clay? Leave now the temple of Belshazzar where the vessels of ie Lord are defiled with the corruption of the flesh. Leave it, I say, for in this dispensational night that is now upon us Babylon shall fall and all who are therein shall partake of her plagues, eave it now and flee as from Sodom. Flee not to some other tie town as Lot did, but flee to the mountain of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, even as the angel at first instructed him.
THE EVER EXPANDING KINGDOM
From time to time in these writings we have pointed out the significance of the truth Peter taught when he said that no prophecy of the scripture was of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 2:20. All scripture must be understood in conjunction with the whole mass of scripture. Furthermore we can safely say that every statement in God’s word has a primary meaning which lies right on the surface, like the words of a parable, plain enough for any man with eyes to see. Let us, however, be sure of this: It is not the surface meaning, which is of greatest importance, but the golden nugget of truth, which lies in the mine beneath the surface. And if you will dig still further, you will always find a third and greater enlargement of the truth you found lying in its simplest form on the surface. When asked by His disciples why He taught in parables, Jesus clearly indicated this divine principle. He answered them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matt. 13:11 Any man can understand the surface meaning of the parable of the sower and the seed, but only the spiritual mind sees the underlying spiritual truth. The truth which lies buried as a treasure beneath the surface dust is the meaning the Lord would have us see and, until we thus perceive, all our spiritual understanding lies dreadfully confined and straitened, leaving us to grope among the surface stones for priceless gems to enrich the inner man.
A simple example of the above proposition is found in the statement, “Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shall not do any work.” Exod. 20:9, 10 Surely any natural mind can understand this simple statement. On the surface of this commandment we have seven twenty-four hour days. In the first six of them we may work all we wish, but on the seventh day we must not do any servile work at all. The majority of men see no further than this primary statement of truth, and many, therefore, spend their lives proclaiming the command, arguing about it, quarrelling about it, proving it, and in general making their lives miserable about it. But if, upon accepting the primary truth, we begin to dig beneath the surface, we will hear the Spirit whisper, “A day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousands years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8. Then our eyes are opened to see that six thousand years of travail and labor are destined upon the earth to be followed by a seventh one thousand year day which is God’s day of blissful rest. The Sabbath of God’s rest is the kingdom age when all labor will be joy. Our peace will be the Prince of Peace. Our rest will be that Sabbath which He is. He who has entered into His rest also has eased from his own works as God did from His. Heb. 4:10. Just .s surely as Christ is our light and our peace and our Passover, so also is Christ our Sabbath. Is not this the plain and forceful caching of Paul in his letter to the Colossians? “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col. 2:16, 17 All the things contained in the law, good and wonderful as they /ere, are only shadows of things to come. A shadow falling upon he ground tells us that there is a body nearby, and, if you will lift your eyes away from the dusky shadow on the surface of the round, you will see the body that made the shadow. You will behold the reality rather than the reflection. Therefore Paul says, The body is of Christ.” New moons and Sabbaths are but shadows, lying darkly upon the surface of the ground, but look a little farther and you will see the reality – Christ our Passover in whom we are saved; Christ our Sabbath in whom we rest. Having LOW seen how the twenty-four hour day extends itself into a thousand years, we need only to dig a little deeper to discover a even thousand year day and a forty-nine thousand year week Lev. 25:8-24) during which time, according to God’s infinite purpose, all things are gathered into Himself (Eph. 1:10; Col.2:19, 20), and the entire universe enters into Christ’s rest. That is he meaning of the jubilee. What better name could God have given it?
When Jesus Christ our Lord commenced His ministry, His first message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” If you will follow His miracles, His sermons, and the signs and wonders of His three years of ministry, you will find in them an exact pattern of all that the kingdom of God will be. How simple it would be to fill this entire book with the spiritual significance of the marriage at Cana of Galilee where in His first miracle our Lord turned the water into wine. John 2:1-10. The ix huge water pots represent the six past dispensations that precede the kingdom of God – innocence, conscience, human government, promise, law, and grace. All through these ages past the wonderful truth they contained has been as water. People have despised the sanctity of innocence, the blessedness of conscience, the glory of human government, the assurance of promise, the holiness, justice and goodness of the law (Rom. 7:13,14), and the wonders of grace. They have reckoned them all as a thing to be done away, but the hour is at hand when all the water pots will be refilled with the water of truth they were intended to establish in the earth, and all the excellence of the truth of those dispensations will be completely restored. Their truth, hitherto lacking in Spirit and rendered helpless by the unregenerate nature of man, will be transformed from the deadness of water to the vibrant life of old wine, for God’s Spirit will make them alive and vital and, being thus made alive, they will become the knowledge of the Lord that will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea in that blessed Sabbath day of the kingdom of God. His truth shall endure to all generations. The beauty of innocence made perfect through experience and suffering; conscience fully enlightened and indwelt by the Spirit of Christ; human government, not by carnal men but God-men, even God’s sons. “He that overcometh shall sit with Me in My throne.” Promise, not afar off nor seen distantly by faith, not a mystical shadow, but the reality of walking by faith changed to walking by sight; and the law, which is the inherent nature of God, not done away, but enthroned in every transformed heart because He who made the law, yea, is the law, is enthroned in every heart. The law was never done away as people suppose. It was only removed from one place to another – removed from tables of stone to be written in the hearts of the sons of God. The law is God’s nature, and all who have the nature of God find themselves living in obedience to the law of God, even though they may never have seen it in writing. The law is fulfilled in Christ, and Christ fulfills it in the hearts of His people. And what shall we say of grace – that unmerited favor of God? Shall we find it missing in the kingdom of Christ? Will it be absent in the fullness of times or in the ages of the ages, which are to follow, or in the period of the second death? No! No! A thousand times no!
Those dear people who teach and preach that the day of grace will soon be ended know nothing at all of grace, nor do they understand that God Himself is grace. He is the God of all grace. You may as well say that God can die as to say that grace will end. I am sure you have read that God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6, 7
Oh, what a wonderful gospel will fill the world in that blessed age of the kingdom of God! No more as in the past will dispensational truth be as weak as water, but it will be water lade wine, even the strong wine of the kingdom, intoxicating very heart and mind in a glory more vivid and powerful than Pentecost. All men at the beginning of a feast set forth the best wine and, when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but God set forth water first and has reserved the best wine until now. Truly, Lord, Thou doest great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number!
If you will read a little further, you will see that Jesus, having made the water wine, began to cleanse the temple of rod. John 2:13-25. I need scarcely remind you that you are the temple of God, members in particular of Christ’s own body, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This was the temple to which He referred when He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 On the third twenty-four hour day after His crucifixion His own body was used incorruptible and in like manner in the third one thousand year day after His own resurrection He will raise up His spiritual body to incorruption. Follow the miracles with which He adorned the gospel of the kingdom and you will find Him opening the blind eyes, because in the kingdom all eyes will e opened, both physical and spiritual, and blindness will depart forever. Then He touched the lepers, delivering them from their uncleanness, for leprosy is symbolic of sin. By His matchless skill He delivered men from madness and insanity, for all who inherit lat kingdom must be filled with the perfect mind of Christ. We are living in an age of gross insanity. Wherever we look men are walking in contradiction to the revealed will of God with the consequence that God has abandoned them to the lusts of their hearts. The leaders of mighty nations rush madly to prop up a system, which is crumbling all about them, trying desperately to make things work without God, a task which is completely hopeless from beginning to end. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Oh, what a day of unspeakable glory when He in His living temple shall reign! Then “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall there be, and a way, and it shall be called, the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35
There was a day when the Pharisees came to Jesus, demanding to know when the kingdom of God should come. Luke 17:20. The answer, which He gave indicated none of the wonderful blessedness spoken of above or written by Isaiah and other prophets who proclaimed the kingdom of God. Indeed, at first thought would seem that Jesus was making the kingdom of God to be very small and insignificant by His saying, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21
The words of our Lord in this passage demonstrate vividly the truth we have been dealing with heretofore. First there appears that primary meaning. The kingdom of God is within you. Within you is the seed bed of that kingdom which will fill the universe. You will not dig much deeper before you make the wonderful discovery that the same kingdom which had its beginning in you has begun to burst its shell and spring forth as a tender plant — first the blade, then the ear, afterward the full 3rn in the ear – until the power and glory of the King who signs within you begins to spread His influence far beyond into all the earth and all things are gathered into the kingdom of God and nothing is left outside of it. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.” Jer. 23:5,6 As the tiny mustard seed is planted in the warm earth, thence to spring forth and grow exceedingly until it becomes the largest of the herbs, the fowl of the air lodging in its branches, so the seed of the kingdom, which is Christ the King, is planted in the earth which you are. There His reign begins. There the tender plant is nourished, and from that lowly place it grows to fill the whole earth until all people find safety in its branches. As we have pointed out before, we now remind you that the kingdom of God, having filled the earth in the dispensations to come, will from thence extend eternally outward to reconstitute, rehabilitate, reconcile, and replenish the entire universe, enfolding within its mighty branches the vast limitless firmament of nebulae, luminaries, and galaxies until the multiplied myriads of lie ransomed and reconciled shall in chorus fill the vastness of tie universe with these words: “Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the heights. Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for He commanded, and they were created, he hath also established them forever and ever: He hath made a decree, which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind 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 heaven. He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even the children of Israel, a people near unto Him. Praise ye the Lord.” Psa. 148
THE KINGDOM WITHIN
It is completely impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this foundational and fundamental truth: The kingdom of God is within you. It is here, Oh child of God, that the magnificence of the all encompassing, all-enduring, everlasting kingdom of God has its beginning. God Almighty, full of wisdom, longsuffering, and faithfulness, is preparing a people in the lowly estates of this present evil world who will reign with Christ in His throne, first from sea to sea and then from universe to universe. Make no mistake about it, my friend and brother! These present hours of preparation in the lowest parts of the earth are fraught with infinite importance and eternal significance. It is here and now that preparations are to be made. The enchristed who are to reign in glory with Him are being prepared. It is a faithful saying and full of truth that all who are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful, Rev. 17:14. Think not in your heart that you may pass your life here, carefree and dilatory concerning the purpose of God, suddenly to find yourself sitting with Christ governing the universe, because such a thing will not be. Well did Paul say, “If we suffer with Him, we will reign with Him; but if we deny Him, He will deny us.” If my understanding of this passage is correct, it simply means that, if we deny Him in our identification with Him in His suffering, rejection and death to self, He will deny us the right to reign with Him. It was not enough that the loving mother of James and John should ask this favor for her boys: “Grant that these my two sons may sit, one on Thy right hand and one on Thy left, in Thy kingdom.” Jesus gave the answer to all such presumption when He answered, “To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father.”
The kingdom of God begins within you on that day when Jesus Christ is first invited to enter your heart. In the day you repent of your sin, particularly the sin of unbelief, even that very hour Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men, becomes your personal Savior, bringing into your heart then and there the redemption purchased for all men through the blood of His cross. The work of salvation is wholly of God. Even the faith that brings it into your heart is wholly of God. For this reason the scripture has said, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that (faith) not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8
Though the work of salvation is wholly and entirely of the Lord, we can never absolve ourselves from personal responsibility and faithfulness to God. While redemption is wholly of the Lord and “we are God’s workmanship”, yet it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. 1 Cor. 4:2. To what extent the reign of Jesus Christ and the glory of His kingdom will increase and prosper within us will depend upon the kind of loving co-operation and submission He finds in our hearts. Our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our King, means absolutely everything, both now as He reigns within us and in the ages to come when He grants us a place in His throne, The reason John was that disciple whom Jesus loved was because Jesus was the Christ whom John loved more than all else in heaven or earth. The more we love Christ the more abundantly He requites our love. The more we listen for His voice the more readily He will speak to our hearts. The more our searching eyes seek the beauty of His face the more He will reveal His face to us. The more patiently we await His leading the more diligently He will lead us. The more implicitly we trust Him the greater will be His confidence in us. The greater delight we display in carrying out His will the more His soul will rejoice in opening our understanding to the sacred mysteries of God. “I love them that love Me,” saith the Lord, “and they that seek Me early shall find Me.” Love is an attitude of the heart. There is no way of explaining love that will enable men to grasp it with the natural mind. Love is of God. Yea, love is God and God is love. Love has nothing whatever to do with the sentimental, meaningless bosh we hear all about us. It is abundantly true that God loves those who love Him. He loves all men, even those who hate Him, but how much more is His love made manifest toward those who hourly requite His love and breathe out, often silently, the adorations and contemplations of their souls even as Mary did, who filled the house with the odor of her ointment, though it seems she spoke not a word.
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 Do you see the divine secret hidden here? “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father.” Does that not tell us that God requites our love? Does it not clearly show that all who love Him, cherishing His commandment, His will, and His eternal purpose, become the special objects of His admiration and His loving kindness? If I ask you why it was that Daniel was a man dearly loved of God, will you not with one consent give me one answer? Will you not tell me that Daniel was dearly beloved of God because he dearly loved God? There is no other answer that can be given. Could it be different with you or with me who dearly love God? Shall our fervent love go unrequited and unreturned? No, indeed no! But it will be returned in that abundance which only God Himself can pour forth.
Furthermore, in this same passage our Lord and Christ has clearly shown that our love for Him is the source of all revelation and spiritual understanding. “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” Verse 21 To love Christ is the secret of all revelation and spiritual understanding. The Lord is not interested in the letters that are indicative of our much learning. He is not sufficed by tradition nor delighted by head knowledge; but to all who love Him He reveals Himself that they may love Him yet the more, and, beholding Him, may be changed into the image of Him who has manifested Himself to them. So beautiful was this truth n the ears of Judas, the brother of James, that he was moved to make the useful inquiry, “How is that Thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” To this Jesus in answer aid unto him, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” John 14:22-24 Love is the secret key that opens the storehouse of revelation and spiritual understanding. Love enlightens the eyes and gives understanding to the heart. Love ends the heavy veil that hangs before each holy place revealing the glories of God and His kingdom. Love opens the locked treasure chest where lie the priceless jewels of all eternal things.
Two men looked through prison bars:
One saw mud and the other saw stars
Thus it ever is with us all. The man who has no burning love for God, though he be a professing Christian of many years, sees nothing but the bondage of corruption, while he who loves God sees in every chastening rod and every wearisome affliction the excellent power of the Lord working in him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
In the work that I am doing I receive many hundreds of letters. Some who write them are very sad and distressed because they seem to be doing nothing for God. People love the excitement of ever doing things, and the more they do the more they imagine they are pleasing God. This line of thinking is a great mistake. It is one of tradition’s most stubborn lies. God has not said that as many as are up and doing, they are the sons of God, but He has said, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, hey are the sons of God.” I know you have read this verse: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” You know, I am sure, that it was the Spirit who led Moses to the backside of the desert to seemingly waste his life, tending sheep for forty years. You know, too, that it was the leading of the Spirit that placed Paul through shipwreck on the Island of Miletus that the heathen might receive the glorious gospel of Christ. Was it not the Spirit of Christ who locked Paul in a prison cell and led John to Patmos through exile and banishment? Of course it was! Happy is that saintly man who sees God’s hand in everything, leading him in the way he should go! When we are led by God’s Spirit and our lives are yielded to Him, we must expect many of these strange and often cruel experiences. But, if we love Him enough to lay our head in worship upon His breast and say, “Thy way is in the storm, and Thy paths through the great waters,” then we are holding the right relationship to Him and we are receiving the molding that will prepare a vessel fit for the Master’s use.
As the protoplasm contains within its minute cells the very essence of that life which is to be, so the kingdom of God within us, infinitesimal in its smallness, contains within itself every essence of that vast universal kingdom to come. We must rightly conclude, therefore, that all things spoken of the kingdom of God within us will later be carried out in greater fullness still when at last that kingdom embraces the universe. Conversely, then, it must also be true that all things spoken of the vast universal kingdom of God equally apply to the kingdom of God, which as a tender plant has taken root within us. In this connection I would like to make special reference to one mighty edict of the Lord, spoken of by Paul concerning the kingdom of God. “As in Adam all die,” he said, “even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (including the second death, of course). For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things are subdued unto Him, then all the Son (which includes the whole sonship company) also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all and in all.” 1 Cor. 15:22-28
It is inconceivable to imagine any scripture or any inspired saying that could possibly enlarge on such all-embracing words these. Meditate at length on their fullness and, as your spirit asps the boundless realms of their significance, you will comprehend as never before how great are the things God has prepared for Himself and for those who love Him. Nowhere will there remain any sin nor will there be one sinner, for He must reign till all enemies are under His feet, yea, until every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, whether they be things in heaven or earth or under the earth, and every creature in heaven and in earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea will be heard lying, “Blessing and honor and glory to Him that sitteth upon tie throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Rev. 5:13
I have solemn and important words for every man who has his hope within him and who today rejoices in the knowledge that Christ, the King who shall reign in triumph on David’s throne in ages to come, has already taken the reins of the kingdom of God within him. How blessed and wonderful is the force of such an almost incredible truth as this! But it is in the knowledge of this ineffable fact that our responsibility as sons of God finds its deepest significance, as I will endeavor now to show.
We who were once dead in Adam have been already made alive in Christ. He who is alive forevermore has become my life and now He who sits upon the throne of my life must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. I do not ask you to struggle with those arch-enemies of yours – the world, the flesh, and the devil – but I do beseech you to yield the kingdom which you are to Jesus Christ, the King, that He may destroy these enemies from within you and reign on the throne of the kingdom of God within you until He has put all enemies under His feet. Your greatest enemy is not the devil; it is your own flesh. If men did not love their flesh so much, the devil would have no power at all in their lives. You will find men and women who claim to hate the devil and all he stands for, but no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it. Yet it is the flesh that lusts against the Spirit of Christ! The flesh unceasingly wars against the Spirit of the King and His kingdom that is within us. Just as the forces of evil and wickedness in the world in hate and envy proclaim, “We will not have this man to rule over us,” even so the flesh, desperately striving to revive the corrupt nature of Adam within us, would push Christ from His throne and reign in His stead. It is never our striving against the evils of the flesh and the world and the devil that counts for anything at all; the Christ within us would make short shift of them, but we have the wretched habit of failing to yield these evils to the King. Yea, we protect and excuse them until our willfulness calls forth the rod of iron. We cannot overcome our enemies ourselves. Christ alone can put them under His feet. Our responsibility is to yield ourselves to God that He may reign. It is the civil wars that rage in the kingdom within that hinder the work of God, closing fast our eyes to understanding and shutting up the gates of revelation, experience, and growth in Him.
Times almost without number the Spirit has warned that danger and death await those who remain in the organizations of Babylon, but people go heedlessly on as though no voice had spoken, their eyes darkened by church tradition and their spirits taken captive by the outward beauty of the deceiving harlot. People harshly rebuke me for daring to expose her drunkenness and sins and for warning them to flee from the awful destruction that awaits her and all who dwell in her, until I seem as one who mocks, but they have forgotten that in the end of this age angels themselves will pass through the heavens, crying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Rev. 14:8 And another voice came from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev. 18:4, 5 I have no hesitation in saying this: If you desire to have Christ the King establish His throne and reign within you, then your first and foremost step will be to divorce yourself from the harlot system. The Spirit has said, “Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.” 1 Cor. 6:15 And yet this is the position of all who remain in the church systems.
To the lowly apostle, Peter, our Lord Jesus Christ gave a special ministry. Once He bade him, “Feed My lambs,” and twice He spoke, saying, “Feed My sheep.” John 21:16,17 Wonderful are the instructions of Paul. Practical beyond measure are the words of James. Infinite in love and communion are the epistles of John; but Peter above all others is a feeder of the sheep, a feeder of the soul, of the spirit, and of the spiritual mind. Who more than he could prepare our hearts for this reigning King that all our enemies within and without should be subdued into Christ? Yes, even that last enemy, which is death, is not beyond the power of Him who said, “Behold, I am alive forever more, and hold the keys of death and hell.” Hear now the instruction of this wise feeder of the sheep as he tells us the way by which we may have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1:2-11
The subject we are now considering, the kingdom of God within us, is of such dimension and vital importance in these closing hours of time that one scarcely knows how best to present its significance that God’s people may be inspired to leave the weak and beggarly things of tradition and religion and to lay hold on the precious promise that is set before us. You will do yourself a great injustice if you read this message carelessly. It should be read and re-read. Its scripture references should be referred to separately. Time should be taken in meditation and prayer for guidance and understanding. There should be a death to self, that impudent, ego-centric devil that would and does usurp the very throne of Christ’s kingdom within. There should be a forsaking of the traditions of the elders, for they are often a stupefying drug that deadens the senses and blinds the eyes to all spiritual understanding. Traditions and doctrines that are contrary to the gracious nature of God will certainly cut us off from the revelation of God’s eternal purpose. These are days when the flesh is rampant on every hand. Compare Rom. 1:21-32 with 2 Tim. 3:1-8 and decide for yourself if this is not a true comparison with our day. Everything now is for the flesh – wine, women, song, drugs, sex, luxury, ease, and pleasure. Even the religions and forms of godliness are designed for the lovers of flesh. Everything everywhere for the five physical senses! Bad and corrupt as all this is, it is extremely awful to know that God’s people have permitted themselves to become a ready part of the abominable way of this present evil world. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance; broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate …” Isa. 24:5, 6
I know my words will greatly shock many who read them, but in truth I tell you that the vast host of professing Christians have become just like the people who inhabited Samaria after the ten tribes of Israel were carried captive to Assyria. Of them it is written, “They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” 2 Kings 17:33 Preachers today are for the most part professionals who run their “churches” as a business, measuring their success by visible gain. Instead of feeders of the sheep they are fleecers. They are the false shepherds and the false prophets of whom Jesus said there would be many. Thus saith the Lord, “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden My portion underfoot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.” Jer. 12:10, 11
I do not believe you will be able to understand this truth of the kingdom of God within you unless you are willing to take time for fasting and prayer. Fasting lays the flesh low. It gives ascendancy to the Spirit. The spirit of man is the same essence as the Spirit of the Lord, for it was God who made man a spiritual being and gave a spirit to him. Eccles. 12:7. It is necessary, therefore, that we avail ourselves of the methods which the Lord has put at our disposal to better enable us to enter into new and holy places and to ascend to new realms of experience and understanding in Him. Fasting, though hateful to the flesh, is simple enough for those who have a mind to do it. What reason can we offer to God for failure to apprehend spiritual blessing just because the flesh, that enemy of the Spirit, loathes to fast? After a fast has been entered into and accomplished, the faithful begin to find new and refreshing understanding in the spiritual realm. Paul taught that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and I am not speaking amiss when I tell you that fasting from food brings about a deliverance from the body that permits the spirit to enter into its own realm, which is the realm of God. Though this is difficult to understand, it is none the less real. Set aside a week for fasting and waiting upon God. Quit eating food altogether. Drink all the water you wish, but eat nothing. During the first four or five days you may imagine you are ready to die, but it is your flesh and maybe your friends who tell you that. You could live on for many weeks just as Jesus, Moses, Elijah and many others have done. After a few days of fasting your physical strength will begin to return. Body poisons, accumulated through years, are cleansed away, and you will be surprised at how much work you can do and how well you feel. Fasting is excellent for the body and a sure cure for many physical ailments. Spend as much time as possible reading the word of God and in meditation and waiting on the Lord that He may reveal His mind to you. Forget about praying for the things you have always wanted, such as gifts, healings, blessing and power. Seek rather to find out what God wants. Enter into communion, personal relationship and unity with Christ until through association with Him you become a living representation of His mind and will. Be careful to maintain all that was gained in fasting and not to lose out by rushing back to much eating and drinking and living after the flesh. Our attitude should be as the attitude of Christ: “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” Man shall not and must not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
We have already pointed out that all the mighty acts accomplished during the life of Jesus Christ were intended to be a typical display of the glory of the kingdom He will establish in the earth when He begins His reign. But be perfectly assured of this remarkable fact: Jesus Christ has been in the process of preparing the kingdom for almost two thousand years. His first message was, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was at hand when He spoke. The display of the glory of that age began with His ministry by which He demonstrated the power and glory and peace of His coming universal reign. After preaching the kingdom and displaying part of the excellent majesty of it, He then began to prepare through many fiery trials the elect people who will reign with Him in the inconceivable glory of that blessed age. The kingdom of God began to be established in individual, faithful, believing hearts. Christ enters the throne room of the believing heart. He takes the throne and begins to rule and govern and lead the believer till in him Christ is all, and all is Christ. This is the kingdom of God in you. In some Christians His kingdom is unable to gain a foothold and become established because the ground is not made fit for the seed. It is thorny, or stony, or full of weeds, or unreceptive as the uncultivated roadside, where, finding no root, it brings forth nothing, but is carried off by the birds of the air. See Mark 4:1-20. But in others, certainly not many, the seed of the kingdom brings forth fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundredfold. Thus it has been through the centuries as God has prepared His kingdom in men. Let it be fully understood that all through the past nineteen hundred years or so the kingdom of God has been among us, not yet visible, not yet with observation (Luke 17:20), but within the elect and en-Christed ones. The King is ready. The sons are now prepared. Many are waiting in the dust of the earth because God has promised us that they without us will not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:39, 40) Very soon the en-Christed, whether asleep in graves or waiting here, will rise. They will join Christ in the air, which means the Spirit. They will stand in an entirely new realm, but not a strange realm, for we have already partaken somewhat of its glory. Like Paul who, though here on earth in body, was nevertheless caught up into the realm of the third heaven, so these en-Christed ones will stand where He stands forever with the Lord, that the kingdom reign may begin and spread its blessed government abroad in all the earth. Thus shall “Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.”
These spiritual realms are being entered here and now by some whether we know it or not. But Satan, knowing that his time is short, has great wrath and has come down to destroy this manchild as soon as he is born, for he is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The tactics Satan uses are not what saints expect. He is destroying them with sleepiness, carelessness, much catering to the flesh, and with human zeal to accomplish things for God. Christians dread prayer and fasting but love crowds, excitement, and forms of godliness with imaginary power. These are the weapons Satan uses while God’s people sit looking for war or death or persecution to destroy them.
According to the gospel of John the second great work in our Lord’s ministry was the cleansing of the temple. (John 2:13-17) We have written pages now to show that you are the temple of God. There will never again be another temple made by hands that God will recognize. Even the mighty temple which Ezekiel described (Ezek. Chapters 41-48) must be understood to be the spiritual temple. Ezekiel’s temple can no more be physical than can the New Jerusalem which John saw descending from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev. 21:2) The New Jerusalem, which is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9,10), is here portrayed as a magnificent city of surpassing splendor. I stand weak and trembling with awe before its magnificent radiance. I have no ability to unfold the significance of the beauty of its precious stones; but I know of a certainty that they are living stones, chosen of God and precious. I do not understand the blessedness of the twelve gates; but I know the gates are never closed by day, and there is no night at all. (Rev. 21:5) If Christ is the door by which men enter, surely the bride is the gate through which nations shall come. I do not understand the wall great and high that surrounded this city; but I know it was a living thing. What did the king of Israel mean in that highly spiritual writing we call the Song of Solomon when he said, “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver (redemption): and if she be a door (gate), we will enclose her with boards of cedar (incorrupt-ion). / am a wall, and my breasts like towers; then was I in His eyes as one that found favor.” (S. of S. 8:8-10) This strange but beautiful meditation is spoken of the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, that holy city/w// of living stones, full of gates, with breasts like towers full of the milk of truth to nourish the nations who are yet to be saved and bring their glory and honor into it. (Verse 26)
The bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem. The bridegroom is the temple of the Lord, the sons of God, elect and chosen throughout the ages. Jesus Christ Himself is the head Son of this vast family of brothers. Adam was first formed, then Eve. The bridegroom is first formed, then the bride. The bridegroom company, God’s living temple will be ready, prepared, finished, and complete by the end of this age of grace. The bride company, the New Jerusalem, will be ready, prepared, finished, and complete at the end of the millennial kingdom. It was at the end of the millennial kingdom that John was carried away in the Spirit to behold the New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven. With the marriage of Christ, the temple of God, to that mysterious, unspeakably wonderful New Jerusalem bride the mystery of God is complete; the seven days of this dispensational week are over; the eighth day, the day of new beginnings, has come; Eden has been restored, and the life of the ages has begun.
During the all important hours before our Lord Jesus Christ departed this world, He filled the moments with fervent reminders of things of greatest importance to us, vividly marking the rugged path which we who take the road to sonship and the kingdom of God must follow. What man, leaving on a long journey, does not call his loved ones to him and refresh their minds with his final and most important instructions? The things of greatest importance are the things he emphasizes the most often with solemn repetition. “The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods.” Matt. 25:14 Thus the last days of our Lord’s earthly ministry were filled with reminders and instructions to those blessed ones whose hope it is to inherit the kingdom of God. With infinite care He explained what our relationship to the Father must be. He warned us of the severe tribulation and loneliness of the way. He made it very clear that our understanding of the purpose of God would be commensurate with our love for Him. “If a man love Me, My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him.” It is not the learned and educated, nor the wise and prudent, who comprehend the deep things of God or who taste the glories of the kingdom, but “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It is not the “food, fun, and fellowship” crowd that enters in, but “blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The mountain peaks of joy that will brighten our morning are reached through the valleys of weeping that endure through our night. There is a blessing sent from God in every burden of sorrow. It is not the proud and violent, the high and mighty, nor the rich and affluent who inherit the earth, but “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Woolman said, “Selfish men may possess the earth; it is only the meek who inherit it from the heavenly Father.” It is those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be filled with the righteousness which Christ Himself is. Never repay your enemies in their own coin nor entertain the crude notion that one injustice deserves another. Remember rather that it is the merciful who will obtain mercy and the blessing of the Lord. The pure in heart will see God; therefore, if your eye be single (pure), your whole body will be full of light. But, if your eye be evil (mixed with self and selfishness) and your motives impure, then your body is full of darkness. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Christian people, I have observed, are carelessly prone to regard the awesome proclamations of Almighty God as nice little meaningless day dreams. It is comforting to believe in heaven because it’s nice to think the dead are there and we might have to go there someday, too. It is convenient to believe in God. Who knows? We just may happen to need Him. And isn’t it nice to know the kingdom will come someday and we won’t have to work or war anymore? They remind me of the millionaire socialite who, speaking in the stuffy accents of her sophistication, remarked, “In our set it is chic to be born again.” Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe! These mighty edicts, these divine fiats, are not for the stuffy, the sophisticated, the dilatory, the worldly minded, nor the careless but for those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God till all else fades into insignificance and for those who desire the words of His mouth more than their necessary food.
The dispensation of the kingdom of God is very, very near, even at the door. The hour to which we have come is all important. Let not your lamp be depleted of its oil lest you hear the Savior say, “Could ye not watch with Me one hour?” The kingdom of God is the purpose and focal point of all previous dispensations. Jesus said that the kingdom was prepared from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:34) All previous dispensations with all the beauty and power of their truth are combined in the glory of the kingdom of God. Awaken, then, and sleep not lest its morning come upon you unaware! The signs of the end of this age abound on every hand. Every sign that heralds the end of this age is at the same moment the swift and glorious harbinger of the kingdom of God in the earth.
Jesus spoke of a day when Jerusalem would be encompassed with armies. (Luke 21:20) She is completely surrounded now. He said men’s hearts would fail for fear. (Luke 21-25) Heart failure is one of the most merciless killers of the day. Fearful sights are everywhere as nature itself reacts with violence against man’s morbid abuse. Perilous times have come to an extent inconceivable even ten years ago. The violence and evil of Noah’s day with all its intermingling and mixing of things God made to be pure and separate are upon us, together with all the filth of Sodom. False prophets, false churches, and false christs abound as part and parcel of the Babylon system.
While all this confusion is consuming the world and the vast majority of professing Christians are falling in line with it, and while Babylon has become the habitation of devils and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird, the kingdom of God is coming to the fullness in the hearts of God’s elect, “You are a building which has been reared on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the corner stone being Christ Jesus Himself, in union with whom the whole fabric, truly bonded together, is rising to form a holy sanctuary in the Lord; in whom you also are built up together to become a fixed abode for God through the Spirit.” Eph. 2:20-22 (Weymouth) The kingdom within you will soon be complete. The kingdom of God without and in the earth is now at hand. Everywhere you look the kingdoms of this world are falling to pieces. The feet of iron and clay are smitten. Soon we shall hear the triumphant cry, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign unto the ages of the ages.” Amen.
THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT
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 with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isa 9:7)
The deep and hidden mysteries of God are never discovered by the investigations or probings of the natural mind because they abide in a realm beyond the reach of the natural. God is not far from any one of us, for “in Him we live and move and have our being”, yet “no man hath seen God at any time.” When men with natural minds try to describe God, they manifest themselves to be the fools that they are, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14 As man cannot fathom God, neither can he fully comprehend His plan for the ages, His great redemption, or His merciful purpose, which He has purposed in Himself to gather all things in heaven and earth into His Son, Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:10)
I earnestly pray that God will give a spirit of true humility to all who read these lines, for revelation and understanding are given only to those who humbly confess their ignorance before God. While there is no searching of His understanding, yet “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isa, 40:29-31
Long ago our Lord Jesus Christ warned the Pharisees, saying, “Ye make the word of God of none effect through your tradition.” Mark 7:13 What a painful thing it really is that men through centuries of imbibing the teachings and sermons of men should have their hearts so full of religious tradition that they can never see the truth because it is contrary to their tradition. The scribes and Pharisees had formed such definite opinions as to who and what Christ should be that, when He appeared before them, they not only did not know Him but thoroughly rejected Him. Our Lord Jesus was forever knocking holes in their traditions, but for all that they would not abandon them. “What think ye of Christ?” He once asked. “Whose Son is He?” To this they replied, “He is the Son of David.” “How is it, then,” He asked, “that David in spirit calleth Him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ If David then called Him Lord, how is He his son?” Matt. 22:41-46 Though they could not answer His question and dared not try, they still held doggedly to their traditions. But were these scribes and Pharisees more blind and stubborn than the preachers and people who are their counterparts today? I tell you, nay, for the same blindness fills the minds of those who adhere to that unchaste harlot who dares to call herself the church. Blindly they grope and grovel in the darkness of her tradition, obscuring the light of revelation and the understanding of the truth.
“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the ages.” Acts 11:18 How could it be otherwise with an omniscient mind? We may therefore rest assured that the all wise God planned in the minutest detail each eternal purpose. Nothing happens without His will. No power prospers without His permission. Nations rise at His command and fall at His bidding. He raises up kings and puts them down again. Every stormy wind obeys His command. Angels, principalities, and powers are made subject unto Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. Everything everywhere, whether seen or unseen, obedient or rebellious, is fulfilling His mind and will in some way work toward His infinite purpose and the spokes of a wheel are centered in the hub. From the foundation of the world and the beginning of the ages, before ever there was a man on the face of the earth, the Lord God omniscient and almighty “appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained.” Acts 17:31 That man whom He hath ordained is none other than Jesus Christ, and it is of Him and the increase of His government and peace that we will concern ourselves in this chapter.
When the Lord declares Himself immutable, saying, “I am the Lord; I change not”, we should understand that His purposes are the same now as they were in the beginning. He is not changing, but is working out that which from the beginning flourished in His divine mind. The ways of God are eternally progressive, for progression was His purpose in the beginning, and progression was His purpose when He declared, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” Why do men quote the scripture, “I am the Lord; I change not”, or “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever” hoping to relegate God to the static, hearing of no progression or change in anything? The real truth is that God never changes His purpose, but all the growth and development and the glorious increase of His government are according to His unchanging purpose. How often we have read the truth, “The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more until the day is full”, but while we rejoice in the statement, we reject its truth, preferring to believe that God, being perfect, remains static in all things.
Have we not noticed the ever increasing growth of revelation in the life of John the Apostle? He who fell down in a daze before Christ at the transfiguration (Matt. 17:6) fell down as one dead before the greater glory when Christ was revealed as the Alpha and Omega in Rev. 1:17, and later still, when carried in the Spirit to behold the bride of Christ, he fell down once more, staggered by the wonder of that which is yet to come. (Rev. 22:8) Let us then raise our sights and lift our eyes unto the high hills of God that we may behold the increasing greatness of the revelation of Christ and the increasing greatness of the revelation of His government.
THE GATHERING OF THE ELECT AND THE REIGN OF CHRIST IN THEIR HEARTS
When the Apostle James stood to speak in the council at Jerusalem, he began by making this remarkable statement which embraces within itself the complete outline of God’s purpose for the age of grace in which we live and the dispensation of the kingdom of God, the millennial kingdom, which is to follow. In these words James instructed the brethren at Jerusalem, saying. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written. After this (i.e. after God has taken a people out of the Gentiles) I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18
It is true that God has known all His works from the foundation of the ages, for it was God who formed the ages and appointed what should be done in each one of them. I must, therefore, with utmost force impress upon all who read these lines that, if we are to comprehend God’s great plan for the ages, we must raise our eyes far above the engulfing muck and sucking quicksand of Babylonish church tradition handed down to us by the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth to keep God’s people in bondage, and, as though this were not enough, she has bequeathed many of her sordid and hopeless doctrines to her harlot daughters of so-called Protestantism. As long as you tenaciously hold to the tradition of the church system (which is not the church at all, but Babylon), believing that every Chinaman or African or Indian is forever doomed who through no fault of his own has never heard the name of Jesus Christ, then you will fail to see God’s plan for the ages, but if you see, as the Apostle Paul taught, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times God will gather together in one all things in Christ (Eph. 1:9-11), then for the first time in your life God’s marvelous working in every age will make good sense.
God’s purpose for this age of grace is not the conversion of the whole world. This never was His plan. God’s purpose for this age is to take out a people for His name. (Acts 15:14) And may I further add that, if it were God’s plan to bring the whole world to repentance in this age, then the whole world would come to repentance in this age, and nothing could stop it from doing so. Is not God almighty? Does He not hold all the nations in the palm of His hand, turning them about as a watercourse and appointing the bounds of their habitation? Did not our Lord Jesus Christ say, “All that the Father hath given Me will come to Me?” John 6:37 And did He not also say, “No man cometh to Me except the Father draw him?” John 6:44 On that wonderful day of revival when the church was in its infancy was it not said, “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed?” Acts 13:48 Who else could believe but they? Did God ask Saul of Tarsus whether or not he wanted to be saved? Or did He say to Ananias, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel?” Acts 9:15 Where do these man-made preachers get the notion that man is a free moral agent? Indeed, he may be free in some minor things that concern his personal conduct, but concerning God’s eternal purpose for him he is not free to do his own will, for “it is not of him that willeth or him that runneth, but God that showeth mercy.” Rom. 9:16
God’s purpose, then, in this dispensation of grace is to call out a people for His name. Out from among the billions of earth God is choosing an elect company to bear His name. Even the word church means the called out ones. These are the ones who are being called out of the world, called out of every nation, called out of the Gentiles, called out of Israel until there is a multitude which no man can number of all nations, and kindreds, and tongues. (Rev. 7:9) Just as God passed by all the inhabitants of Ur of the Chaldees, choosing out one man by the name of Abram, saying to him, “Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee” (Gen. 12:1), so He does today. Passing among the nations, He calls out all those who were ordained to eternal life, leaving the rest to fulfill His purpose in ages to come.
I am persuaded that the true church, which God sees and recognizes, is not the church which man sees and recognizes. God pity us if it were! The visible thing which man sees is a church made by the art of man’s device of which he, like Nebuchadnezzar of old, can say, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” Dan. 4:30 But the church, which God sees and recognizes, is comprised of those called out ones, for they have heard the voice of God and not the voice of man. They are the sheep of His fold. They are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10) He has become our peace, having broken down the walls and partitions erected by sects and denominations and by the ingenuity of the carnal mind. They are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and the household of God. They are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom the whole building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
“So you are no longer outsiders or aliens, but fellow-citizens with every other Christian. You belong now to the household of God. Firmly beneath you is the foundation, God’s messengers and prophets, the actual foundation stone being Jesus Christ Himself. In Him each separate piece of building, properly fitting into its neighbor, grows together into a temple consecrated to God. You are all part of this building in which God Himself lives by His Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22 (Phillips)
My earnest prayer to God is that those who read this message may quickly come to see the vast and abounding difference between the true church, the mystical body of Christ, which is rising to form a spiritual habitation and dwelling place for God, and that visible thing, the work of man’s hands, which like a lewd harlot waits at every corner to catch the man who is void of true understanding. The thing which men today call the church is not the church, but an enormous usurper, full of the lames of blasphemy, abounding in false worship and every service of man. Name off every denomination and every sect in the world and I will still affirm, after you have completed the list, that these are but names. They are neither the true church nor segments of it. Their worship is neither in spirit nor in truth. You owe no allegiance to them, but you owe God the obedience of “coming out from among them and being separate from them.”
I suppose all the arguments and persuasions in the world will not awaken Christians to the falsehood of the visible church system or to the reality of that spiritual temple, every member of which is stamped with the name of Christ, washed in His blood, and made partakers of His Spirit. They hear His voice and follow Him and strangers will they not follow. It is here in this blessed virgin church that Jesus Christ first sets up His government that He might begin to rule and reign on the throne of their hearts. God never intended that Jesus should reign over all the earth in this age. His reign is confined completely to that company of believers who have heard His voice and who follow Him.
As soon as a man believes, the Lord Jesus Christ desires immediately to set up His government in that life. He plans to subdue it completely unto Himself, to imbue the believer with His mind, with His Spirit, and with His thoughts until the soul is so yielded to Christ and filled with His ways that it can with truth be said, “As He is, so are we in this world.” Under this blessed reign of Christ the believer partakes of truth until he becomes truth. He learns wisdom until he is wisdom. Judgment, justice, and equity become integral parts of his redeemed spirit. All that Christ is the believer becomes. He is a partaker of the divine nature. He escapes the corruption that is in the world. He, like his Lord, becomes meek and lowly in heart. He loses his own will and delights himself in the will of God. God’s will is his will; God’s love is his love; God’s justice is his justice. In this age of grace Christ is the King and those who follow Him are the kingdom over which He reigns. This may seem to be a very small kingdom for such a great and eternal King, but we cannot over-emphasize the importance of this lowly beginning for a government whose authority is destined to be as boundless as eternity, for “of the increase of His government there shall be no end.”
How pitiful it is that for centuries Christians have been taught that their hope was to die and fly away to heaven where they would spend eternity shouting “Hallelujah” up and down the golden streets! Oh how much truth is missed by confining ourselves to such doctrines of men! This is not and never was God’s purpose for the saints, but the kingdom of God and the sovereign reign of Christ is being set up in the hearts of His believing saints. Thus He is preparing them for the government of the world when the time is ripe for it. He is bringing the true saints to full sonship that these sons, begotten of God, may, together with Jesus Christ the first begotten Son, be used to display unto principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God. Eph. 3:10. These are the sons of whom it is written, “That He might be the firstborn among many brethren,” Rom. 8:26, and again, “Here am I and the children (sons) which God has given Me.” Heb. 2:13
When Jesus the Lord came to earth, His own received Him not because He did not come according to their tradition. For centuries they had cherished the hope that the moment the Messiah appeared He would immediately seize authority, cast down their enemies, and begin His reign over the nations of the earth. They expected that He would smite down the Caesars Tom their thrones and restore the kingdom immediately to Israel. Even His disciples were filled with this doctrine, for after His resurrection they inquired, “Wilt Thou at this time restore he kingdom to Israel?” But He answered, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath put in His own lower, but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Acts 1:6-7 The people unto whom He came understood not that this King who had come from glory was not ready to set up His kingdom and reign, but first with utmost care He must choose and prepare through seemingly endless centuries that blessed “cabinet”, God’s sons, who were to reign and rule with Him. He must first set up His throne and reign in all their hearts, bringing them to the exact likeness and image of the Son of man, knowing full well that, when they had all become partakers of His Spirit, of His flesh, and of His bones, they would be in His image in all things and ready to take the kingdom and reign with Him, not in a limited, confined, and restricted kingdom, but over the whole earth and everything in. He knew that at the end of the age they should be in His image. They would be like Him – so wonderfully like Him that they would be indistinguishable from Him.
Those Jews who rejected Him as their king knew not that He would employ the next two thousand years to slowly, surely, and wisely choose that governing body of sons, preparing them through fiery furnaces and trials of affliction to sit together with Him in His throne, for those who suffer with Him shall reign with Him and those who deny Him He will deny. When that glorious kingdom comes, God will manifest twelve times twelve thousand sons in the image and likeness of God’s firstborn Son that all the earth may be filled with the glory of the Lord.
It would take volumes without number to write of the infinite preparation our Lord is making in the hearts of those saints who are to rule and reign with Him. See how He is preparing our hearts, conforming our very nature to the likeness of His own: First, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; second, that we may be rooted and grounded in love; third, that we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the length and breadth and depth and height and to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge; and, fourth, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God, that the church should bring glory to Him throughout all ages. Cf. Eph. 3:16-21. Since the reign of Christ is to be one of increasing peace, judgment, justice, order, love and equity, it is necessary that the King of kings and Lord of lords should take this whole dispensation to prepare the hearts of His sons that they might be prepared to reign with Him in the same spirit and with the same knowledge that He Himself possesses. He is not only preparing our spirits and our minds to shine in His exact likeness, but He is making known the mystery of His will, opening the eyes of our understanding that we may know the hope of such a sublime and worthy calling and what riches He enjoys among His saints. See Eph. 1:9-11, 18. It is through His great kindness freely bestowed on us that He will demonstrate the exceeding riches of His grace in the boundless ages, which are yet to come. See Eph. 2:7.
This then is the beginning of Christ’s reign – silent, unpretentious, and unnoticed as He reigns in the hearts of those elect whom He has chosen to reign with Him in the ages to come. But how boundless and important is this the beginning of His government, and how necessary that all the saints should walk in Him and suffer with Him, being “worthy of God who has called s unto His kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12) that we might walk continually in His will and stand at last in His image.
THE REIGN WITH HIS SONS IN THE KINGDOM
The world, which for six thousand years has endured the ever increasing injustice and inequity of the rule of man, is soon) see a change so unbelievable in its glory and magnitude that /even he that seeth it will scarce believe it. For centuries and dispensations the world has been blighted by the government of the carnal mind until the confusion and disorder has become so real that men’s hearts fail them for fear and for looking after the things that are coming upon the earth. But the long, long night of sin and misrule is nearing its end. The Sabbath of the dispensations draweth nigh – that seventh dispensation in God’s order, which is the millennial Sabbath. In six days God made the heaven and the earth and all that in them is, and on the seventh day He rested from all His work of creation. Those six days of work and labor represent the six thousand years of man’s travail under the misrule of the carnal mind, to be followed by a thousand year Sabbath day of rest in which all the former things will have passed away and the government will 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 ere shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with slice from henceforth even forever (or, for the age). The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:6,7)
What a glorious day for all the world and all the inhabitants thereof will be this millennial day when the Christ shall reign! And how much more glorious will it be for those saints who, having suffered with Him through the ages of darkness and wail, will now reign with Him in love and peace that the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters now fill the seas. Then no man shall ever say, “Know the Lord”, for in that day all shall know Him from the least even to the greatest.
Throughout the ages of sin and travail, puny man with his carnal mind has devised many forms of government, but each in its turn has proved a failure. The carnal mind wherever it is found continually seeks his own at the expense of others. Thus do all man’s efforts fall into decay and pass away. But in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and that kingdom will be the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all the sons of God, which is in truth the body of the bridegroom. With the coming increase of His government there shall be also an increase of those who govern, and we shall now attempt to show as best we can, limited as we are to words and phrases of human language, the very image of that majesty who is to reign over all the earth in the kingdom of our Lord, which is the kingdom of God.
The Apostle John had been exiled to the Isle of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of the Lord. He was one of those precious saints in whose hearts the meek and lowly Jesus reigned supreme. He was one of the in Christ company, or shall I boldly say he was one of the enchristed. He knew experimentally the truth of the words of the blessed Master, “Thou in Me and I in Thee that they may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” But he who was exiled to Patmos for permitting Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom in his heart was now to clearly see the meaning of the words, “Of the increase of His government there shall be no end.”
As he walked the lonely shores of Patmos, he found himself borne away into the realm of the Spirit. In Spirit he traversed the two thousand years of the dispensation of grace to stand in the day that he calls “the Lord’s day” or better understood by us as the day of the Lord. From his vantage point in the Spirit he was to behold the tribulation with all its horror unveiled before his eyes. He was to see the rise of antichrist and view the swaggering harlot of Babylonish religion as it exists in our day. He was to hear the voice of an angel proclaiming to God’s people, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her plagues; for strong is the Lord that judgeth her.” He was to look upon the awful smoke of her burning and destruction and hear the angel voice proclaiming, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign unto the age of the ages.” How awesome was his vision!
It is significantly wonderful that, at the very beginning of this great vision in which he was to see the reign of Christ with His saints for a thousand years, he should first be given a vision of the Christ who is to reign. The reign of Christ, which for two thousand years had been restricted to a mystical sovereignty in the hearts of His saints, is now to be greatly increased that He with all those sons whom He has chosen should now reign over all the earth, filling it with the knowledge of the Lord. Thus did John stand in the Spirit on the day of the Lord, and in his own words he declared. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia… And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed in a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in His right hand seven stars; .and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Rev. 1:10-17
Let us take particular note that this mighty One who stood among the candlesticks, proclaiming, “I am Alpha and Omega”, was something more than the meek and lowly Jesus of Nazareth, It is stated with great clearness that John, being turned, saw one like unto the Son of man. This is none other than Jesus Christ, the first begotten Son of God, together with all those other precious sons that have come into His image and likeness throughout the ages. This is in truth the fullness of the body of the bridegroom, for the bridegroom is more than Jesus of Nazareth. He is Jesus Christ and all the sons whom God has given Him now joined together as one glorious body of sons, the bridegroom of whom it was said, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.”
I am terribly at a loss for words to explain or express the glory of that which is soon to come to pass. John, who had been so near to Jesus during His time on earth, could not endure the glory of that mighty One which he now beheld. All his strength ebbed from him until he fell upon the ground as one who is dead. No wonder it is said, “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.” This He desires to do that we might abandon fully all the weakness of the beggarly things of this age to grasp by faith the marvels of that age which is soon to come.
The voice of this all glorious One was as the sound of a multitude. The significance of this lies in the fact that this was not the voice of the lonely Galilean, but this was Christ, the head, together with all the sons appearing as one body of Christ. Therefore it is fitting that the voice that proceeded forth from Him was the voice of a multitude, or as the voice of many waters. I shall never forget an occasion when we sat amid a crowd of thirty thousand. As they waited for the parade to begin, each was chatting to the other, and as they talked, I heard the swelling voice of a multitude. The only fitting description was that it was as the sound of many waters.
Time’s clock is striking the hour and the time is near at hand for the manifestation of the sons of God, and what a manifestation it is going to be! All creation from time immemorial has groaned and travailed for the manifestation of God’s sons, but soon their prayer will be answered in this mighty One, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
I am too weak and earthbound to describe the glory of that heavenly vision that caused John to fall as one dead. Perhaps one should just read it and pass along to let the truth speak for itself. Nevertheless, we shall pause to notice briefly some of the outstanding features that John beheld. This Alpha and Omega was like unto the Son of man. His whole body was clothed with one single garment. He was girt about with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet were like brass as if they burned in a furnace. In His right hand were seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. His voice, though the voice of a multitude, was as the sounding of a trumpet, which tells us clearly of the sublime unity of these many voices. Oh, how different it is today as we hear the seven thousand voices of Babylon, each proclaiming his own doctrine! But not so with the sons of God! They have become one Spirit with the Father in heaven. His will He has imparted to them. His will is their will, His purpose their purpose, and His plans their plans. Thus was the multitude of voices as the sound of a single trumpet.
His head was white as wool, as white as snow. The scriptures clearly teach that the hoary head is to be greatly honored, for therein lies the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of great age. The Ancient of days will be no novice in government, for in His hoary head is the wisdom of God who reigneth forever and ever. His eyes were as aflame of fire. How unlike the eyes of mortal man, which can do nothing more than receive light and images from without! Not so with his blessed One. His eyes are as fire, and in the beautiful words of Daniel, who evidently saw the same vision, as lamps of fire. (Dan. 10:6) Everything about the Ancient of days will exude light. All He beholds will receive light, for His eyes are as lamps of fire, and, because they will thus receive light from His countenance, they will receive life as well. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” His feet were as burnished brass as though they burned in a furnace. As brass is symbolic of judgment, and fire, I am sure, has a score of symbolisms, we can behold here the judgment of the nations through those blessed feet members of the body of Christ. Judgment, we must remember, is not merely condemnation as so many seem to think, but judgment may mean acquittal just as it may mean condemnation. The judgment of God has the distinct purpose of setting things right, and, indeed, all things will be set right and all things will be gloriously reconciled unto Himself, yes, things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth, or wherever they may be. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. The word of God that proceedeth forth from the mouth of the Lord is a sharp two-edged sword. It wounds and heals; it kills and makes alive. The whole world is to be judged by that blessed word of God. Just as the eyes give light, so the word that goeth forth from His mouth gives life. There will be no reprieve from its truth nor any error in its judgment.
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Of such great import is this revelation which Jesus Christ gave to John and all the church that He allowed a vision to be given to Daniel which is so exact in detail with that given to John that none of us can doubt that the two visions were in truth one. As Daniel fasted and prayed, he stood beside the river Hiddekel. “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with the fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude … Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me to corruption, and I retained no strength.” Dan. 10:5-8
Thus has the Lord revealed that in preparation for the increase of His government He has mightily increased the Governor in that through trial and affliction He has perfected a vast family of sons that they with Christ as one body in God may be able to take the kingdom and reign with Him for one thousand years.
The prophet Daniel, speaking of those days, sums them up in these wonderful words: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hairs of His head like pure wool: His throne was like a fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake. I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Dan 7:9-14
It would be futile to close this part of our meditation without mentioning a few of the blessed events of that reign of hitherto unexcelled excellence. Do not relegate the kingdom of God to pure mystery as a thing ethereal, having nothing in common with time. The millennial kingdom is the reign of Christ on the earth. It is just as real as the kingdom of David or Solomon. Into it will be gathered the glory, majesty, and truth of all past ages and dispensations, for it is the millennial Sabbath in which under Christ the world will rest from the travail of the past dispensations.
HIS REIGN OVER THE ENTIRE EARTH
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. And the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place . . . And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction…” Zech. 14:9-11 “And in the days of these kings (the present forms of government) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44
The universal extent of the kingdom of God was foretold by the angel Gabriel at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Appearing to Mary, he proclaimed, “Behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highesl: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33 And our blessed Lord taught His disciples lo pray for the coming of this great kingdom when He said, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven . . . And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Matt. 6:9,10,13
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.” Isa. 35:1, 2 “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isa. 40:4, 5
The transformation of the world in that day will be the marvel and joy of the inhabitants of earth. The weeds and pests that now blight the earth will be no more. “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.” Isa. 55:13 “Behold, the days, come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt... And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:13-15
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE PEOPLE
“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass and reeds and rushes”. Isa. 35:4-7 Then shall “the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:9 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord…” Jer. 31:34
Even the animals will be changed in the glory of that reign. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and falling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:6-9
“And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Rev. 20:4, 6
In the years of my preaching I am not sure that I ever attempted to preach from John 3:16. It is too big for man’s little mind to comprehend, let alone explain. It may be better just to read it and pass on. So also are our voices hushed as we contemplate the effulgent glory of that coming reign of reigns when Christ in the magnificent glory revealed to John (Rev. 1:9-18) shall reign over all the earth, the sons of God in His perfect likeness with Him. Then shall the whole earth know the wisdom of the mind of Christ, which shall fill every governor of that glorious and holy realm.
THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES
The dispensation of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10) is the eighth and final dispensation. In it God will gather all things in heaven and earth into Christ. This will be the most glorious of all ages, exceeding the millennial kingdom of God in glory as that age exceeded all others before it. The dispensation of the fullness of times is a completely new age, which follows the kingdom age. It is the eighth dispensation, typified by the year of jubilee in which year all debts were cancelled and all property returned to its rightful owner. (Lev. 25:1-24)
Seven is God’s number of completeness, and as seven twenty-four hour days make one week, so seven dispensational days make one dispensational week. The number eight is the number of new beginnings. Therefore the dispensation of the fullness of times, being the eighth dispensation, is identical with Eden. To make this point clear you will notice by looking at the calendar below that, when the first day of a month falls on a Sunday, the eighth day also falls on a Sunday and is the beginning of a new week. Eight is the number of new beginnings.
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The dispensation of the fullness of times, then, is the eighth dispensation due to begin when the seven dispensations of innocence, conscience, human government, promise, law, grace, and the kingdom of God are complete.
In reading these pages, you have noticed that the beginning of Christ’s reign during the dispensation of grace was confined completely to the reign of Jesus Christ in the hearts of those few people whom He has chosen for Himself. There is now no outward sign anywhere of the reign of Christ over the nations of the earth. The so-called Christian nations are not Christian in reality. They are only called Christian because they have come under the influence of the gospel, but they continue to live in sin, war, and the turmoil and confusion of the carnal mind. Greed and wickedness reign supreme and the nations are as little like Jesus Christ as they can possibly be. Thus, while sin reigns over all nations, Christ reigns in the hearts of a small but elect company who have been chosen of God in this age that they might be prepared to reign over all the earth in the coming kingdom of God. In that age, as we have already seen, the reign of Christ will have been increased and extended over all the earth. There will be no other government anywhere but the government of Christ, whose voice is as the sound of many waters, and all who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Rev. 17:4)
Christ, together with all the sons of God, is the completeness of the body of the bridegroom. It is this many membered bridegroom, whose voice, though sounding as many waters, rings with the unity of one trumpet, who will reign over all the earth in the kingdom of God. But this is not the end of the matter; for this all glorious bridegroom, at the sight of whom John fell as dead, is about to immeasurably increase Himself. The long awaited time has come to take the bride, for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready. The marriage of the bridegroom, the male company, to the bride, the female company, will be the signal for the beginning of that age of all ages in which everything in heaven and earth will be gathered into Christ. (Eph. 1:10)
Adam was male and female in one in the beginning, but the female was separated from the male and thus began the tortuous ages of sin which we have known for so long. But now at last, in greater glory far, Christ, the last Adam, is joined to the New Jerusalem bride, for it is the eighth day – the dispensation of the fullness of times in which God has declared, “Behold, I make all things new.”
It was after the millennial kingdom was past and the thousand years of Christ’s government ended (Rev. 20:1-6) that a mighty angel came to John, saying, “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.“ Rev. 21:9-14 (Please read the entire chapter.) “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them, which are saved, shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Rev. 21:23-27
John, who had fallen down as dead before the excellent glory of the revelation of Christ (Rev. 1:17), now, beholding the bride, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, and overcome by her splendor, falls down to worship at the feet of the angel. (Rev. 22:7) And how can we wonder at it? I am at a loss to know which was the more glorious, the bridegroom in all His lordly splendor as portrayed in Rev. 1, or the magnificent glory of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem bride of Christ manifest for the first time in (Rev. 21:9-27). The things of which we speak are too sacred for much elaboration. Rather does my soul desire to fall down to worship at the feet of Him who hath showed me these things. Philosophers and sages could not with golden pen trace the glories that must inevitably follow such a long awaited union as this, for with the marriage to the bride the bridegroom is mightily increased, and with the increase of the governor comes the increase of His government in an eternal reign. Here at last the truth is complete: “In Christ there is neither male nor female,” but being joined to Him they are sons of God indeed.
It would be impossible to describe the wonderful glory of the dispensation of the fullness of times. In fear and trembling we will therefore mention a few of these more excellent glories and leave them for the Spirit of God to make real to our hearts. Paul only once mentioned the endless accomplishments of that age, including in one inspired statement universality of purpose so great that the imagination is staggered. Thus he writes: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth even in Him.” Eph. 1:9,10 And again, he says, “He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet,” (1 Cor. 15:25), for He must put down all rule, and all authority, and all power, that there shall be no power or will in the universe but the will of God.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:26) Death in all its forms shall be destroyed until it shall be said, “There is no more death!” This dreadful enemy has from the beginning devoured all things, eating the vitals of the young and swallowing up the old, destroying beasts and birds, plants and trees, until nothing can escape it. But He must reign until even death has been destroyed to exist no more anywhere in the universe. Then shall every creature in the universe in glad chorus sing, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:55-57 “And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.” Rev. 22:3-5
“… So abundant was God’s grace, the grace which He, the possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us when He made known to us the secret of His will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it – the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him.” Eph 1:8-10 (Weymouth) “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.”
When I consider the greatness of God’s program, and the vastness of His eternal plan, my soul grows weary with the vain bickerings of earthbound, tradition-ridden men who never are able to deliver themselves from their own trivial calculations about heaven and hell, what we must eat, what we must drink, what we must put on, and as a consequence are not able to see who God is or grasp the wonder of His ways.
I like the words of Walt Whitman, entitled When I Heard the Learned Astronomer, in which he says:
When the proofs and figures were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams to add,
divide and measure them,
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer
where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,
How soon, unaccountable. I became tired and sick
Till, rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself
In the mystical, moist night air, and from time to time
Look’d up in perfect silence to the stars.
Ah, my brethren, that is the secret of it all. There may be truth in cold, hard facts about God’s universe and the number of light years this star is from that. It is all very interesting and good and I love to know and hear about it, but there is nothing so refreshing as to wander into the breathless stillness of the night, there to lift one’s wondering eyes in admiration of the handiwork of God, uncluttered and unspoiled by human calculations. There in the wonder of the starlit night, standing alone in the glory of God’s presence, our hearts breathe out that holy inspiration, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the sun and the moon which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him?” There the heavenly architect in accents rare begins to reveal to the inner heart that it was from those realms of glory we came, and our coming to this world was by reason of God’s great intention, that we should be prepared to reign in Christ’s image over all these beautiful works of God’s hands. Did not the beloved Paul by inspiration say, “For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that Thou are mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not vet all things put under him (man). But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Heb. 2:5-9 Jesus is the first man to be in God’s image, but He is not the last. What He is we also shall be; that is the purpose of His redemption. He was tempted in all points as we are. We are tempted in all points as He was. What He is by His grace we are becoming.
Perhaps in spirit we have stood with our adorable Christ as He in His rejection tasted death for every man. but have we stood with Him in His exaltation, where He sits far above principalities and powers and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but in the ages to come, highly exalted and given a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father? The purpose of the sufferings of the Christ of God is revealed by the glory of the things that follow His travail. In like manner the purpose of the suffering of all who are His is revealed in the words, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” 2 Tim. 2:12
Christians everywhere, like Israel of old, stagger on in their blindness, reveling in the acts of God, but remaining perennial strangers to the wonder of His ways. Why is it, my brother, that thou canst not see that “God hath reconciled all things unto Himself? Why do thine ears remain closed to the voice of His Spirit as He speaks the message that “God will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”? Why can we not hear the mystery of His will, which He has made known unto us and which He hath purposed in Himself – that “in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him?” Eph. 1:10 Weymouth has so beautifully portrayed the message of this scripture in these words: “This is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it – the purpose which He cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him.” That which He hath purposed in Himself the unbelief of man can never undo.
When we were dead in trespasses and sins, He quickened us together with Christ (by grace are we saved). He raised us up together and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. But to what purpose did He so marvelously demonstrate to us the wonder of His grace? There can be only one answer to that great question: “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kingdom toward us through Jesus Christ.” Compare Eph. 2:5-8. It was by grace that you were saved, my brother. Paul keeps reminding our believing hearts of that fact that he might the more clearly reveal to our tradition-ridden minds that, if it was through grace alone that we were saved, then we should not think it either impossible or strange that in the ages to come His grace shall freely reach all men and touch everything in the universe with the eternal life of Him from whom all things come, by whom all things exist, and in whom all things end.
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. There shall be no end to its increase in this age, no end to its increase in the age to come, and no end to its increase in the ages of the ages. His increase shall reach far beyond the measure of man’s mind until planet after planet, star after star, galaxy after galaxy throughout the vast rock strewn sidereal shall taste the increase of His government and the glory of His restoration and no inharmonious chord is heard in all God’s universe forever, but order, interdependence and unity, where Christ is all in all.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORL
“And there were great voices in heaven, saying. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever. (Rev. 11:15)
Watchman, tell us of the night—
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, o’er yon mountain height
See that glory beaming star?
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of hope or joy foretell?
Traveler, yes, it brings the day.
Promised day of Israel.
Watchman, tell us of the night;
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, its glory fills the earth.
Watchman, tell us! Does the morning
Of fair Zion’s glory dawn?
Have the signs that mark its coming
Yet upon thy pathway shone?
Traveler, yes. Arise! Look round thee!
ight is breaking in the skies!
Gird thy bridal robes around thee!
Morning dawns! Arise! Arise!
With the ever increasing and rapidly multiplying signs about us, all of which signal from one end of heaven to the other that the age is ending and the coming of the Lord draws nigh, I thought it both good and profitable to rehearse some of the many statements the Lord has made. These all, being fulfilled in order, now loudly proclaim that we have almost reached the end of man’s six days of misrule and inequitable government. The kingdoms of this world are swiftly passing away, having fulfilled their purpose that they might make way for Christ’s kingdom, which shall never pass away and shall never be destroyed.
The kingdoms of this world from the beginning of time were all designed in the wisdom of God to continue for a little space and then pass away and be no more. They were made to endure for a little moment during the long period of the world’s night, after which they must be overthrown, each in his own order, until the King of kings shall come, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom that which shall not and cannot be destroyed.
A man must have a blind soul, indeed, if he cannot see that Daniel’s prophecies concerning the kingdoms of this world have all been fulfilled to the letter with the exception of that final kingdom of living stone, which shall never be destroyed, but which will increase and expand until it has filled the whole earth. I am sure, from the unfolding revelation of scripture, that His kingdom will expand and fill the whole earth and finally the entire universe as well. The vastness of the heavens, teeming with rock strewn planets and stars, now keep their lonely night vigil, waiting like mother earth for the times of the restitution of all things, even the day when the Lord will restore and make the heavens new and the kingdom of God will spread from the earth into the vastness of the limitless universe.
The Old Testament abounds with living promises of a coming kingdom of heaven that will displace all the kingdoms of the world and fill the earth with its magnificent glory.
Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy;
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy.
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair;
Sorrow and death may not enter there
It has always been a conundrum to me to find that a truth so prominently set forth in Holy Scripture should be so seldom preached in our day and then mentioned as a sort of inconsequential misnomer. The light, frivolous orations we hear from the pulpits seldom contain any vital message – certainly no kingdom message. The Bible all too often is opened as a matter of form, a text is read, and a few words are spoken to tickle the ears of the hearers, but as for any real searching out of kingdom truth, there is practically none.
The intention of a world wide kingdom was in the omniscient mind of the omnipotent Lord from the very beginning. Adam, created and made in the image of God, was given dominion over the whole earth. He was to have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, and every living thing that moved upon the face of the earth. It is clear also that this dominion was not to be given to Adam alone, but to all his posterity. Therefore the plural word is used, “Let them have dominion.” Gen. 1:26
It must always be remembered that the immutable God never changes or alters His purposes. His intentions in the beginning are His intentions now and forever. If for a small moment some event, such as man’s transgression, seems to have delayed or thwarted His intention, we must never forget that omniscient wisdom foresaw that event – nay, not only foresaw it, but purposed and planned it. The childish doctrine, born of ignorance and misunderstanding, contending that Adam’s transgression was an unforeseen tragedy that ruined God’s plan, should be rejected by all as inconsistent with the Father, who is perfect in wisdom, full of understanding, omnipotent in power, omnipresent in being, and above all else immutable in purpose. When the apostle Paul by inspiration spoke of the transgression and fall of man, he stated the facts as they really were when he said, “The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope.” Rom. 8:2. The hope, of course, was that Adamic man, advancing into sonship and the image of God through the experimental knowledge of good and evil, should deliver the entire creation from the bondage of corruption, sin and death into the glorious freedom of the sons of God. It was a marvelous purpose divinely executed, infinite in wisdom and full of understanding.
There were no mistakes made in Eden. Every detail was in harmony with a master plan for the working out of an eternal purpose. I may be wrong, but I think I discern a measure of satisfaction in the words of the Omniscient immediately following the transgression. “Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.” Gen. 3:22. Thousands of years later Paul, his spirit basking in holy unction, uttered these inspired words: “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb. 5:14 It is not God’s intention that we should know merely the difference between good and evil. It is God’s determination that we should know both good and evil. And we, having been delivered from evil by the life blood of Jesus Christ, shall never again fall there into. Because of our experimental knowledge of the power of evil, understanding will enlighten our minds for eternity. Experience is always the only true teacher.
Having established that nothing comes upon the Omniscient unawares, but all purposes are planned by Him, let us also remember that the kingdoms of this world, weak and evil as they have always been, were the resolution and design of the Father. He it is who raises up mighty kings and kingdoms and disposes of them again when their purpose is fulfilled. He has power to raise up men like Daniel and Joseph and He has power to exalt the basest of men. Dan. 4:17. “The powers that be are ordained of God.” Rom. 13:1 Our Lord Jesus Christ, being aware that the Empire of the Caesars was raised up by God, confounded His adversaries by saying, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” and again, though He owed no taxes for the existing government, He said, “Lest we offend, this give for thee and Me.”
It is certain that all of us chafe betimes under the misrule of bad government so prevalent in the world. We despise the evil men and seducers that everywhere wax worse and worse. We hate the lawlessness and corruption in high places, but all unknown to us the darkness of injustice, inequity and unrighteousness is teaching us something of justice, equity and righteousness. If we are not learning our lessons, then woe be to us, for only those who are taught by these evils will be able to reign in equity and unsullied goodness in the kingdom of righteousness to come. The man who has suffered evil and in its place returns good is of God. He who has suffered evil and returns evil for evil is a corrupt and fallen man, but he who returns evil for good is of the devil.
Concerning man’s coming glory and dominion over the earth David, rejoicing in heart, wrote, “Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.” Psa. 8:5, 6 Paul, adding even greater force and explanation to David’s statement, wrote, “For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He puts all things in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now (at present) we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Heb. 2:5-10. These remarkable passages not only make plain God’s purpose for man — that is, that he might be given dominion over all things — but they also make very clear why it was that man must first suffer the humiliation of the fall and come under the tyrannical kingdoms and dominions of this present evil world. Only by suffering injustice will he learn justice. Only by enduring inequity will he learn equity. Only by feeling the pains of unrighteousness will he learn righteousness.
If we are to have a kingdom, first there must be a king. Then there must be a domain and finally there must be laws. Thus Eden was earth’s first manifestation of the kingdom of God. God was the king. Eden was the domain. The law was, “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shall surely die.” The moment the law was broken, Adam himself was put away and condemned to earn his bread by the sweat of his face and, Adam being driven out from his kingdom, the kingdoms of this world and the six days of man’s carnal and unrighteous rule began.
When Jesus Christ died and rose again, He redeemed man that in his regenerate state and renewed mind he might once again inherit the promise originally given to him: “Let Us give them dominion.” The title deed and security to this dominion is now held by our Lord Jesus Christ, who during all this age of grace has been preparing sons in His likeness that they might be given rulership in His kingdom in the age directly following the age of grace. Thus it was that Daniel beheld the kingdoms of this world endure until “the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.” Dan. 7:22. Again, following the destruction of the kingdoms of this world, Daniel was told that “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Dan. 7:27 At the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet (Rev. 11:15), there appears to be a very great stir in the leavens as great voices sound forth, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign forever and ever.”
The book of Daniel is a most remarkable book. Its pages give an excellent record of secular history and in so doing gives an exact prophetic forecast of the existence and progress of the kingdoms of this world as they were to arise in their order. The singular thing about the first vision of the book of Daniel is that it came in a dream to Nebuchadnezzar and was later amid great ceremony interpreted by Daniel the prophet. The second vision (Dan. 7), which is an enlargement of the first, was entrusted to Daniel in the reign of Belshazzar.
It would be well here for us to take particular notice of the events as they are recorded in Daniel chapter two. Nebuchadezzar had dreamed a strange dream that greatly troubled his spirit. Being unable to interpret the dream himself, he called in all the wise men of Babylon to interpret the dream for him. (Dan. 2:2-13) Nebuchadnezzar insisted he had forgotten the dream and that it was gone from him. This unlikely story may have been true or it may not have been, but we may be sure the king was not unaware of the trickery of Chaldeans and astrologers. Thus to make certain these self-styled wise men were not deceiving him, he demanded that they both tell him the dream and give the interpretation of it. Otherwise they would be destroyed and their houses made a dung hill. Whether Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten the dream or was only pretending to have done so matters little. The truth is that his irrational demand was indeed a foolproof way of avoiding deception.
After the edict was given that the wise men should be destroyed, Daniel went to Arioch, who had been assigned the task of execution, and asked for a stay. He then required of the king that he would “give him time” and he would give him the interpretation. Daniel then went to his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who with Daniel took the matter to God in prayer. The secret was then made known to Daniel, who went to the king and expounded both the dream and the interpretation to him. Surely this is a remarkable affair. The Lord must be teaching us something very special, for here we have a triple confirmation of a very important prophetic vision. First the vision was given to Nebuchadnezzar, who straightway avowed that he had forgotten it. Second the same vision was given to Daniel, and third, the dream, after being expounded to Nebuchadnezzar, was recognized by the king as being the exact representation of all that he had seen. I know of no other place in scripture where such a remarkable thing occurred. Joseph interpreted dreams after being told the dream, but only here do we find a man both restating and interpreting a vision that was received and forgotten by another. This illuminating vision was of exceptional importance because it forecast the outline and succession of the kingdoms of this world from Daniel’s day right down to the millennial day when the God of heaven will set up a universal kingdom which will break in pieces and devour all other kingdoms that were before it.
The vision seen by both Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel was as follows: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that 10 place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Dan. 1:31-35
The interpretation of this vision was given by Daniel. (Dan. 2:36-45) In his interpretation he shows that four great world empires would arise in succession. Secular history has proved these to be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, and history will also eventually prove that the final kingdom, the stone cut out without hands, is the kingdom of God, for which all creation in every age has patiently groaned. With this in mind, Daniel, after having described the succession of the kingdoms of this world, described with inspired glory the glory of that coming reign which will never be destroyed. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44-45
It should not be necessary here to rehearse in detail the conquests of these four great world empires lest we be guilty of tediously repeating many things that are already well known to most readers. There are, however, a few worthy considerations that are seldom, if ever, mentioned. First, the vision must be considered as one vision. The whole vision is Babylon, past, present and future. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was the golden head of the entire Babylon system from beginning to end. It is most important that we understand that Babylon’s golden head is the supreme authority of every empire and kingdom in all times, dispensations and ages with the exception of that final age when Christ, the living stone, becomes head. The vision is one vision and the image is one image. The empire of Medo-Persia represented by silver, the empire of Greece represented by brass, the empire of Rome represented by iron and the iron and clay representing a mixture of democracies, state churches, dictatorships, emperors and kingdoms are all under one head. It is Babylon. It is a head of gold. Gold ruled then as it does now. As the love of money is the root of all evil, so the rise and fall of empires is in hope of worldly gain in perfect deference to Babylon‘s head of gold.
Not only has this been true of the political systems of the world, but it is equally true of the ecclesiastical system as well. It was true when Tetzel filled the Pope’s coffers with the indulgences of the poor and ignorant people and it is true of the church of the twentieth century. It is true of those ambitious pastors and radio preachers who capitalize on every opportunity to make their appeals for more and more gold to carry on their worldly schemes to make more and more proselytes. The inspired words of Revelation are literally true of the entire ecclesiastical system. “Thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Rev. 3:17 Long ago the Pope of Rome remarked thus to Thomas Aquinas, “Well, Thomas, the church can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” To this Aquinas adroitly replied, “And neither can it say, ‘Rise up and walk.’ “
All the kingdoms of this present world, whether they be under the rule of emperors, kings, dictators or democracies, are ruled by the golden head of Babylon. The Greek, the Medo-Persian, the Roman empire, together with all the offshoots of Rome that have persisted through the centuries, consisting of feet and toes of iron and clay; are all part of the great image, of which Babylon is the head. Babylon means confusion. Thus it has been and thus it will always be that wherever empires or kingdoms or church systems are dependent upon gold for their very existence they must all be classed as Babylon. All the unrest in the world at the present time is caused by man’s lust for gold. The world is full of plenty, but all manner of shortages are connived that more and more gold may be added to the already bulging fortunes of those who presently possess so much that ten thousand lifetimes could not exhaust their wealth. How different was the attitude of Paul, who taught, “Having food and raiment, let us be content.”
In our day the golden head of Babylon is even more prominent than it was in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, but the words of James are soon to be fulfilled: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days … Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.” James 5:13, 5, 6 The hour is at hand when the kingdom of God will make dust of all former kingdoms and righteousness, equity and truth will fill the whole earth.
It must be noted that this great vision does not end with the fall of Rome as an empire, here represented as legs of iron (a possible allusion to the eastern and western sections of the Roman domain), but it continues on down to the feet and the toes, which are described as being part iron and part clay. The feet and the toes are also a definite part of Rome and they continue until they are destroyed by the stone cut from the mountain without hands. My understanding of great spiritual matters is often woefully small; nevertheless it is my opinion that the feet and toes of the image represent Rome as its power is continued under the papacy, for it is a fact that for a thousand years ecclesiastical Rome exercised as much power over Europe as did the pagan Caesars. In the iron and clay of the feet and toes we have the nominal, almost pagan, church of Rome wedded to the state or the kingdoms of this world. Thus Daniel says, “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Dan. 2:43 This great evil had its beginning about 316 A.D. when Christianity became the state religion of Rome and the church was treated to the obnoxious sight of Roman emperors presiding over church councils. Constantine made munificent grants to churches and even exercised the authority of the law in the propagation of Christianity. To his administration of state and civil affairs was added the control and management of the church. Instead of rebuking the emperor for his meddling, they welcomed him as the Bishop of bishops. Thus Christianity had embraced the protection of a semi-heathen state, and Christianity had suffered its greatest possible degradation in the patronage of a worldly potentate. Thus began the period of the iron mingled with clay and it continues to this day.
It is generally known by all informed persons that for centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire the Roman popes ruled over the kings of Europe, setting up what kings they would and putting down whom they would, casting into prison and putting to death all who opposed them, and exalting whom they would. This evil condition continues with variations to this day. It is an exasperating but undeniable fact that we in our day see the President of Protestant United States, the Prime Minister of Canada, the heads of European governments, even high authorities from communist Russia, and saddest of all, the Queen of England, making their journey to Rome to visit and receive the blessing of the Roman pope. Thank God, the hour is near when the little stone will smite the feet of the image and it will become as dust and be no more.
The vision of the four beasts, described in Daniel, chapter 7, is an enlargement on the vision of the image. You will notice that, while the first three beasts are likened to a lion, a bear, and a leopard, the fourth is not likened to any beast, but described thus: “Behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it: and it had ten horns.” Dan. 7:7 The ten horns would represent the nations over which Rome held power, and among them rose up a little horn, which had eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. Dan. 7:8. This is undoubtedly papal Rome. Martin Luther was not wrong when he declared the Pope, or little horn, to be antichrist. Many great and blasphemous things have been spoken by the mouth of this “little horn”. Among the blasphemous assertions of this little horn was the claim that the Pope was equal to God and the representative of Christ on earth. Please compare this statement with 2 Thess. 2:3,4. Vatican City, a sovereign state of one hundred eight point seven acres and a population of one thousand, includes the Vatican and St. Peter’s Cathedral. Surely this tiny state, exercising authority that has engulfed a large portion of the world, is rightly described as a ‘little horn” whose mouth speaks great things.
The ancient kingdom of Israel is the only kingdom since the fall of Adam that God recognized as being His kingdom. All others are the kingdoms of this world, and except for the over-ruling authority of God, the kingdoms of this world are controlled by the prince of this world. See Luke 4:5-7. But their time is fixed and limited and will end at the time appointed by the Father. Evil as these kingdoms are and have been, they are permitted by God. As Paul has said, “The powers that be are ordained of God.” Rom. 13:1 Imperfection, inequity, mis-rule and the exceeding sinfulness of sin are part of the lesson man must suffer and learn as he comes to the knowledge of good and evil. Man’s inability to establish a perfect government is due to his own weakness and carnality. No matter how good and noble his intentions may be he will always succumb to the dreadful authority of Babylon‘s head of gold.
Satan, taking advantage of man’s ignorance of the knowledge of good and evil, has always succeeded in making good appear to be evil and evil appear to be good. He has misrepresented and maligned God’s glorious mind and character and blinded men completely to His eternal purpose. Our fallen, broken, and blinded creation has for centuries plodded its weary way, ever trying by human effort to attain something great, but always falling helplessly and painfully from the cliff it was trying to scale. In man’s hope for a better day even his best endeavors have proved fruitless, and the golden age of which he dreamed is farther away now than ever it was. The groaning creation appears to be generally unaware that the stone Daniel saw cut from the mountain without hands is soon to make a sudden end of all the kingdoms of this world. Smitten by the smiting stone, they will become as the dust of the summer threshing floor and the wind, which represents the Spirit of God, will disperse and drive them all away. Then will that stone, which is Christ, together with the en-Christed, fill the whole earth with His glory and His reign; for thus the vision declares, “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2:44, 45) See also Dan. 7:9-14.
No book in the entire Bible sheds more light on the progress of the kingdoms of this world than does the book of Daniel. Gradually the mysteries surrounding the prophecies begin to clear up as we see them being fulfilled. Divine wisdom and understanding have purposely concealed truth under its mysterious veils of types and shadows, but time unfolds the mysteries and, as the shadows flee away, we find ourselves beholding face to face the glory of revelation. The kingdoms of this world that in God’s purpose were given their transient power over the earth are passing swiftly away. We have reached the hour in time when the whole system of Babylon is disintegrating. Even the blindest man can see the truth of this. The feet of the image, composed of iron mingled with miry clay, are crumbling rapidly. Their final collapse and destruction awaits only a slight tap on the clay feet and the entire Babylon structure will crash and crumble and become as the fine dust of the summer threshing floor, and it shall be no more forever. “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues,” for strong is the Lord who judges her!
The account of the final collapse of Babylon or the kingdoms of this world is distinctly portrayed in Revelation, chapter 18. In it we vividly behold the utter corruption of the entire religio-political system. The call of God to His saints is heard, bidding them to separate themselves from it and all that pertains to it. The weeping and wailing of the people who have made themselves rich through the abundance of her delicacies is foremost and the final rejoicing of the saints is heard, praising God that at last an enemy of God and mistress of all confusion and iniquity has been thoroughly and eternally overthrown.
“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her. My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come! And the merchants of the earth shall .weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.
“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Rev. 18
Thus with violence end the kingdoms of this world and great Mystery Babylon, that golden head, which for centuries has ruled all nations, bringing under her dominion all religious systems, binding the professing church with the chains of tradition and bringing into slavish subjection all who are unaware of her whoredoms. She is the mystery of iniquity. She is the mystery of lawlessness. She is the mystery of confusion. She is the author of every war and she is the author of every religious denomination and the root cause of every division. She is horrible darkness and unspeakable confusion.
My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that He will give the Spirit of understanding to all who read these lines. For twenty years I have prayed that God would open the eyes of His saints to see by the Spirit what Babylon really is. Times without number I have sought to show God’s dear people the cunning mystery of ecclesiastical Babylon, warning continually of the danger of remaining in her fold. Oh that God’s people would awaken and obey the Father’s call, “Come out of her, My people,” that God may be their Father and they may be His sons and daughters. I solemnly warn and admonish the people of God that it is not possible to attain to sonship or a life that is controlled by the Spirit as long as their lives are under the influence of this Satanic system, which is doomed to such utter and complete destruction. Not only are the kingdoms of the world doomed to desolation, but the whole church system, identified as it is with the world system, is also doomed to irreparable dissolution and ruin. If you obey God and come out of it, you will be spared her woes; but if you remain in it, you will be condemned with it. For what other reason does the Lord call to His people, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues?”
In Revelation, chapter 17, we have the shameful picture of a drunken harlot seated upon a scarlet colored beast. One of the seven angels talked with John, saying, “Come hither; I will shew into thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
The representation here depicted is that of the entire body of the organized church of our day and all preceding days, whether Greek, Roman, or Protestant. In Bible symbolism God’s people have always been represented as a woman. Israel was also represented as a woman. For examples of this we may compare Ezekiel, chapter 6, and Ephesians 5:22-32. The woman of Revelation is seen riding a beast. A beast is the symbol of world power as we have already seen from Daniel, chapter 7. What else, then, can a woman, seated on a beast, symbolize but a church supported and carried by world powers? Is not this the true picture of every organized, state church in the world, whether Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, or Protestant? And is the same thing not largely true among all denominations? Are they not all “incorporated” and their ministers registered with the government of the world? Even if they are not, their lives are still tied to the beast system, which controls their understanding, their beliefs and their lives. We must be blind, indeed, if we cannot see that the whole church system is apostate and that the church as an outward, visible human system is a wretched failure. She is Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. God has an elect people on the earth. He always has had; they are like the seven thousand elect saints who in the days of Elijah had not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so the elect today do not bow the knee to Babylon.
It is well said that this Babylon woman is drunken with the blood of the saints. The blood of saints is the life of saints. She has sapped and sucked their spiritual life away and left them in abject poverty. Have you never wondered why it is your preacher seldom, if ever, tells you anything that you have not already heard a hundred times or more? He may use different texts, but always the same old sermons. Well, it is because the harlot system has sapped away his spiritual life and the poor fellow has nothing to offer. This evil harlot in her past has not only become intoxicated with the blood of the saints, but she has also martyred millions in the past and in many countries she martyrs them still, some by death and others by excommunication and disgrace. I am not wrong, but speak forth words of truth and soberness, when I tell you that the church system of the twentieth century, even as in times past, is part of the world system and is one with the kingdoms of this world. Here is the iron mingled with the clay.
The great final act in the drama of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision was seen to be a stone cut from the mountain without hands, which smote the image of this world’s systems. It smote the image, not on the golden head nor on its silver shoulders, its brazen thighs nor its iron legs, but on the rotten, eroding feet of iron and clay. A building is no better than its foundation even if its turret is pure gold. The towering image of the political and ecclesiastical kingdoms of this world is standing on unsubstantial, eroding feet. It is not founded on a rock, but on a rope of sand, a house of cards, that will tremble and break when the test comes. They have mingled themselves with the seed of men. It is a union that cannot abide and was never intended to last. Therefore in the great vision Daniel explained, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Dan. 2:34, 35 Thus with violence shall Babylon be thrown down and come to its end. The whole Babylon system will end whether it be political or ecclesiastical. Never will it exist again. Therefore, “Come out of her, My people, that ye receive not of her plagues.”
The mighty Medes their battle flags unfurled
To find a place of glory in the sun,
And proudly trampled ‘neath their marching feet
The crumpled might of once great Babylon!
The tidal wave of Greece rolled out the west
And, as the waters of its rage recede,
It carried back with fate’s relentlessness
The smashed and broken empire of the Mede. ‘
Til by the side of Tiber’s winding banks
A sleepy giant girded for the fray.
And Caesars laughed, and scoffed at heaven’s Christ,
While legions thundered down the Appian Way!
And Roman eagles screamed defiantly
And tore to shreds the vaunted might of Greece,
Then turned again with blood drenched hands to war
Against disciples of the Prince of Peace.
The heavens trembled; and the ocean tide
Of human waves rolled once again in rage.
And buried in the shifting sands of time
The proudest, mightiest empire of the age.
So perished Rome; her forum voices stilled;
She met her doom in God’s appointed hour.
Oh, Christ, can man distort Thy purposes
And take to self Thy glory and Thy power?
And so throughout the march of ages past
The tide of empire flows — then ebbs away.
The pomp and grandeur of its yesteryear
Are buried in its shifting sands today.
But strong and firm throughout the passing years
I see a rock that stands out on the shore,
A Rock of ages, cleft for you and me;
A Rock that will endure for evermore!
Oh, Christ, our life, our strength, our Rock divine.
Before Thy might the oceans stand in awe.
No decrease Thine; for this increasing stone
Was chiseled from the mountain Daniel saw.
The raging, tumbling seas of time may roll
‘Til earth’s proud empires crumble and decay
And Thou alone shall triumph, Prince of Peace,
When all the storms of life have rolled away.
Charles S. Price.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
At the time of the complete destruction of the kingdoms of this world the long awaited kingdom of God will be set up and established in the entire earth. In the vision we have been discussing we are given a brief but dramatic description of the setting up of the kingdom of God. Thus Daniel’s interpretation continues: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44
Now the stone cut from the mountain without hands, that smote the feet of the image, is Christ. He is the stone that the builders rejected. The builders of the nations and the builders of the kingdoms of this earth have rejected Christ’s headship, and to an incredible degree He has been rejected of the church system as well. Do we not find Him ‘outside’ the church of Laodicea? Do we not hear Him knocking and saying, “If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him”? He is, indeed, the stone that has been set at naught by all the builders of all time, and He is the stone which in the end of this age will destroy all the kingdoms and systems of this world.
It will not be our place to elaborate now, but all true saints must be aware of this sacred secret – that God’s blessed Christ must include both the Head and the body, Jesus Christ the Head and all the sons of God His body. This Christ in completeness is the stone, which will smite the feet of the dark kingdoms of this world, and the saints will take the kingdom and reign with Christ forever and ever. (Dan. 7:22)
The vision of the great image in Daniel, chapter 2, and the vision of the four beasts of Daniel, chapter 7, complement each other. The latter is a further explanation of the former. In both of these visions Daniel saw the casting down of the kingdoms of this world and the setting up of the kingdom of God. Therefore we have these words in Dan. 7:9: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him; thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Then again the vision continues: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man (compare Rev. 1:3) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Dan. 7:13, 14
“And the kingdom, the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heavens shall he given to the people of the saints of the most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey them. This was the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly upset me and my face changed color; but I kept the matter in my mind.” Dan. 7:27, 28 (Goodspeed)
“I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:.. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me. Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Rev. 1:9-18
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hands. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.” Rev. 19:1-3
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He himself. And He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies, which were in heaven, followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” Rev. 19:11-16
“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Rev. 19:19, 20
“And I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. . . And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Dan. 7:13, 14, 27 Note: The one like the Son of man is the body of Christ, the sons of God. The Ancient of days is Jesus Christ, the Head.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: (the saints of the most High): and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Rev. 20:1-6
“I am the vine and ye are the branches,” saith the Lord. John 15:5 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the. Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod 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. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the falling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:1-9
“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 with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isa. 9:7
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered together in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously.” Isa. 24:21-23
“Therefore shall the strong people glorify Thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear Thee. For Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shall bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it,” Isa. 25:3-8
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51, 52
“Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isa. 26:19
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall bloom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35:1-10
“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.” Isa. 40:4 “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree: I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: that they may see, and know, and consider, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” Isa. 41:19
“Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” Isa. 42:1-4
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth into Jerusalem, to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord; and the pots of the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take them, and seethe therein; and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 14:9-21.
“And in that day shall thou say, O Lord, I will praise Thee; though Thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isa. 12
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself with fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander of the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud. that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I have sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isa. 55
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” Matt. 6:9-13
In the light of such a profound array of scriptures as those we have just considered, I am at a complete loss to understand how anyone who knows God at all could fail to grasp the living hope that a radiant age of splendor, in which the Son of God Himself will reign supreme on an illustrious, exalted throne here on earth, is coming. In that blessed age of righteousness and peace the sons of God will reign with Him for a thousand years of blessedness. Enlightening as is this array of scriptures, they are but a small fraction of the kingdom promises contained in Holy Writ.
The hope of an age of dignification and grandeur in which Christ Himself will reign supreme with His saints is woven into the warp and woof of Holy Scripture. Abraham, we are told in Genesis, looked for it and saw it afar off. To Judah the promise was given: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah. nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Gen. 49:10 To David this promise was given: “Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” Psa. 132:11 The kingdom of Christ was the theme of the prophets, as we have seen from the above scriptures. When Jesus Christ the King appeared in person. His sermons. His miracles, and every detail of His marvelous life were a living prophecy, a prophetic parable of the glory of the kingdom age to come. When His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. He said, “When ye pray, say… Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven... For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”
The entire dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:2) has been set aside, not in the vain hope of the conversion of the world, as the preachers are always imagining, but for the distinct purpose of “calling out a people for His name.” Acts 15:13-18 These called out and elect saints, who have been in preparation for two thousand years, are the body of Christ, the sons of God, whom God has chosen and ordained to sit with Him in His throne. They are the fullness and completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.
In the blindness of church tradition, the preachers have taught the people that the hope of creation is to die and go to heaven or go to glory by the medium of the rapture, but anyone studying God’s word with care will find that heaven is not the theme of the Old Testament and it is not the theme of the New Testament. In fact there is a noticeable absence of any teaching on the subject. The theme of both the Old and New Testaments is the kingdom of God, a kingdom as literal as that of Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, or Caesar. The difference will be that those men were merely mortal men, possessed with carnal minds, but the glory that excels in the kingdom of God will be that the King will not be carnal, but spiritual; not mortal, but immortal; not passing, but permanent; not of time, but of eternity. His sharp, two-edged sword will not be stained with the blood of His enemies. It is instead that same sharp, two-edged sword which is the word of God. With it and by its transforming power He will smite the nations, not in the bloody conflict and seething hate of war, but as he smote the people at Pentecost, bringing them to repentance and the joy of salvation. He will pierce the conscience of the people and cause them to cry, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” He will prick them as Saul of Tarsus was pricked and He will save them as he was saved. His coming will be the time of the latter rain and the whole earth will feel the glory and power of Christ and His brethren, the sons of God. The lame will leap as the hart. The deaf will hear the music of redemption. The tongue of the dumb shall sing the praises of the Lamb that sitteth upon the throne. The wolf will lie down with the lamb in peace and friendship. The knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth and the inhabitant shall not say, “I am sick,” Nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain.
No one who ever lived can be compared to our incomparable Christ, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Mohammed is dead – dead as a door nail. Buddha is dead – dead as a stone. Confucius is dead, as are all the others who for a little moment held captive the minds of their followers. But not so with our Christ! He is alive forevermore, by many infallible proofs. He holds the keys of death and Hades. At the sound of His voice with the trumpet of God all who are in the graves, even the false christs themselves will arise to stand before Him. He ever liveth. He only hath immortality. He only is eternal. In Him is life. He is the light. From Him everything comes, by Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends. There never was a birth like His. There never was a life like His. Others have died on crosses even as He, but He died for all the world and everything in it. In that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. None had a resurrection such as He nor an ascension such as His, nor will any return to earth with such majesty as He. When He comes, His throne will be waiting for Him, and, when He reigns, all the world of all ages will know that there never was such a kingdom as His. He shall reign from sea to sea and all nations shall serve and obey Him.
How glorious is the theme! I would not miss it for a million worlds such as the one in which we now live. It is no wonder to me that Jesus refused the paltry kingdoms of this world when Satan offered them to Him. Knowing as I do the hope that lies before us, I would refuse earth’s kingdoms even as He did, and so would you.
Dearly beloved brethren, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us and, forsaking all else, cleave only to Him. Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven! Amen and Amen and Amen!
TREASURES OF TRUTH, Volume 2, Thy Kingdom Come [George R. Hawtin] ~ BOOK 1