The World's Redemption
ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PLAN

Revealed and Elaborated in the Scriptures of Truth
and Embraced in the Covenants of Promise
and Hope of Israel.

Intended to assist in rescuing honest hearts from the delusions of apostate Christendom, and to guide them into the strait and narrow way which alone leads to life and glory in the coming Kingdom of God.

BY
Thomas Williams

 

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CONTENTS:

 

Preface to the First Edition and Biographical Notes

Chapter 1

The Bible the Only Safe Guide.

Chapter 2

Redemption and Restitution for Man and the Earth

Chapter 3

The Kingdom of God to be Universal in the Earth

Chapter 4

The Covenants of Promise

Chapter 5

The Covenants of Promise, continued

Chapter 6

Confirmation of the Covenants of Promise

Chapter 7

The Restoration of Israel in Relation to the World's Redemption

Chapter 8

The Messianic Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel and Throne of David

Chapter 9

The Literal Return of Christ to the Earth

Chapter 10

The Heavens and the Earth, Old and New

Chapter 11

Token of Our Times in Relation to the Return of the Messiah

Chapter 12

Objections Met and Difficulties Removed

Chapter 13

Man, His Origin and Nature

Chapter 14

Man, His Origin and Nature, continued

Chapter 15

Man Unconscious in Death - Resurrection the Only Hope of Future Life

Chapter 16

Eternal LIfe and Immortality Not Promised, Not Possessed

Chapter 17

Hell - What Is It and Where Is it?

Chapter 18

The Devil, His Origin and End

Chapter 19

The Judgments of God and the Dispensation of Rewards and Punishment

Chapter 20

God, Spirit, Angels and Christ

Chapter 21

God, Spirit, Angels and Christ, continued

Chapter 22

Salvation Exemplified in Christ

Chapter 23

Redemption - How Obtained

Chapter 24

Baptism, Its Mode and Meaning

Chapter 25

Duties and Privileges of God's People

Chapter 26

Objections Answered

 

 

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Preface

The World's Redemption

 


PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

The author has traveled over the greater part of the United States and Canada for fourteen years setting forth from the platform, the glorious truths of the Bible. Many in many places have expressed a wish to have his lectures in print for careful and frequent perusal, and to help in their efforts to bring their friend and neighbors to the light of the glorious gospel. Since the author always in his public efforts speaks extemporaneously it has only occasionally been possible to publish a lecture verbatim, when it happened that a reporter would be present. In response to these wishes and that he might do what seemed to be his part in the good work in which he sincerely hopes this book will assist, he has reduced his public addresses to chapters in which to a large extent, the matter and method are the same as in his extemporaneous lectures, much of the book having been dictated to a stenographer.

The author does not feel that he owes any apology for the seeming presumption of adding another book to the world full of books already in existence, because he does not regard this as of the worlds books. It is not of the world, and is intended as an earnest appeal to its readers to come out of the world. It is therefore not one of many books but one of few; and if apology be necessary for adding to the few, it is not to be found in a claim on the authors part of superior or equal ability in a literary sense or to go more profoundly into the important subjects deal with: but rather in the need for a simplicity that might the more effectually reach the only class which we can hope to reach in this evil age the "poor of this world" capable of becoming ""rich in faith.” It is a consciousness of having the faculty of making himself easily understood that has given the author the courage to send out THE WORLDS REDEMPTION to the perishing masses of our times, in the hope that it may rescue a few, whom God grant, he may be worthy to meet in the kingdom of God, and with whom he may be blessed with the power of endless life free from the pangs of sickness, sorrow, pain and death.

1898 THE AUTHOR.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

THE Author of THE WORLD'S REDEMPTION was born April 7, 1847 "probably in Parkmill," a small village not far from Swansea, Gower Peninsula, Glamorgan County, South Wales. The death of his mother deprived him of her tender care when he was two, and he was taken into the home of a good old grandmother, who lived not far from the coast near the town of Llagadranta. When he became old enough, he was apprenticed and taught carpentry - in Parkmill. Acquiring skill in that trade he went to Mumbles to work, and there came in contact with William Clement - also a carpenter - his prospective father-in-law. Mr. Clement was a disciple of Dr. John Thomas, and an ardent Christadelphian. It was not long until there was a new disciple, as Thomas Williams embraced the Faith at the age of seventeen. He had been christened according to the practice of the Established Church, in irresponsible infancy; and he used to say, in after-life, that his godfather had repudiated the devil for him as a child, but that as a man he had repudiated the devil for himself in a way his sponsor never dreamed of. It was not long before he and Elizabeth Clement were joined in marriage, as he remarked near the end of life, "for the better without the worse." By the time the family had grown to five, the magnetic attraction of the New World began to draw them. In 1872 they packed their bags and embarked for the land of opportunity. They traveled first to Chicago, which was bustling with building activity as the result of the devastating fire of October, 1871. They did not, however, remain there for long, but went farther west, to locate in Riverside, Iowa. They made friendships among the Believers in Chicago that were to endure stedfast until the end. In Riverside; he engaged for a time in farming, the lumber business and construction business on his own account.

Eight children were born to the couple, altogether - Clement, William, Katherine, in Wales; and Gershom, Fred, May, George and Bessie, this side the ocean. Gershom, their first-born after reaching these shores, was so named, because they felt themselves to be "strangers in a strange land." (See Exod. 2: 22.)

Thomas Williams' superior ability as an expounder and defender of the Faith was very evident from the first. Arrangements were soon made for him to devote his entire time, with pen and voice, to this work. Removing to Waterloo, Iowa, he began in 1885 the publication of the Christadelphian Advocate, for "The Promulgation and Defense of 'The Things Concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ'... with a view of assisting in the work of taking out a people preparatory to the coming of the Lord." His services as a lecturer and debater were soon in demand throughout the United States and Canada, and he devoted himself to this work with great energy. The unusual character of his Bible expositions often brought the challenge to meet the exponents of popular and traditional doctrines in public discussion. Such invitations were never declined, when details could be satisfactorily arranged. Mr. Williams always insisted that some part of the debate be conducted on the Socratic method of direct questions and answers. This was necessary to make the issues plain and bring the discussion to a focus; but not every opponent was willing to meet this condition. Mr. Williams' training no doubt aided a naturally keen and logical mind to give him extraordinary skill as a debater. He took the platform with church leaders to debate the subjects of the Nature of Man, Punishment of the Wicked, Scope of the Resurrection. Location of the Kingdom of God, and the Time of its Establishment, Universal Salvation, the Sabbath Question, and Anglo-Israelism. On separate occasions he met two infidels, a Col. Billings in Riverside, and Mr. Charles Watts, of London, England. Several efforts to arrange a discussion with "Pastor" Charles Taze Russell, author of the Millennial Dawn series, were not successful.

A somewhat turbulent affair took place in Toronto, Canada, in 1906. A popular revivalist had been holding meetings in Massey Hall, seating about six thousand. At the close he was called upon to defend his teachings as to the immortality of the soul and eternal torments in public debate with Thomas Williams. This he declined to do, whereupon arrangements were made for a well advertised address by Thomas Williams to be delivered from the platform lately occupied by the evangelist. "Eternal Torments-a Fallacy, a Failure and a Fraud." was the title of this address, which aroused much interest and evoked favorable comment in the Canadian Press.

Not only was the Author of THE WORLD·S REDEMPTION active on the platform, but he was also busy with his pen, and published many tracts and pamphlets, illuminating Scripture teachings, and exposing popular errors as to Bible doctrines. He and his family moved back to Chicago, to build a home and printing plant, in 1892. The following was the year of "The World's Columbian Exposition," in connection with which was to be held a "World's Congress of Religions." A booklet for free distribution was prepared by Mr. Williams, entitled The Great Salvation. - What it is, and How to Obtain it. This summary of Bible teaching has had a wide circulation.

In addition to his activities in the United States and Canada, the Author made four trips to England to lecture and to visit the place of his birth and home of his youth in Wales. In May of 1900, he and Mrs. Williams, always his faithful helpmate, sailed from Montreal on the S. S. Dominion. The purpose of this journey was threefold: To deliver a series of addresses according to an itinerary planned by co-workers in England; to endeavor to compose differences which were causing controversy and division within the Fraternity; and to visit the homeland and people he and Mrs. Williams had left twenty-eight years before.

His second visit was in 1903, this time on the Lucania. Guglielmo Marconi was a passenger on the same vessel, and wireless messages -quite new at the time - were being exchanged between ship and shore. and between ship and ship. Mr. Williams was naturally much impressed, by this and commented in the Advocate. "A strange feeling came over me when we received the first bulletin of Mlarconigrams. Just think of it! Out in mid-ocean, hundreds of miles from land and from other vessels, and yet receiving news of what was happening on land and sea! If such is possible in the finite sphere, who can doubt the omnipresence and the omniscience of the Infinite. More real than ever are we impressed with the thought that wherever we are the eye of the Almighty is upon us - a pleasing thought if we are walking in the way of righteousness; but a dreadful one if otherwise.... The telegrams were in detail as much as any ordinary telegrams - and if the expense is not too great to interfere with the practicability of the wonderful system, what a revolution it will make! and how closely will the world seem to have become united! Surely we are now living in the time predicted - 'Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."' He remarks about the youthfulness and friendliness of the inventor, who would be twenty-nine at the time. (May the writer be permitted the observation, that little less wonder had been felt half-a-century earlier at the transmitting of messages by wire. Since 1903, wireless has made possible the radio, the wireless telephone, and now television. Is it not probable that the future holds other great marvels, one day to become commonplace-perhaps in God's Kingdom!)

A third trip across was made in 1907, which occupied almost a year.

After passing his sixtieth birthday, Mr. Williams' incessant activity - began to tell upon his constitution. He was a man of deep and definite convictions, and was ever ready to "give a reason for his Hope." He was sensitive of conscience and fervent of spirit. He had responded promptly - for pleas for his help, coming from the north, the south, the east and the west, in heat of summer and the cold and snows of winter. Train connections were not always according to schedule, and there were the other trials and inconveniences incidental to travel. The very nature of his work often caused him to be subjected to severe emotional stress and strain. Then, how many occasions there were which called for sympathy and condolence! Only a cheerful and equable disposition, fortified by profound faith in God, could ever for so long have sustained him.

Decline of health caused his thoughts to turn to the sunny South. He had been in Orlando, Florida, in 1905, for lectures and to visit old friends and had tarried a while for rest and recuperation. Finding the climate there so much to his liking, he decided five years later to make his home there, moving there in 1910, he continued his publishing work, with travel in the North restricted to summertime.

In 1913, with his faithful companion, he undertook the fourth journey to England and Wales, from which he was not to return. While traveling in England and meeting lecture appointments, his strength suddenly failed, and he returned to Mrs. Williams' old home in Wales where he died within a few days. The end came in the very house where youth's springtime began, with all its joyful promise. A fruitful life was finished.

He fell asleep December 8, 1913 with his hope fixed - not upon death - but upon the coming of the Lord and the resurrection. As for the validity of that Hope, we invite the reader's earnest attention to the pages of THE WORLD'S REDEMPTION.

1951 BERTON LITTLE.

 

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Chapter 1

The World's Redemption

 


The Bible Our Only Safe Guide

DEAR READER: - If our appeal to you is earnest, it is because the subject upon which we address you is an important one. It is a subject upon which hangs our eternal destiny. The perplexities of the present evil world and the greed for gain of the temporalities of life so engross the minds of this generation that the great vital question of the life that is to come is thought but little of, and the masses are recklessly rushing headlong into perdition. You, like many others, will perhaps impatiently answer, "It is no use talking religion to me. Look at the confusion there is in the world. What is the use for me to trouble myself in trying to understand a subject that our wisest men cannot agree upon?" We confess your words have considerable force, in view of the confusion there is in the religious world at the present time. The common people who, by the exigencies of an evil state of things, are kept busy providing for the necessities of life have little time to study the subtle and technical questions which divide and confuse the churches of Christendom; and they are given to understand that these are matters to be left to the "clergy" while the "laity" are to accept the situation, asking no questions, but putting their trust in their leaders that in some way, they are not supposed to know how, all will end well. If you are disposed to think for yourself, you will not be satisfied to blindly follow the dictates of men, but you will want to know that you are upon safe ground, and that the road you are traveling will lead to the haven of rest which many weary travelers are earnestly seeking.

THE GOSPEL FOR COMMONPLACE PEOPLE

Did it ever occur to you that God in providing His beneficent plan of salvation so arranged it that it would be more nearly within the reach of the poor and commonplace people of the world than of the great and the learned and the opulent? Honor belongs to Him who is the Great Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being. Therefore the honor and submission given to the so-called learned leaders of men are misplaced. It would be strange, would it not, if God had revealed a plan of salvation which, by the very mystery of its nature, must necessarily become a monopoly in the hands of a few men who happened to be thrown into circumstances admitting of a technical theological education. This would have made the salvation of the masses dependent upon the few favored ones in a worldly sense. And since these very-few comparatively-seriously and sometimes violently disagree among themselves, what a hopeless plight we should all be in were we dependent solely upon them for guidance in the way of life. What is in our day considered learning is familiarity with the mysteries of the darkness of Egypt, Greece and Rome. A man whose college education enables him to glibly talk of heathen gods and pagan myths is regarded as a "learned man." Is Egypt likely to be a good place to go to for heavenly light? Are the heathen philosophers of Greece to be supposed to be luminaries of divine revelation? Why should any one expect to receive the light of salvation from Rome, which, whether under pagan or papal power has drenched her soil with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus? These are not the sources whence we may expect to derive saving truth, and the fact that preparation for the popular pulpit consist~ Largely, if not principally, in the study of heathen "philosophers" is sufficient reason why you should turn from the highways of popular religion and seek for truth at the fountain head of the stream of life eternal.

SEEK FOR THE OLD PATH

I am not presenting to you a new thought, nor advising you to pursue a new course, though to you, possibly, it may appear so. I am simply asking you to remember the words of the prophet who said, "Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old path, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls'' (Jer. 6: 16). To do this you must "not put your trust in princes nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no help" (Ps. 146. 3), but you must realize that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence" (I. Cor. 1: 26-29).

THE BIBLE THE ONLY AUTHORITY

There is only one authority for us all in relation to the problem of life; and, God be thanked, there is free access to that in our land and in our times for all who will avail themselves of the privilege. While the world's wise are disputing and fighting about the "wisdom of the world" let the humble seeker after truth search the old paths that lead to the grand old book of the ages, which has withstood the severe tests of times of darkness, wickedness and cruelty and yet brightly burns as a beacon of light to every way worn and footsore traveler. "Familiar spirits" have multiplied in our times because of the barrenness; of Bible teaching. The prevailing ignorance of God's Word admits of their tricks and turns in deceiving the hearts of the simple. Let me appeal to YOU dear leader, not to allow yourself to be deceived "when" the warning so clearly and loudly cries out, "When they shall Say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? Why should you seek unto the dead concerning the living (Septuagint rendering)? To the law and, to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8: 19, 20).

EVIL OF POPULAR DISPARAGEMENT

To say that there is barrenness of Bible teaching may astonish you in view of the boasted claims of Progress in the study of Bible lore: but it is a sad fact that the boasted progress is rapidly reducing the Word of God to an object of contempt and ridicule. The very highest leaders of the schools are doing with God's Word what Judas Iscariot did with the Son of God. It is being sold to the enemy - infidelity - while its professed friends are impressing upon its pages the betraying kiss. The more flaws their flaunting "scholarship" can find in the Bible, the more they pretend to like it. What matters it to them if the Son of God himself sealed the divinity of Moses and the prophets with his life's blood, if they can persuade their dupes that through their deep researches (?) in the darkness of superstitious antiquity, and their masterful detection of verbal peculiarities and imaginary distinctions they can pose before their admirers as men and masters of great profundity. The traps and snares that are being set for the young and unwary the theological schools of our times are among the great evils of the century, and if we look not well to ourselves we shall be carried down to oblivion with the great destructive popular wave of skepticism.

PREVAILING IGNORANCE OF THE BIBLE PREDICTED

Familiarity with the unerring Predictions of the Word of God will remove any cause for surprise that there is such prevailing and widespread ignorance of the real teachings of the Bible. If it were otherwise prophecy bearing upon our times would be a failure. Let me quote here a few testimonies which you will readily see foretell the present state of things in relation to the subject in hand

Amos 8: 11 - Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

Luke 18: 7, 8 - And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he shall avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

II Thes. 2: 3-12 - Let no man, deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God, Remember ye not that when I was with you I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who doth letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.

I Tim. 4: 1-3 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

II Tim. 3: 17--This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their ownselves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than followers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.

Verses 12, 13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

II Tim. 4: 3-4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

A WIDE-SPREAD APOSTASY FORETOLD

Now, dear reader, not only do these testimonies foretell a departure from the truth, but they show clearly that the apostasy would be wide-spread, and be the prevailing character of the latter times. The question asked by the Saviour, "Shall he find faith on earth?" referring to His second coming, warns us that the true faith would scarcely be found; and this agrees with what He says upon another occasion in the awful words, "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Malt. 7: 13, 14) - And, again, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24·: 37).

THE WORLD NOT GETTING BETTER

My object in dwelling upon this unhappy state of things is to remove the delusion which has largely led the people to believe that the world is getting better and is being "converted" through the agencies now at work. This claim is in direct opposition to the testimony of God's Word and to the real facts in the case. The testimonies speak for themselves and cannot be ignored nor gain said. If so-called Christendom is what it claims to be God's word in declaring a great apostasy has failed, and all the predictions and warnings have proven false. These testimonies of Holy Writ cannot be harmonized with popular claims. Which will you believe? If you believe the latter you must deny the former, and then you will surely be in the "broad way;· that leadeth to destruction. If you believe the testimonies, then you must turn from the highways of popular so-called Christianity in order that you might enter the "strait gate": and the "narrow way which leadeth unto life." Are you still inclined to give credence to the popular claims of present world conversion, then look at a few facts that some of the religious periodicals are frank enough to publish.

INCREASE, OF CRIME

On the increase Of Crime we quote the following from THE TRUTH:

The San Francisco Examiner calls attention to the statistics of crime which the Chicago Tribune carefully collects and publishes every year. The record shows that murders are increasing far beyond the growth of the population, and that this so-called Christian country with its boasted 20,000,000 of Christians, far surpasses Italy or any known heathen land in the number of its homicides.

The rapid increase of murder in the United States is one of the most distressing facts in our history. The figures are worthy of deep consideration by every man who is interested in the welfare of the country and his own safety. The recorded homicides for ten years run:

1886.............…...........................................................................1,449

1887......................................................................................... 2,335

1888......................................................................................... 2,184

1889..........................................................................................3,567

1890.............…...........................................................................4,090

1891.....…...................................................................................5,906

1892..........................................................................................6,791

1893..........................................................................................6,615

1894.............…...........................................................................9,800

1895.............…...........................................................................10,500

This awful record of slaughter, a record that shows an annual loss of life by knife and pistol, equal to the loss by almost any of the great battles of history, is an indictment of our civilization. It is a record that cannot be matched out of Armenia or the brutalized regions of Darkest Africa. There is no part of the civilized globe in which human life is so little regarded, and the taking of it so lightly condoned, as in the United States of America. Beside the annual murder record of 150 to 200 that is found in England, or even the 2,500 to 3,000 murders that are found in Italy, the record of the United States is a national disgrace and humiliation.

[Even though over 100 years have passed since the writing of this book the United States still is one of the world leaders as it relates to violent crime.]

WORLD CONVERSION A FAILURE

Some of the editors of religious papers are being compelled by the force of cold facts to confess that in the efforts to convert the world there is utter failure. Here is what the editor of The Truth says;

The ablest statisticians estimate that the Pagan and Mohammedan population of the earth has increased during this century 250,000,000. The number of professed converts to Christianity- can be set down at 3,000,000. It is claimed that that there are 20,000,000 Christians in this land, that is, one out of every two or three of the adult inhabitants, whereas not ten ever attend church; but admitting the extravagant and foolish claim, there are 50,000,000 more remaining to he converted than at the beginning of the century. In other words, the increase of Christians does not begin to equal those who are not Christians; and at this rate, when will the world be converted? Many will reply that the result is sure according to the Word of God; but is not a single promise that the end will be reached by the agencies, instrumentality's and means now employed.

WORLD CONVERSION IS IN THE AGE TO COME

If God is not converting the world through the agencies now at work, what is his purpose in sending the gospel? you may ask. His purpose is ultimately to convert the world, that is, the world consisting of the survivors of the calamities of hastening vengeance to be visited upon the people of this ungodly age. But the honor and the power are His, and belong not to "man whose breath is in his nostrils" and who is puffed up with pride in his ability to form society here and society there for this and for that. When the appointed time arrives "The Lord will make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isa. 52 :10). It is when God's "judgments are in the earth,. the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26: 9). Not till then will the veil that has been drawn over the eyes of the people be torn off, and, coming to see how they have been deceived and deluded, the Gentiles will "come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jer. 16: 19). In the meantime however, the door is not closed against any honest seeker after truth. The gospel is doing the work it was foretold it should during these dark days of Gentile times; for we are assured that God's word "shall not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11).

THE GOSPEL IS NOW TAKING OUT A PEOPLE

It is now clear that we must seek for the way of salvation, not in the popular systems of the world, but aside from these, and in the "old paths" which lead to the "strait gate and the narrow way,'' to walk in which requires that we be "converted and become as little children" if we would enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 18: 3). To this end it is necessary that we come out from the world, for true disciples are those who are chosen out of the world, and are not of the world (John 15: 16-19). Hence the gentiles are not visited by the gospel to be converted en mass, but through it God is "visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name'' (Acts 15: 14)) and when "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11: 25), Christ 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." Then it is that the "residue of men shall seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his name is called" (Acts 15: 16, 17).

THE GOSPEL MUST BE BELIEVED AND OBEYED

Since the gospel is sent out for this purpose it must be evident that its conditions must be complied with by those who would share in the blessings it offers. Here is another growing evil in our day, in the delusive stupor that many honest people allow themselves to pass into with the thought that it makes no difference what our belief is if we do our best. The greatest danger of this lies in its plausibility and in its adaptability to the likings of the flesh. Dear reader, deceive not yourself, but awake to the importance of seeking for life in the way - the only way- the wisdom and goodness of God have provided. You cannot hope to be much better in "doing your best" than was Cornelius of Cesarea. It is testified that he was "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10: 1, 2). Notwithstanding this, his salvation depended upon a correct faith. The Apostle Peter is therefore sent to tell him what he must do before he can he saved. "He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" says verse 6, and Peter tells him "words where by he and all his house should be saved" (chap. 11:14). This is in strict harmony with the commission given to the apostles, in the words, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 25: 29). The people must be taught the truth of the gospel; for it is "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16).

ONLY ONE SAVING GOSPEL

This does not allow us to believe what we please or be indifferent as to whether we have any particular belief. When some in Galatia became "foolish" and "bewitched" in departing somewhat from the true gospel the Apostle Paul wrote them in the strongest terms of warning saying, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1: 6-9). The absolute necessity of believing the one true gospel and rejecting all others is thus made clear, and our duty to stand firm and earnestly to contend for the truth is further sustained by the following testimonies:

Isa. 8: 20 - To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

John 6: 45 - It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me.

Rom. 1: 16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

Rom. 10: 17--So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Heb. 11: 6 - But without faith it is impossible to please God.

I Thess. 5: 21 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

I John 5: 10 - He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believerh not the record that God gave of his Son.

Jude 3-Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation. it was, needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

THE SCRIPTURES NOT READ AND STUDIED

It is a well-known fact that the Scriptures are read but very little these days, and as for a careful study of them it is out of the question. The example for this deplorable neglect of God's Word is set before the people by their leaders; for the Bible scarcely enters into modern popular sermons A single text is sometimes quoted and then left, while the speaker rambles into the fields of politics, "philosophy" and fiction.

You may not be fully aware of the extent and evil of this departure from the reading and study of God's Word, and may shrink from believing that it is possible for the leaders of the people to be so remiss, but a glance over the customs of the so-called evangelism and revivalism of the day will show what little use is made of the Scriptures and what cunning devices men are resorting to stir, not the sober intellectual faculties, but the impulses and excitement of the natural man.

It is not a new thing for the ways and traditions of men to supplant God's words. It was the crime of the first century, and from the predictions we have quoted it will be seen that it was to be that of the latter days of Gentile times. Let not, therefore, the fear and awe of pomp and flaunting "learning," or pious pretences in high places daunt you or deter you, dear reader, from resolving to turn earnestly and persistently- to the reading and study of God's Word; for remember what is said in the "warning" of the first century, even to those who read the Scriptures in a formal way more than their successors do now. Pause over the indictment of the "learned" in the following testimonies:

Matt 15:3 But he answered and said unto them. Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Mark 7: 7, 9, l3 - Howbeit in vain do they worship me: teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups; and many other things ye do and he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. * * * (verse 13) making the word of God of none effect by your tradition.

Col. 2: 8 - Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

ISRAEL COMMANDED TO READ THE SCRIPTURES

The danger of neglect of God's word caused serious and imperative warnings to be given Israel as will be seen in the following:

Deut. 6: 7; 8 - Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest in the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. But thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Jos. 3: 9 - And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God.

Ps. 50: 7 - Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee; I am God, even thy God.

Ps. 78: 1 - Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

"The carnal mind is enmity against God," but when it is subjected to the spiritual mind, which can be done only by the power of God's word, then there is a real hunger and thirst for the Word, from which flows the utmost satisfaction and the sweet peace of mind "which passeth all understanding."

THE WORD WILL ILLUMINATE

Ps. 119: 105--Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Prov. 6: 23---For the commandment is a lamp and the law is a light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

II Pet. 1: 19 - And we have the word of prophecy made sure whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts; knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scripture is of private interpretation (R. V.).

I John 2: 8 - Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

THE WORD IS PURE

Ps. 12: 6 - The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Ps. 119: 140--Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Prov. 30: 5 - Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

John 15: 3 - Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

THE WORD IS PERFECT AND TRUE

II Sam. 22: 31 - As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to them that trust in him.

Ps 19: 7--The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. The fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Ps. 91:5 Thy testimonies are very sure, holiness becometh thine house O Lord forever.

Ps, 119: I28 - Therefore I esteem; all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and hate every false way.

Verse 142 - Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is truth.

Verse 151 - Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.

Verse 160 - Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy judgments endureth forever.

Prov. 22: 20 - Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.

Eccl. 12: 10 - The preacher sought to find out acceptable words; and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

Is. 25: 1 - O Lord. thou art my God; I will exalt thee. I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

John 17: 17 - Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.

John 21: 24--This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

Rev 19: 9 - And he said, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Rev. 21: 5 - And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful.

Rev 22:6 - And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

THE WORD IS POWERFUL AND EVERLASTING

Deut. 32: 2 - My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.

Is. 55: 10, 11 - 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 it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jer. 23: 29 - Is not my word like fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.

Ps 119: 144--The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding and I shall live.

Verse 152 - Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever.

Is 40: 8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.

Luke 21: 33 - Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away.

John 10: 35 - If ye call them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, Etc.

I Pet. 1: 25 - But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

THE WORD DIVINELY INSPIRED

II Sam 23:2 - The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

II Kings 21: 10 - And the Lord spake unto his servants the prophets, saying. etc.

Neh. 9: 13 - Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commmandments.

I Cor. 2: 4,5 - And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom. but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Verse 13 - Which things also we speak not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Col 14:36 - What Came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Gal. 1: 11, 12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

II Tim 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

II Pet 1:21 - For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

1 John 5:9 -If we receive the witness of men, the witness of god is greater, for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

Now, dear reader, we have given these selections of testimonies from God's Word to offset the disparaging assertions of those who profess to be the friends of the Bible, but who, like the rulers of the Jews in the days of our Lord and his Apostles, are making it of none effect by their traditions and vain philosophy. Ponder over these words of Holy Scripture, and, we beseech of you, make up your mind to thoroughly examine your faith in the light of Divine truth; and if you already are in possession of the one saving faith, you will be strengthened; and if not, God grant that the eyes of your understanding may be opened and your heart prepared to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul. It is with this hope that we ask you to follow us in what we shall, the Lord willing, set forth in chapters to follow, carrying with us that unshaken confidence in God and in his word, which finds such forceful expression in the words, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8: 38, 39).

 

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Chapter 2

The World's Redemption


Redemption and Restitution for Man and the Earth

LIFE is sweet, with all its pains and perplexities. Natural law has endowed man with the love of life, and we are quite willing to endure great hardships and suffer many pangs and pains, wrestle with powerful enemies and meet with numerous difficulties and disappointments if we are allowed to live and given the hope of length of days.

But after all life is but a span, "an inch or two of time," hung upon a slender cord that is momentarily in danger of breaking and in the end-the inevitable end-sure to be cut asunder by the ever-busy hand of man's universal enemy, the dread of all mankind - Death, Death, pitiless, cruel and relentless Death. Sickness, sorrow, pain and death are realities alike in the experience of young and old, rich and poor, great and small, in every land and in every clime.

DOES DEATH END ALL?

In the face of such facts the questions press themselves upon every sensible man and woman, Does death end all? Is there a life beyond? Is evil eternal? Is there a remedy for the world's woes and provision for man's inmost wants? What, if any, are the possible dangers ahead? What, if any, are the blessings attainable? What mean these inmost longings of the heart, and these wellsprings of hope, these lofty aspirations of the intelligent mind whose eyes look over and beyond life's vale of tears with anxious hope and expectation of ultimate realization? Have these longings and throbbings taken hold of us to mock us? Or have they been begotten, born and nourished by promises that the evils of this troubled, sin-stricken and death-stricken world are to be eliminated and give place to a good time that's coming that shall gladden the hearts and bless the lives of those whose love of their Creator and faithfulness to their Redeemer have moulded their faith and their character into form and fitness for a life that shall know no end? In view of the power and wisdom manifest in the natural world, in "the heavens that declare the glory of God and the firmament that showeth his handiwork," surely it is wise to conclude that a better time is coming, and a glance at the only compass that is safe upon the troubled and angry sea reveals the fact that there is a

RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS

spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began," and in this restitution will be found the panacea for man's ills and evils, wants and woes, and by its accomplishment will be made manifest to an admiring and happy world the wisdom and might and goodness and glory of Him in whom we "live and move and have our being." When this grand end is seen in its splendid brightness to be the sun that is yet to rise and chase away the darkness and mist of present night, the evils and burdens we groan under will be viewed from the standpoint of Divine philosophy and seen to be wisely permitted, as it were, but for a moment, and utilized to sharpen our appetite and intensify our feelings for the rapturous joy of deliverance and the unspeakable happiness of eternity, unmarred by the sufferings of this transitory, preparatory, evil life.

Six thousand years of continued and increasing evils and perplexities show that the world is incurable by human agencies, and we may not hope for help from man, but when the time for the promised restitution arrives, the great Deliverer shall appear in His glory and majesty; and though dark be the clouds that precede and usher in His majestic advent, and terrible the convulsions that shall attend the mighty revolution, yet great shall be the glory that shall follow and peaceful and tranquil the repose that shall forever settle upon earth's everlasting hills.

RESTITUTION AND REDEMPTION WHERE NEEDED

Now, dear reader, shall we ask you to pause and consider fully the meaning of the words "restitution of all things." They are found in the Acts of the apostles, chap. 3: 21. Verses 20 and 21 read as follows: "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 since the world began." Words in frequent use and to be found in various parts of the Bible are, "salvation," "redemption," "reconciliation" and "restoration." What do they mean? To what do they apply? What is salvation? These are questions we may well pause over and consider their meaning in relation to the vital question they represent. The words imply that there has been a loss of something somewhere; and is it unreasonable to believe that salvation, whatever it is, will deal with that which is lost? And that restitution, restoration and redemption will meet requirements and deal with conditions arising from the loss, in accordance with the character of the loss and right where the lost condition is found?

What is it that has gone wrong, and where is the wrong that needs rectifying? Salvation, whatever it is, redemption, whatever it is, restitution, whatever it is, surely ought to be understood to remedy the wrong where the wrong is, and deal with it practically whatever it is. Now we do not know that things have gone wrong on other planets. We know not whether salvation, redemption and restitution are needed on any of them; and we may be sure from what is revealed of the character of God that there are no wrongs to right in heaven, His holy habitation. With the healing balm contained in the words salvation, restitution, etc., we should seek for the wounds and sores it is intended to soothe and heal. The plaster surely is made for the wound and it ought to fit and be adapted to the nature of the wound. What is it that has received the wound? Where are the diseases to be cured, the lost to be gained, the wrongs to be righted, the captives to be redeemed? They are not in the moon, in the stars nor in the sky; neither are they 'beyond the bounds of time and space." They are here, right here in this world of ours; on this earth, in the very ground; on man universally, in man. They are real. They are to be seen, to he heard, to be felt, and all this right here, and we need look no farther, no higher, no lower. It is our world and we ourselves that are lost, and it is our world and we ourselves that need salvation and restitution. There would be no restitution were we, a few of us, transported to another planet and the rest dragged down into regions eternal and infernal, and our earth, beautiful, notwithstanding all its blightings and cursings through sin, were burnt up and dissolved into smoke. Can you, dear reader, bring yourself to believe that the wisdom whose marvelous works strike us with awe and admiration as we behold them in the shining starry heavens above and in the wonders of creation in the earth beneath-can you I ask, bring yourself to believe that He whose wisdom and power you behold has created this terrestrial sphere to be desecrated by sin, blighted by curse, tortured by sickness, darkened by death, devasted by war and blood-shed, and after all to end in conflagration that shall send it up in smoke or precipitate it into the irrecoverable depths of oblivion? In such a sad end where would he the glory and honor of the Creator? Dream not then of ghostly flights to worlds unknown, where Elysium fields are supposed to bloom with flowers of endless beauty. Look no deeper for sufferings and terrors than you behold upon a sin-stricken earth, groaning beneath its burdens of sinful suffering humanity. But look for salvation where it is needed to "heal the broken-hearted, to bring deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4: 18); and look for restitution in the world and upon the earth of which it was said, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3: 17-19).

THE FIRST PROMISE

The very first promise we have, involving salvation, was made immediately upon the entrance of the evil it was intended to deal with, and it meets the real requirements in the case. Figuratively speaking, the serpent had pierced man with a fatal sting, whose poison was destined to affect the entire race, the earth and all that is in it. This is met by the promise contained in the words, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and he; seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3: 15).

When the work of creation was completed "God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1: 31). Of man and woman it was said, "so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Gen. 1: 26-28).

MAN GIVEN DOMINION

The Psalmist, referring to this part of the work of creation. says, "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou host made him a little lower than the angels and host 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: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth" (Psa. 8: 3-9)! While this doubtless has a prophetic significance as well as historic, the latter is what we are particularly concerned about now. Still it will be seen that the prophetic aspect is in strict agreement with the thought of the restitution of all things. Commenting upon this passage the Apostle Paul, after quoting the passage to prove that all things had been put under man, and that all things would be put under him again, says, "But now we see not yet all things put under him" (Heb. 2: 8). This raises the question. If all things were put under man's dominion in the beginning, and now "we see not all things put under him," what was the cause of this loss of power and dominion? In the answer to this question we shall discover what the loss is that salvation and restitution are intended to remedy.

MAN ENDOWED WITH THE POWER OF FREE VOLITION

With creation "very good," every creature happy and the first human pair enthroned and given dominion over a world that was an honor to its Creator and possessed of every thing conducive to happiness and well-being man is placed under a law that would test his fidelity to his Creator He is endowed with the power of free volition and this is what makes him a responsible creature, higher in the scale of intellectuality than all others and possessed of a moral nature capable of maintaining a moral image accept able or of falling under the condemnation of his Lawgiver what gives man his superiority and his divine right to " have dominion" is this moral element of his nature and the power of free volition arising therefrom, crowned with a noble intellect. By this it was possible to place upon him a responsibility that was inapplicable to other creatures of lower grades or intellectual power Those who would find fault with this procedure and claim that it would have been better if man had been left without a law that could test his faithfulness and fidelity seem to forget that this is the essential thing to constitute him a man This is why he is a man and to deprive him of the opportunity of exercising at first the latent mental and moral possibilities of his nature under the guidance of law to reduce him to a level with the creatures over whom he is given dominion. If it was wise to endow man with this latent moral power, it was only the next step in the way of wisdom to give scope for its exercise under law.

PLACED UNDER LAW

To this intellectual capable man, then, the law is given as follows: "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 2:16, 17). At this time nothing had been lost. Everything was as God in His wisdom had created it. The words salvation, redemption and restitution were useless words there was nothing to be saved or redeemed, because there was nothing lost. It is so arranged by the wise law of the Creator that if a loss occurs it shall be by man's breach of law and his unfaithfulness to his Benefactor. The machinery of this world was given into the hands of man in perfect order. If ever a cog slip or a belt fly off, it shall be the fault of him who is given the responsibility of the dominion. If ever joy give place to sorrow, happiness to woe, health to sickness, life to death and the very good" condition is turned into a very bad one, man shall be the cause and not God. The change is made dependent upon man's honoring and obeying a righteous law, which his Creator had a right to place over him; and when the fall, the crash, the loss, the curse comes it shall come justly, and man will have one to blame but himself.

It came. Yes it came and that, too, by man's breach of the divine law. Here is how it was brought about:

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman. Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God bath said, Ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall he opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, arid gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat'' Gen. 3: 1-6.

THE FAR REACHING EFFECTS OF THE TRANGRESSION

Here is the first sin committed and here is the cause of the fall man and his kingdom which God had given into his hands. Sin brings sorrow, sickness, pain and death, and its far-reaching effects are seen in a lost world, with its once ruling monarch stricken with shame and remorse, hiding himself from the face of the Elohim and, when called to account, trying to excuse his unfaithfulness with the cowardly answer. "I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. * * * The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3: 10-12). In the sentence passed upon our first parents for thus transgressing God's law is to be seen the world-wide results of man's first act of unfaithfulness to God, results which are not confined to the man and the woman, but which blight and curse their entire domain. To the serpent, the woman and to the man it is said,

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle. and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. * * * Unto the woman he said, I wilt greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall he to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat of the herbs of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" - Gen. 3: 14-19.

Now, dear reader, we have before us the root of all the world's evils, and by careful consideration of the nature of the loss, and an understanding of what is lost, we shall be helped toward a correct understanding of what salvation is and what the restitution is "which God hath spoken of by all his holy prophets since the world began." Subsequently to the pronouncing of the sentence man is driven out of the garden of Eden and access is guarded by a "flaming sword " which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life (Verse 24).

The earth, so far as its primitive very good condition is concerned, is lost, Paradise is lost, dominion is lost, life is lost, man is lost - the whole creation is lost, until sin, for the time being has made every thing vanitv, vanity, all is vanity, and, as the prophet Isaiah says, "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). The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together (Rom. 8: 22).

WHAT FITS THE SITUATION

Now salvation for fallen lost man and restitution for a cursed earth are provisions made by the God of heaven to remove the evils and bring goodness and blessing here yes here in the very place it is needed, and in which a sin wrecked creation groans. The wise plan of salvation revealed in the Scriptures is not one that leaves a lost Paradise forever lost and transports man to the sky. It is not a plan that retreats foiled and frustrated by sin and leaves this sin-wrecked and sin ruined planet of God's handiwork to be carried down to an ignominious oblivion. While God has permitted the sad results of sin for a time to mar the beauty and dim the splendor and darken the light of His grand and marvelous work, think not that He has retreated and forsaken the work of His Almighty hand. In this we may safely "trust Him for His grace," and know that "behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face;" and when His good time comes salvation and restitution shall be realities here, to take the place of the evils that are here now; for He has declared in burning words that never can be quenched, "As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Numb. 14: 21).

THE EARTH TO ABIDE

The earth, then, is not to be the scene of six thousand years of trouble in its thousands of forms, and at last to be destroyed. It is to abide forever:

Eccle. 1: 4 - One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.

Psa. 104: 1-5 - Blessed be the Lord, * * * who laid the foundation of the earth, that it shall not be removed forever.

Psa. 119: 90 - Thy faithfulness is unto all generations, thou hast establislied the earth, and it abideth.

Since the wisdom of Solomon could see the earth and all that is in it as in a state of vanity, and since we learn from the above testimonies that the earth is to abide forever, we may safely conclude that God has in store better days for this our habitation. He has assured us that He has not created it in vain in the beautiful words of the prophet Isaiah: "For thus saith the Lord, that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it he created it not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord; and there is none else (Isa. 45: 18). When the vanity of the present is removed and the earth restored to the very good" state that was lost through man's fall, the following promises will find joyful realization:

Numb. 14: 21 - But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Psa. 72: 17-l9 - His name shall endure forever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall he blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel. who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.

Isa. 11: 9 - They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holly mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Hab. 2: l4 -For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Matt. 6: 6, 10 - After this manner pray Ye: * * * Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Luke 2: 14 - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Isa 55: 10-13 - For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth bud, * * * so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace, the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you in to 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 briar 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.

THE EARTH TO BE THE EVERLASTING INHERITANCE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

It is when the earth is thus blessed, and man redeemed that it will become the everlasting inheritance of the righteous, who will have been saved from the lost state and exalted to glory and honor with the second Adam, whose righteousness and faithfulness shall have undone and eliminated the evils resulting from the transgression of our first parents. Hence in God's plan of salvation the earth is promised as our everlasting inheritance, as the following Scriptures will clearly show:

Gen. 13: 15 - For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever.

Rom. 4: 13 - For the promsise that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law but (it was) through the righteousness of faith.

Psa. 37:9 - For evil doers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

Verse 11 - But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight them selves in the abundance of peace.

Verse 22 - For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

Verse 29 - The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever.

Verse 34 - Wait on the Lord and keep his way and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land when the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it.

Psa 115: 16 - The Heaven, even the heavens are the Lord's, but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Prov. 11:31 - Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; much more than the wicked and the sinner.

Dan 7:27 - And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high.

Matt. 5: 5 - Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Rev. 5: 9, 10 - And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

Here we have clear testimony, that the earth is to be the everlasting inheritance of the righteous, and do not be alarmed, dear reader, when we assert that nowhere in the Scriptures are we promised that we shall go to heaven when we die or at any other time. You will now begin to see clearly from the many testimonies given that the great plan of salvaition is very different thing from that taught in the popular religion of our times According to the creeds of so called "Orthodoxy" this earth is to be the habitation of man in its present evil state for a time perhaps six thousand years, during which comparatively a few will at death be transported to heaven and countless millions will be dragged to a place they call hell to be indescribably tormented eternally, and then, without any restitution the earth which has borne the curse of sin, is to be burned up and pass away in fire and smoke. You will readily see that with this view restitution or restoration is out of the question, and the Paradise that was lost will forever remain lost, and the earth and its history be a blot upon the pages of the Divine plan of the ages. Of the millions which the earth has produced, it is claimed that not one has ceased to be and never can cease to be. The words of Scripture about the "strait gate and broad way" are forced into service to describe the destiny of those millions, and it therefore follows, that while our planet has produced a few for realms of happiness and bliss, it has supplied a yawning, burning, agonizing, torturing hell with food and fuel for endless time in the form of millions of immortal indestructible beings whose groans and moans and shrieks of eternal despair shall endlessly echo and re-echo the failure of one of the planets of the Almighty's handiwork and the eternal and ever-visible and audible triumph of evil in its most horrible form. The spectacle is appalling to man and dishonoring to God, who is wise and just and powerful, and it is the imputation of such myths of pagan thoughts of cruelty and barbarity to God's Word that feeds the sneers of the skeptic and the reckless profanity of infidelity. As men's minds become enlightened and their hearts softened by the influence of Divine Revelation, they become ashamed of popular creeds and a few are bold and fearless enough to relegate them to the darkness and cruelty of fallen, depraved and degraded men, who revelled in thoughts of the sorrow and suffering, pain and panic, torment and torture, of their fellow-creatures.

The Bible must be snatched out of this burning fire of the depraved and savage passions of degraded men, and we must cry out amid the noise and confusion of modern Babel that the Bible is the book Divine, full of wisdom, justice and love. In it, while for a time we have a Paradise lost through man, we have the promise of the same Paradise regained through the Divine man. While sin is allowed to curse the earth for a time God's mighty arm will yet bring it blessings for eternity; while sin and death now reign by man's transgression the righteous Son of God shall "reign till he hath put down all enemies under His feet," when ""the last enemy - death - shall be destroyed" and sickness, sorrow, pain and death shall be no more.

Jesus shall reign wher'er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till sin shall curse the earth no more.

For him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown his bead,
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on his love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on his name.

Blessings abound where'er he reigns,
The pris'ner leaps to loose his chains,
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.

Where he displays his healing power,
Sorrow and pain are known no more;
In him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.

 

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Chapter 3

The World's Redemption


The Kingdom of God to be Universal in the Earth

We have seen that the Scriptures teach the fall of man and his kingdom and the consequent evils universal in the earth. The testimonies cited glowingly promise redemption and restitution for fallen man and the kingdom and dominion God graciously gave him, which he wrecked and ruined by sin. The question which now naturally presents itself is, By what means does God's revealed plan provide for the great and universal remedy promised? Before we open the Bible for the answer to this question we may glance at the troubled world we live in and ask, "What is the matter?" History is almost an unbroken tale of woe and war in all the conflicting kingdoms and empires that have had their day and disappeared from the face of the earth amid the raging, dashing waves of the angry and restless sea of nations. Ever since sin's demoralizing power threw out of balance the peaceful, harmonious state of God's handiwork in the creation, confusion, trouble, turmoil, tyranny, bloodshed and war have deluged the earth, and in our own times we see preparations for war on every hand which threaten a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. The Saviour foretold this present state of unrest among the nations, declaring that there should be wars and commotions, great earthquakes in divers places, and famines and pestilences" (Luke 21: 9-1 1 ). "Upon the earth." He says, "there shall be distress of nations, with perplexity the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21: 25, 26). Now in view of the spectacle we behold in this troubled world what would meet the requirements of the case? Frequently we hear of nations when they reach a crisis crying out, "for a coming man." They find themselves, after all their experience and experimenting in trying to rule themselves, enveloped in trouble beyond their power to deal with, and in their perplexity they cry out and long for a coming man to settle their difficulties. The coming man in the sense in which they call for him will never come. Man, after all his experience and experiments, has proven himself unable to rule himself and to bring peace and tranquility to the burdened and groaning masses. If a man were to come' who should be wise enough, good enough and powerful enough to calm this raging sea and bring peace, prosperity and happiness to the world universally, would it not settle all the difficulties which now burden the world of humanity? If the conflicting kingdoms and empires were consolidated into one, purified of their political, social and religious evils and placed under the power and jurisdiction of a wise, good and powerful king, organized into a kingdom with laws from heaven guiding it in ways of peace and happiness, would not this meet all the requirements of the case and bring about the world's redemption? There is no power upon earth able to produce such a state of things. The world's salvation is not to be found in man, but it must proceed from God; righteous laws and wise government must come from heaven, the source of all wisdom and goodness. It is no vain speculation to say that such a grand state of things awaits this burdened world of ours and that it will be realized in the establishment of the kingdom of God universally in all the earth. That kingdom which existed in miniature form and fell in the hands of our first parents through sin will in its amplitude arise to glory and splendor in the hands of a second Adam who has proven himself under the most stringent tests to be faithful, wise and good. You will see dear reader that when this kingdom of God sweeps from the face of the earth the wickedness of man and fills the earth to its utmost bounds with the glory of the Lord the world's redemption will be a grand and glorious reality and in view of this what folly it is to hope for transportation to the sky or to the stars.

This view of the matter however is so unpopular in the religious world and men's minds have been so alienated from this grand truth that it is not sufficient simply to state the case Every inch of ground has to be carefully examined every claim pro and con subjected to a rigid test and at last all must be weighed measured and decided by the infallible rule which God has given us the "law and the testimony", for "if we speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in us."

THE FIRST PROMISE INVOLVED THE WORLDS REDEMPTION

The scope of the first promise made to fallen man, though couched in very few words. is wide enough to embrace this universal kingdom of God-"It shall bruise thy head." The cure must reach as far as the disease; and since it is a world which is lost by the downfall of a righteous, Divinely-given dominion, the same world must be redeemed by the raising up of a righteous, Divinely given dominion and kingdom adequate to the removal of every evil and the cure of every ill Hence it is said by the apostle John, when carried in vision down to the end of the kingdoms of men, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ" (Rev. 11: 15); and it is this kingdom that is to be the instrumentality in the hands of Christ to effect the world's redemption. Is it to be wondered, then, that our Saviour embodied it in the prayer He taught His disciples, in the words, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven" (Matt. 6: 10)? Since salvation is for man and for his world-this planet - and since the kingdom of God is to be the means by which redemption is to be realized we can readily understand why so much is said in the Scriptures about the kingdom of God and why it is the subject matter of the gospel.

HOW THE GOSPEL FITS THE CASE

What would be gospel or good news to men who realize the hopelessness of release and rest from the confused and corrupt kingdoms of men? Would that not be a gospel which provided for a righteous government that would insure "Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2: 14)? It was this very gospel that Jesus preached, and that He sent His twelve disciples out to preach. It involved "glad tidings" for a world that needed such tidings. Hence Luke says of Jesus that "He went throughout every city and village preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." "And he sent them (His disciples) to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick" (Luke 8: 1; 9: 2). It is here that such a kingdom is needed. We know not what is needed in other planets, and the Bible is a revelation fitted for this earth, dealing with its history and destiny. It is here that a kingdom has fallen, not in heaven. The gospel proclaims good news of a kingdom to be set up (Dan. 2: 44), not of one which never fell and therefore never needed to be set up. We may be sure that a kingdom never fell in heaven, God's holy habitation. There His will is done to perfection and the promised kingdom of the gospel is one which will come, and cause God's will to be done here - "in earth-as it is done in heaven."

CHRIST TO BE THE KING OF ALL NATIONS

We have seen that God declares that as truly as He lives "the whole earth shall be filled with his glory" (Numb. 14: 21). Promises sure and grand such as this can never be realized while human governments continue their exaltation and flattery of man and the dishonor of God. Kingdoms had risen and fallen before the days of King David. He himself had won many battles and established upon Zion's stronghold the best kingdom the world had then and has ever since seen. He was a prophet and could look down the ages and see the great and mighty empires of Babylon, Greece and Rome; hut in none of these, not even in his own kingdom, given into his hands by Israel's God, could he see salvation and redemption for our sin-burdened earth. Looking down the distance of about twelve hundred years he could see his Lord at Yahweh's right hand, waiting the time when His enemies should be made His foot-stool. Stretching still further, about two thousand years, he saw that "The Lord at Yahweh's right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen (nations), he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries" (Psa. 110: 1, 5, 6). Not that he gloried in the world's great crisis and catastrophe which thus opened out before his prophetic vision, but that he saw that a mighty storm and terrible convulsions must clear away the foul and stifling atmosphere of sin and corruption in the political, social and religious world before he could hope for all his salvation and all his desire" (II. Sam. 23: 5). With the vain vicissitudes of the past and the increasing and world-wide desolations of the future in the hands of man apostate from God all before his eyes; with the "spirit of the Lord speaking by him and the word of inspiration on his tongue" (II. Sam. 23: 2) he exclaimed, "Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. His name shall endure forever, his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; and blessed be his glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen." David's mind and heart had been prepared for this outburst of hope by being made the medium of precious promises concerning his royal son Christ, whom on account of His destined greatness he called "My Lord." Through him God had declared to Christ prophetically, "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (PS 2: 8, 9). ""Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord and all the kindreds shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he is the governor among the nations" (Psa 22: 23-28).

This theme of Israel's sweetest psalmist is the thrilling theme that made the hearts of the prophets and apostles burn within them in contemplation of its rapturous realization. Here are a few of the testimonies which make clear the purpose of God to establish a divine real, literal kingdom on the earth succeeding the utter destruction of human governments in every form:

Gen 22: 1 7 - That in blessing I wilt bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the shore and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.

Num. 14: 21 - But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Psa. 2: 5 - Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Psa. 149: 2-8 - Let Israel rejoice in him that made him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. * * * Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen (nations) and punishments upon the people to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron.

Isa. 2: 4, 5 And 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 sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Dan 2 44 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 consunse all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Dan. 7: 13, 14-I saw in the night visions, and beheld, 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 dominioms, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Dan. 7: 18, 22, 27-But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.* * * And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 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.

Zech. 14: 9 - And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

Matt 6: 10 - Thy kingdom come. Thy' will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

I Cor, 15: 25 - For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

II Tim 4: 1 - I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

Rev. 11: 15 - The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.

Isa. 29: 18-20 - And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind shall out of obscurity and out of darkness The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off.

Isa. 32: 1-4 - Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shalt be ready to speak plainly.

Isa. 35: 3-10 - 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 sing; for in the wilderness shalt waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of waters in the habitation of dragons where each lay, shall be grass, with reeds and rushes. And an highway shalt be there, and a way and it shall be called The way of holiness, the unclean shall not pass ever it; but it shalt be for those time 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.

Zech. 9: 10 - And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

Mal 1: 11 - For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles and in every place incense shalt be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD NOT SET UP IN THE FIRST CENTURY

In view of the glorious state of things which is to prevail in all the earth, when the kingdom of God is established, as shown by these testimonies, do you not consider it strange, dear reader, that the religious leaders of our day are claiming that God's kingdom was set up in the first century of the Christian era and that Christ is now reigning in so-called Christendom? Christendom means dominion of Christ, and the civilized world has been so christened because it is claimed that Christ is now reigning spiritually in the earth. To see the fallacy of this you have only to ask yourself whether such a state of things now exists as the testimonies quoted declare is to be the result of the establishment of the kingdom of God. As we have before shown from facts published in current religious periodicals, crime is on the increase and the world is getting worse. If Christ were reigning it would be the reverse. A spiritual kingdom, such as popular theology believes in, does not and cannot deal with the literal evils which keep the world in turmoil and distress. It requires a real government, one that will deal with the affairs of men politically, socially, commercially and religiously, and right all wrongs and keep them right.

Though the world has increased in knowledge in many and various ways, and civilization, such as it is, has spread out more widely, no progress has been made toward giving "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men," but the stubborn facts show the very reverse of this. Do you think it is an honor to Christ to call Christendom His kingdom? If He is now reigning why is it that all forms of wickedness in high and low places are not put down? If He is now the world's teacher, why is it that all do not "know the Lord from the least to the greatest"? Were things progressing in this direction, you might say these good ends will be reached by degrees, but the "progress" is the other way-the wrong way, and it is the height of folly to allow ourselves to be persuaded that Christendom is what its name is Intended to signify. You may depend upon it, the heavy foot of the oppressor, and the cruel hand of the assassin would not be allowed to distress and shock the world as they do now were Christ upon the throne of the earth's dominion.

THE MISTAKE OF CHRISTENDOM

It is strange that so called Christians should have fallen into the very same mistake that caused the Jews to crucify Christ - the same in one sense, but somewhat changed by their own inventions. The Jews, to whom the "oracles of God were committed," learned from those oracles that their Messiah was to be king of all the earth and that he would break in pieces the oppressor and judge and rule in behalf of the poor and the needy. How could they learn otherwise from testimonies that declared that He should have all nations for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession; and that He would rule the nations with a rod of iron and dash their wicked governments in pieces like a potter's vessel? Trampled down successively by the despotic powers of Babylon, Greece and Rome, the Jewish nation had become so absorbed in the hope of deliverance at the hands of their Messiah that they overlooked prophecies of his first coming to be as a lamb led to the slaughter, and to be followed by his response to His Father's invitation, "Sit thou at my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." With these prophecies eclipsed by the dazzling brightness of a rising "sun of righteousness," they made the mistake of expecting the establishment of God's kingdom upon the ruins of the kingdoms of men at the time that Christ appeared among them, and because He did not come as they expected, and as He will yet come, they denied Him and stretched out their cruel hands to crucify Him. Their mistake was in expecting the kingdom then, and so-called Christians have fallen into the very same mistake, and have gone further, to say that it was then set up. Feeling, however, that the visible facts of the world's evil condition was against them, they have invented the mythical theory of a spiritual kingdom, which they have reduced some of them to the limits of men's hearts, and others to that small portion of the earth called Christendom, a kingdom that is intangible and invisible. Let us not insult the Lord of glory by imputing to Him the kingship of the hearts of members of the Churches who make this foolish claim. Let us not dishonor Him by pointing to so-called Christendom and saying this is the dominion of Christ. As well might we point to Babylon, and we should be more nearly right were we to point to Christendom and cry out, Babylon! yes, "Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth."

In order to make somewhat of a show of sustaining the theory of the present spiritual existence of the kingdom of God, the ingenuity of man has been employed to make it appear that the spiritual kingdom can and does exist contemporarily with the temporal powers of the world, a sort of a kingdom within kingdoms, and one which allies itself with the world's politics, forming a kind of twin relationship. There is an endeavor to mutually compromise so as to get along in peace and prevent a rupture between Church and State. The Church flirts with the legislative department in the prayers of Chaplains and by influencing votes at the polls, and the State in return helps the Church by patronage in various ways exemption from taxation, bestowing of official titles, and rich endowments, etc. Thus hand in hand they go and they are "hail fellows well met."

This of itself is sufficient to show that there is no semblance of the kingdom of God in this system of things; for the kingdom of God will give no quarters to any government in the hands of mortal men. It will compromise with nothing which feeds the pride and vanity of pompous man, and when the time arrives for its establishment, man will have been permitted, like Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar of old, to reach the climax of his vanity and pride and to inflate himself with his own self-importance, then to he dashed to the earth by a strong and righteous arm that will allow no flesh to glory in the presence of the God of heaven.

THE DREAM OF A KING

Representative and characteristic of vain ambitious man, King Nebuchadnezzar, having reached the pinnacle of human honor and power cried out, "'Is not this great Babylon that I have built?" Anxious no doubt, to perpetuate his name and the greatness of his empire, "thoughts came into his mind upon his bed what should come to pass hereafter" (Dan. 2: 29). You will, no doubt, remember the remarkable dream which followed; it was a prophetic dream and the wise men of Babylon could not meet the strenuous demands of the King, to give him the interpretation thereof. The prophet Daniel was God's instrument in revealing the dream in its far-reaching and vastly important significance. In the interpretation given we have a clear and positive settlement of the question of the destiny of all human governments and the attitude of the kingdom of God toward them, when the time for its establishment shall come. In his dream King Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image composed of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay. It was intended to make known to the King "what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2: 28). Proceeding to interpret the dream, the prophet begins with the head, saying to Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art this head of gold" (verse 38). Or in other words, Thy kingdom is represented by his head of gold; and then he adds, "And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth." Then he proceeded to describe the fourth kingdom, saying, '"And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise (verse 40). By the mixing of clay with the iron the King was given to understand that the fourth empire "shall be partly strong and partly broken" (verse 42). Here we have four great empires-Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman, and we have also the weakening and dividing up of the Roman empire as is represented by the introduction of the clay element. There is nothing of the so-called spiritual nature about these empires. If these are not literal powers in the earth, then there are no literal powers. They are real, as real as it is possible for a kingdom or empire to be real. You will pardon me if I remind you that they are every one of them on this very earth of ours. In considering this remarkable prophecy you are not carried to the sky, the stars, nor "beyond the bounds of time and space." You are dealing with real empires within the bounds of time and space~time and space pertaining to this planet on which we live and move and have our being. There is therefore no mistake in our position here. We have taken our bearings. we know where we are. Standing here upon this solid foundation and taking a retrospective view of the world of nations we read in the writings of men what was here foretold by the inspiration of God. Viewing it from a human standpoint, the most unlikely things happened. The proud and mighty empire of Babylon went down. Persia, Grecia and Rome came upon the scene one after another just exactly as the prophet had declared. There was a time when no one would have dreamed of the strong iron empire of Rome being broken; but the clay mixed with the iron and the "decline and fall" of the Roman empire became a fact to be recorded by the pen of the eloquent historian, Gibbon. Remember that when Christ was here despised and rejected of men and finally crucified after a life of suffering by the authorities of this very Roman empire, the Roman empire existed in the greatness of its strength It was in the zenith of its glory and no division had yet taken place no indication of crumbling appeared. And right here let us recall the fact that in Nebuchadnezzar's dream a fifth empire appeared, in speaking of which the prophet tells the King, "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 in pieces No clay existed in this iron part of the image when Christ appeared upon the earth as the despised Nazarene. At that time it was impossible to strike the feet of the image, for the feet had not yet developed in the course of the historical formation of the image. This fifth empire represented by a stone, was not to ally itself with the iron kingdom but it was to break in pieces every form of human government grind them to powder until they become as the chaff of the summer threshing floor to be carried away by the wind of Divine vengeance. What is this stone that is to smite the great military image of the kingdom of men? We shall find the answer to the question; but first let me ask again, What is the gold of the image? The answer will be, The Babylonian empire; the silver the Medo-Persian; the brass the Macedonian; the iron the Roman; the clay mixed with the iron Rome weakened and divided. Surely there ought to be an answer to the question, "What does the stone represent?" Who in the Scripture is called the "stone of stumbling and a rock of offence?" Who is spoken of as the "stone which the builders rejected which is to become the head of the corner?" Anybody who knows anything about the Bible knows that these refer to Christ, the "stone of Israel" the "'typical rock that followed Israel" in the wilderness, from which, at the stroke of the rod of Moses and Aaron the waters of life gushed out, and that rock, says the Apostle Paul, was (a type of) Christ. This is the rock upon which the Church of Christ is built, so that "the gates of hades cannot prevail against it." The stone then of Nebuchadnezzar's prophetic dream is Christ, coming in his power and might as the king of all the earth. If the stone smiting the image represents the kingdom of God breaking the kingdoms of men to pieces, grinding them to powder and blowing them away as chaff, surely this must mean the end of all powers of human governments that their place might be occupied by the kingdom of God. There can be no question about this, because when this destruction is accomplished it is said, "and the stone which smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 2: 35)

Here is a universal kingdom taking the place of the kingdoms of men. Breaking in pieces the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron and the clay together can mean nothing else but the utter destruction of every element of these historic empires, under whose tyranny the world has groaned for centuries. If the stone represents Christ in His establishment of the kingdom of God, the mountain, which the stone becomes, must represent His kingdom as the only one on the face of the earth. His kingdom therefore is a constitution of things to be established here and not there - in the earth not in the sky. So far as we can know the sky is no place for a kingdom; but here a kingdom is needed. Here a man is needed good enough, wise enough and strong enough to "show strength with his arm; to scatter the proud in the imagination of their hearts; to put down the mighty from their seats, and exalt them of low degree." This Man will come and He will "fill the hungry with good things and the rich He will send empty away, (Luke 1: 51-53). How can there be any question that this stone is Christ, and that its breaking in pieces of the image is Christ's destruction of the kingdoms of men and inauguration of the grand and glorious kingdom of God? Hear what the inspired prophet himself says: "And in the days of these kings shalt 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). What have we here? Who is this who is to set up a kingdom and what is the stone to fill? The whole earth. Whose kingdom is this that is to be set up represented by the stone filling the whole earth? Mark the words, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom." "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: 27). Here the question is settled. While God permits human rule or rather misrule, for a time, His glorious plan has provided for its utter destruction and the elimination of the evils which have filled the earth, and then the good time will come to bless the World of mankind with peace, prosperity, righteousness and everlasting joy.

Let me remind you again of the words, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom." If the God of heaven sets up a kingdom it will be the kingdom of the God of heaven will it not? In other words the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God. This recalls the fact that Jesus and His disciples preached the glad tidings or the gospel of the kingdom of God, which brings home to our minds that they preached the very gospel which is proclaimed in this wonderful prophecy of the book of Daniel, that the kingdom of God, which supercedes upon the earth the kingdoms of men, removes the curse and brings the heavenly blessings for which "the whole creation groans and travails together in pain waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God."

DOES THIS SUBJECT CONCERN OUR INDIVIDUAL SALVATION?

Is this an important matter for you, dear reader, and for me? Does it concern our salvation or eternal welfare? Surely it must, since this kingdom of God, which is the only kingdom involved in the plan of salvation, is the subject matter of the gospel. The gospel was preached that men and women might believe it, and be saved by it. For them to believe any other gospel would be for them to disbelieve the true gospel. If the kingdom of God is the subject matter of the only saving gospel and that gospel must be believed in order to obtain salvation, surely we must have a correct idea of what the kingdom is; where it will be established and the grand object of its establishment. It cannot be that it can be had by belief in a false gospel. Salvation is predicated upon a belief of the only true gospel. The Saviour, in commissioning His apostles, commanded them to preach the gospel to every creature. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16). The Apostle Paul says, "If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed"

Gal. 1: 6-9). The gospel which Paul had preached to the Galatians was the same as he preached in Rome, where he "dwelt two whole years in his own hired house and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all coirfidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28: 30, 31). This is the same gospel he speaks of when writing to the Romans, saying, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1: 16).

Now to preach or to believe another gospel different from the one the Scriptures set forth will not suffice; and this is the danger with the believer in a kingdom beyond the skies, and that at death we "mount triumphant there." When God fulfills His promise to give Christ the "uttermost parts of the earth for His possession," and Christ becomes king over all the earth, as the prophet Zechariah declares; when He comes again in like manner as He departed and literally stands upon the Mount of Olives as He stood before He ascended is it not reasonable to believe that His true followers will be with Him The one hundred and forty-four thousand redeemed ones of the Book of Revelation "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." How can this be if the eternal abode of the righteous is in heaven? The Saviour, in correcting a mistake which the disciples fell into when He was here on the earth, also corrects the mistake made by the popular teachings in regard to heaven-going at death, and He also corrects the mistake made by those who claim that the kingdom of God would "immediately appear." or, as they say, was established when Christ was here on earth. It was because the disciples thought that the kingdom of God would "immediately appear" that He spake to them the parable of the nobleman. In this parable He says, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him saying "We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, when he was returned, having received the kingdom. then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading" (Luke 19: 12-15). Here He clearly teaches His return to establish His kingdom and therefore shows that His kingdom was not established at His first coming Here He teaches that His kingdom is to be established upon the earth, and not in heaven, and now may we ask. What is the commandment he gave to his faithful servants concerning this matter? Does he say, "Occupy till you come to me? or does He say, "Occupy till I come." Does He call his servants to Him in heaven and judge them there, and reward them there, or is it when the nobleman returns that He calls His servants together and judges them and rewards them? Note the parable carefully and you must see that it is entirely out of harmony with popular tradition and in beautiful harmony with the things concerning the kingdom of God, which we have learned from testimonies quoted. If when we die we go to heaven and are received there-and-then by Christ, where would be the force of the words, "When He was returned he called his servants together"? They will have been called together to him in heaven if popular tradition is right and they will not be here for Him to call them together at His return. The truth of God in relation to this grand subject is as a perfect arch. Take out one stone and it falls to pieces. Every stone is made to fit, and the keystone is Christ himself. This kingdom us the one that we should seek for so that when Christ shall come we may be blessed with an abundant entrance "into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1: 11) It is When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory and before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats and he shall set the sheep on his right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt 25: 31-34). Do you not think it would be a matter of great astonishment for Christ to say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom to one who believes he has been in the kingdom as long as he has been in the Church"? Would not such a deluded person be inclined to answer I have been in the kingdom ever since I entered the Church. It is therefore not necessary to invite me to inherit the kingdom I have been in since my conversion. But with the inconsistencies of popular tradition we have very little to do except to endeavor or to escape their snares and delusions and be found among those occupying" with a view of being prepared for Christ's coming instead of for our going so that we may be worthy of His words of commendation, "Well done thou good and faithful servant", words that will not be addressed to those who have believed the traditions of the world and refused the clear teachings of the word of God. Should it be our lot to be accepted by Him at His righteous judgment we shall then be among that happy company to whom the kingdom shall be given, for it is said, "The time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." "The kingdom and the 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). Then with hearts thrilled with joy and delight and voices tuned in harmony with truth and righteousness, we shall send up to heaven the anthem of praise, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5: 8-10).

Hark? ten thousand, thousand voices
Sing the song of jubilee;
Earth through all her tribes rejoices,
Broke her long captivity.
Now the theme in pealing thunders.
Through the gladsome air is rung;
Now in gentler tones the wonders.
Of redeeming grace are sung.
Hail, Emmanuel, great deliverer,
Hail, Emmanuel, praise to thee.

Oh! the rapturous, blissful story,
Spoken to Emmanuel's praise;
And the strains so full of glory
That immortal voices raise;
While our crowns of glory casting
At His feet in rapture lost,
We, in anthems everlasting,
Mingle with the ransomed host.
Hail, Emmanuel, great deliverer,
Thou art worthy of all praise.

Yes, He reigns, the great Messiah
In millennial glory crowned;
"Israel's Hope" and "Earth's Desire"
Now triumphant and renowned;
Heaven and earth with all their regions,
At His footstool prostrate fall;
Heaven and earth with all their legions,
Crown Emmanuel Lord of all
Hail, Emmanuel; reign forever
Heaven to earth reflects the sound.

 

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Chapter 4

The World's Redemption


The Covenants of Promise

MAN, through sin, having fallen from the exalted position in which God had placed him, becomes an outcast, an alien from God and in the language Of the Apostle Paul, was "without hope and without God in the world". He was then so far as he himself was concerned hopeless and absolutely powerless to help himself. He had fallen. He was lost. While he had thus brought evil into the world, dethroned himself and become the subject of sin, resulting in the deplorable history of human affairs which followed, he placed himself in a predicament to become the subject of Divine mercy. This gave scope for the manifestation of the love of God, to show that His tender mercies are always manifest towards those who will believe His word and obey His commandments He does not leave man to die under the sentence and go down into dust without hope, but He comes to his rescue opening up a new relationship.

COVENANT WITH ADAM

Here, we may safely say is the first covenant of promise to be found in the Bible. While the promise is made in so many words the covenant feature is only implied The implication however is sufficient to assure us that a covenant relationship was opened up between man and his creator. The Scriptures lay down the principle that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin" (Heb. 9: 22). A covenant, therefore, providing for man's redemption must always provide for a sacrifice for the remission of sins. Was there such a sacrifice in the case of our first parents? May we not safely conclude that the coats of skins made for covering their nakedness implied a sacrifice involving the shedding of blood? That by the goodness of God an arrangement was entered into between God and man at that early stage, requiring sacrificial offerings, is clear from the words of the Apostle Paul By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which he obtained witness that he was righteous God testifying of his gifts: and by it he, being dead, yet speaketh (Heb 11: 4) This alludes to Gen 4: 3, 4 - "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering." How could Cain and Abel know that it was necessary to make offerings unless they had received the revelation from God? That a covenant had been entered into, God promising redemption and requiring submission to his prescribed conditions, would seem to be more than implied in what the apostle says. He first defines faith, saying, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Our first parents and their sons could know nothing of future life and could hope for nothing after the fall, unless God had made promises to them. In these promises they had "evidence of things not seen," things far in the future, involving human redemption. Without this faith "it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11: 6). This is what is called in other parts of the Scriptures "the one faith," the "one hope." We may safely conclude also that this one faith is what is termed the one gospel, and therefore the gospel from the beginning and throughout all ages since has been the same, involving the redemption of man and the "restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Having defined what the one faith is, the apostle proceeds to say, "Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed." and then he adds, "By faith," this faith already defined, "Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." The one faith was therefore revealed to them, and this one faith instructed them that God required an offering from them, or rather offerings, for evidently there were two kinds of offerings to be made - one of the fruit of the ground and the other of the firstlings of the flock. It does not appear that God found fault with Cain's offering in itself, it was all right in its place, but where he fell short was that he did not do all that God had required as Abel his brother did. That it was not displeasing to God to offer the fruit of the ground us shown by the fact that such offerings were instituted in the Mosaic law. The difference between the two was that the one was an offering of gratitude to God, while the other, the firstlings of the flock, involving the shedding of blood, acknowledged man as a sinner and his dependence upon God for forgiveness and redemption through the shedding of the blood of the typical victims, which pointed to Christ, whose blood has been shed for redemption. An offering which acknowledged the justice of God in inflicting death for sin and His goodness in granting remission of sin and release from its evil effects was esteemed very important, sufficiently so to cause God to have respect to Abel's obedience and to bring frowns upon the disobedience of Cain. The words spoken to Cain, "Sin lieth at the door" (Gen. 4: 7) should be rendered "A sin-offering croucheth at thy door," intimating that an animal proper to be offered for atonement, and which Cain had failed to offer, was within reach. We may safely say that "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" was in the gospel or the faith known to our first parents, and that their offering pointed directly to Him, as all the types and shadows of the Mosaic law did, of which the apostles assure us. Here then in the Garden of Eden, as soon as man fell, we have a covenant of promise.

THE COVENANT WITH NOAH

Coming down to the time of Noah when the wickedness of man became great and God's justice and vengeance required the destruction of almost everything that existed, provision being made for the safety of Noah and his family and sufficient of the animal kingdom to give the world a fresh start, another covenant of promise was made. In the building of the ark which saved Noah and all that went in with him we have a figure of Christ The apostle Peter says, "The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us" 1 Pet 3 21 ) The storm and flood having subsided God enters into covenant with Noah, instructing him in certain details concerning thie various animals by which he could discriminate between the clean and the unclean, He then says,

Gen 9: 9-17 And I, behold I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle and and every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you neither shalt all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall all there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said This is the token of the covenant which l make between me and you and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth And it shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh And the bow shall be in the cloud: and I will look upon it that l may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

Again we would pause here and ask the reader to remember that these covenants, so far is we have gone pertain to the earth and the creatures upon it that they deal with the results of the curse which was the origin as cause of all the evils necessitating the covenants and the end they are intended to reach. No doubt there were many details in these covenants communicated to the people of the times that are not recorded revelation not seeming to abound in giving particulars from Adam to Abraham as it does from Abraham to Christ and His apostles. The outlines given, however, with references made in more recent writings in the Scriptures, are sufficient to assure us that God's promises and all His arrangements with man in those early ages dealt with things as they had come to be in the earth with a view of ultimately righting all wrongs and eradicating every vestige of sin and its woeful effects. Over two thousand years pass away before the details of the covenants of promise begin to be clearly revealed and assume tangible form, which brings them well within the scope of the comprehension of following ages.

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Abraham is told to leave his native country and to go into the land of Canaan, where God promises to make of him a great nation to bless him and to make his name great. "And Abram took Sarah his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance * * * and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan: and into the land of Canaan they came" (Gen. 12: 5). Upon his arrival in the promised land we are informed of the nature of the promised covenant which was repeated to Isaac and to Jacob:

Gen 13: 14-17 - The Lord said unto Abram after that Lot was seperated from him. Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward and eastward and westward for all the land which thou seest to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, for l will give it unto thee.

Gen 15: 5-8 - And he bought him forth abroad, and said Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them; and he said unto him. So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord: and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him I am the Lord that bought thee out Ur of the Chaldees to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said Lord God, where by shall l know that I shall inherit it?

Verse 18 - In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying Unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river the river Euphrates.

Gen. 17: 1-8 - And when Abram was ninety years old and nine the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God: walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him saying, As for me behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name be called Abram, but thy name shall he Abraham: for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant to be a God unto thee, and to seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession: and I will be their God.

Gen 22: 15-18 - And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time. and said, By myself have I sworn saith the Lord: for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is upon the sea shore: and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because thou hast obeyed my voice.

REPEATED TO ISAAC

Gen 26: 1-5 - And there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar And the Lord appeared unto him and said Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which l shall tell thee of sojourn in this land, and I will he with thee and will bless thee for unto thee and unto thy seed l will give all these couniries and l will perform the oath which l made unto Abraham thy father; and l will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heavn, and I will give unto thy seed all these countries and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because that Abraham obeyed my voice.and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.

REPEATED AGAIN TO JACOB

Gen 28: 13, 14 - And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east, and to the north and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

TYPICALLY CONFIRMED

Those who have departed from the Abrahamic faith and subverted the covenants of promise will claim that these Scriptures found their fulfillment in the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; at any rate in that of their descendants, the twelve tribes of Israel They are astonished when we quote these testimonies and apply them to ourselves. They have no idea that the gospel the only true and saving gospel is found in these very promises Perhaps you, dear reader have taken this ground but let us reason together a little. You will notice that in making the promise to Abraham it is said, not simply that I will give this land including the blessings promised, to thy seed but I will give it to thee and to thy seed. Therefore it was intended that Abraham himself and Isaac, and Jacob should personally receive the inheritance and enjoy the blessings contained in the covenant That Abraham did not understand that he was then to receive the inheritance is clearly shown from the anxious inquiry he makes when he says, "Lord God, whereby shall I know that l shall inherit it?" What could make him ask such a question as this if when the promise was made the inheritance was given to him and he already inherited it? There was no reason why he should ask for evidence that at a future time he would come into the possession of the inheritance if it was then given into his possession. It is evident that he saw how far-reaching the promises were, that they reached away beyond the time of his natural life; and may we not conclude that it was in this that he saw the day of Christ, of which our Saviour speaks when he says, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." The manner in which Abraham asked for assurance show's that this was the case. He was not answered in so many words, but he was commanded to take an heifer of three years old and with it and other things make an offering which shows that the realization of the promises depended upon sacrifice. All sacrifices, especially those in which there was the shedding of blood, pointed to Christ. If we view this typically we may safely conclude that the answer points out that the inheritance could not be realized except through Christ, and that he would be the covenant sacrifice, whose blood would be shed to bring the covenant into force.

RESURRECTION REVEALED

There is another reason why we may conclude that this promise reached down the ages beyond the time of the resurrection. The matters recorded in the fifteenth chapter seem to follow each other in natural sequence. The first command given to Abraham in answer to his inquiry whereby he should know that he should inherit the land, is to offer sacrifice. This takes us back to the sin of our first parents which necessitated sacrifice in order that men might escape the curse which Adam brought upon the race. Had God never interposed in mans behalf, man must have died under the condemnation and gone into the perpetual darkness of the grave. But sacrifice having been provided, pointing to Christ hope is given of escape from the power of death and the bondage of the grave through resurrection Hence the next step in the answer to Abraham's inquiry was one that removed the grievous difficulty which, no doubt, stood in his way. He felt and confessed that he was "but dust and ashes": realizing that in a few years; his life must end, and he would be ''gathered to his fathers and see corruption.'' How then could he inherit such wonderful worldwide endless blessings as had been promised? How could he pass over the dark chasm of death and the grave and reach the time when all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him and in his seed and he would receive the everlasting inheritance promised? He exclaims in the earnestness of his soul, "Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" In answer after commanding that offerings be made the sun is going down and Abraham is caused to pass into a ''deep sleep and a horror of great darkness fell upon him. . . What can this be but death and the grave that perplexing obstacle which Abraham saw between him and the realization of the grand promises? Why is he thus caused to symbolically die, to pass into the darkness of the grave? Is it not that God might awaken him out of this sleep, and thus show him by symbol that the obstacle standing in his way would be removed, and that by him ultimately being awakened from the sleep of death and brought victoriously forth from the power of the grave he would realize the promises?

If this is the gospel involved in the Abrahamic promises it surely concerns us as much as it did him. The same gospel that suited his condition and his future prospects suits ours. Therefore these promises seriously concern us, and let us not be persuaded that they are out of date and pertain to the ages of the past, having no reference whatever to our salvation.

Previous to the Lord appearing to Abraham the second time to amplify the covenant, he was subjected to the severe test of offering his son his only heir, as a sacrifice to God. We have only to imagine ourselves in Abraham's place to realize what a trying ordeal it was for him to be the recipient of such momentous promises. Had he not been the right man in the right place, he certainly would have faltered and fallen under the weight of such responsibilities as he must have felt devolving upon him, by reason of being the one upon whom in the hands of God, depended such wonderful eventualities. God's goodness however always provides for the weakness of fallen men and "the word of the Lord" came unto Abraham in a vision, saying, "Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward" ( Gen l5 : 1). Still the question pressed itself, How could such great things be accomplished through his seed when he was a childless man advanced in years? He exclaims "Behold to me thou hast given no seed: and lo, one born in my house is mine heir" (verse 3). All through the trying ordeal Abraham is in anxious and intelligent inquirer doubting not the power and veracity of God but seeking "the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen which is always well pleasing to God who even condescends to say to the intelligent creatures of his creation, "Come let us reason together". As Abraham's anxiety grew in intensity, one by one the obstacles were removed and the light increased, shining ''brighter and brighter unto the perfect day" He is assured and strengthened by the words, "This (Ishmael) shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir" (verse 4 ). When Abraham was ninety years old and nine the Lord appeared unto him to renew the covenant and said. ''As for Sarai thy wife thou shalt not call her name Sarai but Sarah shall her name be. And l will bless her, and give these a son also of her: yea I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations: kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed and said in his his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall hear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him" (Gen. 17: 1-5 19). In due time Isaac was born; and after a while, when the mocking of Ishmael sorely displeased Sarah, she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called" (Gen. 21: 10-12).

Thus far all obstacles have been removed, everything made clear and Abraham could more fully trust in God, and wait in faith the fulfillment of the covenants of promise. But still a more trying ordeal awaited him, one that without the faith developed by irresistible evidence and by intelligence concerning the power and purpose of God, he could never have endured. The indignant scoffer flushes his cheeks and cries out against God's demand of Abraham to "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of" (Gen. 22: 2). To the mere natural man it appears cruel; but to one who knows God's power, authority and wisdom it is quite intelligible. Had Abraham reasoned from the standpoint of the mere natural man, to slay his son and heir would be to frustrate the purpose of God and defeat the plan the covenants of promise provided for. But was not Isaac's existence a token of God's power? Had not God in various ways shown His power and faithfulness? Even if I slay my son, cannot the God, who supernaturally gave him to me, prevent the pangs and pains of death, even though he die by the knife, and then restore him to life again? This was a faith based upon the power and veracity of God, and one that required reason and intelligence concerning His plan of a character too high for the unenlightened mere natural man to reach. It was, however, the faith that strengthened Abraham for the trying test; for the Apostle Paul says, "By faith, Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb 11:17-19). Here we have a representation of God's love in giving His Son, and of Christ's resurrection to life through sacrifice, which is the real and final confirmation of the covenants of promise. As the sacrifice of the victim brought Isaac from the dead in "a figure" so the "God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb. 13: 20). And thus was Christ "a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Rom. 15: 8)

NOT YET FULFILLED, BUT WILL BE

Should you, dear reader, not feel disposed to accept what seems to be the unmistakable meaning of the types or symbols we have called attention to, we are pleased to assure you that the futurity of the Abrahamic promises is not dependent upon these alone. The Scriptures positively declare it in words that cannot be mis-understood. Coming down to the first century of the Christian era, over two thousand years from Abraham's time, we have the words of the Apostle Paul declaring, "By faith Abraham when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, * * * went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise" (Heb. 11: 8, 9). There can be no question that the apostle here refers to the very land promised to Abraham for an inheritance, including also, of course, all the blessings involved I must again remind you that there is not one word indicating a promise to Abraham of an inheritance in heaven. It all has to do with the earth. He is told to "look northward, southward, eastward and westward, and all the land which thou seest," it says, "to thee will I give it." When he is commanded to arise and walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, and he is assured that to him God would give it - the land. Abraham believed this and it was accounted to him for righteousness, Had he changed this and believed in "reading his title clear to mansions in the skies," he would not have believed the promise, but something else, not promised; and that would not have been accounted to him for righteousness, for "he that believeth not God hath made him a liar;" and surely God cannot be well pleased with those who, by refusing to believe His promises as they are given, without perversion, make Him a liar. In this very land he sojourned; and in this very land he was a stranger; of this very land he was heir, not yet in possession; of this very covenant, of these very promises made to Abraham and others, the apostle says, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, hut having seen them afar oft, and were persuaded of them and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth" (Heb. 11: 13). At that time they were strangers and pilgrims, but when they come to the realization of the promises they will no longer be strangers and pilgrims, for then they will be of those spoken of by our Saviour, in His promise, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth," and they will join in that grand song of redemption, "Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth."

Some base the claim of a past fulfillment of the promises to Abraham upon the words from Neh. 9: 7, 8 - "Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham: and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him, to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his Seed, and hast performed thy words."

A moment's thought will show the fallacy of such a claim, and those who make it forget that if they succeeded in proving that Nehemiah meant the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, the passage would be a flat contradiction to what is said in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul declares that the possession of the promised land under the Mosaic law, or the added covenant, did not disannual to make the Abrahamic covenant of none effect (Gal. 3: 17, 18). Supposing we were to make the words of Nehemiah read as some would have them read, "And madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorties, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say (to thee and) to thy seed, and hast performed thy words." Then we should be met with the words of Stephen in Acts 7: 5 where he declares, "And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." No one who has any regard for the Scriptures would force a claim that necessitates the admission that the Bible contradicts itself. There is no disputing the words of Stephen, and if the words of Nehemiah say the very opposite a contradiction necessarily must be admitted. Numerous testimonies show clearly that the promise has not been fulfilled to Abraham and to his seed; for it centered in Christ, and cannot be fulfilled until Christ takes possession of the promised inheritance. But how would we harmonize the apparent contradiction? Very easily if we pay strict attention to what Nehemiah says. He does not say, "to give it, I say, to him and to his seed." He simply Says, "to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words." The seed here referred to were the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh; and the possession of the land by them was under the Mosaic covenant, which was added to the Abrahamic "till the seed should come to whom the promise (the great Abrahamic covenant, to which the Mosaic covenant was added) was made." The possession of the land under the Mosaic covenant was a small matter compared with the promise to Abraham in its amplitude and was simply an added affair to illustrate a greater and grander constitution, that to which it pointed and of which it was a type. It was the lesser involved in the greater, and when it had served its purpose was abolished and Abraham's natural seed driven out of the land and scattered among all nations of the earth. Hence Paul says of the two covenants represented by Sarah and Isaac, and Hagar and Ishmael, "which things are an allegory for these are the two covenants the one from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage which* * *is Agar and answereth to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children But Jerusalem which is above" or as some translate it, "Jerusalem the exalted" the one that will be higher and more glorious than the one that was is free This one is represented by Sarah and Isaac Hence he adds " Now we, brethren as Isaac was are the children of promise." The Abrahamic promise is therefore still a promise and not a thing fulfilled. Upon the principle of the greater involving the lesser, which is characteristic of the Scriptures in many cases, there is a double fulfillment provided for. The possession of the land under the Mosaic law was involved in the promise made to Abraham, but it was not the fulfillment of it. As an illustration of this principle we may refer to the words, "Out of Egypt have I called my son", which were originally applied to Israel coming out of Egypt but they are applied also to Christ and it is a question if they are not still applicable to the future and larger fulfillment God knowing the end from the beginning, can give expression in the same words to events wide apart that will repeat themselves in the future history of the world, and thus clothe divine thoughts in few words It would be difficult for any one to divide the promises made to Abraham, and say on the one hand, This applies to the possession of the land under the Mosaic law, and on the other hand, This applies to the everlasting inheritance under Christ. But if it be kept in mind that the Mosaic possession, the lesser, is involved in the promise of the everlasting inheritance through Christ, the greater, the difficulty will be removed, and then we can apply the words of Nehemiah to the lesser, in which he only says that the land was given "to his seed." It yet remains for the absolute fulfillment required by the promise which declares, "To thee will I give it and to thy seed for an everlasting inheritance;' and when this is fulfilled, "all families of the earth shall be blessed," a thing that has found no fulfillment as yet in the history of the world.

HOW TO AVOID A CONTRADICTION

Since the covenants of promise are really the gospel and since salvation is to be realized by all the saved of Adam's race at the same time, it is evident that the actual inheritance could not be realized until all the redeemed should enter upon it together, and this is exactly what this same apostle declares: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11: 39, 40). Should you still be in doubt, dear reader, on this, let me invite your attention to what is recorded in Acts 7: 2 "And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child Here we have a portion of the Scriptures made much of by infidelity. The infidel asks the popular theorist some very awkward questions here, as follows: Did God promise to give Abraham the land of Canaan for in everlasting inheritance? To this only one answer can be given -Yes, he did. It would not do to say that He promised him a spiritual Canaan in the skies, for that would be adding to God's word, the language is too clear to allow of such perversion. Abraham was not commanded to look to the skies, nor to heaven; he was taken into the land itself, saw it and walked through it, and all this land was promised to him. The infidel then puts the question God having promised this land to Abraham, did He give it to him? It will not for us to say yes, for Inspiration has just told us that "He gave him not so much as to set his foot on, yet He promised that He would give it to him Then says the infidel, it is recorded in the book of Genesis that God promised to give Abraham the land, and it is recorded in the Acts of the apostles that He did not give him so much as to set his foot upon, therefore you have a contradictory Bible and an unfaithful God. What shall we do about this? Shall we leave the God of the Bible open to the charge of unfaithfulness, and admit that the Bible is a contradictory book? Shall we surrender to infidelity, or shall we take the sword of the Spirit and use it manfully in defense of God and His book? Your Bible, says the infidel, says that God promised the land to Abraham and your Bible, says the infidel, declares that he did not fulfill this promise, and then he asks the leaders of "orthodoxy," Will God ever give that land which He promised to Abraham to him for his inheritance? and the answer is, and must, from the very nature of the creeds, be no, for they have sent Abraham beyond the bounds of time and space, and claim that heaven is to be his everlasting abode and therefore have no provision in their creed for him ever to come into possession of the real promise. Then, says the infidel, God has promised what He never has performed, and what you say He never will perform. What shall we do? There is only one way of saving the Bible from impeachment and there is only one way of vindicating the veracity of God in this case. The facts and the truths allow us but one way. they force us to but one answer, and that one answer will bring us to the truth in relation to the covenants of promise. We must admit that God made the promise. We must admit that the same Bible tells us that He did not fulfill it, but shall we admit that He never will fulfill it? Perish the thought. And yet when we admit that He will fulfill it we must necessarily' face the frowns of the religious world. For to admit that God will yet give the very land He promised, that the very land He did not give-shall yet be given is to admit the future inheritance of faithful Abraham and all of his like precious faith on the earth, not in heaven, in the skies, nor beyond the bounds of time and space and this necessarily' comes into collision with and entirely breaks up the theories upon which is built the whole structure of popular theology.

When these truths are presented to the advocates of popular religious theories they readily see that they undermine the whole superstructure upon which the creeds are built. They endeavor to escape the force of these testimonies by the process of spiritualizing Canaan and making it mean heaven. Hence we have been taught in our youthful days to sing, "I have a father in the promised land; I have a mother in the promised land," meaning by "promised land' heaven, to which all the good are supposed to go at death. Surely if any body is in this promised land, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom the real promise was made, ought to be there. But mere assertion is not always truth. Paul positively says of the fathers, that "these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise;" and they are not to realize it until the redeemed are all perfected together (Heb. 11: 39, 40). "These" he says, all "died in the faith." They saw afar off by the eye of faith the realization of the promises and they died in the faith. How could it be said that they died in this faith if they did not die, but simply "shuffled off this mortal coil to mount to realms of bliss beyond the stars"? This would not be dying in faith. It would be commencing to live and to realize the very hope which the apostle declares they died in. No believer in the theory of heaven-going at death as the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise would ever think of speaking of Abraham coming into possession of the inheritance in the future. To them it is a thing of the past and the present, the actual inheritance of the spiritual Canaan commencing with the hour and article of death. But the prophet Micah, giving expression to the Abrahamic faith and hope, declares, about ten hundred years after Abraham's death. "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old" (Micah 7: 20). What had God sworn unto our fathers? That He would give them the land of Canaan for an everlasting inheritance, that in Abraham and his seed He would bless all nations of the earth. These promises, as we have seen, involve the resurrection to life and immortality, the realization of salvation. These were the things that were promised, and the performance of the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham was, in the days of the prophet Micah, still in the distant future - a matter of hope and expectation. If it is still said that the intention of the promise to Abraham was to give him a spiritual Canaan in the sky, then, according to Acts 7, he had not received so much as to set his foot on when Stephen uttered these words. Whether the Canaan promised was above or below, in the sky or on the earth, Abraham had not received so much of it as to set his foot on about two thousand years after his death. There is only one way left open for us, and that is the way of truth.

While the promise describes a certain land to Abraham, the bounds of which are given as "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates," which it would seem applies in a special sense, that is to say, this particular land is to be allotted for a particular purpose, a center, as it were around which the future workings of God, in blessing all nations of the earth, wilh revolve. yet the Apostle Paul seems to widen out the Abrahamic promises into a "world." He says, "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith" (Rom. 4:13). As all nations of the earth are to be blessed, it follows, as a matter of course, that the promise included within its scope the entire earth, a grand truth more clearly revealed as we come further down in the course of revelation. In the second Psalm the promise to Christ is, "I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession (Psa. 2: 8). The "world" of which Abraham was made heir by the promise will be as wide as the "uttermost parts of the earth" promised to Christ, for otherwise the cure of the Adamic curse would not be as wide as the disease. The world's redemption is therefore fully comprehended in the Abrahamic covenant.

Some will possibly ask, How about the children of Abraham going into the promised land under Joshua? Was not that a fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise? This, indeed, is the position generally taken by those who have subverted the covenant and substituted in its place the theory of heaven-going. But this question is settled as clearly as it is possible for any question to be settled if we take the word of God as our authority, and what else can we take? There is no other authority worth considering. Take all the help you please from frail, mortal fallible man, the court of final appeal in all these cases must be the unerring word of the living and true God. The Apostle Paul seems to anticipate the very theories of our time and head them off, as it were, by argument and facts irresistible. He says, "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God, in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect" (Gal. 3: 17). The covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ is undoubtedly the Abrahamic covenant, which was made four hundred and thirty years before Israel came out of Egypt under the Mosaic covenant. Its confirmation was in Christ, typically, for, as we have seen, all sacrifices point to Christ, and the covenant made with Abraham was confirmed by the offering of sacrifices. This covenant, which was made with Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the children of Israel came out of Egypt, was not, the apostle says, disannulled and made of none effect by the descendants of Abraham being delivered from Egypt and given possession of the land of Canaan. "If," he adds, "the inheritance" that is, of course, the inheritance promised to Abraham, "be of the law."' that is, if it was realized in its fullness by the law of Moses, "it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise" (Gal. 3: 18). Then he anticipates the question, "Wherefore then serveth the law?" Or what was the Mosaic covenant for? And his answer is, "It was added" - added to the Abrahamic covenant - "because of transgression." Till when? For how long? To whom did it lead? And his answer is, "Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." This shows us clearly that the Abrahamic promise or the covenant reached down to Christ, and that in and through him it would finally be realized; and that the law of Moses was simply added as a sort of parenthesis, thrown in, as it were, for the time being, to deal with certain evils, and leading up to the grand ultimatum centering in Him the pith and the pivot of the whole matter. "Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." Mark this. While the promise was made to Abraham, there was a greater than he who was the chief one - the one to whom the promise was made, in whom it centered, and upon whom it depended for its fulfillment.

If in making the covenant with Abraham the gospel of salvation was made known to him, or in other words, if the Abrahainic covenant and the gospel are synonymous, then, since the gospel wherever it is found and by whatever name we give it, must have Christ in it, we ought to find Christ clearly and distinctly revealed in the Abrahamic covenant. Some may object to what we have set forth in relation to Christ being typified by the offerings Abraham made, although we can scarcely imagine how the truth thus shadowed forth could be evaded, but even allowing such objection, there is unmistakable and indisputable evidence that Christ is in the Abrahamic promises. For instance, we read, "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore" (Gen. 22: 17). Here, no doubt, we have first a promise of the great nation which should come forth from Abraham according to the flesh, but from other testimonies we may be safe in concluding that there is a higher meaning still, and that the promises involved a multitude of Abraham's seed according to the spirit, as we shall presently see from other testimonies. Then it is added, "Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. Here we have an individual seed. It is not, Thy seed shall possess the gate of their enemies, but thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, "and in thy seed," this particular individual seed, in or through him "all nations of the earth shall be blessed." Who is this? If it is Christ, then we have here the second Adam that is to undo the evil of the first Adam. If it is Christ, then we have here the one that shall "possess the gate of his enemies;" have power over all enemies; rule as king of all the earth; the one to whom it is said, "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psa. 2: 8). If it is not Christ who is it? Who can it be? Can the question be settled beyond the shadow of a doubt? We have frequently called this promise the gospel. Should our right to do so be questioned, we would refer to the Apostle Paul for our authority. He says, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before (before visiting the Gentiles) the gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed" (Gal. 3: 8). The gospel then promises a blessing for all nations of the earth. This gospel was preached to Abraham. There is no other gospel vevhich will save. In this very same letter to the Galatians he says, "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel 'unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed" (chap. 1: 8). There being but one gospel and that gospel having been preached to Abraham, we are safe in saying that in the Abrahamic covenant we have the gospel of our salvation In this gospel we are to find Christ. Have we found Him? Again the words ring with the force of truth, "Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies." We claim these words can apply to no one except Christ. Are we right? Let us be sure. Let us be safe. The subject is important. It has many enemies. Popular sentiment m the world is against it. Nothing will settle this but Inspiration. Again we ask, Is this seed, this individual seed, Christ? The Apostle Paul has declared the oneness of the gospel, and then directing us back to the book of Genesis, where we should have an account of that one gospel preached to Abraham, by which all the nations of the earth are to be blessed, he removes all possibility of doubt and shows us that Christ is the very heart of the gospel. "To Abraham and to his seed" he says, "were the promises made." Yes, Paul, we have seen that, for we have read in the book of Genesis that God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting inheritance; but there is much dispute in the modern religious world about this question, and popular theology says that the "seed" there is simply the Jews, who dwelt in the land for a time and on account of their wickedness have been scattered and destroyed as a nation and that is the end of the matter. We would like therefore to know who this seed is. He answers, "He saith not and to seeds as to many; but as OF ONE, And to thy seed WHICH IS CHRIST" (Gal. 3: 16).

HOW GENTILES MAY BECOME HEIRS

The question is safely settled, and we go back to Genesis and read the promises again, with the assurance that they are made to Abraham and to Christ. The chief, the head, the Alpha and the Omega is Christ, and yet the seed through him is to be multitudinous. The promise to him is that he, Christ, shall have the land. the world, the "uttermost parts of the earth for his possession That He is to bless all nations of the earth. There is no promise to any one not of the seed of Abraham. Therefore the apostle says, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith"-the Abrahamic faith, of course, the same faith that was accounted to him for righteousness-"know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3: 5-7). How may we become the children of Abraham? Hear what the apostle says in writing to the Ephesians, '"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery as I wrote afore in few words Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Eph. 3: 1-5). What is this that is revealed to Paul that concerns the Gentiles, that which we may safely presume will concern the greater part of Our readers? Unless we become the seed of Abraham we cannot hope to share in the promises made to Abraham and his seed. As Gentiles we are not the seed of Abraham; therefore have no right to the promise. But the apostle has already told us, that ""they which are of the faith * * * are the children of Abraham." And now he is going to tell us clearly what had been revealed to him specially in behalf of the Gentiles, and it is this: "That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body and partakers of his promise, in Christ by the gospel" (Eph. 3: 6). While we are Gentiles, and in no sense the seed of Abraham we are, he says, "by nature the children of wrath" (Eph. 2: 3): and he tells us to "remember that when we were Gentiles in the flesh we were without Christ, being aliens from the comonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2: 12). If the Gentiles are to be made fellow-heirs and of the same body, and partakers of the same promise in Christ by the gospel, and if before this takes place they are aliens, strangers, having no hope and without God in the world, is it not, dear reader, a vital question, the most important question to us, how may we change our relationship so as to become the seed of Abraham, and not to be aliens and strangers, hopeless and helpless, but come into such a relationship that we shall have a hope, the hope of the gospel, that our God may be the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, that we may be heirs of the commonwealth of Israel? The apostle's answer is, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us" (Eph. 2: 13, 14). "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God" (verse 19). Still the question remains, How is the change brought about? And in answer to this, we have the words of the same apostle, '"For we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." That is to say, they had all been made the children of God by the one faith which centers in Christ, in whom they were now by the one faith. How shall we pass or come into Christ? By what means does the one faith put us in Christ and constitute us the children of God? His answer is, ""For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Now what follows? Mark the words, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Heirs of what? Heirs of heaven? Heirs of the skies? Heirs of a spiritual Canaan beyond the stars? Let us not pervert the Word of God. Let us receive it with meekness as the engrafted word which is able to save our souls Here it is "And if we be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3: 26 29). What promise? He is speaking of the promise made to Abraham. We know what that is shall we accept it or reject it? Why should we reject it? Why should we not receive with open hearts such grand promises which provide for Christ's rulership universal in all the earth which provide for the blessing of all families of the earth we which provide for the elimination of every vestige of the Adamic curse and for filling "the earth with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea"?

Now it is quite clear that the covenants of promise so far as we have gone, were made for the purpose of effecting human redemption through Christ: that Christ is the very essence of the promises made to Adam, to Noah and to Abraham Isaac and to Jacob From experience and observation we have learned that in dealing with these grand truths it is quite difficult to keep the religious people of the world from soaring into the heavens and imagining that the Bible has more to do with other worlds than with ours. There is a reason for this. The oracles of God were committed to the Jews, not to the nations who were in a state of idolatry throughout "times of ignorance" as the Apostle Paul terms them. The human family had apostatized almost completely from God in the days of Abraham and in him there is a beginning of taking out from among them a people for Yahweh's name Abraham becomes the nucleus of this people, we might say both according to the flesh and according to the spirit, for the Jews, according to the flesh, are the children of Abraham by nature; while the "holy nation;" as Peter calls it, consists of the children of Abraham or Israel according to the spirit, made so by the one faith.

When the time came that Israel too had departed from God's statutes and laws and filled up the cup of iniquity by crucifying the Messiah, the time had arrived for the "other sheep" not of that Israelitish fold to be brought. "These," says the Saviour, "I must also bring and there shall be one shepherd and one fold." Commissioning His apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature is the beginning of this work. In pursuance of this, Peter goes to the house of Cornelius, in Caesarea a Gentile, and preaches the gospel to him and to his household, removing the prejudice of the Jews by saying. "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we"? (Acts 10: 47). The Apostle Paul says to the Jews "Seeing ye put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13: 46), and in turning to the Gentiles they turned to a people who had for ages been worshippers of idols, deluded by the so-called philosophy of the Greeks and Romans the Platonic philosophy of disembodied existence in particular. These pagans had filled the heavens with dead men's ghosts, and multiplied spiritual worlds without number, to which it was supposed that all liberated spirits departed at the hour of death, Thus the world had been alienated from the realities, of the truth of the Bible, and their minds carried away into the realms of fancy and fiction.

The rapid strides which Christianity made in the first century of the Christian era caused it to become popular to a large extent. Pagan worshippers saw that it was destined to sweep everything before it, and unless some compromises were made Paganism would utterly cease and go into ruin before the powerful advent of Christianity. The headers, therefore, hastened to make a compromise Christianity so called, but corrupted and perverted, was soon constituted the religion of the state, exalted to the throne of the civilized world which was named Christendom. This was the establishment of the spurious kingdom of antichrist. This system of antichrist sought to forestall the true kingdom of Christ and of Christ Himself, by becoming enthroned. The truth in its simplicity and in its work of "taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name", was not intended to be enthroned or in any sense incorporated with the powers of the state. Its followers while they were to be in the world were not to be of the world. They were to come out from the world and be separated from it in all its ways, a "peculiar people," regarded by popular sentiment as the off-scouring of all things, as their Master had been before them. But the enthronement of the truth, genuine Christianity, was not to be until the return of Christ who appeared the first time as a "Lamb to be led to the slaughter", but who will appear the second time as the Lion of tribe of Judah, to be king over all the earth. Then true Christianity- will be enthroned in the person of Christ with those who are His faithful ones, and He will reign on the earth in fulfillment of the covenants of promise.

We must, therefore eradicate from our minds the superstitious spiritualism of Paganism and come to realize that the Bible is a book that deals with things here on earth, here now and hereafter, but here all the time. Herein is the difference between truth and error. Bible truth teaches a hereafter. Antichristian systems teach a thereafter as the Pagans did of old. Let us not then imagine the covenants of promise to be an astronomical matter, but a geographical, for there is a geography to the question. Abraham is not told to hook into the heavens, let me remind you again, dear reader but to the four quarters of the earth, and his promise is of the hand which he saw and which he walked through, in the length of it and in the breadth of it. This land was described as from the river of Egypt to the great river the river Euphrates. While in this great Abrahamic covenant we have the future everlasting inheritance of the land so described upon the principle of the greater containing the lesser no doubt the promise of the possession of the land of Canaan by the natural descendants of Abraham was involved. But their possession fell far short of the extent of the full promise made to Abraham Considering this question geographically the promise to Abraham has never been fulfilled for his descendants to say nothing about Abraham himself who as we have seen did not receive so much as to set his foot upon did not inherit the land to the extent described in the Abrahamic covenant. Here again we may stop and ask ourselves the question, Has God promised what He has not fulfilled and never intends to fulfill? Far be it from us to reach any such conclusion. The land to the extent described has never been possessed by Abraham's seed: the land promised lo Abraham has never been inherited not a foot of it by Abraham himself God has made oath that His promise shall be fulfilled Therefore the land to the fullest extent described in the boundary lines given must yet be inherited by- Abraham and his seed This is a simple matter, one that can be decided and has been decided geographically and mathematically In proof of this we here quote from an able writer. the author of "The Gospel Treasury" an extract giving time difference in extent between the land possessed by Israel and the land promised to Abraham or in other words the extent of the land of ancient possession and the land of future inheritance.

The LAND OF ISRAEL - PALESTINE OR JUDEA - Was given in an everlasting covenant to Abraham and his seed for ever. See Gen 12: 6, 7, 13, 14,- 17. It was washed on the W. by the Mediterranean or Great sea as it is called in the Bible ( Num 34:6), "And as for the western border we shall even have the great sea for a border this shall be your west border." Josh 1:4, "From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river the river Euphrates all the land of the Hittites and unto the great, sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your coast." NORTHWARD it reached along the Mediterranean sea to Mount Cassius at rise mouth of the Orontes, which is the entrance into Hamath. Numb 34: 7-9, "This shall be your north border; from the great sea ye shalt point out for you Mount Hor (Heb. Hor ha-hor - a very high mountain). From Mount Hor ye shall point out unto the entrance into Hamath," etc. Its SOUTH border is the "River of Egypt" - see Gen. 15: 18, "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." And the EAST border - see Deut. 11: 24, "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: * * * From the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be".

The difference of latitude and longitude in the land actually occupied by Israel and that which was promised in the everlasting covenant, and still remains to be fulfilled, is as follows: - See I. Kings 4: 25, "Judah and Israel dwelt safely from Dan even to Beersheha, all the days of Solomon." (But Solomon like his father David, exercised a nominal or real sovereignty over all the regions which the Lord had given to the seed of Jacob - See I. Kings 4: 21).

The latitude of Beersheba is 31 deg. 15 min.; of Dan 33 deg. 15 min.; the south point of the Dead sea, the ancient border of Israel, is 31 deg. 7 min. in the same longitude with Dan, the intervening distance, in a line from north to south, being 128 geographical, or about 150 English miles. The latitude of the north point of the Elanitic gulf or the Red sea, On which Eziongeber, a port of Solomon's, stood, is 29 deg. 31 min. This is the south border promised to Abraham. The mouth of the Orontes, or the entrance into Hamath from the Mediterranean, is 36 deg., and that of Beer, or Berothah on the Euphrates, 37 deg. But the range of Amanus lies beyond it, and the medium longitude of the north boundary is more than 36 deg. 31 min. N.; or in an ideal line, from south to north, the length of th land is upwards of seven degrees, or 500 miles, instead of 150 as of old.

The breadth of Immanuel's land, instead of its anciently contracted span, from the Mediterranean sea on the west, to a few miles on the east of Jordan, stops not short of a navigable frontier everywhere, and on every side. The longitude of the river Nile is 30 deg. 2 min.; that of the Euphrates, as it flows through the Persian Gulf, 48 deg. 26 min.; or a difference of nearly 18 deg. and a half, or more than 1,100 miles.

On the northern extremity of the land the range of Amanus mountains from the river Euphrates, to the uttermost sea, or extremity of the Mediterranean, scarcely exceeds 100 miles. In round numbers the average breadth of the Promised Land is 600 miles, which, multiplied by its length 500 miles, gives an area of 300,000 square miles, or more than that of any kingdom or empire in Europe, Russia alone excepted.

Separated as Israel is from other lands, such are its borders, that it has unequaled freedom of access to all * * * and is well-fitted for becoming "the glory of all lands," the heritage of a people blessed of the LORD.-See Keith's "Land of Israel."

THE LAND OF PROMISE was so called from God's having given it by promise to the seed of Abraham, - Gen. 12: 7; see also Gen. 13: 14-17, "And the Lord said unto Abraham, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the hand, in the length of it, and the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee (17: 8). And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the hand wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" - Gospel Treasury, p. 10.

We do not read in so many words that the Abrahamic promises contain the establishment of a kingdom, but there is enough to show that what in subsequent times is revealed as the kingdom of God is involved in those promises. One testimony quoted shows this phase of the subject: "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (Gen. 17: 1-8). The promise, "kings shall come out of thee," shows that a kingdom is involved. Christ will be the king and the redeemed saints will be the kings in the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant. Hence when Mary contemplated the birth of her royal son, Christ, she saw through this the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises and exclaimed, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his hand-maiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever" (Luke 1: 46-55). All this she declares is in remembrance of God's mercy, as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever." What is it that Mary so exults over? Is it not the prospect of Christ, her royal son, the seed of Abraham, becoming king over all the earth, showing strength with his arm, scattering the proud, putting down the mighty, exalting the poor, filling the hungry with good things, sending the rich empty away-all of this in remembrance of what God had spoken to Abraham? These things can never be accomplished without kingly power and heavenly authority, and this will be the fulfillment of the great promise to bless all nations of the earth in and through Abraham's seed, which is Christ.

The Spirit speaking through the prophet Malachi declares, "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me" (Mal. 3: 1). This found partial fulfillment in the work of John the Baptist, preparatory to Christ who, he said, should "'be mightier than he, the latchet of whose shoes he was not worthy to unloose." His father, Zaacharias, saw in John the forerunner of the promised Son of Abraham and, filled with the Holy Spirit. bore testimony to the truth contained in the covenants of promise, saying,

Blessed he the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should he saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Ahraham, that he would grant onto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt he called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his way : to give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercies of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high bath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1: 68-79).

Here again it will be observed that all this is to "perform the mercy promised to the fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Abraham."

It would seem that while God was making these promises, he was also exemplifying them by causing Abraham and his descendants to pass through an experience, the history of which would be prophecy, the past foretelling the future-type pointing to antitype. In the literal immigration of Abraham out of his own native country and his separation from his idolatrous relatives, we have a representation of the Abrahamic faith taking out from among the Gentiles a people for Yahweh's name. His literal going into that land, a type of our coming out, as it were of darkness to the light of the truth, and in mind going into that land by faith: and ultimately of Abraham's descendants, according to the flesh, and his children by faith taking full possession of the land, when the former would constitute the subjects and the latter the rulers of the greatest kingdom that has ever adorned the earth. Coming further down we have what the Apostle Paul says ""had happened for types" in the history of Israel's deliverance from Egypt, their wanderings in the wilderness and their final entrance into the land of promise under Joshua's remarkable leadership, that is at once history and prophecy; for out of the wilderness of sin and desolation, as it were, Abraham's seed by faith are called. They pass through the waters of baptism, as Israel did when they were "baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." In that wonderful event a nation was born in a day, Israel becoming the national son of God, as the words, "out of Egypt have I called my son" imply - words applicable to the national son, Israel, and the individual Son, Christ, and the multitudinous Christ, composed of him as the head and of those that will constitute the one great Christ body that shall rule the world in righteousness. After crossing the waters of the Red Sea and washing away, as it were, Egypt's bondage and sin, they had to pass through "much tribulation" before they could enter under Joshua, their saviour, into the kingdom of God, which was known in the past as the kingdom of Israel. So now it is with Israel by faith, they pass through the waters of baptism and become the children of God. They wash away their sins and become redeemed, but have to pass through much tribulation before they can enter the kingdom of God. Then Joshua, their Saviour, shall say to them, '"Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom." It required a Joshua to expel and exterminate the Amorites; so it requires a greater Joshua to bring down the mighty from their seats; to redeem the world from its iniquitous rulers and to fit it for the establishment of a heavenly kingdom. When the "way of the kings from the sun's rising shall be prepared" the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his beams and shall burst forth upon a benighted world to spread blessings, peace and prosperity, where cursings, war and desolation have for many long ages blighted this beautiful habitable. Again we may go back to the history of Israel in their deliverance from Egypt; their crossing the sea and going through the much tribulation of the wilderness, and their final conquest of the land, and we have the history of a nation that will repeat itself upon a grander scale. That same Israel is now scattered among all nations of the earth, "which spiritually are called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11: 8) - the Roman habitable, and what is Christendom to-day but Rome divided? Israel has indeed been scattered among these nations, but a mighty deliverance awaits them. As Abraham left his idolatrous kindred and came from the "other side of the flood" and went into the land of promise; as Israel was delivered from Egypt and crossed the sea, passing through the wilderness and finally into the land of promise, so shall the nation of Israel again be brought from Egypt, front the "other side of the flood," pass through the depths of the sea and become a nation born in a day. This time it will not be the wilderness of Sinai, but "the wilderness of the people, where God will plead with them face to face, like as he pleaded with their fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezek. 20: 35-38). These grand truths will more fully develop as we proceed with the investigation of the covenants of promise as made to David, which will be the next subject for our consideration.

 

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Chapter 5

The World's Redemption


The Covenants of Promise - Continued

In the words of the Apostle Paul, as found in his letter to the Ephesians, we have the term, "covenants of promise" - plural. While there is but one great covenant involving the world's redemption, as there is but one gospel, on account of this having been made in various forms in various times, it is spoken of in the plural. We have already seen that the covenant was initiated with Adam, made known to Noah, and still more fully brought to light to Abraham. Now in the covenant with David, it assumes a more complete form with respect to its aspect as a kingdom. The kingdom of Israel had become a fact, and was called the kingdom of God. Being a type of the everlasting kingdom of God, the time had come when by it those to whom the oracles of God were committed would be better qualified to understand the meaning of the gospel of the kingdom of God as embodied in the covenants of promise, so that the covenant with David deals especially with a kingdom. Following are some of the testimonies setting forth this aspect of the covenants of promise:

II Sam. 7:12-16 - And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever.

II Sam. 23:1-5 - Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel said, The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.

Psa 89:4, 19-29, 34-37 - Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Then thou spaketh in vision to thy Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant: with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him: nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.

Psa. 110 - The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies: he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Psa. 132:11-18 - The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David: he will not turn from it: Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the Lord hath chosen Zion: he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell: for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Isa. 9:6, 7 - 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, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isa. 16:5 - 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. 55:1, 3 - 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. * * * 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.

Jer. 23:5, 6 - 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.

Luke 1:30-33 - And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Acts 2:29-35 - Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne: he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes my footstool.

Acts 15:16, 17 - After this 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.

Rev. 3:7 - And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth: and shutteth and no man openeth.

Rev. 5:5 - And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Rev 22:16 - I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Here we have what we may call the Davidian covenant. It will be seen from these testimonies that this, like the Abrahamic covenant, leads down to Christ and pertains to the world's redemption. The kingdom of God, as it had existed under David and was now about to be transferred to Solomon, consisted of all the elements necessary to constitute a kingdom. It was not what is popularly known as a spiritual kingdom. It was real. It was on the earth, a literal constitution of things. It had territory, subjects, rulers, laws and a capital. It was complete so far as it was possible for there to be a complete kingdom in that evil age in which it existed. Now that a covenant was made with David concerning a future kingdom, the question is, Will it also be real, literal, having the same elements in its composition as that of the kingdom of Israel of the past? That this covenant was understood by David to refer to the future is clear from what he says in II Sam 7:19, "And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come." Many people suppose that this covenant related to Solomon only. While Solomon, no doubt, was a type of Christ, this covenant reached beyond him. Its realization was not expected by David in the time of Solomon. It was "for a great while to come." What does it involve? In the tenth verse it is said, "Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." Here we have the place in which Israel is to be planted when the covenant is fully realized; hence we may safely conclude that the kingdom will have literal territory. Next we find that He promised to David that His mercy shall not depart from him, the person who is the subject of the covenant, as it did from Saul, and his house, David's royal house, and kingdom should be established for ever in his hands; his throne should be established for ever (verses 15, 16). Hence we have here a royal house, a king, a territory, a kingdom; and as Israel's laws were heavenly, or laws from heaven, so we may conclude the laws of this kingdom will be heavenly.

IT WAS DAVID'S SALVATION

At the time that this covenant was made, the days of David's natural career were about ended. He could not hope to live much longer, and did not, and therefore to make such promises to him would seem like mockery unless they involved for him a future life. "Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee" (verse 16). What can the words "before thee" mean but in thy presence? As in the case of Abraham it is a matter personally to be realized. Therefore resurrection is here provided for though not expressed in so many words; it is clearly implied, David was to die, yet his house and his kingdom were to be established for ever in his presence. How could this be unless David were to be raised from the dead? for it was to be "for a great while to come."

This covenant is made the subject of David's last words, which shows that he viewed it as a matter of the future: "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel said, * * * He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not to grow" (II Sam. 23:1-5). This covenant with David involved "all his salvation and all his desire," his only hope in the hour of death. It was the hope in which he lived and the hope in which he died. Like all other ancient worthies, he "died in faith, not having received the promises but seeing them afar off," or as he terms it, in a "great while to come."

That this refers to the kingdom of God in the hands of Christ there can be no question, for we have the words of the Apostle Peter who, by inspiration, declares that the covenant with David reached down to the days of Christ's glorious reign on the earth. Not only so, but he assures us that this was David's understanding of the matter, for he says, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" (Acts 2: 29-31). David being a prophet, then, foresaw that Christ would be raised up to sit upon his throne. Hence we may safely conclude that the seed which was promised to David, who should establish his house and his kingdom for ever, is Christ and that David so understood it, and in this saw by faith, and died in the faith, that the fulfillment of the covenant through Christ would bring to him the realization of "all his salvation and all his desire."

It is impossible for any one having the least regard for the truth and consistency of the Bible to say that the promises of the covenant with David have been fulfilled, except so far as the mission of Christ in his first coming is embraced in the covenant. Without "rightly dividing the word of truth" in this case, as in that of the Abrahamic covenant, the Bible will be made to appear as a contradictory book, and advantage given the infidel. Let us look at the facts in the case. One of the promises is that God would "appoint a place for his people Israel, and plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more" (II Sam. 7:10). Israel scattered in all the world to day is sufficient to show that this promise has not yet been fulfilled. If their immovable "planting" in the place appointed had become a fact, they would be there now, but they are not there, they are not in a "place of their own." In Lev 26:31,33 the present scattered condition of Israel is foretold in the following words, "And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odors. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste." In Deut. 28:49-50 Moses predicted the same scattering in the following words: "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth: a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand: a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young." In verses 64 and 65 he adds, "And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other: and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind." Now with these prophecies on record, God promised David that He would appoint Israel a place of their own, and they shall never be moved: neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime. What shall we do with these apparently contradictory testimonies? We cannot mistake what they say. We know that the prophecy of Moses in regard to this scattering has been fulfilled since Christ was on the earth nineteen hundred years ago. He testified to the truth of what Moses wrote, for He said, "Moses wrote of me," and "if ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me." Moses declared that Israel should be scattered, that their city should be besieged and that their land should go into desolation. Jesus confirms this by saying, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh" (Luke 21: 20). And then He adds, speaking of Israel, "and they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations" (Luke 21: 24). And yet in the covenant with David promise is made that they shall cease to be scattered, and that they shall be planted in their land, and be no more moved, neither shall they be afflicted. Have we a contradictory Bible? There is only one way to escape the difficulty before us. When God spoke through Moses of scattering Israel He made no mistake. Neither had He forgotten what He had said to Moses when He promised David that Israel should be planted in the land never again to be scattered. Notwithstanding the fact that the Saviour predicted their scattering, and that they are scattered today, there is no difficulty if we accept the truth. The only solution which the truth will admit of is that the "planting" spoken of in the covenant with David is yet in the future. If this is in the future, then the promise concerning David's seed, or his royal son who is to sit upon his throne, in whose hands David's house and kingdom will be established for ever in David's presence, is also in the future. And if all this centers in Christ, then you can see that the world's redemption is provided for in the covenant with David.

ITS PERPETUITY

Again, here we have God's oath to David that this seed which should be raised up to sit upon his throne should be David's "salvation and his desire:" that God's mercy should never depart from him as it did from Saul; that his house and his kingdom should be established for ever: his, David's seed, it is said, he will "make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven" (Psa. 89:29). My covenant will I not break," He adds, "nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me" (verses 34-36). Let us compare with these promises what we read in Ezek 21:25-27: "And thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is: and I will give it him." Here is the overturn of David's throne, and again there is seemingly a contradiction, and it is contradictory if there is no future fulfillment of the covenant with David. Suppose we were to read verse 27 thus, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it and it shall be no more." Then we would surely have contradiction, for we have just read in the eighty-ninth Psalm that his throne is to continue for ever, and here it is said that it is overturned in the days of Zedekiah and it shall be no more. But this, while it would be in strict accordance with popular theology, which finds no room for the re-establishment of David's throne and kingdom, would he perverting the testimony. We must read the entire verse in order to escape the contradiction, in order to save the Bible from contradiction, in order to vindicate the veracity of God. This verse reads when we read it all, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until He come whose right it is, and I will give it him." Who is this? Can we be as sure that the "him" here is Christ as we were that the "his" in the Abrahamic covenant was Christ? You will remember, dear reader, that the Apostle Paul assures us that the promise to Abraham, "Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" refers to Christ, by saying, "He saith not, And to seeds as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." We may be sure that the seed promised to David, the "he" who is to come, and whose right David's throne is, is the Christ. Christ is in the Davidian covenant as well as in the Abrahamic, and the world's redemption will also be thus seen to be involved in the covenant with David. Can we be sure that Christ is involved in this covenant? Is the seed here Christ? Let the law and the testimony settle the question. One passage we have given is Isa. 9: 6-7, where we have the words, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." No one will dispute the application of this to Christ. We know that this is Christ. And now what else is promised in this passage in relation to Christ? Mark the words, "and the government shall be upon his shoulder." What else? Mark the words again. "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." Has this anything to do with the covenant with David? Has this anything to do with the throne of David? Mark the words again, "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." This ought to settle the question. But let us proceed further. Again let me remind you that we have read in Ezek. 21: 25-27 of the overthrow of David's throne, and that it would be no more, until he come whose right it is, "and I will give it him." Can we again connect this with Christ? Here is what angelic testimony declares as an answer, "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Connect with this the inquiry of the wise men, who came from the East to Jerusalem on the occasion of Christ's birth, asking, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews" (Matt. 2: 1, 2); and again the answer given to Herod's question, "And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel" (Matt. 2: 6), and now that Christ is the very heart of the covenant made with David is beyond question.

Yes but, some will say, while we are bound to admit that Christ is the subject of the covenant with David, we claim that the covenant was fulfilled at His first coming. Now, dear reader, ask yourself the question, Did the Lord God give Christ the throne of His Father David while He was here as a "man of sorrow and acquainted with grief?" He declared, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests: but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Luke 9: 58). "Did He then reign over the house of Jacob, as the angel declared to Mary He should? Is it not a fact that the Jews denied Him, and for doing so, He said they should be "led away captive among all nations." Hear the words which came from Him when He wept over the City of Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee: how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come, when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Luke 13: 34-35). In His second appearing we have the solution of the whole problem He did not fulfill the covenant with David at His first coming. The covenant requires the re-establishment of David's throne and kingdom, with Christ reigning over the house of Jacob. This did not take place. But after He had been rejected by the house of Israel, God said to Him, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool." Christ now is in heaven. Israel is scattered, and her land is in desolation: David's throne is in ruins: Jerusalem is trodden down by the Gentiles. When and by what means will the covenant with David be fulfilled? Remember the words are, "He shall build an house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever." Remember the words of the angel to Mary are, "And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end." We are compelled by the force of facts and truth to conclude that such promises never having been fulfilled, will find their fulfillment in the future. Not having been fulfilled at Christ's first coming, will they find their fulfillment at His second coming? Are we left to doubt or uncertainty in the case, or shall we find words of Inspiration that will assure us of the truth beyond the shadow of doubt? Listen to the words of Divine testimony, "And after they had held their peace James answered saying, Men and brethren hearken unto me: 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 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" (Acts 15: 13-17). What was the first thing that James said was to be done? Visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. When does this occur? The visiting of the Gentiles commenced after Christ's death and resurrection. We may safely say that it began when Peter went to the house of Cornelius in Caesarea. The work of taking out of the Gentiles still goes on through the instrumentality of the gospel. We know that we are now in the times of the Gentiles. When will Christ come and build the tabernacle of David? Let Him answer. "After this," that is, after visiting 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." The question is settled. There is no room for dispute. Ah! but says the one who spiritualizes God's words to suit popular creeds, you are too literal. You are looking for a literal kingdom with Christ as its personal ruler on the earth. Yes indeed we are. What else can we look for? When it was said of David's throne, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it" was that literal? or was it a spiritual throne in the skies, in the heavens, or beyond the bounds of time and space? What was overturned to be no more till he come whose right it is"? That it was the throne, kingdom and dominion of David which was overthrown everybody knows. The same testimony that says "it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is," says also, "And I will give it him." Give what to him? a spiritual throne in heaven? We know nothing of David ever having a spiritual throne in heaven, and if there was one there, it surely was never "overturned." The throne that was overturned was the one that was to be given to him whose right it is. If David's throne and kingdom were real and literal, then it will be a literal throne and kingdom that will be given to Christ. Ah! some will say with a sneer, that reduces the thing to an absurdity. You are talking about the literal chair in which David sat. No, we are not talking about the literal chair, but we are talking about the power and dominion of David. We don't mean the literal chair in which Queen Victoria sits when we talk about the throne of England, but in using the term we, of course, mean a real kingdom, the kingdom of Great Britain, that has territory, a throne, subjects, laws and rulers; and we mean the very same when we speak of the throne and kingdom of David which had all and will again have all these elements. We mean the very same when we speak of giving it, the throne that was overturned, to him whose right it is. The angel declares to Mary, "He shall be great, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever and of his kingdom there shall be no end" these words are too clear to be spiritualized and made meaningless; for James adds, "After this I will return and will build again." Mark the word, "again," something that was built before, that had been overturned and needed building again. Surely the supposed spiritual throne of David in heaven was never overthrown and needed to be built again. The testimony continues still more clearly, " I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: and I will build again the ruins thereof." What folly it is to try to spiritualize this and make it mean anything but what it declares. Inspiration has anticipated and forestalled all these vain attempts at making the Word of God of none effect by tradition.

ISAIAH'S INVITATION TO THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID

How often do we hear quoted the beautiful words of the Prophet Isaiah, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come, buy and eat: yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isa. 55: 1). These are words to a thirsty perishing world. They are a call to fallen man, inviting him to partake of the blessings of salvation. Salvation is what is offered here. And now the question is, Does this stand related in any way to the covenant made with David? The words are frequently quoted without any regard to that which is offered in them and to which they invite lost men and women. What does God say He will do with those who respond to this beneficent call, this invitation to salvation? "Incline your ear," He says, "and come unto me. Hear and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you." (Isa. 55: 3) Surely here is the place to settle the nature of this covenant. If it is that God invites us to a covenant providing for our flight to realms beyond the stars, we ought to find it here. If on the contrary it is an invitation to the covenant made with David, involving an inheritance in the earth, when David's throne and kingdom will be restored and given to His royal Son Christ, King David the second, then certainly we shall find in it the gospel which provides for the world's redemption. What is the invitation to? What are we called to? Mark the words carefully. Receive them as truth and reject everything that conflicts with them. Here they are, "and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." Now, dear reader, did you ever find any where in the Scriptures "sure mercies of David" providing for an inheritance in heaven, or a kingdom in the sky? David never was in heaven. How then could he have a kingdom there? David died in faith, not having received the promise, but seeing its fulfillment "in a great while to come" declares it to be his salvation. Has he gone to heaven? Has he gone any where except to the dust to await a glorious resurrection to the realization of these promises? "David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption" (Acts 13: 36). "David is not ascended into the heavens, but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool." Christ is gone to heaven, but not David. And when we reach the end of the time indicated by the word "until" "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 since the world began" (Acts 3: 20-21).

If the invitation to come into covenant relationship with God, is to every one that thirsteth, in which covenant are "the sure mercies of David," then the covenant and the gospel must be one and the same thing, because every invitation that is sent out to fallen man from God is for him to come to a belief and obedience of the gospel whereby he may obtain salvation. To invite men, then, to believe and obey the gospel is the same thing as to invite him to the everlasting covenant, in which are the sure mercies of David, and it is this covenant with David and with others that the Apostle Paul alludes to in addressing the Church of Ephesus, saying "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, * * * at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commnonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:11, 12). To be a Gentile is to be an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and a stranger from the covenants of promise. To be this is to be without hope and without God in the world. Was heaven ever spoken of as the commonwealth of Israel? Is the promise of an everlasting abode beyond the stars ever found in any of the covenants of promise? If not, why believe it? Why accept another gospel, when the apostle says to do so will bring a curse instead of a blessing? What can the words "commonwealth of Israel" mean? Commonwealth means a wealth to be enjoyed in common, and since it is the commonwealth of Israel, this must be a wealth to be enjoyed by Israel in common. Israel means he that hath prevailed and become a prince with God. Who pre-eminently is entitled to this name, Israel? Who has prevailed where all others of the Adamic race failed? Who by reason of overcoming has become a prince with God. That this is Christ there can be no question. He is therefore pre-eminently an Israelite, yes, the Israelite, in whom was found no guile and in whom centers the commonwealth of Israel because in him is the power to fulfill the covenants of promise, and give the promised wealth of salvation and everlasting inheritance to the Israel of God (Gal. 6: 16). In this, as we shall see further along, the commonwealth will be enjoyed by the Israel of God, first according to the spirit, and secondly the nation of Israel restored to the land of their fathers¾ the former, which constitute the one great body politic, of which Christ is the head, will be the rulers those who will have overcome, prevailed and become princes with God, kings of whom Christ is King; "King of kings, and Lord of lords," will be the rulers, while the twelve tribes of Israel restored to the land promised to Abraham will be the subjects to be "planted in a land of their own and never be moved; neither shall the children of wickedness any more afflict them as before time." Then the sure mercies of David will find their fulfillment. But what I wish to impress here is that the apostle says that while we were Gentiles, before we became part of the Israel of God, we were aliens from this commonwealth, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Therefore it is essential, it is a vital question, that we see to it that we come to believe in the commonwealth of Israel, in the covenants of promise, not in promises that were never made, but, like Abraham, in the very promises made, to believe which will be accounted to us for righteousness as it was in Abraham's case. Salvation is predicated upon this, and it is the same matter as is involved in the gospel of which our Saviour says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16). The apostle shows us here that he that believeth in the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants of promise and is there upon baptized into Christ shall be saved; while he that believeth not in the commonwealth of Israel and in the covenants of promise can no more be saved than he who believeth not the gospel. Hence he adds, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph 2:13). When ye were afar off ye were aliens and strangers, hopeless and helpless, but now having believed the gospel, which involves the commonwealth of Israel and covenants of promise, and having been baptized into Christ, you are therefore not afar off, but made nigh by the blood of Christ. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (verses 19-22). Of the covenant with David then we may say the same as we did of the covenant with Abraham. All the blessings through Christ are promised to David's seed, and to Abraham's seed, and therefore we must become adopted into the family of Abraham to become part of the "seed" to whom the promise is made. Christ is the mediator. "He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between" the Jews and the Gentiles. Belief in the covenants of promise, or the gospel, and baptism into Christ inducts us into the only saving "name* * * given among men whereby we must be saved." Hence the apostle says, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3: 27). And now in this relationship or condition expressed by the phrase "in Christ," "there is no difference" between Jew and Greek, that is to say, it makes no difference whether you are of Jewish descent according to the flesh, or Gentiles by nature. There is therefore no salvation out of Christ. There is no way into Christ but by believing the covenants of promise and being baptized, and when these are complied with we are Christ's. "And if ye be Christ's" says the apostle, "then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." That is, heirs of this Israelitish commonwealth, these covenants of promise made to Abraham and to David. We thus see that Christ is the pith and pivot of it all, the heart, the life of the whole matter. All these things were arranged on account of Him and for Him, and therefore He "is the root and the offspring of David." He was the Word of God in the beginning and that word, or logos, was the Father's purpose centered in Christ. That was the root of this great plan of salvation involved in the covenants of promise. When "the Word was made flesh," the logos, as it were, assumed personal form and Christ was personally the exemplification of God's great purpose to bring about the world's redemption. Hence He says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." He is called the Word of God. A word is a sign or symbol of thought. Christ was a sign or symbol, a manifestation of God's purpose in the earth. He was the kingdom of Israel in its germ form when here upon the earth. According to the flesh he was the offspring of David; viewing the word David as a representation of God's plan, He is the outcome, the offspring of that plan. Everything pertaining to the covenants of promise and the world's redemption centers in Him. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He holds "the key of David," in that He holds the key that shall unlock the bars of the grave, which for the time being holds David in corruption. "I am He that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hades and of death" (Rev. 1: 18). He has the "key of David; He openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth" (Rev. 3:7). Not only will he use the keys to unlock the grave for David and all the ancient worthies who "died in the faith, not having received the promise," but the key of David will open the royal house of David, the kingdom of Israel, and again bring to the earth a Divine administration of affairs that will fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, blessing all families of the earth. Of Him David says, "He that ruleth over men shall be a just one that shall rule according to the righteous precepts of Jehovah"; and when David looked down the dark ages that would intervene, he pierced the future horizon of his hope, and exclaimed, "He shall be like the sun of an unclouded dawn," or as our translation has it, "a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God," that is, at the time that he spoke, "Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure," and with this hope he closed his eves to await the time contemplated in the words, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness." Then shall he with all those who are now in the sleep of death awaiting the realization of the faith in which they died, behold the uprising of the "Sun of righteousness," which shall arise with healing in his wings, and burst forth in all his splendor and beauty to "fill the earth with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."

In all this we are not asked to take visionary flights to worlds unknown, nor need we dream of the impossible task of reading our "title clear to mansions in the sky;" for fitting immortal souls for the sky is no part of the world's redemption. There is a grander and more noble work for the redeemed in the age to come than playing upon golden streets and revelling in idleness. There is a lost paradise to be regained, a thousand wrongs to be righted, a crooked world to be straightened, a lost world to be redeemed, the profaned name of Yahweh to be honored where it has been despised and rejected, a mocked and crucified King to be enthroned and glorified, and the sky is no place for these things to be done. They are needed where social vice is corrupting and eating out the very life of society; where a false and deceptive religious system is trafficking for worldly gain in the bodies and souls of men and women who are ignorant of God's Word and are carried away under high pressure of excitement and animal magnetism by the cunning tricks of experts; they are needed where famishing millions are slaves to tyrannical monopolies, and where the cruel heel of the oppressor is crushing into the earth its helpless victims: they are needed here, and nothing will effect these grand results but the King from heaven who will shortly appear in His mighty power and majestic glory to associate with himself all His worthy ones of the ages of the past in the great work of restitution of all things, when there shall be "glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will among men," and the world's redemption become a glorious fact.

 

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Chapter 6

The World's Redemption


Confirmation of the Covenants of Promise

The fall of our first parents incurred the penalty of death, upon the principle that "the wages of sin is death." God in his goodness extended mercy, yet there must be a vindication, as it were, of His own justice before He could grant the world's redemption. Sin had caused all the trouble. God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. His justice requires the death of the sinner, while His mercy provides means of remission of sin and purification of the sinner in a way to spare the sinner and yet not defeat justice. Only Divine wisdom can blend together mercy and justice. If the penalty on our first parents had been inflicted without any merciful provision, all would have forever been lost, but redemption from under the penalty of the law by sacrifice was arranged for, and in it we have Christ "as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13: 8), and it was shown in the beginning that through Him redemption would take place of what had been lost by Adam the first. God therefore, predicated His covenant with man upon the sacrifice for sin, by which alone man's restoration to favor could be effected. In the very nature of the case, then, a covenant provided by God for fallen man demands a sacrifice which will admit of reconciliation and atonement between God who is pure and man who is sinful, and this must take place before the covenants of promise could be realized. Hence the Apostle Paul shows that all that pertained to the covenant depended on Christ as the covenant sacrifice. In the Authorized Version we have a very unhappy translation of Heb. 9: 16-18; but the Diaglott and other translations remove the difficulty. The Emphatic Diaglott renders the passage as follows: "For where a covenant exists, the death of that which has ratified it is necessary to be produced; because a covenant is firm over dead victims, since it is never valid when that which ratifies it is alive. Hence not even the first has been instituted without blood" (Heb. 9: 16-18). Here we see that a covenant is of no force while the covenant sacrifice, that which ratifies it, is alive, which means that the covenants of promise were of no force without the death of Christ, the real covenant sacrifice.

PURIFICATION BY COVENANT SACRIFICE

The Hebrew word for covenant (berith) means to purify or cleanse. It implies a purification or a purifier, because in all God's covenants with man, sin and sinfulness exist on man's side. Since covenants are intended to bring man into reconciliation with God and fit him for the everlasting inheritance promised, and since this cannot be done without purification through sacrifice, berith is used not only for the covenant itself, but for the sacrifice which confirms the covenant. When Moses said, "Behold, the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you" (Ex. 24: 8), he meant the blood of the victim slain as a covenant sacrifice. The prophet Isaiah says, "Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages" (chap. 49: 8). This is a prophecy of Christ, and to give Him for a covenant was to give Him as a sacrifice, or a covenant sacrifice. By the words, "By the blood of the covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water" (Zech. 9: 11) is meant the blood of the victim whose death must take place to bring the covenant into force.

It will be remembered that when Abraham was commanded to offer sacrifices he was to divide some of the victims in the midst. This manner of making a covenant is referred to by the prophet Jeremiah thus, "And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant, which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof" (Jer. 34:18). The ancient custom among the Persians, and other nations, no doubt, had their origin in God's manner of allowing man to enter into covenant relation with him. The custom was, as indicated by Jeremiah, to divide the victim and the covenanting parties "passed between the parts." In this way, in covenants between God and men, man, who is a sinner and under justice without mercy, deserves death, may be said to have passed into the death of the victim, or to have died sacrificially or representatively, admitting of atonement.

CHRIST THE REAL COVENANT SACRIFICE

Now Christ being "a minister of the circumcision * * * to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Rom. 15: 8), must provide a victim or covenant sacrifice; to have offered an animal would have been no better than had been offered in shadow or type arrangements of the past. The time had come when the substance the real offering must be made. Who would be the victim? "Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above when be said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second, by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:5-10).

ALIENATION AND RECONCILIATION

By typical sacrifices covenant relationship between God and man was made possible as soon as man fell and redemption became a necessity. Had no provision been made till the real covenant sacrifice Christ was offered upon the cross, all who died from Adam to Christ would have hopelessly gone down into death and the grave under the sentence, "Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return." God's plan had made all provision for what seems to us to be an emergency in the fall of man. Christ had been provided in that plan as a sacrifice. It was not that God made provision after the emergency arose, as if He must wait developments and meet them as they came; for He says, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 46: 9, 10).

Not only was Christ's sacrificial offering prearranged for before sin actually made it a necessity, but there was a "due time" when it should take place. "When we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6). It was when "the fullness of the time was come, that God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption" (Gal. 4: 4, 5). About four thousand years were to elapse from Adam's fall to this "due time," and therefore a provisional arrangement must serve during that period.

Human customs must always fall short of fully illustrating God's wonderful and wise works, as the finite cannot reach the heights of the infinite; but they may help to a deeper understanding of things divine. There is a breach between two men on account of one having incurred a debt to the other and is not able to pay it. They are estranged from each other and something must be done to bring about reconciliation. The debtor is promised by a friend that in one year from a given date he will discharge the debt for him; and on the strength of this the debtor offers the creditor his note, which is a legal covenant, promising to pay the debt when the "due time" arrives. His offer is accepted and the estrangement is removed and they are at one with each other under this provisional arrangement. When the "due time" comes the note is honored and the debt thereby discharged, and the atonement continues between the two.

Now this in measure illustrates the provisional sacrificial arrangement which God provided for fallen man between the time of his becoming a sinner and the "due time" when "Christ would die for the ungodly." Man was estranged from God, having no right to approach Him, being under His just condemnation. On the strength of a promise that Christ would meet all the requirements of divine justice, man is permitted by sacrificial offerings to draw in advance, as it were, and the efficacy of the blood of the atonement the covenant sacrifice reaches back through the typical offerings and effects reconciliation and atonement between God and men. Hence those who "died in faith" died in a state of reconciliation, their realization of the promised blessings, however, depending upon the fulfillment of the promise at the "due time" that Christ would meet all the requirements of the case. Had it been possible for Him to fail and, like the first Adam, prove unfaithful, all provisional arrangements would have gone for nothing, those who "died in faith" would have remained dead. "If Christ be not raised your faith is vain * * * then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (I Cor. 15:17, 18).

A GREAT TASK AND A VICTORY

Looking back over the ages of the past and realizing what depended upon Him what a great responsibility He must have felt resting upon Him, as he grew to manhood and faced the mighty mission entrusted in His hands. Even at the youthful age of twelve he exclaims, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business"; but when the last and terrible ordeal confronted Him He seemed almost about to fall and fail, crying out, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Why could it not pass? Because thousands of ancient worthies had by faith reached down to Him and put all their trust in His faithfulness unto the death of the cross. They had gone into the cold embrace of death and the dark chambers of the grave with the only hope that He would go there with a power, the power of perfect obedience, to break the jaws of death and the barriers of the grave and thus become Captain of salvation to set the captives free. Realizing that all this depended upon His faithfulness and courage in this dreadful hour, He braved the pain of an ignominious death and exclaimed, "Not my will, but thine be done," and

"He drank the dreadful cup of pain,
Then rose to life and joy again,"

and sent ringing back through the centuries of the past and down through the ages to follow the triumphant words, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." The covenants of promise are now confirmed and their realization in due time made certain.

Since the fall of our first parents all mankind has been in what the Scriptures term a state of alienation from God afar off; and the apostle, in speaking of those who have been inducted into Christ, says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Cor. 5: 17). This implies that before they became "new creatures" in Christ they may be said to have been by nature old creatures in the old man Adam, hopeless and helpless. Hence the Saviour tells Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." This new birth takes man out of the old creature state and puts him in a new creature state, brings him from "afar off" and makes him "nigh." In order that this might be accomplished, God provides a means and in this we have sacrifices, but as we have seen, all center in the one offering, Christ. "When they," as Jeremiah says, "cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts" the death of the victim represented the penalty of sin, a penalty which hangs over the whole human race, for "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5: 12). When they passed between the parts, they were considered as having passed into the death, as it were, of the victim. Having died to sin, and put off the alienation, they were now in a state of reconciliation, a reconciliation admitted by a covenant relationship between them and God. They had passed into the covenant sacrifice which had made for them an atonement, and so at-one-ment took place. Now all this finds its fulfillment in Christ. Christ's death has met Divine justice and blended it with Divine mercy, so that in Christ God can be just and yet justify sinners. By nature, however, we are not in Christ. A natural birth gives us nothing but alienation. "Marvel not," says the Saviour, "that I say ye must be born again." Speaking of which the apostle says, using another figure of speech, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death" (Rom. 6: 3). As much as to say, Christ the victim or covenant sacrifice has been slain, and as in ancient covenants they passed between the parts, and, as it were, into the death of the victim, so in baptism we are baptized into, or pass into the death of the slain victim, Christ, the covenant sacrifice, and are therefore new creatures in Christ Jesus in the bond of the covenant, and are now the children of the covenant, brought into such relationship to the covenants of promise as to be constituted "heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ." The confirmation of the covenants, which took place by the death of Christ, and made their fulfillment a certainty, is now applied to us. We have made a covenant with God, and that covenant is confirmed by the death of Christ; into whose death we are baptized. We have entered therefore into "the only name given among men whereby we must be saved," and we are now no more strangers and foreigners to the covenants of promise, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, waiting the time of the realization of these covenants, which will take place when all the ancient worthies, with us, shall be made perfect together to rejoice in the blessings which shall fill the earth as declared in the promise, "in thee and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed."

If this scriptural view of covenant relation with God is understood it will correct the mistake which many religious people make. It is generally supposed that we are children of God by natural birth, and that repentance and return to God through Christ are necessitated by our personal sins committed when we become old enough to refuse the evil and choose the good. But we must remember that we are all born in a lost state, according to this Scriptures, having been sold, as it were, to sin and death by our first parents who entailed upon the whole Adamic family the results of sin. They left us with a lost paradise, victims to the dread monster death, hopeless and helpless. Hence the Apostle Paul says, "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," or as the margin gives it, "in whom all have sinned" (Rom. 5: 12). Then the apostle continues in verse 18, omitting the parenthetic clause of verses 14-17, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation." Here we have the cause and effect of the world's evils, which are ultimately to be removed by the second Adam. From this lost, condemned state into which we came by natural birth, we must sever our relation by being "born again." It is by the new birth that we become the children of God, not by natural birth. We are not born into covenant relationship with God by natural birth, but when we are "born again," then we enter into that covenant relation which makes us one with God, the children of the covenant; because we are then in Him who is the covenant sacrifice and are reconciled to God in Christ where alone reconciliation can take place from that alienation imposed by Adam upon all the race. Thus "God was in Christ (not in Adam) reconciling the world unto himself;" and baptism, or birth of water, puts us in Christ and thereby in at-one-ment, "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." We are now on probation, and upon our walk in this favored, exalted and responsible relation to God and to Christ depends our eternal destiny. Realize this, dear reader, enter the bond of the everlasting covenant, honor it to the end of your probationary career and the coronal wreath will adorn your brow throughout the untold ages of indescribable glory and happiness. God grant that our Judge may say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."

 

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Chapter 7

The World's Redemption


The Restoration of Israel in Relation to the
World's Redemption

Abraham is the father of the Hebrew nation. As we have seen in the covenants of promise, God promised Abraham that He would make of him a great nation. Upon the principle laid down by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15. --First the natural, afterward the spiritual--the great nation which was to come from Abraham was to be his descendants according to the flesh, the natural, out of whom and through whom, as the medium of Divine revelation, would be evolved the spiritual, the holy nation and royal priesthood. The nation of Israel was favored of God above all nations of the earth in the past, to say nothing of what awaits it in the ages to come. The esteem in which Israel was held by God is shown by the following testimonies:

Deut. 7: 6--For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Deut. 14:2--For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

Deut. 26:17, 18--Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments.

Deut. 32:9--For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Psa. 105:6--O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.

Psa. 135:4--For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

Psa. 41:8--But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

WHY THEY WERE FAVORED

The reason given for Israel being a favored nation with God will be found in the following testimonies:

Deut. 7: 7, 8--The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deut. 10: 15--Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.

Deut. 26: 19--And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.

After Israel's deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, they were by God's direction and under His laws organized and became the most remarkable nation that has ever existed upon the face of the earth. It is generally admitted that their laws were the most perfect, and that so long as they were obedient they were the healthiest and happiest nation that could possibly exist in the evil days of mortality. They were taken into the land of Canaan, which is called "the land of milk and honey," where they were blessed in their basket and in their store. So highly favored were they that they became the repository of Divine revelation, and to them we are indebted in the hands of God for the entire Bible. "What advantage then hath the Jew?" asks the Apostle Paul. "Much every way," he answers, "because unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3: 2). And the Saviour speaking of them says, "Salvation is of the Jews" (Jno. 4: 22). The wonderful miracles which were performed in Israel made them a dread and fear among all other nations, and on that account Israel's God was recognized as a great God even by the nations, who were worshippers of idols.

But their history is a checkered one. They did not continue long blessed in their basket and in their store with things temporal and spiritual, for they departed from the laws and the statutes, obedience to which had vouchsafed them health, longevity, and happiness in this life, and the use of the present life as a stepping-stone to that which is to come. Stiffnecked and stubborn, they continually rebelled against God and His laws and terrible were the results from time to time as we come along down through their troubled history. In the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam the ten tribes revolted against the lawful king and were carried away under rebellious Jeroboam, who it is said "made Israel to sin." Subsequently they were taken captive by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and after awhile were lost sight of, and they remain to this day "the lost ten tribes of Israel." The other two tribes who remained under Rehoboam also became rebellious and disobedient and were taken captive to Babylon, where for seventy years they were subjected to the tyranny of that proud and despotic empire. Restored from that captivity, they endured under great hardships a temporary occupation of their land, the land of their fathers; but a future and wider scattering had been foretold. Moses had declared it in language which leaves no doubt as to its application to a scattering subsequent to the Babylonish captivity. He says:

Deut. 28: 25--The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them; and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

Verses 36, 37--The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.

Verses 49-53--The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth--a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: and he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed, which also shall not leave thee either corn, or wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedest, throughout all thy land; and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thy enemies shall distress thee.

Verses 62-65--And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto thee other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.

FINAL SCATTERING BY THE ROMANS FORTOLD BY MOSES

That this scattering did not refer to their captivity in Babylon is clear from verses 49 and 50, "as swift as the eagle flieth" the nation should come, and "of fierce countenance" should be the nation that should "besiege them in their gates" and cause them to devour their own offspring. This is evidently the Roman nation, and it is generally understood that this terrible prophecy found its dreadful fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem seventy years after the birth of Christ and in what has since then been their history. That the prophecy referred to the fate of Israel subsequent to the Saviour's time will be seen by the following:

Luke 19: 41-44--And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and keep thee on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luke 21: 19, 20--In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Verse 24--And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled.

Now in this we have a key that will serve us well in unlocking the real meaning of the Scriptures in their application to Israel in the future as well as in the past. The prophecies quoted are not to be taken in a spiritual sense, that is, spiritual in the sense which is claimed for certain prophecies of the Scriptures by popular teachings. Israel's sad experience in fulfillment of these prophecies has been really and bitterly literal. They were literally in the land of promise. They were literally taken into captivity in Babylon, and were literally delivered. They were literally scattered by the Romans, driven into captivity among all nations of the earth. The prophecies apply to a real nation, having a real existence, and their existence in the scattered state foretold is a reality to-day. There is no need for seeking a "spiritual" meaning. There is no room for any misunderstanding.

SUBSEQUENT RESTORATION ALSO FORETOLD

Now if we find that there are testimonies which speak of the future restoration of the twelve tribes, should we not also look for these testimonies to have a fulfillment, just as literal as those have had which speak of their history and present scattered and trodden down condition? Fifteen hundred years before Jerusalem was taken by the Romans, Moses had declared minutely how it would be done and what would be the result, that Israel would be scattered among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other (Deut. 28: 4). Notwithstanding this Moses also declared their future acceptance by God. "Rejoice," he says, "O ye nations with his people; for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people" (Deut. 32: 43). And he also declares, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deut. 18: 15). "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee," says God to Moses, "and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him" (Verses 18, 19).

The prophet here is Christ. He was "raised up" to Israel, and appeared among them declaring himself to be king of the Jews, but they rejected Him. "He came to his own and his own received him not." It was in crucifying their Messiah that Israel "filled up the measure of their fathers" and finished the national iniquity which was to be the cause of the captivity and scattering foretold by Moses. While these truths are generally admitted, we deem it necessary to emphasize them here by way of fixing the time of this final captivity in relation to the subsequent and final gathering. A gathering that would restore Israel from this scattering at the hands of the Romans must necessarily be yet future. Does Moses, who so clearly foretold the scattering, also foretell a gathering which reached beyond the scattering? If so, the future restoration is established beyond a doubt, and not only so, but since the prophecy has been proven true--literally true-- by history in relation to the scattering, if he foretells a subsequent gathering it must have a literal fulfillment. After foretelling the scattering of Israel, Moses declares,

Deut. 30: 1-6--And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind, among all nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice, according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Verse 8, 9--And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments, which I command thee this day. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord again will rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers.

Some try to evade this by saying that the restoration is hypothetical--"If thou wilt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (verse 10). But Moses also says, "The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart" (verse 6). It is therefore a certainty; and so he declares, and thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord" (verse 8).

Here then is a restoration which must find its fulfillment after the final scattering at the hands of the Romans, and that this will be a real and literal gathering will be shown fully presently. Meanwhile we submit the following testimonies:

II Sam. 7: 10, 24--Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime. For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God.

I Chron. 17: 9, 10--Also I will obtain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, and since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I will tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

Isa. 30:20, 21--And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Chap. 60:15--Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

Verse 21--Thy people shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

Chap. 66: 22--For as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.

Ezek. 20:33-44--As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.

BEYOND COMPARISON WITH OTHER NATIONS

There is no nation in the history of mankind that has had such a bearing on the world at large as the Jewish nation. There is no nation that can trace its history and pedigree back to the remotest antiquity as the Jewish nation can. In this and in many other ways it has been a wonderful people, so much so that their history and present status in the world are unaccountable when compared with other nations. During the long history of this people they have enjoyed peace and prosperity comparatively for only a very short time. About three-fourths of their history has been one of trouble, exile and persecution. The great Gentile nations, Babylon, Greece and Rome in the zenith of their power and glory were famous so long as they maintained their power and prestige in the world, but as soon as the tide turned, down they went. Their downfall to them meant their obliteration, as nations, from the earth. Where is Assyria? Where is proud Babylon? Where is the much boasted greatness of classic Greece? What has become of the mighty empire of Rome? What has defeat done for these nations? They are gone. Their identity has been lost and their subjects and citizens have been absorbed among the multitudes of the past and present divided world. Not so, however, with Israel. It might be said that Israel's fame and greatness are not so much in their past prosperity and power as it is in their persecution, exile and trouble in all parts of the world. Where other nations have sunk out of sight, by the hardships of human history, Israel has thriven upon persecution and trouble of all kinds imposed upon them in the worst ways imaginable. Every nation has raised its hand to smite Israel, and endeavored to crush it into the earth; but in spite of all this the people are here to-day. They are in every land and in every clime. They are in every city, in every street, marked out distinctly from every other people, hated and despised and yet they are the victors in every conflict in which they engage, except in the conflict for national existence and power as a kingdom. By analogy of human history this is impossible to account for. It is unique in the history of human affairs. Upon the principle of the laws of nations it is without comparison. And here we might say that there is nothing in the world that is a more powerful proof of the divinity of the Bible than Israel's history and present existence. The Bible is a book of miracles. Israel is a nation of miracles. Its history is a standing miracle before an astonished world. Its survival of all the persecutions and oppressions which have been heaped upon it is a greater miracle still. No great statesman or philosopher will ever attempt to account for Israel's history and present existence by ordinary natural laws anymore than it is possible to account for the Bible by such laws. Divinity is written upon every page of Israel's Book; and it is also written upon every page of Israel's history, whether we consider it in the Bible or out of the Bible. Indeed they cannot be separated. What has been the history of the Bible has been the history of the nation, and we might add that, to some extent, it has been the history of Israel's King, the man of the Bible, the essence of the Bible, the subject of it from Alpha to Omega, the beginning and end--Christ. The nation has suffered at the hands of every nation, and every attempt possible has been put forth to destroy it, yet it has been providentially preserved. The Bible, the nation's book, has suffered in the same way, and yet here it is to-day, a burning and shining light in a dark and benighted world. The nation's king, the book's subject and the nation's future Deliverer suffered at the hands of Israel, and the only great nation that existed at the time He was here, and in this sense all the world, as it were, was in array against Him, and endeavored to destroy Him and rid the world of His presence. When from a natural standpoint, it seemed that they had succeeded was when Divine success was most certain. While these things have been characteristic of the history of the nation, the Book and the Man, the wide world against the three, the miraculous character of their history assures us of the certainty of miraculous events in relation to their future. Israel is yet to arise and prosper as a nation, and their book is yet to be vindicated to the ends of the earth, to an extent that not even its professed friends have ever dreamed of. The man who suffered at the hands of the Gentile and Jewish powers has for a time disappeared from the earth behind a frowning Providence, but He is yet to succeed to an extent that the world little dreams of at present. The purpose of God, therefore, in relation to the world's redemption is centered in Israel, in Israel's book and in Israel's king. Just as sure as Israel exists, so sure is there a wonderful future for the nation; just as sure as the book has survived the hostility of a dark and cruel history, so sure will it be vindicated before the eyes of a subdued and astonished world; just as sure as the nation's king has suffered at the hands of cruel and hateful rulers so sure will He yet "fill the earth with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." These things cannot be separated. They are the Divine fiat, and no human opposition can defeat the purpose of Him, who holds the world in His hands. Keep the God of the universe out of sight, and Israel's history cannot be accounted for. Recognize Him not, and the Bible's existence and survival become a greater mystery and a greater miracle than it is now. Ignore the Great Creator's existence and interposition in human affairs, and He who was crucified to save a lost world was, in His history, in His character, in His death, to say nothing of His resurrection to life again, an unaccountable mystery. Keep God in view, the God of heaven and earth, as the God of Israel, the God of the Bible, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then all is clear as the noonday sun. Israel's birth as a nation, its preservation, and the wonderful good effects of obedience to its laws, then can be accounted for. The preservation of the nation throughout an experience that no other nation has ever been able to endure and survive, can then be understood. The miraculous works that Christ, the king of the nation, did are then clear and intelligible.

But what is the history of Christ compared with His future? What is the history of the Bible compared with its future? What is the history of the nation compared with what awaits it? The Gentile world persuaded itself that Israel had for ever forfeited all rights to Divine favor and that it was to be destroyed never to exist again as a nation. Through the dark ages that have intervened between the crucifixion of Israel's King on Cavalry, the destruction of their city, Jerusalem, and the present time the idea of Israel's future existence has been laughed to scorn by professed believers in the Bible. But even apart from prophecy, for the religious world pays little regard to prophecy, as it bears literally upon the nation of Israel; I say apart from such prophecy, force of circumstances has compelled many people to admit that a great mistake has been made in relation to Israel; that there is something unaccountable about this people from the fact that now as we near the end of Gentile times they are becoming more and more remarkable and powerful in the world, and raising problems that puzzle the wisest statesmen and the most profound philosophers. Here is what Prof. Gratz says in relation to this wonderful survival of the fittest: "Can a nation be born in a day? or can a nation be born again? * * * Yet in one nation a new birth appears--a resurrection out of a state of death and apparent corruption--and that in a race which is long past the vigor of youth, whose history numbers thousands of years. Such a miracle deserves the closest attention of every man who does not overlook all wonderful phenomena. Mendelssohn had said at the beginning of this period, 'My nation is kept at such a distance from all culture, that one might well doubt the possibility of any improvement.' And yet she arose with such marvelous quickness out of her abasement, as if she had heard a prophet calling unto her, Arise! arise! Shake off the dust! Loose the bonds of thy chains, O captive daughter of Zion!"

PREDICTION AND FULFILLMENT

It is well known that the Jews hold the purse-strings of the world to-day, and they can by their financial and executive powers sway the mightiest empires upon the face of the earth; they can dictate terms to the strongest monarchs that tyrannize over the masses. Prof. Christliebs bears testimony thus, In Modern Doubt and Christian Belief: "We would point (them) to the people of Israel as a perennial, living historical miracle. The continued existence of this nation up to the present day, the preservation of its national peculiarities throughout thousands of years, in spite of all dispersion and oppression, remains so unparalleled a phenomenon, that without the special providential preparation of God, and His constant interference and protection, it would be impossible for us to explain it. For where else is there a people over which such judgments have passed, and yet not ended in destruction?"

This miracle must be admitted by the force of facts, for all this is true in spite of every kind of opposition. The wealth of the Jews has been proverbial in the phrase, "rich as a Jew," but the most remarkable thing is the great power and influence they wield over nations by means of their wealth. The money of the Rothschilds is used to help the great nations of Europe, and thus to command power behind the press and the throne. The British and Foreign Evangelical Review, October, 1881, says, "During the ten years, 1853-64, the Rothschilds furnished in loans, $200,000,000 to England, $50,000,000 to Austria, $10, 000,000 to Prussia, $130,000,000 to France, $50,000,000 to Russia, $12,000,000 to Brazil, in all, $482,000,000, besides many millions to smaller States."

How is it to be accounted for that a people without a king or prince, all that pertains to their national and ecclesiastical life gone and yet they maintain a marked identity throughout the world? Universally the history of the nations has shown that when their kings have been dethroned and their lands become the spoils of enemies they have disappeared from the face of the earth. Why is it that the same fate has not befallen Israel?--left without a king, without a prince, without a capital, even its ritualistic laws abolished, scattered everywhere without a home, why did they not cease to exist? the only answer is the Scriptural answer, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim" (Hosea 3: 4). Here is the reason why they should abide; where other nations under such circumstances have not been able to abide. How could it be otherwise when God has said,

Jer. 31: 36-37--If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.

Jer. 33: 17-26--For thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites, the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured; so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? Thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night and if I have not appointed the ordinance of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

Now we may ask, What is this jealous preservation of Israel for? Does it not suggest that God has a purpose in the future of this people, a future greater and grander than the past? There must be some reason, and a Divine reason. The prophet Isaiah in speaking of Israel says, "Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning, hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled. * * * In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts the mount Zion" (Isa. 18: 2, 7). In Lesser's translation of these verses we have "a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning and forward." There is therefore a future, and this future is the reason, the only reason, for the past and the present.

Who can mistake, or who can deny the future of Israel as foretold in the following testimonies:

Isa. 11:11,12--And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isa. 43:5-7--Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.

Jer. 3:18--In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jer. 12:15--And it shalt come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.

Jer. 16:14,15--Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

Jer. 29: 14--And I will be found of you, saith the Lord, and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Jer.30: 3--For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people, Israel and Judah, saith the Lord; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

Verse 10--Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

Jer. 32: 37--Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.

Jer. 33: 7--And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

Jer. 46: 27, 28--But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the Lord: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

Ezek. 11:15-19--Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession. Therefore say, saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, saith the Lord God, I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries, where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Ezek. 37: 21--And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.

Zech. 8:7,8--Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.

Zech. 10: 6--And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.

Verse 10--I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.

TWO POPULAR MISTAKES

Is it not astonishing that there should be an attempt made by professed friends of the Bible to evade the force of such plain testimonies as these? There are two ways by which it is sought to get rid of these testimonies. One is to claim that they all found their fulfillment in the restoration from Babylon; the second is that they are to be understood in a spiritual sense and applied to the Church. The first one is an inexcusable presumption; the second is really ludicrous and exhibits a folly that were it not for the solemnity of the question, would provoke a smile. In the restoration from Babylonish captivity only two tribes were concerned and the ten tribes have remained in exile ever since they were taken by the king of Assyria. They became then and still are the "lost ten tribes." Even supposing that we should grant the foolish claim of Anglo-Israelites that the Anglo-Saxons are the lost ten tribes, still the prophecies would remain unfulfilled, for the Anglo-Saxons have never enjoyed the blessings of these prophecies. The restoration from Babylon being temporary and confined to two tribes, and the ten tribes never having been restored to the land of their fathers as these predictions declare they will be, it follows, as a matter of course, that there must be a future restoration of the twelve tribes. It will have been noticed that frequently in these passages given, Judah and Israel are referred to; for instance, Isa. 11: 12--"And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth"; Jer. 3: 18--"In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north," etc.; Jer. 30: 3--"For, lo, the days will come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people, Israel and Judah, saith the Lord;" 33: 7--"And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return;" 46: 27--"But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for behold, I will save thee from afar." Here we have the whole house of Israel provided for. How in the face of these declarations can any man dare say that such prophecies found fulfillment in the restoration from Babylon? God has pledged Himself that this restoration shall take place. It has not taken place in the past. What shall we do? Shall we hand the Bible over to the infidel and admit that God has promised what He has not and never will perform? This is what must be done if we submit to popular theories. But what is the duty of every fearless honest-minded person in the case? Is it not to vindicate God and His word above all things and let "God be true, though all men be liars." There is no alternative. The man who has the courage of his convictions will cry aloud and spare not against apostate Christendom in vindication of the veracity of God and the truthfulness of the Bible.

The famous prophecy of Ezek. 37 is so clear upon this subject that it would seem impossible for any one to mistake it. There is a vision of a valley of dry bones and the question is asked, "Can these bones live?" Then there is a "shaking among the bones, bone coming to his bone"; there is flesh upon the bones and then they are covered with skin; and breath is breathed into them and they live and stand upon their feet and know that God is the Lord. What is this a vision of? What does it represent? The answer is given. "Then he said unto me, son of man, These bones are the whole house of Israel" (verse 11). Not part of the house, as in the case of the restoration from Babylon, which restoration, as we have seen, was only a temporary affair; but it is the whole house of Israel, the twelve tribes, the house of Jacob, the descendants of his twelve sons. The prophet is then commanded to take two sticks in his hands, the two sticks representing ancient books or parchments rolled on sticks. Then it is said, "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand" (verses 16, 17). Label one stick, Israel, the ten tribes, and label the other, Judah, the two tribes, in recognition of the fact that the house of Israel is divided, one faction of which is called Israel, and the other Judah. Here is a fact of history that the world knows of, and now when these two sticks become one in thine hand, let this be known to the coming world, that these divided factions shall be united and become one.

If there were nothing more said, this would be sufficient to show that divided Israel is yet to be united, that Israel and Judah are to become one, but we are not left to conjecture. It was anticipated that it would be asked, "Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?" And the answer is given, yes, it is given, preceded by a "Thus saith the Lord God." Here it is, who can mistake it?--"Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and will bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all" (verses 19-22). Surely this settles the matter, and no comment can make it clearer.

Now a few words on the claim that all the prophecies in relation to Israel's restoration in the Old Testament were written previous to the Babylonish captivity, and for that reason had their fulfillment in that deliverance. The wording of the prophesies prevents any such conclusion, and were we to admit of their application to the restoration from Babylon, we would still be met with the undeniable fact that Scripture words frequently have a double application, the lesser being involved in the greater, and therefore the fulfillment of the lesser does not disannul the fulfillment of the greater. As we have seen in the covenants of promise, the possession of the land under Moses did not disannul the Abrahamic promise, which reached down to a future everlasting inheritance under Christ. While it was involved in the same promise, it was only a parenthesis, as it were, thrown in for the time being, explanatory and to emphasize the great book of the covenant which is yet to be realized in its fullness. As history repeats itself, and prophecy is history in advance, prophecy also must necessarily repeat itself. Many instances of this kind will readily be recalled by those familiar with the Scriptures. But all the prophecies were not written previous to the Babylonish captivity. According to good authority, the prophecy of Zechariah was written afterwards, and this prophecy declares a restoration future from his time in words that far over-reach anything history records, He says:

Zech. 1: 16, 17--Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

Zech. 2:10-13--Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

Zech. 8: 2-4--Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called, A city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, The holy mountain. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.

Verses 7, 8--Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; and I will bring them and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

Verses 13-15--And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; as I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not; so again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.

Verse 23--Thus saith the Lord of hosts; in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even 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. 9: 10, 11--And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood, of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Read also chapters 12: 10-14; 13: 7-8.

TWO GREAT DELIVERANCES

Since in the restoration from the Babylonish captivity, only a small part of the house of Israel was concerned, that event is very seldom considered in speaking of Israel's deliverance. The future restoration, involving the twelve tribes is compared with their deliverance from Egypt which also included the twelve. These two deliverances being spoken of, the one compared with the other, it follows that since only one of them has taken place, the other remains to be fulfilled. One is spoken of as the "second time," the first of course, being implied. The first we know to be a fact, the second we know has not become a fact. And yet the prophet Isaiah says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim" (Isa. 11: 11-13).

NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECIES

Some so-called scholars will compass land and sea to try to prove that all the prophecies were written before the Babylonish captivity in order to make out their case. We might for the sake of argument even grant that they were, and ignore the fact that they provide for the restoration of the whole house of Israel. Indeed we might close the Old Testament and take the New and there would be sufficient evidence to show that there is a future restoration for the twelve tribes of Israel. Take for instance angelic testimony in promising to Mary the birth of Christ, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1: 32, 33). What is the house of Jacob composed of? Is it not of the twelve tribes of Israel? How can Christ reign over the house of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel, unless He gather them and restore them to the land of their fathers? This was the very thing that Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we would be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life" (verses 67-75). To raise up an "horn of salvation" means the raising up of a King to bring national salvation. When Peter asked the question, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? The answer is, "Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19: 27-28). How can they judge (rule) the twelve tribes of Israel unless the twelve tribes of Israel are restored? The past fulfillment theories impeach Moses as a prophet. It is necessary to say to them as the Saviour said to the Scribes and Pharisees, "If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me." They persist in making the word of God spoken through Moses of none effect by their tradition. What did he as a prophet say? "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deut. 18: 15). The prophet to be raised up is Christ. When John appeared, they asked him, "Art thou that Prophet?" And John's answer was, that he was not that prophet, but he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. "That prophet" that Moses said would be raised up to Israel was raised up. Moses prophesied the truth, and He was like him in that He was refused by Israel; they asked Him as they did Moses of old, "Who made thee a ruler over us?" "He came to his own and his own received him not." Before Moses delivered Israel he had to forsake them for a time, and leave them till the bondage and tyranny of Egypt became so heavy that they would cry out for deliverance, and be willing to go under the direction of their leader and deliverer into the promised land.

AN APPARENT CONTRADICTION

"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet * * * like unto me," He came to Israel, and they would not have Him. "Away with him! crucify him!" they cried out, and the Father snatched Him from them and said to Him, "Sit thou at my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." So far, Moses has truly spoken, his words have come to pass; but he does not stop here. He put himself upon record about thirty-three hundred years ago, that not only would this prophet be raised up to Israel but that they should hear him in all things. It was not that God would only raise up a prophet to a spiritual Israel, but to the very Israel whom Moses addressed. He was to be raised up from among them, "unto them," and that nation unto whom He was to be raised up, were to hear Him in all things. Ah! says the infidel, there you are again with your contradictory Bible. One of the most famous of your prophets said that the prophet that would be raised up to Israel would be heard of them in all things. According to your Scriptures they refused to hear Him, and they crucified Him; and according to popular theology that nation is never to hear Him in all things, and you are face to face with an unfulfilled prophecy, and the God of the Bible stands impeached. Scoffingly he cries out, Away with your contradictory, fabulous, foolish Bible. What shall we say to the scoffing skeptic and profane infidel? What shall we say? If we hold to popular theology, it will forbid us saying that Christ will come again and restore Israel, and that then they will hear Him. Popular teachers will frown upon us and tell us that this is not strictly according to "orthodoxy." They are more tenacious of so-called orthodoxy than they are concerned about the harmony of the Bible and the veracity of God. Under the influence of such teachers we cannot answer the infidel. He will tie us hand and foot; he will look us straight and sternly in the face and say, You cannot deny that Moses said Israel should hear that prophet in all things. You cannot deny that it is said in the same book that they did not hear him; you cannot deny that they have not yet heard Him. What are you going to do about it? The answer is easy, and the weapon of truth, the sword of the Spirit, is powerful if we are permitted to use it unhampered and free from the bondage of a corrupt theology. To the representatives of that nation who did crucify the Messiah, the inspired apostle says, "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 since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that prophet will be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3: 19-23). Here we have the key to the solution of the problem. The nation had filled up the measure of their fathers; the cup of their iniquity in crucifying their Messiah was full. But their national repentance is yet to take place, and their sins are to be blotted out; times of refreshing are to come. "He shall send Jesus Christ, 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 since the world began," when He shall "appear the second time without sin unto salvation." But in their impatience they sought a king who would bring immediate deliverance without complying with the means leading up to that great end. This was their national mistake resulting in their national crime. They refused the Prince of life, and desired a murderer to be granted unto them. All this had been prophesied in the Divine plan of the ages, and everything will come out right and in harmony with the wonderful plan. For the present, there is a pierced Messiah, and a scattered captive nation, with its cities in ruins and its land in desolation, but when the "times of refreshing shall come" and God "shall send Jesus Christ," that which Moses truly spake shall come to pass, and they shall hear Him in all things. Gathered from every land, where for long and dreary ages they have been held captive, "with a mighty hand, and a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out," they shall yet be delivered.

BROUGHT INTO THE BOND OF THE COVENANT

"I will," says Jehovah, "bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezek. 20: 34-38). This will bring them to their senses, as the prodigal son "came to himself." This prodigal son, who once was "called out of Egypt," will again come home crying, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee." Then will be "poured upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born" (Zech. 12: 10). "And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in thy hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Israel will then realize that the prophet like unto Moses has come. They will hear Him in all things, and He will prove to be their great deliverer, the one king that shall be king over all; and they shall never be divided into two nations any more at all.

THE TWO ISRAELS

The Apostle Paul deals with the question of spiritual and literal Israel, and it is by confounding the one with the other that popular teachers confine Israel's restoration to the Spiritual seed, ignoring the national and literal restoration of the twelve tribes. An easy way to settle the question of the literality of the Israelitish restoration is to ask, Of what nation did Moses and the prophets speak when they said it should be scattered? This was not spiritual Israel, but literal, national Israel. This was the nation that was to be scattered; and to this very same nation, and of this very same nation, the gathering is foretold. "Like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them to build and to plant saith the Lord" (Jer. 31: 28, 29). But let us examine closely the argument of the Apostle Paul, first in Romans 9: 1-3--"I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have a great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." These are not spiritual Israel. There was no reason why he should wish to be accursed from Christ (or, perhaps he meant accursed as Christ was accursed) for spiritual Israel; they needed not such concern, but their kinsmen, according to the flesh, did. These are the Israelites "to whom pertain the national adoption, to whom and through whom the covenants were spoken, the law and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came." But what the apostle is here showing is that the promise of everlasting inheritance of the kingdom, or what we might call the royalty or rulership of the kingdom is not to be theirs because they were Jews according to the flesh. Hence their restoration would be a national restoration, when they again will be multiplied in the land. But the "Israel of God" or Israel according to the Spirit, are the seed to whom the promise of the inheritance of the kingdom or rulership was made. Isaac being the representative of faith, it is said, "in Isaac shall thy seed be called." In Rom. 11 he discriminates more clearly between the two Israels, verse 7--"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Here are two Israels---one that hath not obtained and that is blinded, and the other that hath obtained and that is not blinded. In other words, one that has accepted Christ as the hope of Israel, and the other that through blindness hath rejected Him. Now in speaking of the Israel that did not obtain it, they were blinded, which was the reason they crucified Christ, he says, "For I would not, brethren, that ye shall be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11: 25). This blindness had happened in part to literal, national Israel, and the part in which they were blind was that they did not see that Christ was to be a sacrifice first, ascend to the Father and return before He could become their great deliverer and king. The blindness in part, then, which happened to them is only "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." "And so shall all Israel be saved, as it is written, there shall come to Zion, a deliverer that shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Jacob here stands for the whole house of Israel. When the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, this Deliverer shall come, and remove the nation's sin, as we have seen in the prophecy of Zechariah, and bring Israel into the bond of the covenant. Their salvation as a nation will be their restoration and re-establishment in the land of their fathers, when He that was born in Bethlehem shall "rule His people Israel," and He who was crucified, because He said He was the king of the Jews, will be the King of the Jews in deed and in truth. They shall then be made "one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all" (Ezek. 37: 22).

THE PREJUDICE AGAINST JEWS WITHOUT REASON, SIFTED AND
FITTED FOR GOD'S PURPOSE

The objection which many offer to the restoration of the Jews to Palestine, and to their being thus favored of God, is that they are, as they are seen mingling among the Gentiles of the present times, dishonest and tricky in their commercial dealings. Why, they ask, should God favor such men as we see on our streets-- these hated Jews? The fact that they are hated is only another proof of the truth of prophecy in relation to them. But the objection raised against their being favored because of what some of them appear to be is without foundation. From a mere natural standpoint it would be difficult to say why they should ever have been favored. What appears objectionable in the characters of some with whom we come in contact in commercial life existed, perhaps, to a greater extent when they were in Egypt, and the same objection could be raised to the favor shown them in their deliverance from Egypt and in their subsequent history. The Scriptures show that they were a very stiff-necked, stubborn and faithless people, and the question might well have been asked, judging from what they were when their deliverance commenced, Why should these people be gathered and taken into a favored land; for by comparison there were others, possibly, that seemed more deserving of such favor. The objection is removed, however, when we remember that the stubborn and faithless ones, who gave Moses and Aaron so much trouble, did not enter into the land. Being depraved and fleshly in their minds, they were unfit for the purpose which God had in view in their national deliverance and planting in the land of Canaan. In all these things the glory of God is the end and object and no room is left for the glory of men. Commencing, then, with a people depraved, stubborn and faithless, fit only that their carcasses should fall in the wilderness, out of them God developed a people suitable for his purpose, leaving the purged-out ones strewn along the crooked and rugged pathway of the wilderness. After a thorough sifting, the survivors were fitted for the possession of the land of promise.

So it is to be in the future great deliverance, and in this the objection raised against the hateful Jew, as he is regarded, who is seen so cunning in the commercial world, will be removed. Clearly is this explained by the prophet Ezekiel, who says that it is with a mighty hand, and a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out that God will first deal with Israel in their deliverance. As Moses led them through the wilderness of Sinai, so will they be led into "the wilderness of the people, and there he will plead with them face to face" (Ezek. 20: 35). And he adds, "I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me." These, he says, "I will bring forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel" (verse 38). In the sifting process, these rebels, faithless, stubborn and stiff-necked, will be left, as it were, in the wilderness of the people, where their carcasses will fall under the fury of Jehovah then poured out. When the purging process has been sufficiently carried out, and the rod of correction and chastisement has been effectually used, the survivors will be fitted, because they will be humbled and instructed and brought to their senses; and these will all become the subjects of the restored kingdom of Israel under Christ, as their fathers did under Joshua, the typical national saviour. We may, therefore, say that God is no respecter of persons, as persons. It was not because He respected Abraham as a person above all others that He selected him, but it was because Abraham was possessed of certain characteristics that would be responsive to the Divine purpose, though he may first have to be tried and tested severely, and gradually elevated to that standard and status of faith which should be accounted to him for righteousness. So with Abraham's descendants, God will "sift them as wheat," blowing away the chaff, and will gradually elevate the survivors till fitted as the nucleus of the subjects of the coming kingdom, to be planted in the land of God's appointment, never to be moved, and where the children of wickedness shall no more afflict them. "I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my own name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen wither ye went" (Ezek. 36: 22). To honor God's holy name and to maintain the truth of His revealed purpose, Israel's restoration must take place, and when it does take place, God will be justified and sanctified in the eyes of all the world. No one will be able to ask, Why are these men favored? because those who will enter the land will be of a different character from their brethren whom we now see throughout the various parts of the world. They will have hearts of flesh instead of hearts of stone. They will be elevated in the scale of intellectuality and morality, and therefore in the highest sense be fitted for the great purpose that God has designed to work out in and through their great deliverance under their own Messiah.

 

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Chapter 8

The World's Redemption


The Messianic Restoration of the Kingdom
of Israel and Throne of David

Inasmuch as the twelve tribes of Israel are to be restored to the land of Canaan, and to regain their nationality, the question arises, Under what arrangement or constitution of things is this to be effected? We have seen that God is to establish His kingdom in all the earth, and the question now naturally arises, What is to be the dynasty of the Kingdom? Who is to be the King?--in short, what are the elements of this great and universal constitution of things which is to effect the world's redemption? We will here venture to state what we propose to prove in this chapter in the form of propositions:

1.--In the universality of God's kingdom, the whole earth and its inhabitants are embraced.

2.--The subjects of the kingdom, proper, or in a special sense, will be the twelve tribes of Israel, the subjects of the dominion in general being all other nations.

3.--The dynasty of the kingdom will be of Israel, more particularly stated, of the tribe of Judah, still more particularly of the Royal house of David.

4.--The king of the kingdom will be Christ returned to the earth to reign on David's throne, to rule the house of Jacob, specially, and the whole world generally.

5.--The Royal house or associates of the King will be (a) the twelve apostles raised from the dead and immortalized, who will rule the twelve tribes of Israel; and (b) the immortal saints redeemed from the human race from the time when Paradise was lost by Adam the first till Paradise will be regained by Adam the second, who will be kings and priests with Christ over all nations.

6.--The territory of the kingdom, proper, will consist the land of Canaan as promised to Abraham, while the territorial dominion will extend to the "uttermost parts of the earth."

7.--The capital of the kingdom will be the City of Jerusalem, rebuilt in unsurpassed beauty and splendor.

8.--The laws of the kingdom will be heavenly, righteous and of a character suited to the requirements necessary to finally effect absolutely the world's redemption, to the ultimate eternal well-being of man and the honor and glory of God.

The first proposition concerning the universality of the kingdom has been dealt with in a previous chapter under the heading of "The Kingdom of God to be Universal in the Earth." The reader will only have to recall some of the testimonies cited to see how unquestionable this is. The promise to Abraham was, "In thee and in thy seed shall all nations be blessed." Through Moses God declared, "As truly as I live the whole earth shall be filled with my glory." To Christ He says, "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." The prophet Zechariah declares, "The Lord in that day shall be king over all the earth." The prayer of our Lord to His disciples involved this in the words, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven" (Matt. 6: 10). This shows that the re-establishment of the kingdom would cause God's will to be done in the earth as it is done in heaven, which necessarily will require that it reach to the uttermost parts of the earth. While this kingdom in the universal sense is called the kingdom of God, there is a special sense in which the kingdom of Israel is called God's kingdom. In the history of Israel we have the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth, but it was not universal. It was confined to Israel and to Israel's land. Some of its blessings, no doubt, spread out, and the world at large, to some extent, has been benefited by them, but there never has been a time when that kingdom of God has spread out in all the earth, resulting in blessing all nations, as the covenants of promise require. That the kingdom of Israel in the past was called the kingdom of God will be seen from the words of David, who says, "Of all my sons, (for the Lord hath given me many sons), he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel" (I. Chron. 28:5). This kingdom of the Lord, or kingdom of Israel, on account of the apostasy and wickedness of the nation, ceased to be and the subjects are scattered over the earth to-day. But this kingdom of God, or kingdom of Israel, is to be restored. Its restoration was what the Jews were looking for when Christ appeared, over nineteen hundred years ago, and even the disciples of our Lord did not fully know the time when this hope and desire of Israel would be realized. It was their mistake in relation to the question of the time when this kingdom would be restored that caused the parable of the nobleman to be spoken to them. It is said, "And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear" (Luke 19: 11). They thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear and the kingdom of God which they looked for was the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. Jesus did not deny that this kingdom was to appear, but by the parable corrected the mistake they made in relation to the time when it would appear, showing that before it could be restored He must go as a nobleman to a "far country," or to heaven, to receive for Himself the kingdom and to return. And it is when He returns that He is to say to the worthy ones, "Come, ye blessed to my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25: 34). Even this parable did not remove the deep-seated hope and belief that Christ would restore again the kingdom of Israel at that time. After His crucifixion some of them said, "We trusted that it had been he that should have redeemed Israel" (Luke 24: 21), and their mistake is here again corrected by His words, "O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24: 25, 26). Then he expounded the matter more clearly to them. Still the nation's longing desire had taken such hold upon them that they seemed impatient to wait God's time to restore again the kingdom to Israel. Hence after Christ's resurrection, and just previous to His ascension, they asked, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1: 6, 7). At all times then the burning question with our Lord's disciples was the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. That they were not mistaken in this is clearly shown from the fact that, instead of reproving them for believing in it, He only corrects their belief so far as it affected the question of time. In His last answer to this last question put to Him He says, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power." As much as to say that God will restore the kingdom of Israel, as you hope. He hath put it in His own power and purpose to do so, but the time when He will do it is not for you to know.

The Apostle Paul, when he was called and sent out to preach the gospel, preached this very same hope of Israel, and for declaring that it could only be realized in and through Christ the Jews caused him to be bound with a chain. Appearing before Agrippa he said, "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews" (Acts 26: 6, 7). And later, as a prisoner in Rome, he says, "For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain" (Acts 28: 20). That this hope of Israel was the hope of the restoration of the kingdom of Israel in the hands of Christ is clear from the fact that it is said, "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodgings; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses and out of the prophets, from morning till evening" (Acts 28: 23). Then again, it is said, "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28: 30, 31). The hope of Israel and its realization through Christ was the subject matter of Paul's preaching and the offensive part of it to the Jews was that it was associated with and made dependent upon Christ. Had Paul preached the hope of Israel independently of Christ, it would have been no offence to them, but Christ was to be the "stone of stumbling and rock of offence," and therefore they could not endure the thought that the realization of their long-cherished hope was dependent upon the despised Nazarene, whom they had with wicked hands crucified.

This very hope of Israel, then, is called the kingdom of God, which will be clearly seen by putting the matter in the following syllogistic form:

The burden of Paul's preaching was the hope of Israel.

The burden of Paul's preaching was the kingdom of God.

Therefore the hope of Israel and the kingdom of God are one and the same thing.

When the hope of Israel is realized, it will be realized in and through the establishment of the kingdom of God in the hands of Christ.

THE SUBJECTS PROPER

Now our proposition says that the subjects of the kingdom proper, or in a special sense, will be the twelve tribes of Israel. To illustrate what we mean by the kingdom proper, we would refer to the kingdom of Great Britain. Here we have a kingdom, and what some would call an empire, or dominion. The kingdom proper is confined to the British Isles, while its empire or dominion extends far and wide, and upon it, it is said, the sun never sets. Hence Queen Victoria is called Queen of England and Empress of India. It is through the kingdom proper that advantage or disadvantage must accrue to the empire. If it can be said that India has been blessed by England--and indeed it has to a certain extent--then we have a parallel case. Supposing a prophet had said, before the conquest of India by England, In England shall all your tribes be blessed, that would mean that England, being possessed of power and dominion, involving blessings, would confer these on the wilds of India, by civilization, education and other blessings derived from that nation. It is in this sense that in speaking of the nation of Israel as Abraham's seed we apply the words in the promise to Abraham, "In thy seed, or through thy seed, shall all families of the earth be blessed." But, as we have seen before, these words have a higher meaning, and reach farther and center in Christ. Going to the fountain head of these blessings, we should say that they flow from God Himself, as the source and giver of all good. In His kingdom, however, we shall have, first, Christ; second, His apostles, who under Him are to rule the twelve tribes of Israel; and then through the nation of Israel the blessings of the kingdom will spread out to the uttermost parts of the earth. All nations of the earth will then be blessed in Abraham's seed, as the medium of Divine blessing.

That the kingdom of God when established upon the earth is spoken of in the sense of a kingdom and dominion, we learn from Dan. 7: 27--"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." Here we have a kingdom and dominion. What is the kingdom proper here? Let the prophet Micah answer the question, "And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem" (Micah 4: 8). This shows us its Israelitish character, and that the nation that should be most highly favored when the kingdom is established is that nation which has descended from Abraham and, as regards the subjects, are the "seed in whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed." Hence the prophet Isaiah in contemplating the glorious time of the establishment of this kingdom addresses his words to Israel, to her land and to her capital city:

Isa. 52: 1-10--Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Isa. 60: 1-5--Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise 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 thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

Isa. 60: 9-15--Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

The reason why this blessing is to come to Israel first, is shown by the words, "Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time" (verses 21, 22).

Following this we have a case of "rightly dividing the word of truth." You will remember that the Saviour in the synagogue read from the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah's prophecy, the first verse and part of the second, when He closed the book and said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." The next word that follows what He read is a conjunction, and what follows remains to be read, as it were, or exemplified in what is yet to come to pass in the restoration of Israel's kingdom. It is, "And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Seeming to anticipate modern methods of applying these Scriptures to spiritual Israel and Jerusalem to the church, he adds, "And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations, and strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen, and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt-offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people, all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed" (Isa. 61: 2-9).

CHRIST THE KING

That this kingdom will be Israel restored under Christ is clear from numerous testimonies, a few of which are as follows: "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 the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23: 5, 6). "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land" (Jer. 33: 14, 15).

In addition to this we would again refer the reader to the unmistakable prophecy of Ezek. 37, where it is said, "they shall become one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." And it is this favored nation that is referred to by our Savior, when He says, In the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

When Israel was brought into the bond of the Mosaic covenant, there were to be certain curses in case of their disobedience, and blessings to follow their obedience. When God makes a covenant, it can no more return to Him void than His word can, of which He says, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11). In making the Mosaic covenant, God promised Israel as follows: "The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto the fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give thee rain unto thy land in its season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them" (Deut. 28: 7-13). Israel's headship over the nations is here predicated upon their obedience. It is clear from the testimonies cited, that this predetermined head-ship shall be exemplified in Israel's future restoration. Were it not so, God's promise would fail, and His words, so far as the covenant is concerned, would have returned to Him void, and failed to have accomplished that which He pleased and prospered in the thing whereto He sent it. The fact of the generations of Israel in the past failing to live up to the requirements of the covenant can no more frustrate the purpose of God than the fall of Adam could prevent the carrying out of that eternal plan, which God had arranged from the beginning, centering in Christ. In that plan Christ was before Adam. He was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He was the Alpha of the purpose of God to bless the earth. Hence we may say, that Christ, as a sacrifice, had been provided in the plan before sin made the sacrifice necessary. This shows the wisdom and fore-knowledge of God in providing for every eventuality that might transpire in the history of the world. To us they seem like happenings or occurrences by chance, but to God, who knows the end from the beginning, they were certainties, and what to us seem emergencies were provided for in every particular.

So the failure of the generations of Israel, from Moses down to the present, to live up to the requirements of the covenant, cannot frustrate God's plan as expressed to Abraham in the covenants of promise to bless all nations of the earth through his seed. The broken covenant must be repaired. The nation has broken loose, as it were, and departed from the bond of the covenant, but the prophet Jeremiah says: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Hear ye the word of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: that I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, Lord" (Jer. 11: 1-5). The reader is asked to read to verse 17. Is this broken covenant to remain broken? Is Israel never to be brought into its bonds to render that faithful obedience which will entitle them to the promise made by Moses that they shall be the head of all nations? God's purpose cannot fail. Therefore he says, "For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished" (Jer. 30: 11). Then he cries out, "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock" (Jer. 31: 10). Speaking of the scattering and gathering, and breaking of the covenant, and being brought back into its bonds, he says, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord" (Jer. 31: 27, 28). "Thus saith the Lord, Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord" (Jer. 32: 42-44). Notwithstanding they have been many days without a king, and without a prince, he declares that a time is to come when "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man to offer burnt-offerings and to kindle meat-offerings, and to sacrifice continually." When this is fulfilled the prophecy we have before quoted from Ezek. 20: 33-38 will find its exemplification. Verse 37 of that prophecy reads, "I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant." Then God's Word will accomplish that for which it went forth, and prosper in the thing whereto it is sent.

AN OBJECTION ANSWERED

Some offer objections to the future fulfillment of these promises because a renewal of the sacrifices is predicted, as for instance in the verse just quoted (Jer. 33: 18) it says, "Neither shall the Levites want a man before me, to offer burnt-offerings, and to kindle meat-offerings, and to do sacrifice continually." The objection here raised is that Christ being made the one great offering, "once for all," no sacrifices can be offered in the age to come. But Israel's laws in the past required offerings to be made pointing to Christ, and those offerings were intended as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. While this was fulfilled to a limited extent, it fell short of absolute fulfillment, for Israel, as a nation, did not receive the instructions of the schoolmaster, and were, therefore, not led to Christ, and therefore did not recognize Him. When they are brought into the bond of the broken covenant they will be willing to do God's commandments, for He says, "My people shall be willing in the day of my wrath," and what they failed to do in the offerings under the law prospectively, under Christ in the age to come they will do retrospectively. What a grand sequel this is. The very nation which crucified Christ, notwithstanding that all their sacrifices pointed to Him, shall yet look unto Him whom they have pierced, and mourn for Him. Therefore those sacrifices which by their wickedness they had wrested out of their true meaning, shall yet be offered in the real and true sense in which they were intended to be offered, pointing to, centering and focalizing, as it were, in Christ. They will then, repenting of their sins, heartily acknowledge and memorialize Him who was the type and the substance of the shadow of the broken law.

For a more elaborate and clearer prophecy of this memorial system of offerings, in the rebuilt and beautiful temple which is to adorn the land of Israel, the reader is referred to the prophecy of Ezekiel, where a description of the temple and the Divine Service is given, which has never yet found its fulfillment in the history of the world. The description is there by inspiration. It is there to be fulfilled. And fulfilled it will be as surely as it has been written. Then Israel, as a nation, in relation to the civil and the ecclesiastical government of the world, will be, as Moses declared, the head and not the tail, the highest of all nations; the forces of the Gentiles shall be brought unto them, and the dark night which has obtained since Israel's sun went down will be dispelled by the morning of an unclouded dawn when the "sun of righteousness" will illuminate and bless the world, and "fill the earth with the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

THE DYNASTY OF THE KINGDOM

That the dynasty of the kingdom will be of the house of David is clearly shown throughout the Scriptures. In the covenant made with David, it is said, "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name: and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever" (II. Sam. 7:12-16). The king here promised us is to be a descendant of David according to the flesh, and it was to him David looked for the realization of his salvation; for He says, speaking of this promised seed, "He shall be a just one, ruling according to the righteous precepts of Jehovah, and he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain" (II. Sam. 23: 3, 4). Speaking of this same covenant, the Palmist says, "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne" (Psa. 132: 11). That David understood this to refer to Christ, we need have no doubt whatever, because the matter is settled positively by Inspiration. Why try to get rid of the Messianic application of such prophecies by saying that they found their fulfillment in the history of Solomon? But how can one satisfy himself with such a claim, when David says of the matter, "Thou hast spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come." And according to his dying words he saw in the promise "all his salvation." He must have looked beyond Solomon and seen the greater than Solomon, the Saviour, who would be His salvation and His desire, and upon whom he depended for resurrection from death and the grave. Right here, however, the popular theorist steps in and claims that David entered upon the realization of his salvation the moment he died. Now, we may ask him, And where did David then realize his salvation? Oh, the universal answer will be from popular pulpits, the moment he died, angels were ready to carry him to the realms of bliss in heaven above, and David has been there realizing his salvation ever since he died. Well, if he did go to heaven the moment he died, he was realizing his salvation before Christ worked it out for him; before Christ died to save him and all others who are lost in Adam. But did he go to heaven? Has he received his salvation, or is he one of those spoken of by Paul, who "died in the faith not having received the promise? God having provided some better thing for us that they without us should not be made perfect"? To settle this question is to settle the great and popular religious question of the age. For whatever is true of David, a man after God's own heart, is certainly true of all the ancient worthies, and if David did not go to heaven, but still lies in the dust awaiting his salvation and his desire, surely we have no right to expect to go there or to enter upon our salvation before David does. This is what Inspiration says in regard to David, "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption" (Acts 13: 36). Here we see, by comparing verses 33 and 34, that Christ is the one who has gone to heaven, and that David has not, and the reason given is that David "fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption." Christ did not see corruption, but was raised from the dead and went to heaven, but David having gone to corruption, had not gone to heaven and there is no promise that he will ever go there. What! asks the astonished inquirer, David not gone to heaven? We have always been taught, some will say, that every good man goes to heaven when he dies, and surely David was a good man and would go there. Well, listen to another testimony on the same subject: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and that his sepulchre is with us unto this day" * * * (Acts 2: 29-32). David is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre was with them until that day; Christ only had been raised and gone to heaven. Then it is added, "For David is not ascended into the heavens, but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool" (verses 34, 35). Now then we can see clearly how it was that David looked down the ages by faith and saw Christ as the one who would rule over men righteously, and in this foresaw his salvation and all his desire. Salvation would be realized when Christ would come and raise David from his long sleep in the dust of the earth, and become in very deed his Lord and Saviour. Moreover, that David understood the covenant which was made with him to refer to Christ there can be no question whatever, from the fact that in the verse just quoted it is said that David being a prophet knew that God would of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, raise up Christ to sit on his throne. Of course he knew that Solomon would succeed him; in fact he had taken his throne before his death, but that was not the subject of the covenant. The covenant reached farther than that and was of vastly more importance to David than the mere matter of Solomon succeeding him on the throne. So, by the eye of prophecy he was enabled to look through the dark intervening ages, and beyond to the time when God would raise up Christ to sit upon His throne, and seeing this he could rejoice in hope of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul would not be left in Hades, neither shall his flesh see corruption.

In the famous passage of Isaiah's prophecy, chap. 9: 6, we have the words, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders." Here we have words which are universally admitted by "orthodox" people to apply to Christ the child that was to be born and the son that was to be given, and the government was to be upon his shoulders. He was born; He appeared among men and He disappeared. He has not yet exercised the authority with the government upon His shoulders, and the question arises here, What government is this? Upon what throne will He sit when the government is upon His shoulders and He is administering the affairs of that government? We have only to read on, "and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Ah! the Prince of Peace. Where is a Prince of Peace needed? It was not necessary that Christ should go to heaven to be Prince of Peace, to establish peace there, for surely there was no war, no trouble there. If there was, it was useless for Him to teach His disciples to pray that God's will might be done in the earth, as it is done in heaven. God's will being done to perfection in heaven, peace and happiness prevail, and it was quite to the point that He should teach His disciples to pray that God's will be done here as in heaven. Where is a prince of peace needed? Here surely, and here only, so far as the Bible and facts reveal to us what is needed. The Bible is not a revelation to us of war and peace upon other planets. Whether other planets are inhabited or not is only a matter of curiosity so far as we are concerned. It is our own planet that we are concerned about, and it is to our planet that the Bible has come to reveal to us what is God's purpose here now and hereafter. Therefore for Christ to be called the Prince of Peace is to give us hope of the time to come when He will bring peace to a world which has passed through long ages of war and turmoil of every kind. The government, then, is to be upon His shoulders, and He is to be the Prince of Peace here, and, continues the prophet, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." And now let us ask, Upon whose throne? And the answer is, "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: 6, 7).

Still more fully is established the truth, that Christ will reign on David's throne, and that, therefore, the dynasty of the kingdom will be of the house of David. We submit the following testimonies:

Isa. 11: 10--And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Jer. 23: 5, 6--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 the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jer. 33: 14-17--Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. * * * For thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.

David took the stronghold of Zion and there established his throne; upon his death he was succeeded by Solomon and he by others till the days of Zedekiah, who was the last king to sit upon the throne. It is declared to that last king, "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him" (Ezek. 21: 25-27). In this we find that David's throne is not overturned for ever, and the reader must pardon me for again calling attention to the fact that we are not dealing with a throne which is in heaven, a spiritual throne, but it is the throne and dominion of the house of David that is overturned, and of this overturned throne it is said, it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him. There are three overturns here, and whether this repetition is to make this declaration more impressive, or to be regarded as having a threefold fulfillment it matters not for our present purpose. The overturn was real, and that overturn was to continue and the throne be no more until it was given into the hands of the one whose right it is. Still, if the repetition of the word overturn was intended to reach to the utter overturn of the nation and its city, at the hands of the Romans, the complete overturn of the last vestige of David's kingdom would in that case take place in A. D. 70. If this is the last overturn of the three, beginning with Babylon on the Euphrates and ending with Babylon on the Tiber, we can date the duration of time represented by the word "until" from the last overturn A. D. 70. The kingdom of Israel, as it then existed in its declined form, was to be completely overturned and be no more until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him. This time, then, refers to the second coming of Christ, whose right the throne is, and then He will claim it as His own. We may be sure that He is the one, for the angel declared to Mary, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1: 31-33). Now there can be no question that the one whose "right it is" is Christ. And now we may ask the question, Was the throne of David given to Christ when He was here upon the earth, or was it true, as He declared, "that the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head"? Was He not "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief," smitten, stricken and afflicted? After the resurrection Peter declared, "This same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, hath God made both Lord and Christ," or king. Since the throne of David, which was overturned, belonged by right to Christ, and since Christ hath not yet re-established that throne, and reigned over the house of Jacob, as the angel declared to Mary that He should, it follows that He must come again to fulfill these words. It is not a temporary arrangement; it is positively declared that when He shall reign over the house of Jacob, "of his kingdom there should be no end"; and, as we have read in the prophecy of Isaiah of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, and it shall be established with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. When, we ask again, will this find its fulfillment? The answer comes as clear as the noonday sun, "Men and brethren, hearken unto me," says James, "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name" (Acts 15: 13, 14). Now let us ask James, What is to take place after this visiting of the Gentiles? His answer is, "After this 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" (verse 16). When will the tabernacle of David be built again? When Christ returns is the answer. What tabernacle of David is this that is to be built again, a spiritual one, or one in heaven? The tabernacle of David, which is fallen down is the answer, the one which went into ruins, in other words, the one of which it was said, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him." This was not done at the first coming, when He was as a lamb led to the slaughter, but when He shall come as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, a coming which is to take place, as James declares, "after God hath visited the Gentiles and taken out of them a people for his name." In the meantime "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." And then, may we ask Paul, what will take place? And his answer is, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11: 25, 26).

The reader will now see that Christ's descent from David according to the flesh is given great prominence in the Scriptures. There must be a special reason for this. "Of this man's (David's) seed hath God, according to his promise, raised up unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus" (Acts 13: 23). "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1: 3).

God's plan has made careful selection of the particular line of descent from which the Messiah should come. In antediluvian times a distinction is drawn between the "sons of God and the daughters of men" which shows where God's special favor was bestowed; but coming further down this becomes more manifest. The singular incident of a struggle between babes in the womb is a forecast of God's purpose in this matter of divine selection. "And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manners of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25: 23). Here is an expressed determination to select a nation in which the right of rulership should be vested; and to bring this about the course of customs was reversed in transferring the right of rulership from the older to the younger son. Therefore, in blessing his sons, Isaac said to Jacob, "Let people serve thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's son bow down to thee; cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee" (Gen. 27: 29). Here is the father of the twelve tribal nation given that power and prestige that should descend upon the nation. So that to begin with we have a royal nation with a divine right to rule all others.

For a nation to rule the world of nations there must be a focalization of its kingly power in order that its rulership might be practicable. So from this on we find that focalization developing. In the next step in this direction one son is selected from the other sons of Jacob, and in him is vested royal rights that were to pass from and through him to the tribe that should descend from him. Hence it is said, "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. * * * The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, for Shiloh shall come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Gen. 49: 8-10).

A tribe could not well rule without focalizing its royal power in a man or men of its selection, and subsequent developments show that this was the purpose the Divine plan had in view, for, as we shall see, a single family out of this tribe is selected and then a single man as the head from whom all legal rulers must descend.

Men are very apt to stretch out their hands to fill up what seems to their shortsightedness deficiencies in God's workings. Abraham and Sarah seem to have thought that God had failed to provide for carrying out the fulfillment of his promise to raise up from them a seed that would bless all nations; and their feeble and fleshly attempt to fill the vacancy results in the birth of Ishmael. A little patience in waiting God's time would have shown them that their ways were not His ways, nor, in this matter, their thoughts His thoughts. The offspring of their thoughts in the case is one born out of due time, and though he as a son had certain favors, he did not suit God's purpose, for "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and Isaac is produced out of due time according to the flesh, but in due time according to the spirit and by the interposition of the Spirit.

So with Israel. They had come in contact with Hagar nations and conceived the thought of appointing a King according to their custom--out of God's due time. The result was a man of the tribe of Benjamin was their temporary king till God's due time gave them one from the tribe of his selection, in which the right of rulership had been vested. The royalty therefore departs from the house of Saul and is conferred upon him from whose house it should never depart. Hence David says, "Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler, and of the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel" (I. Chron. 28: 4). Here is the focalization so far as the historical phase up to this time is concerned.

Out of all nations one nation is first selected; out of this nation, one tribe; out of this tribe, one family; out of this family, one man-David. Now from him, according to the flesh, must all kings descend till the one who is the pith and pivot of all God's workings is reached. Hence David recognizes the proper line of descent when he says, "And of all my sons (for the Lord hath given me many sons) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel."

Running down through this line and stretching to the farthest end David is brought to the Anointed One who must be "of the seed of David according to the flesh," as recorded in II. Sam. 7:12--"I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom." In David's line the royalty was for ever established never to "depart." "My mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee" (II. Sam. 7: 15). From the house of Benjamin the dynasty was taken away--it "departed;" but from the house of David, never. "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne" (Ps. 132: 11). "Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations." "Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. * * * But my faithfulness and mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn (royal power in Christ) be exalted * * * and I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore and my covenant shall stand fast in him" (Ps. 89: 4, 19-28).

It might appear that since the crown was taken from Zedekiah, the mercy, sceptre or dynasty, had departed from the house of David. But when it was taken from Saul it was transferred to another. If when it was withdrawn from Zedekiah it "departed," upon whom was it conferred? To what house was it transferred? It did not in that sense "depart." God withdrew it, as it were--snatched it out of the hands of wickedness and "will keep it for him (Christ) for evermore."

In the days of the restoration from Babylon there were certain of the priests who sought but could not find their "register among those that were reckoned by genealogy; therefore were they as polluted put from the priesthood" (Ezra 2: 62). Thus we see that God has had regard to the law of heredity, and by Him such legal rights have been maintained. After abiding many days without a king one of the prerequisites to Israel in case of a claimant to the Messiahship and throne of David was a clear record of descent according to the flesh; and of no one have we information of having such record except Christ. He could plead His claims to His nation upon the most substantial grounds and upon the most technical. Wise men announced him as "King of the Jews." He was born of a virgin espoused to a man whose name is Joseph, of the house of David (Luke 1: 27). This man was "of the house and lineage of David" (chap. 2: 4). Mary's genealogy was open to be read of all men to show her direct descent from David; and the enemies of Christ confessed their intimate acquaintance with them when they wonderingly exclaimed, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?" (John 6. 42). In view of these admitted facts--real facts and a mistaken notion--He could take them at their word and fasten his genealogical right in every conceivable way. Do you regard me as the natural son of Joseph? Then by your mistake you are silenced in any claim you may set up against my legal right to the throne. Do you admit that Joseph is only my legal father? Then legally I press my claim, since Joseph and my mother Mary both are of the house and lineage of David. Produce a man with a better claim if you can. They could not, and they knew better than to dispute His right to the throne by the law of heredity; for that he was the seed of David according to the flesh could not be denied.

THE CHAIN OF TITLE NOT BROKEN BY CHRIST'S DEATH

But was there a break and a possible drop of a link in the chain when, by wicked hands, they slew the Prince of life? He was dead, with a heavy stone upon His tomb, A Roman guard around it. Has the sceptre--the "mercy"--departed away from Him? Yes, say the wicked, cruel men, who imbrued their hands in His blood. We have Him now; we have proven that He is not the Son of David from whom the sceptre should not depart. But how vain man's thoughts! The question, "Who shall roll away the stone?" was answered by Heaven's power; guards are scattered, the seal is broken and an empty tomb proclaims to an astonished world, "He is risen."

But, his enemies may ask, How is a man that was dead going to face all the facts of his burial and precautions against fraud and prove his identity? Ah, "murder will out;" they had made the very marks in His body that should identify Him to a doubting Thomas, to the twelve, and to the five hundred, as well as to a representative of Jewish bigotry and zealous persecution--Paul.

But a dead and buried man who would go to corruption would lose those bodily marks of identification. Yes, but an exception made here for that very purpose leaves those marks where they were made--in David's flesh, the very flesh in which was vested the royal right divine. "Thou wilt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption" are words that ring and re-echo the sound of an empty tomb and bid defiance to a sinful nation to produce the body they took such precautions to keep in the tomb till corruption should wipe out every evidence of descent from the royal house of David. With the eloquence and logic of an inspired tongue the Apostle Peter faces the hardened stiff-necked crowd and heaps coals of fire upon their heads by the far-reaching and far-seeing words of Israel's sweetest Psalmist. "Men and brethren," he cries out, "let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried (not risen), and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne, he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hades, neither did his flesh see corruption." That Christ's claim to David's throne might yet be made to Israel and yet enforced upon Israel upon the ground of His flesh being of David's loins David foresaw that his flesh should not see corruption and thus lose its identity and proof of heredity.

In that flesh of David's loins the marks were made; Thomas, in the most real manner possible, witnessed them; five hundred in a mountain in Galilee saw them and knew that Jesus was the risen Son of David, with the very flesh of David, notwithstanding its immortalization, and to keep complete every link of the chain that would reach from God's footstool to His throne, angels stand between heaven and earth and proclaim, as the immortal son of David, with the death-dealt marks of His enemies in that very David's flesh of which he is "made" and in which He is now immortalized--as this Son of David and now Son of God in the fullest sense is carried majestically upon the wings of the clouds, right there and then angels' voices sound out, and they have been resounding down the ages since: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." The curtain drops for a time, and when next it goes up there appears upon the stage "he that hath the key of David" (Rev. 3: 7) with "the key of the house of David upon his shoulder" (Isa. 22: 22); and "every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him" (Rev. 1: 7). In David's very flesh, in the person of David's royal Son glorified and immortalized, shall stubborn Israel see the marks of identification made by their own cruel and sinful hands, and exclaim, "What are these wounds in thine hands?" The piercing and heart-rending answer to which shall be, "These are they that I received in the house of my friends." "And they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first born." Then shall repentant Israel accept their Messiah--the Son of David according to the flesh, and call on the name of the Lord, and he will hear them, and say, "It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God."

KING OF THE JEWS

Our fourth proposition, that the King of the kingdom will be Christ returned to the earth to reign on David's throne, is really established by what we have already said, and since it is our intention to deal with the second coming of Christ in a chapter specially devoted to that important subject, it is necessary to say but little under this heading. We would, however, remind the reader that unless Christ's return is kept in view it will be impossible to understand many passages of the New Testament. The wise men who came from the East on the occasion of Christ's birth inquired, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" (Matt. 2:2). And when Herod inquired where he should be born, it was answered by prophecy from the book of Micah, which declared, "And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel" (verse 6). He was born king of the Jews, and it was He that was to rule Israel. He did not rule Israel; for when He was here they said, "We will not have this man to reign over us." Of Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom, Jesus said, "Swear not by Jerusalem for it is the city of the great king" (Matt. 5: 34, 35). The great king is Christ, Jerusalem is His city, and of this city He says, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21: 24). Jerusalem is still trodden down of the Gentiles. The great king who is to be king of the Jews and to rule Israel has not yet taken possession of His city. The time has not come for "the Lord to inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land, and to choose Jerusalem again." When that time does come, the Lord will cry out to Israel, "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord" (Zech. 2: 10). Then "the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein; thanksgiving and the voice of melody" (Isa. 51: 3). At Christ's first coming, He was scoffed at and mocked at; a reed was put in his hand for a sceptre; and thorns on His brow for a crown. But when He comes the second time, He will hold in His hand the sceptre of righteousness, and wear upon his brow a crown of glory and honor. When he marched into the city and they cried out, Hosanna, He declared that if they ceased, the very stones themselves would cry out, and that event is a foretaste, as it were, or an earnest of the grand and glorious event of His future triumphant march as the great King into the city of the great King, when He shall come again. Then will be realized the full meaning of the words, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the Highest!" (Matt. 21: 9). At the time that He entered into Jerusalem there was cause for him to weep, but when he enters it again it will be a day of rejoicing. "He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19: 42-44). Not knowing the day of their visitation, and failing to recognize their Messiah when He came, they refused Him and crucified Him, and so He, as Moses of old, left them in their bondage, crying out, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate," and "Verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." This will be the time spoken of by the prophet Zechariah when "they shall look upon him whom they have pierced," and realize that he is the one at whom they mocked and scoffed.

When He was nailed to the cross the superscription placed over Him was, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," and finding fault with this the Jews said, "Put not that he is the king of the Jews, but that he said he was the king of the Jews." And that He was the King was the good confession that He witnessed before Pilate. When Pilate asked Him if he was a King, His answer was, "To this end was I born." The end has not been reached yet, but the time will come when He will be in deed and truth the King of the Jews, as His father David was. Having ascended to heaven and been exalted to His Father's throne there He said, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3: 21). For the present He is on His Father's throne in heaven, but God has promised Him a throne of His own, which is the throne of the Lord over Israel; and since He has promised to share this with those who shall overcome, the question might be asked here, When will He sit upon that throne? a question which is clearly answered in the following words, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25: 31).

A DOUBLE RIGHT TO THE THRONE

To this throne He has a right in a twofold sense. The throne was David's, but it was also called the Lord's throne. It was "the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel" given to David. Christ, being the Son of God through begettal by the Holy Spirit, is the rightful heir to that throne as the throne of the Lord. Being of the "seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom 1: 3), the royal son of David, he has a right by inheritance to the same throne, and therefore no one can show the rightful claim to the throne of the Lord over Israel, the throne of David, except Christ. He is the one "whose right it is" and when Jerusalem shall become "the city of the great king" and fulfill what its name signifies, the city of peace, made so by the Prince of Peace, there shall issue from that city laws that shall bring "Peace on earth, good-will among men and glory to God in the Highest"; for then "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountain, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go, and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion," that is the Zion in Jerusalem, where David's throne was, and of which Christ says He will build up its ruins; out of this Zion shall "go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And 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 sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2: 2-4). All this is said concerning Judah and Jerusalem (verse 1). Thus will Christ be the King of the kingdom of Israel on David's throne to rule over the house of Jacob specially and the whole world generally.

TERRITORY OF THE KINGDOM PROPER

On the question of the territory of the kingdom proper, sufficient has been said to show that it will be the land promised to Abraham, and that the dominion will extend to the uttermost parts of the earth; that Jerusalem, in the promised land or territory of the kingdom, will be the center of this great government is shown from numerous testimonies. And when we say Jerusalem, we mean that wonderful city of antiquity, rebuilt and beautified to become the great center city of the world, religiously, politically and commercially. The prophetic words of Isaiah will then cry out, "Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. * * * Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion" (Isa. 52: 1, 2). "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice: with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion" (verses 7, 8). Mark the words, "bring again Zion." "Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem." Mark the words again, "ye waste places of Jerusalem." The time will come when there will be no waste places as there have been through the dark ages and as at present. "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations." And now for the extent of the domination to which the blessings shall flow forth from this great city: "and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isa. 52: 9, 10). Then the words will be exemplified, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isa. 60: 1, 3). Who can read the following beautiful words without seeing the grand future of Jerusalem? "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married" (chap. 62: 1-4). "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The Holy people. The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken" (verses 10-12).

This all centers in Christ, and establishes His power and glory in the once desolate land now to be no more desolate, the land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates, as promised and described to Abraham; and His dominion to extend to the uttermost parts of the earth. "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: 27). Shall serve and obey him. Whom? "I beheld," says Daniel, "and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (verses 21, 22). "I saw," he declares, "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" (verses 13, 14). It is then that the "kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11: 15).

ASSOCIATES OF THE KING

That the royal house or associates of the King will be (a) the twelve apostles raised from the dead and immortalized, who will rule the twelve tribes of Israel; and (b) the immortal saints redeemed from the human race from the time when Paradise was lost by Adam the first till Paradise will be regained by Adam the second literally to reign with Christ, present to us a reality of things that is not found in the spiritualizing ideas of those who "try to read their title clear to mansions in the skies." Who that looks out over this sin-cursed earth, and sees its masses burdened with sin, sickness, sorrow, pain and death, oppressed and trampled down by tyranny and despotism, might triumphing over right, the rich against the poor, crushing them down into the very earth--who can view this spectacle and not yearn for the time when the government shall be put into the hands of a righteous King of kings and priests to administer to the wants of the people, whose work, first of all, is to "bring down the mighty from their seats and exalt those of low degree; to fill the hungry with good things, and to send the rich empty away" (Luke 1: 52, 53). To do this a great crisis must come, a time of trouble, as Daniel describes it, "such as never was since there was a nation," for "the nations will rage and the people will imagine a vain thing, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." It is then that "God will speak to them in His wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure." Then it is that "He will set His King upon His holy hill of Zion." Then it is that He will give to that King "the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, and the heathen for his inheritance." Then it is that "He will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psa. 2: 1-9). Associated with Him in this work of destroying the world's oppressors will be the saints, for it is written, "Praise ye the Lord, Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord!" (Psa. 149). Here is an honor that is to be given to the saints; here is the realization of the promise, "In thee and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed." That the apostles, however, are the associates of Christ, in reigning over the twelve tribes is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. Note the promise made to them by Christ when here on the earth to the question asked by Peter, "Behold, we have left all and followed thee, What shall we have therefore?" What is the answer given? May I ask what would be the answer given to such a question, if it were put to the religious leaders of this day? Ask them what we should have for forsaking all and following Christ, and the answer is, When you die you shall go to heaven, and there you shall bask in bliss for a time. For how long? Ah! they will say, until the day of judgment. Until the day of judgment, what then? Then you must leave your place of happiness, go back into your resurrected bodies to be judged and have your destiny again thrown into the balance, as it were. What for? To see if a mistake had been made in sending them to heaven to enjoy felicity for, say six thousand years, as in the case of Abel, while others, as in the case of Cain, have been sent to a burning hell to be tortured for six thousand years? Are they then to be brought back to be judged? Ah! yes, the answer will be, they must be judged, for Paul says, "We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." It is said that "He will judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom," so we must be judged. If we are judged at Christ's second appearing, at the end of the world, what is the judgment for if the majority of the human family have been some of them enjoying happiness, and others in hell enduring torture, some of them for six thousand years?

Here we see how the word of God is made to appear confusing by those who are supposed to be its friends and supporters. The imaginary rewards held out by so-called orthodox religion of going to heaven at death finds no support in the Scriptures; and the answer to Peter's question is so different from popular tradition that there ought not to be the least difficulty in discriminating between truth and error on the question. Here is the Savior's answer: "Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19: 28). The fulfillment of this promise necessitates the restoration of the twelve tribes; and not the return of the apostles from heaven, but their resurrection to receive all the honor and blessings it involves at the hands of Christ as their "righteous Judge." When the song of redemption is sung by all the redeemed at the return of Christ, all who participate will be "kings and priests" to reign with Christ. In that song there will be no discord. No one will be permitted to join who would attempt to sing a "title clear to mansions in the sky." The song will he "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5: 9, 10). As kings and priests, associates of the King supreme, they will reign with Christ a thousand years (Rev. 20: 4).

Thus in the Messianic restoration of the kingdom of Israel and throne of David the constitution of things will be:

1. A universal government that shall reach to the "uttermost parts of the earth" and bless all nations with a reign of "peace on earth, good will toward men and glory to God in the highest."

2. In a special sense, as constituting the subjects of the kingdom proper, the twelve tribes of Israel will be blessed by the reign of their once rejected but then accepted Messiah, whose righteous and beneficent laws shall be administered by the twelve apostles.

3. The dynasty of the kingdom will be Israelitish, through the tribe of Judah, in the Royal line of David, which by Divine right belongs to Christ, and which through Him will be shared by all the true "Israel of God" or Israel after the spirit.

4. The King supreme will be Christ returned personally to the earth to rule on David's restored throne, and to be Lord and King over all the earth.

5. The Royal house will consist of the twelve apostles in particular, and of the redeemed, immortal saints who shall be made "kings and priests to reign on the earth."

6. The territory of the kingdom proper will consist of the Holy Land, or the land of Canaan promised to the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as described in the words, "From the river of Egypt, unto the Great River, the river Euphrates." But the territorial dominion of the kingdom will be co-extensive with the utmost bounds of the earth.

7. The capital of the kingdom will be the "City of the great King,"--Jerusalem to be restored and rebuilt in splendor to be the center from which shall issue laws that shall make her indeed what she is in name--the city of peace.

8. The laws of the kingdom will be from God, and will therefore be wise and good, for the greatest welfare of mankind and the glory and honor of Him by whom the world's redemption is planned and unfolded.

Through this grand consummation will be fulfilled the never-failing promise of God, "As truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with my glory," and our prayer will be realized, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

 

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Chapter 9

The World's Redemption


The Literal Return of Christ to the Earth

Many profess to believe in the return of Christ, who make what the word of God says on the subject of none effect by holding popular traditions. THE TRUTH is such a perfect system that it will not admit of the introduction of one error without making confusion. The return of Christ is a burning and shining light throughout the Scriptures, and upon it depends the resurrection of the dead, the reward of the righteous, the fulfillment of the covenants of promise--in short the world's redemption. This important truth is nullified by the belief that all good men go to heaven when they die, and that heaven, not the earth, is the everlasting abode of the righteous, and that all the good have gone there and are saved. Why should Christ return to the earth, if, "at the end of the world," all the good of Adam's race are to be taken to heaven, and all the wicked are to be plunged into a hell of torment and the earth burned up? Where is there room left for a belief in the personal return and reign of Christ on the earth? Belief in the second coming of Christ by those who are wedded to the theory of heaven-going at death is very inconsistent. The false theory will not harmonize with the truth. It is more consistent to hold the radical "orthodox" theory of heaven-going and deny entirely the personal coming of Christ. But the only safe way is to accept the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What has every reader of Scripture a right to expect from the prophecies and promises we find, in the Old Testament especially? The very first promise we have, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, would surely give us to understand that Christ, who is the seed of the woman referred to, will accomplish what is implied by bruising the serpent's head. What evil had the serpent introduced into the world? It had really been the cause of all evil, in whatever form it might appear and to bruise the serpent's head could mean nothing else than to remove all the evils of which the serpent's lie was the first cause. We come along down the ages until the time when the seed of the woman appears. Does He bruise the serpent's head to the extent that the promise would imply? Does He remove the evils, with which the world had then become full? The only sense in which it can be said that he bruised the serpent's head is, so far as it applied to Himself, He gained the victory over death and the grave, in Himself and for Himself, but death still held in the tomb all those who had died in the faith and it was declared by the apostle it was heresy to teach that the resurrection was past already. Hence so long as death held in its grasp those who had died in the Abrahamic faith, the serpent's head had not been bruised. Look at the world at the time Christ was here and trace its history to the present; view it as it is today and who can say that the serpent's head has been bruised? Who can say that sin with all its resultant evils has been eliminated from the earth? Here is a work that Christ as the seed of the woman was to do. He came; he went, but he did not do it. Shall we say that He has failed to do the work allotted to Him? Nay, verily.

PART OF HIS MISSION NOT FULFILLED

Again we go back and read that the whole earth was to be filled with the glory of the Lord. From numerous testimonies we may be sure that this wonderful work was to be performed in and through Christ, for whom and on account of whom all things are created. Did he, when he was here eighteen hundred years ago, fill the earth with the glory of the Lord? Nay verily. We have seen from the covenants of promise that the world was to be given into His hands and that He would bless all nations of the earth. He came, but all nations of the earth are not blessed. The covenant with David was that God would give to Christ his throne, and that He would reign over the house of Jacob for ever. The house of Jacob is still scattered among the nations of the earth; the throne of David is in ruins; Christ has been here, and has gone. The covenant is not fulfilled. Will it never be fulfilled? Who would dare say that God's promises will fail? We go back again to Moses, and hear him declare, "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things." The prophet came, and appeared unto Israel. Did they hear Him? No, they did not. They have not heard Him yet. "Blindness in part has happened to Israel" and Christ has become a "stone of stumbling and rock of offense" to them, and yet Moses truly declared that they should hear Him in all things--He was to be a prophet like unto Moses, to do what Moses did. As Moses appeared to Israel and was refused for a time, so Christ appeared to Israel and was refused for a time. Will He yet do as Moses did, deliver Israel? Will He yet be a prophet whom they will hear in all things? He must be or the Scriptures of truth are broken, and the word of God has failed, which is impossible. From the prophecy of Isaiah we have learned that there was a son to be born, and a child was to be given, and he was to be the Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there was to 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. When He came, those whose hearts had burned in contemplation of the fulfillment of these promises believed that He would fulfill them. They had a right to expect a fulfillment of what God had sworn to, and they had a right to expect that Christ would be the one who would fulfill them, for they could not be mistaken in regard to His identity. They could feel sure that He was the seed of the woman, that He was the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was made, that He was the prophet like unto Moses, that He was the seed of David, who would build up the ruins of David's throne, and reign over the house of Jacob. They could be sure that He was the very person, all the marks of identity necessary were in Him. I say again, that they had a right to expect from these promises and prophecies that He would accomplish the things predicted. Had they been challenged, had some one said to them, You have no right to expect such things, they could have readily pointed them to, Thus saith the Lord, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." "To thee and to thy seed will I give the land for an everlasting inheritance, and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed." "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you; him shall ye hear in all things"; "As truly as I live the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord"; "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it, of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne," and David says of this that it is "all his salvation and all his desire." To Isaiah's prophecy they could point, and ask, Who is this child that was to be born, and the son that was to be given? The only answer that could be given is that He was the one who was born in Bethlehem. Very well, then they could say, to that son, that child, was the throne of David to be given; and that He was to reign over the house of Jacob, for in the very same passage it says that the government was to be upon His shoulders, that He was to be the Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there should 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. What else could they expect but that He would be the one to fulfill these glorious promises? Where is the mistake? He did not fulfill them. Did he fail? No, indeed. There is a mistake somewhere. Where is it? It is a mistake that never can be corrected if Christ does not return to the earth again and fulfill all these burning words of Scripture. A Prince of Peace is what He is called. A king that shall reign in righteousness and rule with equity, and when contemplating His birth, Mary cries out prophetically, "He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever" (Luke 1: 51-55). Zacharias saw that through Him would be fulfilled these prophecies and declared, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Abraham" (verses 68-73). At His birth angels appeared and identified Him as the promised Prince of Peace, and a multitude of the heavenly host cried out in praise to God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men." Here is the Prince of Peace; here are angels' voices proclaiming Him the one that was to bring peace on earth and good-will toward men. We accompany them; we see that the child is born, and that the son is given; we watch Him as He grows in stature and in wisdom; we listen to Him at twelve years of age, confounding the doctors in the temple; we hear Him even at this youthful age saying, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business," showing what an exalted idea He had of the great mission entrusted in His hands. At thirty years of age He is heralded into public life by His forerunner, John, crying out, "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Never man spake as this man spake; never man did what this man could do. He is wonderful in all that pertains to the great work of His life. Surely this is the Prince of Peace; surely this is the one that will bring peace on earth and good-will among men. We have only to wait but a short time to realize these inspiring prophecies which made the hearts of ancient seers burn with joyful expectation. We continue to accompany Him, filled with joy in the hope of the ecstacy with which such a fulfillment shall thrill the world. We are upon tip-toe looking and listening for peace, sweet peace, for a troubled world, and at last we hear Him saying, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10: 34-36). Here is a blow that strikes all our hopes and expectations down to the ground. What shall we do? We step up and ask Him, Are you not come to bring peace on earth and good-will among men? Are you not the prince of peace who is to bless all nations of the earth, and fill the earth with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea? Is God's word a failure? Here is Israel crying out under the bondage and oppression of the Roman galling yoke; they are looking to you for deliverance; the prophets of old have told us that you are to be their deliverer. Is all this a failure? Again He answers us in words that overcome us with discouragement and despair; instead of words of peace He speaks words of war; instead of words of consolation and comfort for a suffering world, He predicts times of greater trouble yet to come, declaring, "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21: 25, 26). Now what shall we do? I ask the question, I press the question, what shall we do? Christ has appeared and these promises and prophecies have not been fulfilled. Instead of bringing peace, He says He has sent a sword; instead of blessing the world of nations, He says there shall be distress of nations with perplexity; instead of filling the earth with the glory of the Lord, the world has passed through the darkest ages of its history since that time; instead of executing judgment, justice and righteousness upon the throne of David, David's throne is still in ruins; instead of being a prophet like unto Moses, whom Israel should hear, they cry out, "Away with him, we will not have this man to reign over us"; instead of receiving the land promised to Abraham for an everlasting inheritance, and blessing all nations of the earth, the land is still in desolation, and all nations are groaning underneath the burdens of a cruel oppression. Christ has been here; He appeared, He has disappeared, and that behind dark and dismal clouds that hang over the earth like the pall of death. Behind a frowning providence He has hid His face. Is all a failure? Is all a failure, I ask? Is the Bible a falsehood and a fraud? Must we hand it over to the infidel and admit that it is what he claims? Nay, verily, a thousand times nay. But if Christ has gone away to remain away; if there is no second coming of Christ to really and literally fulfill these promises then God's word has failed. Where lies the trouble? In the word of God? In a failure on the part of His beloved Son, the man at His right hand? No, indeed, a thousand times no. "As truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with my glory"; "my word shall not return to me void, it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Where is the trouble? The trouble is in the apostate religious world. It has departed from the truth and given heed to fables which have fixed upon the minds of the people a tradition which has sent Christ and all his redeemed ones to heaven as their eternal abode, and predicted the destruction of this fair earth of ours, and thus the word of God in all these grand promises is made of none effect. But, dear reader, are you not willing to come to the rescue to snatch the Bible as a brand from the burning, vindicate its truth and the veracity of its Author, and spare not, cry out; echo and re-echo that He is yet to come. He who was led as a lamb to the slaughter will yet personally, literally and substantially appear again, the next time as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and that then He shall finally and for ever bruise the serpent's head, and ultimately eliminate from the earth the last vestige of evil; that He will then be the seed of Abraham who will possess the gate of His enemies, and bless all nations of the earth; that He will then be a prophet like unto Moses, whom Israel shall hear in all things; that He will then be all David's salvation and desire, the one whom David, as a prophet, knew would be raised up to sit upon his throne; of the increase of whose government and peace there should be no end, upon the throne of David; that He shall then be the Prince of peace; then the words of the heavenly host shall find gladsome fulfillment, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men," and then shall be realized the words so imperatively declared by Jehovah, "As truly as I live the whole earth shall be filled with my glory." He shall then put all enemies under His feet, destroying the last enemy, death; and thus the world's redemption shall be a glorious fact through Him who, having become a multitude, will be a habitation of God through the Spirit, when God shall be all and in all, and a redeemed world will cry out, "Hosanna! Hosanna! to Him that cometh in the name of the Lord."

It is not necessary to quote further from the numerous testimonies of the Old Testament Scriptures to prove the second coming of Christ. The fact that the larger part of the Old Testament prophecies remain unfulfilled, and their fulfillment depends on His second coming, is sufficient of itself to show that, since the word of God cannot fail, Christ must return again to accomplish all that the law and the prophets require in and through Him. As to the New Testament it really ought not to be necessary to cite the numerous testimonies in proof of such clearly revealed truth. The truth upon this and upon all other subjects would be very easily understood were it not for the speculations and perverseness of the religious world, which cloud and obstruct the way to a clear understanding. The following are some of the passages which declare in unmistakable language Christ's return to the earth; and when we say Christ's return, we mean His return in a real, tangible, personal sense, with no mystic or so-called spiritual meaning attached. We mean His coming as real as His going was, and let the reader keep this in view in examining these passages, and it will be seen no other conclusion can be reached.

Matt. 25: 31--When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

Luke 19: 12-15--He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. And it came to pass when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him.

John 13: 33--Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go ye cannot come.

John 14: 3--And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you, (here, not there) unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.

Acts 1: 9--And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go.

I. Cor. 1: 7--So that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall confirm you (at his coming; not at their going) unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I. Cor. 15: 23--But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Phil. 3: 20--For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Col. 3: 4--When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I. Thess. 1: 9, 10--Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven.

II. Thess. 2: 1--Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.

Verse 8--And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

II. Tim. 6: 1--I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, preach the word.

Verses 7, 8--I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that (not this) day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Tit. 2: 12, 13--Teaching us that denying all ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Heb. 9: 28--Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME without sin unto salvation

I. Peter 1: 7--That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

1. John 3: 2--Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Rev. 1: 7--Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shalt wail because of him

Rev. 16: 15--Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth.

Rev. 22: 7--Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of this book.

Verse 12--And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.

Verse 20--He that testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.

Yes, many will say, no doubt the Scriptures teach the second coming of Christ, and everybody believes in it. But how is it believed in, in what sense? Some will say that He comes in a sort of an unexplained, inexplicable spiritual sense at the death of every believer to take the soul to heaven; others will say that He is coming at what is called the "end of the world," simply to raise the dead and take all the residue of the redeemed to heaven, when the earth is to be burnt up; but neither of these speculations is in harmony with the testimony cited. When the angels declared His coming again, they did so in words which cannot be misconstrued or perverted to make them suit human speculations. "This same Jesus whom ye have seen go into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go" is what the angels say. He went bodily, literally, and they saw Him go. He will come in like manner, and "every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him shall behold him." There can, therefore, be no question about the literality of His coming.

Not only so, but what I wish to impress upon the reader's mind here is that salvation depends upon His coming. It is in "the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory" that the twelve apostles are to receive their reward. For Peter's question was, "What shall we have for following thee?" What shall be our reward? And the Savior's answer is that they shall be rewarded "in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory," that it is then that they shall "sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19: 27, 28). That which Peter and the apostles are to have for leaving all and following Him is not to be had until "the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory." When shall the Son of man sit in the throne of His glory? He answers, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit in the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25: 31). Let the reader examine further along in the chapter and it will be seen that it is at this time that Christ will call before Him those who are to be judged, separating them one from another, the good from the bad; and punishment is inflicted upon the bad and rewards are meted out to the good. To those on the right hand He says, "Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" and it is then that the wicked go away into the punishment of the age, and the righteous into the life of the age (verse 46) . Hence the reward of the righteous and punishment of the wicked depend upon the second coming of Christ. He does not reward the righteous first and then judge them. He does not judge them until He comes the second time. He does not reward them until after He has judged them at His second coming. Therefore the salvation of every follower of Christ depends upon His second coming.

In the parable of the nobleman He shows them that before the establishment of His kingdom can take place, and therefore before we can enter the kingdom, He must go to heaven and return. During His absence there is a command for faithful followers to obey, a commandment which unfaithful men have perverted and disobeyed. What is that command? It might be as well here to emphasize what it is not. He does not command them to occupy till they shall go to him in heaven, the very thing that popular religious teachers tell the people they must do. Were we to ask them what our duty is, and what our hope is, the answer would be, Occupy, to use the word the Saviour used, as long as you live in this life, until you die, and then you will go to heaven. But what is the command of the Saviour in the case? Here it is in words unmistakable, "Occupy till I come." (Luke 19: 12-27.) It is further said that "when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him." Now let us suppose him calling his servants when he was here on earth, and just upon the eve of his departure telling them, "Occupy till I come." I am going away to heaven and I am coming back. I want you and all your successors, or whoever would faithfully follow me, to occupy, that is, believe me, and obey me during my absence; be faithful to me till I return, for I will return, and when I do, I will call you into my presence to give an account of how you have conducted yourselves during my absence, and your reward and punishment shall be accordingly. Can anything be plainer than this? Can anything be more directly opposed to popular theories than this? If the servants to whom he addressed himself went to heaven to him as soon as they died, they have been with him ever since. How then shall we understand him saying that when he would return he would call them together. If they have been called together to him in heaven two thousand years before, how can He call them together here when he returns to this earth? And let it be observed that the calling together is to judge them before they are rewarded, whereas, if they had been in heaven and had been rewarded for two thousand years, and then called back here to earth, we should have a reversal of the order of things, in such a manner that if an ordinary judge were guilty of such an absurdity, he would be declared unfit for his office.

John 14: 1-3, is quoted by some to prove that Christ intended that his disciples should go to heaven to him. We shall give special attention to this passage of Scripture further on, but will simply say here that there is not a word in the text about their going to heaven. What the text teaches is that Christ was going there, and that Christ was coming back. For he declares, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again." Come again for what? Mark the next words, "and receive you unto myself." After Christ should have received them in heaven two thousand years before, how could he come again to receive them? The receiving here is when he comes again, and not when they go to him. This receiving when he comes again is that, "where I am," that is, where I am when I come again, or, if you like, where I am now when I am uttering these words, "there ye may be also." That he did not mean that they were to go to heaven to him is clear from the fact that He told them, "Whither I go ye cannot come," and the apostle Paul declares of God in heaven, that "no man hath seen Him, nor can see Him, whom no man can approach unto." The Saviour also declares that "no man hath seen God at any time." In the declaration of the angels upon the occasion of Christ's ascension to heaven, when they assure us that his coming will be in like manner to his going, let it be observed that this was given as a consolation to our Lord's anxious disciples. If ever a little company of people were anxious they were at that time, and they had reasons to be so. When we take into consideration the state of things in the world at that time, the trials and hardships through which the disciples had passed in company with their Lord and Master; the cruelty which he had suffered at the hands of the Jews and Gentiles, when his faithful followers were terror-stricken and amazed, so much so that Peter was dazed and so staggered that he hardly knew what he was saying when he denied his Master in that trying hour when Jews and Gentiles sought his destruction. I say, when we consider what they had passed through, and the threatenings which seemed to confront them on every hand, and then to think that their only hope, the one in whom they had placed their implicit trust and confidence, the Shepherd of the sheep, was about to be snatched away and leave them in a dark and cruel world, as sheep without a shepherd, we can get a faint idea of the anxiety of the little company in that trying hour. If ever men needed consolation, real consolation, not flattery, not mere poetic words, but a consolation full of reality, they needed it at that time. Not only so, but they needed such consolation as would bring them as nearly as possible to its realization. Whatever promise the angels had for those men it should be such as would be nearest to them, the first blessing they would realize as a deliverance from the troubles and trials through which they were passing. According to the popular world, that which was nearest to them in the way of deliverance was death, and the consolation which would have been given to them by the leaders of religious theories of our times would have been, Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Why are you so anxious? It will only be a few short years till you die, and then you shall be wafted away on angel's wings to heaven, to Christ, to bask in bliss eternal. I ask you, dear reader, would this not have been the consolation given by popular pulpiteers? Is not this the consolation they give now to men and women who are distressed? But how different the consolation given by angelic messengers who came with heavenly authority; who came with consolation which had its foundation, not in flattering, foolish poetic flights, more noted for their poetry than their truth; but in words of living truth they declare the deliverance which awaited those anxious people was not to be at death. It was not to be until Christ, whom they had seen going into heaven, would so come in like manner as they had seen him go. This was their consolation. Hence upon the second coming of Christ depended the salvation of those who had faithfully followed him.

We can understand now why the apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians says, "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Why it was that he said, "Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming;" why he declared to the Philippians, "Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour;" why he said to the Colossians, "When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory;" why he said to the Thessalonians, "Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven;" why he declared to the same church, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," showing that it is when the Lord comes that we are to be gathered together unto him, and it is not that we are gathered together in heaven before he comes. And in harmony with all this he declares, in writing to Timothy, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." Whom is he to judge? The quick and the dead. When is he to judge them? At his appearing and His Kingdom. When will he reward them?--before he judges them? No. Therefore not before he appears. Whom is he to judge, again I ask? The quick. Who are they? Those who are alive when Christ comes; and those who are dead, not alive,--two classes--He will raise the dead, and they with the quick, the living, will be gathered together unto him, and he will judge them, and this will be at his appearing and his kingdom. It cannot be made plainer. Is it not a wonder that the world has gone astray from such clear teaching? The apostle, himself, when he came to face death, declared that he had fought the good fight, and kept the faith, and that henceforth there was laid up for him a crown of righteousness. Henceforth, that is from the time I die forward until a certain time, there is laid up, or reserved for me a crown of righteousness. If popular theories are true, Paul was mistaken, for that was not the time when the crown of righteousness would be laid up, that was the time when he would receive it. The moment he died he would mount triumphant to heaven, and there would be crowned with his crown of righteousness. But Paul did not understand it so. His faith, the good fight for which he had fought, was a faith that believed that from the time he died forward his crown of righteousness would be laid up for him. And now let us ask him when he expects to receive that crown of righteousness. And he answers, "which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me;" here we have really the answer, for he had just said to Timothy that the righteous judge would judge the quick and the dead at His appearing, and it was as a righteous judge that he would give Paul his crown of righteousness. Inasmuch as His appearing as a righteous judge would not take place until His second coming, how could Paul receive his laid-up crown of righteousness at the hands of the righteous judge until the righteous judge had come to judge the quick and the dead, among whom the apostle Paul was numbered? But he does not stop there, he proceeds further, "which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day"--not this day. Mark you, not now, the day of my death, but at that day, the day at the end of the time during which my crown of righteousness shall be laid up, then the righteous judge shall give it to me at that day. What day, Paul? "And not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." No wonder then, that Paul said "that we, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, should live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

In writing to the Hebrews the apostle shows us that this coming, of which he is speaking, and in which centers his hope and the hope of every follower of Christ, is the second coming. It is not a spiritual coming that is taking place all the time, at the time of every believers death; in fact, that would not be a coming at all, that would be a staying here, for every moment of time, according to popular theories, believers are dying, and it is not imaginable that Christ would be going and coming as rapidly as every individual believer dies. It would be Christ here all the time to receive the soul of every one as it leaves the body, and Christ in heaven all the time receiving them there, and that would be no coming in any sense. But the apostle says, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Note the words. They are full of meaning. They not only tell us that He will appear, but that this appearing of which he is speaking is Christ's second appearing. Our relation to that appearing is also set forth, for it is said, to them that look for Him, that is to them that look for His second coming, He shall appear to their salvation, which surely would imply that He will not appear to the salvation of those who do not look for His second coming, who do not "occupy" till the nobleman returns. Yet they change and pervert His word and persist in going to Him, instead of His coming to them.

These words of the apostle find a type in the High Priest under Moses. In this same chapter he has given a detailed account of the Holy places of the tabernacle, and of the High Priest going into the Most Holy place on the day of atonement, which he shows was typical of Christ going into heaven. As the High Priest appeared in the Most Holy in behalf of Israel in order that atonement might be effected between the nation and their God, so Christ has gone into heaven as the high priest of the Israel of God there and now to appear on their behalf, where "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." He is now within the veil. And here we might ask, What were the children of Israel to do while their priest went into the Most Holy to make the atonement? Were they not to remain outside and await his return, when he would confer upon them the blessings? Supposing some of them should have invented a new theory, and declared that it was the duty of the congregation not to wait till the priest should come out, but go to the priest in the Most Holy, and supposing they should have attempted to carry this new invention into effect, what would have been the result? They would have been stricken with death in a moment. The moment one put a foot upon the threshold of that Most Holy place he would have been stricken down. Hence, then, they must remain outside waiting and watching, listening to the ringing of the bells upon the priest's garments as to whether even he was acceptable in the Most Holy, and whether his offering in their behalf would be accepted of God. To them that faithfully waited his return, looking for him, he appeared to their salvation, or rather to their atonement, which meant, really, the saving of the nation, and their being permitted to continue in national life. Some of them became impatient and refused to wait in the proper attitude for the return of the High Priest, and Paul says they sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play, and with many of them God was not well-pleased. Now apply this type to the antitype; the true church of Christ is the congregation, and the High Priest has gone into the Most Holy place to appear in the presence of God in their behalf. What are we waiting for? Waiting His return, and those who have apostatized are sitting down to eat and to drink, and rising up to play, and speculate with theories of men, with new inventions; instead of waiting the return of the High Priest, they are to enter and go right into His presence. How can they be said to be looking for Him and waiting His return? They are unfaithful, they are apostates, with whom God is not well-pleased. They are like the Israelites of old, and to them the High Priest will not appear the second time without sin to their salvation. He will only appear to the salvation of those who have occupied till He comes, who have turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His son from heaven. Therefore, says Christ, "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepest his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame" (Rev. 16: 15). Behold I come quickly, that is, quickly or suddenly, He meant, after the things previously shown had come to pass. John is taken down symbolically through the history of the world, from his day to the time of Christ's coming. The program of human events is caused to pass before him in panoramic view, and when he comes down to the time when the angel's words are to be fulfilled. Christ is to come again in like manner as He went into heaven, he hears Christ calling out from heaven, "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22 : 7). And again he adds, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be" (verse 12). "He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly," and the response of every true and faithful follower is, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." But mark the words, "Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Too late! Too late! cries the popular theorist, Abel, Noah, Abraham, all went to their reward as soon as they died. Too late now to come to them to give them the reward according as their work shall be. Their reward has been a matter of experience for long ages before this coming. Too late! Too late! To the moles and to the bats let us cast these traditions of men, and let the words of Christ go down deep into our hearts; let us believe them; let us obey them; let us faithfully watch and wait his coming. To them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Dear reader, we beseech you to hear the voice which speaks from heaven, "Surely I come quickly," for we are in the days when "quickly" means more than it ever did before. It is for you to place yourself in such relation to God as to be able to respond, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." If you are an alien from the commonwealth of Israel this promise cannot cheer you. Only by the faithful believers of the true gospel can it be welcomed in these days when men's hearts are failing them for fear. Its contemplation quickens and stimulates such. It intensifies their earnestness, separates them from the world, with all its vanity, frivolity and selfishness; it gives solemnity to their deportment, attaches vital importance to their words and actions, and guides and guards them through a life of trials and affliction, with perils on the right hand and on the left. Think not that the task is too hard and the trials of faith too rigid. Faithful service brings its own reward even now, in a "peace of mind which passeth all understanding," and it makes sure an "inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that fadeth not away." With this blessing within reach why will you die? Give not yourself away, for that which is not bread nor for that which satisfieth not. The yoke is easy and the burden is light, and at the end there is a joy unspeakable and full of glory.

 

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Chapter 10

The World's Redemption


The Heavens and the Earth, Old and New

Frequently people say when the views set forth herein are presented to them "Then you do not believe in a heaven." Of course for a person to say he does not believe in a heaven is to deny the greater part of the Scriptures. That there is a place called heaven, no one who believes the Bible can doubt, and that heaven in its highest sense is God's holy and glorious habitation is abundantly shown. "Hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling place," says Solomon, and the prayer which our Lord taught his disciples begins with these words: "Our Father which art in heaven." The apostle Paul speaks of God as "dwelling in light, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, whom no man can approach unto." These testimonies show that heaven is a place, location, and can be thought of and spoken of separately from the earth and other parts of the universe. Heaven is generally spoken of from our standpoint as being up or above. The literal meaning of the word is "that which is heaved up," that which is above, which is high. "Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool," it is said, in which figure of speech it is represented as above the earth. That it is a place to which persons can go and from whence they can come is clear from the fact that of Christ's second coming it is said: "The Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him." Since the Scriptures teach that before this coming takes place, he is at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and since Peter says that God "shall send Jesus Christ, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution," it follows that Christ, in coming from heaven to the earth, leaves one place and comes to another. Heaven is, therefore, a reality, a real place, God's dwelling place. For Christ to leave the earth and go to heaven he had to ascend; he was taken up into heaven before the gaze of his anxious disciples, upon which occasion the angels said: "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go." Here we have him going and coming. All these and many other testimonies which might be given, go to show that heaven exists as a place, a locality.

THE MARVELOUS UNIVERSE

There is but little revealed to us of the greatness and grandeur of the vast expanse above and about us, the Bible not being a revelation for that purpose, but is fitted to the needs and necessities of only our own planet, which is as a mere speck in the great and marvelous universe. When heaven is spoken of in the Scriptures, its greatness is always either directly expressed or implied as if it were a matter of course; and the higher scientific achievements can ascend in the realms of the starry heavens the more marvelous appears the greatness thereof, and the more awfully real become the words of the Psalmist: "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork." God "sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers." It is "he that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in."

Within the great circle of the heavens, the earth, revolving upon its axis and gliding along its orbit, is but as a very small wheel in the great machinery of the fathomless and limitless universe, while to our short range of view it appears great and wonderful above all others of the worlds which float in the immensity of space. Small as it is, however, compared with Creation's mighty works, it fits its place and performs its part in maintaining the perfect equilibrium which the wonderful laws of the Creator so accurately govern. Scientists tell us that the slight unbalancing of this perfect equipoise would cause the crash of the universe. This might be true were it possible to conceive of the occurrence of such unbalancing with the Creator and upholder off His guard. No power but His could disturb the perfect equilibrium nor cause the smallest cog to slip in the machinery; but were he to see fit to remove or to destroy one or any number of the planets, surely a power and wisdom which could conceive and create such a marvelous system could also, if it were necessary, rearrange it, or see that the slightest change would not cause a crash. It is in the vain attempt to undermine the Bible in its account of Joshua's long day and of miracles generally, that this supposed crashing result is assumed, and in this attempt the wisdom and power of the Creator are admitted and declared, it never seeming to occur to those scientists that laws so perfect and arrangements and adjustments so complete that the slightest disturbance would be attended with such tremendous results must have emanated from One whose wisdom and power answer exactly to the Bible description of God.

But will God ever destroy the earth? We may reasonably ask, why should he ever do so? Is it because evil has come upon it and unfitted it for perpetual existence? If so, has evil frustrated his purpose and made it necessary to blot out of existence a part and then rearrange and readjust the rest of the universe? This cannot be; for he has promised that the earth shall be filled with his glory as the waters cover the sea; and that its perpetuity is assured is declared in unmistakable language.

THE PERPETUITY OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH

Eccl. 1: 4--One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.

Psa. 104: 1-5--Blessed be the Lord * * * who laid the foundation of the earth that it should not be removed forever.

Psa. 119: 90--Thy faithfulness is unto all generations; thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

The perpetuity and stability of the ordinances of the earth are compared with the certainty of the fulfillment of God's promises; the one can no more cease than the other can fail.

To show the certainty of the fulfillment of God's covenant with Israel the prophet Jeremiah says:

Jer. 31: 35-36--Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar: the Lord is his name: If those ordinances depart from me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.

Jer. 33: 20-21--Thus saith the Lord: If ye can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day or night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne and with the Levites, the priests my ministers.

Nothing, therefore, can ever change the ordinances of the heavens and the earth, and we need have no fear of scientists who guess that some time in the distant future the supposed internal fires of the earth will break out and our abode go off in smoke; nor need there be an alarm at the delusions of some preachers who declare that the earth is to become a great bonfire and consume away.

When it is shown that God has promised the earth, not heaven, to the righteous as their everlasting inheritance we are often told that such is impossible because the Scriptures declare that the earth shall be burned up. It cannot be that God has lost sight of this final catastrophe which is supposed to await this terrestrial sphere and predicated the certainty of the fulfillment of his promises upon the perpetuity of the earth and its ordinances when, instead of its existence being perpetual, it is to explode and pass away in fire and smoke.

THE MISTAKE OF WORLD BURNERS

The mistake is with the theory of the world burners who refuse to receive the promises that "the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord," "The meek shall inherit the earth and dwell therein forever." "The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth." If the earth is to be the habitation for a few short years of a few good people who are to be taken to another world, and of many wicked who are to be taken to still another one, much worse than this, and then to be burned up, it would not seem far from right to say that it has been created in vain; and with such a view no room whatever would be found for the promises cited above to which many more might be added. But the prophet Isaiah declares, "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited." (chap. 45: 18). Surely his purpose in creating the earth to be inhabited was not limited to the dark and sinful past and present. The purpose must reach farther and higher than this. It must have in view a state of habitation that will be to the glory of God; and is this not what is contemplated by the words of the heavenly host who cried out: "Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace and good will toward men." (Luke 2: 14)?

Those who believe that heaven is to be their everlasting abode and who quote Scripture to prove the destruction of the earth forget that the same Scripture also declares the destruction of the heavens; and the fact that the Scriptures do declare the future destruction of the heavens and earth seems, when superficially viewed, to make God's word contradictory. No one surely can persuade himself that God will destroy his own glorious habitation. Why should he do so? To entertain such a thought for a moment is both unreasonable and unscriptural; and since, as we have seen, the heavens and the earth with all the ordinances thereof, are used to represent stability, permanence and perpetuity the question is no more a doubtful or uncertain one. The eternal existence of the literal or physical heavens and earth, the marvelous and stupendous work of the Creator, is assured.

It is by failing to discriminate between symbolic and literal language that the Scriptures are made to appear contradictory on this question.

If we hold the unscriptural and unreasonable theory that the physical heavens and earth are to be destroyed we shall be in the same plight that Wesley found himself when he wrote the poem:

"When heaven and earth are fled and gone, O, where shall I appear?"

A comparison of Scripture with Scripture will remove any seeming contradiction, dispel all doubt and bring to view the poetic and symbolic beauty of Scripture language, language which is often borrowed by secular writers to great advantage in embellishing their literary work. The following quotation from Dr. Keith is an illustration of this, in which the reader will readily see with what forcefulness the words sky, tempest, convulsion, cloud, electricity, thunderbolt, atmosphere, storm, lightning, heavens, etc., are figuratively used.

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

Never, perhaps, in the history of man were the times more ominous or pregnant with greater events than at present. The signs of them are, in many respects, set before the eyes of men and need not be told; and they strike the senses so forcibly and come so closely to the apprehension of all that they may be said to be felt as well as to be seen. The face of the sky never indicated more clearly an approaching tempest than the signs of the times betoken an approaching convulsion--not partial but universal. It is not a single cloud, surcharged with electricity, on the rending of which a momentary flash might appear and the thunderbolt shiver a pine or scathe a few lovely shrubs, that is now rising into view; but the whole atmosphere is lowering. A gathering storm is accummulating fearfully in every region, the lightning is already seen gleaming in the heavens and passing in quick succession from one distant cloud to another as if every tree in the forest would be enkindled, and the devastating tempest before purifying the atmosphere would spread ruin on every side.

No sensible person reading the foregoing would look up at the sky and expect to see signs of a literal storm portending great convulsions in the physical heavens and earth. With ordinary common sense He would know that the writer was vividly describing the condition of the political heavens and threatening destruction of the evils of the world, socially and politically, as the same writer further says: "Such is the aspect of the political horizon. The whole world is in agitation."

Now, let us take a passage of Scripture to illustrate the same figurative use of language, and with ordinary common sense, which the Scriptures always presume its reader to possess, we shall find it quite easy to "rightly divide the word of truth" in a proper discrimination between literal and figurative language, and thus escape the evil of making the Bible appear a contradictory book.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF BIBLE FIGURES OF SPEECH

Isa. 34:--Come near ye nations to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear and all that is therein, the world and all things that come forth of it * * * And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all the host shall fall down as the leaf falling off from the vine and a falling fig from the fig tree, For my sword shall be bathed in heaven; behold it shalt come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood; it is made fat with fatness and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorn shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood and their dust made fat with fatness, For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch and the dust thereof into brimstone and the land thereof shall become burning pitch, It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

Here is a striking illustration of the poetry and symbolism of the Bible in which, as Bishop Lowth says of prophecy generally, "A set of images is taken from things natural, artificial, religious, and historical; in the way of metaphor or allegory." Indeed, to deprive the prophets of this poetic and symbolical use of language would be to quench the fire of their tongues; for it is in this that the strength and beauty of the Hebrew, inspired by the Divine Spirit, consist; and as a means of forewarning of the terribleness of the punishments to be inflicted upon sinful nations and of the intensity of God's indignation against such sinfulness the tone of the language used must necessarily be raised to the highest pitch in order that there might be a full realization of the importance of the matter described and foretold.

Happily, the descriptive power of such language is not confined to the dreadful and terrible, but is beautifully employed in the painting of pictures of the grandest and most glorious blessings in store for the righteous. While almost the entire chapter from which the foregoing passage is quoted (Isa. 34) is a vivid description of the fearful and dreadful, the next chapter takes wings, as it were, and soars aloft into heights of glory and blessings, in which even the poetic pen of the prophet seems unable to do full justice; and in this, too, we have the highly wrought figures of speech. As if to present a strong and striking contrast with what he had already said the prophet exclaims: "The wilderness and the solitary places 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."

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE IN RELATION TO HEAVENS AND EARTH

With these facts before us we shall be prepared for the figurative use of language in relation to the heavens and the earth, and by it be able to understand that when the destruction of the world is spoken of it does not mean the crash of the universe, and that the passing away of the heavens and the dissolving of the earth is not affirmed of the literal heaven and earth, which cannot be moved for ever, and of which the Spirit through Israel's Psalmist declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night giveth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun."

Dr. Adam Clarke, in his "Introduction to the Book of Isaiah," quotes largely from the writings of Dr. John Smith, of Cambleton, from which we extract the following to illustrate the Bible use of terms concerning the political "heavens and earth."

SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE

By images borrowed from the world natural the prophets frequently understand something analogous in the world politic. Thus, the sun, moon and stars and heavenly bodies denote kings, queens, rulers, and persons in great power; their increase of splendor denotes increase of prosperity; their darkening, setting, or falling denotes a reverse of fortune, or the entire ceasing of that power or kingdom to which they refer. Great earthquakes and the shaking of heaven and earth denote the commotion and overthrow of kingdoms; and the beginning or end of the world their rise or ruin.

The cedars of Lebanon, oaks of Bashan, fir trees and other stately trees of the forest denote kings, princes, potentates, and persons of the highest rank. Briers and thorns, the common people, or those of the meanest order. High mountains and lofty hills in like manner denote kingdoms, republics, states and cities; towns and fortresses signify defenders and protectors; ships of Tarshish, merchants or commercial people; and the daughter of any capital or mother city, the lesser cities or suburbs around it. Cities never conquered are further styled virgins.

SIR ISAAC NEWTON ALSO SAYS:

In attempting to understand the prophecies we are in the first place to acquaint ourselves with the figurative language of the prophets. This language is taken from analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom as a world politic. Accordingly, the whole world natural, consisting of heavens and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in the prophecy. Great earthquakes and the shaking of heaven and earth are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract and overthrow them; creating a new heaven and earth and the passing away of the old one, or the beginning and end of the world for the rise and wane of the body politic signified thereby. The sun and moon are by the interpreters of dreams put for the persons of kings and queens; but in sacred prophecy, which regards not single persons, the sun is put for the whole series and race of kings in the kingdoms of the world politic, shining with regal power and glory; the moon considered as the king's wife, the stars for subordinate princes and great men.

II. PETER 3 EXPLAINED

Now the Scripture which is generally quoted to prove the destruction of heaven and earth is II. Peter 3: 7-11. It requires only ordinary care in reading this chapter to see that the apostle is not predicting the destruction of God's dwelling place nor of man's habitation. The heavens and the earth which are now, of which destruction is affirmed, are the second of the heavens and earth of which the apostle is speaking. In verses 5 and 6 he says:

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth, standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." Then in verse 7 he speaks of "The heavens and the earth which are now," which clearly implies that the "heavens which were of old and the earth" are not the same as "the heavens and the earth which are now." Those "of old," being "overflowed with water, perished," but those "which are now" still exist and are "reserved unto fire." May we not safely say of this that we have here the first heavens and earth, and the second heavens and earth--the former antedeluvian and the latter postdeluvian? There is no other meaning can possibly, with reason, be drawn from the apostle's words. Now, all we have to do is to ask, Have we different physical heavens and earth now from those of antedeluvian times? and we shall be compelled to see that, while a change did take place in the heavens and earth of Peter's discourse, the dwelling place of God and the broad star-spangled heavens above us have remained in all their beauty and majestic splendor, and our fair earth has continued whirling around upon its axis and gliding along gracefully and unerringly in its orbit, and they still exist unchanged and unchangeable to "declare the glory of God and to show forth his handiwork."

That which in verse 5 is called "heavens and earth of old," is in verse 6 termed "the world that then was." The word world here is in the Greek, kosmos, meaning order or arrangement of things. The ruling and ruled system of antedeluvian times constituted the heavens and the earth or the world, political and social, of those times. This kosmos or world became wicked and corrupt in the hands of its rulers and ruled. Hence God spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the flood upon the world of the ungodly (I. Peter 2: 5.) Their political and social corruption was swept off the earth and in this great catastrophe the heavens and the earth which were then, being overflowed with water, perished.

THREE HEAVENS AND EARTH

The "heavens and the earth which now are" consisted of the rulers and ruled in the Jewish and Gentile world or kosmos. The Jewish was about to come to its end then, while the Gentile must continue till the "times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Of the former, which was a kosmos of God's arranging, the apostle Paul, quoting from the prophets, says, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands; they shall perish, but thou remainest; and they shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up and they shall be changed; but thou art the same and thy years shall not fail" (Heb. 1: 10, 12). The Jewish heavens and earth constituted a kosmos or world, and it was near its end when Peter and Paul wrote. This end is termed the "last days" by Paul when he says, "God, who in sundry times and diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son" (Heb. 1: 1-2); and of the same times the same apostle, using another word, aion--age, says that the ends of the world (the Mosaic age in which obtained the Mosaic kosmos) are come (I. Cor. 10: 11). In the end of this world Christ "appeared and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Heb. 9: 26).

DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH HEAVENS AND EARTH

Describing the destruction of the Jewish heavens and earth, which caused the end of its ecclesiastical (represented by the moon) as well as that of its political system the apostle Peter quotes from the prophet Joel: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come" (Acts 2: 20). It was then that Israel's sun went down and her moon withdrew her shining and left her in the political and religious darkness which has covered her with gloom ever since, and will continue till the "Sun of righteousness arise," when the words of the prophet Isaiah will find sweet fulfillment: "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" (Isa. 60: 20).

But "the heavens and the earth which are now" of II. Pet. 3: 7 are evidently not confined to those of Judaism; for they are carried along by the apostle till they give place to the third or "new heavens and earth" (verses 12, 13). The light of Israel's sun was extinguished, under God, by the Romans, who were Gentiles; and the heavens and earth of Rome still continue, having undergone many changes. Of these the apostle says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat: the earth (the civil and social system as a whole), and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (the varied and numerous details which constitute the whole). These shall be dissolved. Nevertheless, another is to follow. We have now seen that:

1. There were heavens and earth before the flood, which passed away.

2. The heavens and earth of Judaism, the Jewish kosmos, reached the end of its age and then it passed away; and what remains of "the heavens and the earth which are now" are to be dissolved in the day when the Lord shall come as a thief in the night.

3. "We look for new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness" (verse 13).

In those which were then and these which are now righteousness did not dwell; and this is the reason why the former perished and why the latter is to be dissolved and pass away. Surely unrighteousness cannot be affirmed of the literal heavens and earth, which declare the glory of God and show forth his handiwork. But of the political heavens and earth of all ages, in the kingdoms of men, there has been unrighteousness, and now the whole creation is groaning while it waits, it knows not for what; but it is for the dawning of that glorious morning when the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams and shine forth in the new heavens to give health and blessing to the new earth.

A comparison will show that what is declared of the condition and end of the kingdoms of the world is declared of the heavens and the earth which are to be destroyed; and what is shown to be the character of the coming kingdom of God is precisely that of the new heavens and new earth which are to follow the destruction of "the heavens and the earth which are now."

The only conclusion these facts will admit of is that the words "new heavens and new earth" are figuratively used to represent the ruling power and the ruled in the kingdom of God. The kingdoms of men are unrighteous and are, therefore, to be destroyed. The heavens and the earth of Peter's letter are also unrighteous and therefore to be destroyed. When the unrighteous kingdoms of men are destroyed the righteous kingdom of God is to take their place. So when the unrighteous heavens and earth of Peter's discourse pass away, then will come the new heavens and new earth which the apostle says "we look for." It is then that "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ!" (Rev. 11: 15)--Peter and the angel, through John, expressing the same grand truth in different language. The same truth is expressed also by the prophet Daniel, when literally giving expression to what had been symbolized to Nebuchadnezzer: "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).

THE THIRD HEAVEN

We have now the heavens and the earth which were of old (II. Pet. 3: 5), which we may call the first heaven; then we have the heaven and the earth which are now (verse 7), which we may call the second heaven; and last we have the new heavens and new earth (verse 13), which we may call the third heaven. This third, the apostle is particular to say we look for "according to his promise," as if it were a matter specially promised. That which is the subject of special promise--indeed that which is the subject matter of the gospel--is the kingdom of God. We can safely use the apostle's language in saying we, according to his promise, look for the kingdom of God, wherein dwelleth righteousness. This was what they were looking for and what we are looking for, when we pray, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven." It was this third heaven that Paul was caught up or away to in vision; and as John on Patmos saw in vision things which would come to pass hereafter, so Paul saw in the third heaven a paradise, the paradise Jesus will be in when "he cometh into his kingdom" (Luke 23: 42, 43). In this the apostle saw the glories of the age to come in such transcendent beauty and effulgence that it was impossible (see margin) to give expression to them; they were "unspeakable" (II. Cor. 12: 4), and beyond the realization of mortal man in his finite state. Eye hath not seen nor ear heard the glory of this paradise, kingdom, or new heaven: it has only been revealed as fully as frail and finite man can comprehend it.

WHY HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE USED FIGURATIVELY

In the natural world we have heaven and earth, sun, moon and stars. God created the sun to rule by day and the moon to rule by night. The Bible being a revelation to this planet, our range of view is limited to the relation of the heavens, sun, moon, and stars to this earth. Here is the earth beneath, or under the heaven, as we are compelled to speak of it; under "that which is heaved up"--above. Heaven rules and the earth is ruled. In speaking of the "two great lights" we always speak of the greater--the sun--in the masculine gender and the lesser--the moon--in the feminine gender. The prophet Isaiah says, "The sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (Chap. 13: 10). Gender belongs literally and primarily to the sexes. The man is given first dominion and, therefore, the dominion of woman is subordinate to and derived from the man. As Christ is the head of the church so man is head of the woman. She is the "weaker vessel." Since the moon receives its light from the sun, it is the "lesser light," and after the analogy of the sexes we naturally use the feminine gender when speaking of it, while of the "greater light"--the sun--we use the masculine gender. It is natural to speak of things optically. As they appear to us, the sun is the greater ruler of our earth and the moon the lesser, while their family, as it were, is seen in the stars which sparkle in the firmament. Here is a natural kosmos, a grand arrangement, a physical world, consisting of heaven and earth.

FAMILY KINGDOMS

In the natural order of things, when man increased in the earth and families became divided off, the husband leaving father and mother and cleaving to his wife, each family would necessarily become a little kosmos, world or kingdom, in which there would be rulers and ruled. The father was the first, the mother the second in ruling and governing their children. Then, when it became so that servants formed part of these little kingdoms, there was another element introduced and there were three grades of rulership--Father, Mother, and Children, in the order named. The father's law was supreme; the mother's subordinate, and the children's (over the large retinue of servants many of them had) subordinate to both; but all filling their proper places in these little kingdoms.

Now, with these facts in view, we can draw the analogy which runs through the Scriptures between the heavens and the earth and kingdoms.

The father answers to the sun, the mother to the moon, and the children to the stars, constituting the heavens; while the servants answer to the earth, under or ruled by the heaven. Looking at the sun as that in the physical heavens which answers to the fathers in the heavens of these kingdoms, it naturally became spoken of in the masculine gender, while the moon, answering to the mother, was spoken of in the feminine gender, and so we find it among us now.

In Gen. 37: 5-10 we have an illustration of this in Joseph's dreams. Joseph says of his second dream, "Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me; and he told it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said unto him, What is this dream that thou dreamest? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren come to bow down to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him, and his father observed the saying" (verses 8-11). On this Dr. Adam Clarke says:

"Why eleven stars? Was it merely to signify that his brothers might be represented by eleven stars? Or does he not there rather allude to the Zodiac, his eleven brethren answering to the eleven celestial signs, and himself to the twelfth? This certainly is not an unnatural thought, as it is very likely that the heavens were measured in the days of Joseph; for Zodiacal constellations have been distinguished among the eastern nations from time immemorial."

Be this as it may, the interpretation Jacob put upon the dream regarded himself as the sun, the mother (whoever might fill the place at that time, for Rachel was dead) the moon and the eleven brothers the stars. In Jacob's household, which was such a little kingdom as we have before described, there were many servants. Therefore, the family proper would be the heaven, in which were the sun, moon and stars, while the servants and all possessions would be the earth.

As time went on and might assumed the place of right, ambitious men, not satisfied with the rulership of their own little kingdoms, forced others into subjection, and thus the spirit of rivalry became rampant and the increase of the kingdoms of men, with all their wickedness and pride, more and more burdened the world of mankind. Many petty kingdoms were in Canaan when Joshua entered the land.

Now with this view of the Bible's use of heavens and earth, we can understand many Scriptures which would otherwise be confusing. When Moses cried out, "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth" (Deut. 32:1), he was not addressing things which cannot hear; but to the rulers and the ruled of men his words were uttered; and the same is true of the words of Jeremiah-"O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord" (chap. 22: 29). In Isa. 1: 1, 2, the prophet is addressing Israel concerning the wickedness of Judah and Jerusalem and to the rulers and ruled of that wicked nation he cries, "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord has spoken." These are the heavens which, as we have before shown, were in apostolic times to be folded up and pass away, a destiny which awaits all Gentile heavens with all their corruption, when the Sun of righteousness shall chase away their darkness and flood the earth with light and goodness.

Speaking of the destruction of Babylon the prophet Isaiah says, "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (chap. 13: 10). Then he adds, "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger" (verse 13). The result of this was to be (and is yet to be with modern Babylon) that "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee's excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah" (verse 19). This destruction of the heavens of Babylon necessarily caused the fall of its king or "day star." Hence the prophet says, "Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon and say "How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! * * *How art thou fallen from heaven, O day star (margin), son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high" (verse 14). Verse 12 is the passage upon which popular religionists base their fable of the devil being once an angel in heaven who, when subjected to discipline for being unruly, declared that he would "rather rule in hell than serve in heaven," whereupon he fell from heaven into hell, where he is supposed to have full sway over the greater part of those who at death have left this earth. A glance at this chapter in Isaiah will show how far it is from supporting such heathen fables.

When the king of Babylon fell from his throne he is said to have fallen from heaven; and in the indictment recorded against him he is charged with being ambitious to "ascend into heaven," "above the stars of God." In this ascension the king's ambition was that he might "sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" (verse 13). Now this is Mount Zion; for the Psalmist says, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king" (Psa. 48: 2). It was there that the throne of the Lord over Israel was (and will be) set up; and, therefore, it was there that the "stars of God" were, in the heaven of Israel, the heaven which in Paul's day had "waxed old and was ready to vanish away." The greatest of the king's ambition was to vanquish Israel, and thus ascend into Israel's heaven; but it cannot be supposed that his ambition was so insane as to aspire to set his throne above the throne of God in His dwelling-place. Hence, in this chapter we have Israel's heaven and Babylon's heaven.

SATAN IN THE ROMAN HEAVEN

The Satan, or adversary of Christ and his disciples was pagan Rome. In the Roman heaven there were "principalities and powers," "rulers of darkness of this world"--the Roman world or kosmos (Eph. 6: 12). The Diaglott renders this and the previous verse thus: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the crafty ways of the enemy; because our conflict is not with blood and flesh, but with the governments, with the authorities, with the potentates of this darkness, with the spiritual wickedness in the Heavenlies." In the authorized version, where in the text we have "high places," the margin gives "heavenly." The wickedness of this Roman heaven was what caused the conflict between paganism and the new-born and rapidly growing child of Christianity.

The latter in its perverted and apostate form was destined to ascend the throne, receiving, at first, in its purity, its power from the sword of the Spirit--the word; but afterwards, in its corrupt form, from the literal sword. In full view of the persecution of the Christians by pagan Rome, and of the sufferings he and his disciples would receive at the hands of that heathen despotic and cruel power, the Saviour sees its end at the hands of Christianity in the ascension of the so-called first Christian emperor to the throne, Constantine, and he exclaims, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Not that this was the complete fulfillment of these words; for, no doubt, they reach to the end of all the powers of all adversaries. When the fall of paganism and the enthronement of Christianity (in its corrupted form) were shown in vision to John, "there appeared a wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev. 12: 1). This woman gives birth to a man child, who is caught up to God and to His throne; God being on the side of Christianity and against paganism. Then there is war in heaven and the dragon (pagan Rome) is cast out of heaven. Thus the pagan Roman Satan fell from heaven in the dethronement of the dragon power of paganism and the enthronement of the political child of the woman who is clothed with the sun (civil power) and the moon (ecclesiastical power) under her feet, with the twelve stars of the Ceasars upon her head.

Some erroneously apply this chapter to the downfall of Judaism and the ascension of Christ to heaven, failing to observe that the war is in the same heaven to which the man child is "caught up," and ignoring the fact that John was not being shown what had taken place, but "things which shall be hereafter" (chap. 4: 1). It was an event future from John's time and serves to illustrate the symbolic use of heaven as representing political and ecclesiastical power. This is not the place to give a full exposition of this passage: we have referred to it to show the symbolic use of heaven in relation to human governments. It is simply foolish to make "the war in heaven" apply to a war in the holy habitation of God, where we may be sure war is impossible. If there could be war there why should we pray that God's will may be done in earth as it is in heaven. We have plenty of war on earth, and if such is possible in heaven the answer to our prayer would not improve our situation.

CONSTANTINE'S VICTORY PREFIGURATIVE OF CHRIST

While Revelation 12 found partial fulfillment in the enthronement of Constantine, it yet remains for it to reach its amplitude, in the great war of God Almighty, when Christ shall become the king of all the earth. Upon the creation of the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness God will again establish His throne upon Mount Zion, this time never to be moved; when, as the prophet Isaiah says, "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" (chap. 24: 23). We may well ask, Why should the splendid lights of heaven above be confounded and ashamed because the Lord reigns in Mount Zion? Why should the king upon his throne confound the beautiful works of God's creation which declare His glory and show forth His wisdom and power? But if our minds be fixed upon the moon of Gentile heavens answering to the corrupt religious systems, and to the sun of those heavens, answering to the civil governments, then we can understand why all these shall be confounded and put to shame by the Lord of hosts reigning on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, whence His law shall go forth to rebuke strong nations and to compel them to "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into scythes, and learn war no more." In the new heavens, which will chase away the darkness of all others, Christ will shine as the "Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4: 2). His redeemed bride shall be the moon, and the saints, individually and severally, will be the stars. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13: 43); "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever" (Dan. 12: 3). There will then be one glory of the sun and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star will differ from another star in glory. So will it be at the resurrection of the dead (I. Cor. 15: 41, 42), when the new heavens shall smile upon the new earth and paradise that was lost shall be restored and the poetic words of Isaiah find sweet realization:

ISAIAH 35--LOWTH'S TRANSLATION

The desert and the waste shall be glad:
And the wilderness shall rejoice and flourish:
Like the rose shall it beautifully flourish:
And the well-watered plain of Jordan shall also rejoice:
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
The beauty of Carmel and Sharon:
These shall behold the glory of Jehovah,
The majesty of our God.
Strengthen ye the feeble hands,
And confirm ye the tottering knees,
Say ye to the faint-hearted: Be ye strong;
Fear ye not; behold your God!
Vengeance will come, the retribution of God:
He himself will come and will deliver you.
Then shall be unclosed the eyes of the blind;
And the ears of the deaf shall be opened;
Then shall the lame bound like the hart,
And the tongue of the dumb shalt sing:
For in the wilderness shall burst forth waters,
And torrents in the desert:
And the glowing sand shall become a pool,
And the thirsty soil bubbling springs;

And in the haunts of dragons shall spring forth
The grass with the reed and the bulrush.
And a highway shall be there;
And it shall be called the way of holiness;
No unclean person shall pass through it;
But he, himself shall be with them, walking in the way.
And the foolish shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there;
Nor shall the tyrant of beasts come up thither;
Neither shall he be found there;
But the redeemed shall walk in it.
Yea the ransomed of Jehovah shall return:
They shall come to Zion with triumph;
And perpetual gladness shall crown their heads.
Joy and gladness shall they obtain;
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

LOCALITY OF THE NEW HEAVENS

It is frequently the case that the change of heavens and earth is spoken of in the Scriptures in connection with Mount Zion. In Psa. 102: 13-28 is a remarkable instance of this kind. The Lord is to "arise, and have mercy upon Zion" when "the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come." When this occurs the "Lord is to appear in his glory," and "declare his name in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem." This is to be "when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve the Lord." Before this, Christ appears in the flesh saying, "He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days; thy years are throughout all generations." From this the psalmist at once glides into the foundations of the earth and the heavens, which were to wax old, perish, and be changed as a vesture. This is quoted by the writer to the Hebrews and applied to the Jewish heavens and earth, or the world which was to pass away soon after Israel's Messiah was "taken away in the midst of his days."

Then again in Isa. 51: 3-6 we have the promise that "the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody." Israel is then called upon to hearken to their God, and it is promised that "a law shall proceed from me (Jehovah) and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people." Glad tidings are then heralded that God's "strength is near; his salvation is gone forth, his arms shall judge the people; and the isles shall wait upon him." Then attention is called to the heavens and the earth which are to vanish away; yet there is assurance given in the words, "My salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." The arm of the Lord is to awake; the redeemed of the Lord are to return to Zion; the captive exile is to hasten; and then God will "put his words in Israel's mouth and cover her in the shadow of His hand, and plant the (new) heavens and lay the foundations of the (new) earth and say unto Zion, Thou art my people" (verse 16).

This beautiful verse is both historic and prophetic. When God on Mount Sinai was laying the foundation of the Jewish earth and planting the heavens, the glory of His presence was too great and dazzling for the eyes of Israel to behold; and they beseeched that he speak to them no more. It was then that He, as it were, "covered them in the shadow of His hand," while he, through Moses, "put His words in their mouths, and laid the foundations of the earth and planted the heavens." This will be repeated upon a grander scale when the greater than Moses shall appear, and the Lord shall comfort Zion, the redeemed of the Lord return thither--to her children God shall say, "Thou art my people."

Viewing the abomination of Israel (Jer. 4), her land as fallow ground, desolate and forsaken, the prophet Jeremiah cries out, "I am pained to my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace" (verse 19). The desolations which have come upon Israel and her land are so great that it can be said of her heavens and earth, "I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of heaven were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger. For thus the Lord saith, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end" (verses 23-27). Their name is now left for a curse, and they have suffered and are still suffering from "sorrow of heart" and "howling for vexation of spirit," with their heavens and earth vanished, no sun to shine upon them, and no moon to give them light in the darkness of the night through which they are passing. But there is a change soon. Israel's God has declared, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying" (Isa. 65: 15-19). Israel's "sun shall then no more go down; neither shall her moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be her everlasting light and the days of her mourning shall be ended" (Isa. 60: 20). Then the moon of the Gentile heavens or the "heavens and the earth which are now" (II. Pet.: 3) "shall be confounded and the sun shall be ashamed, when (and because) the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" (Isa. 24: 23).

In this beautiful symbolical way of expressing the great change that shall take place when the world's redemption becomes a fact, the analogy between the world natural and the world political is seen in its sublime fitness; and the wisdom of God shines out in wonderful light and splendor. A volume of thought is condensed into a few words. The words abound in a way to carry the mind on into heavenly ideas far beyond the mere letter. In some instances the mind instructed in the fundamental principles of the Scriptures will be able to see more than one event prophesied in one passage; in others it will be able to see an application of the same words to both natural and spiritual things; and thus the divinity of the Bible will become more and more a matter of irresistible truth that will force conviction and call forth admiration.

We have frequently quoted the nineteenth Psalm in speaking of the physical heavens and earth, and this is the first lesson to be learned from those beautiful words. Look up into the vast heavens above and out over this beautiful earth and who is he that can be called a man and yet will not, yea is not compelled by a throbbing heart and admiring eyes to, burst out in words of praise.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chambers, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

TWO PHASES OF PROPHECY

Is it not astonishing that there are men possessed of eyes to see the wisdom, the power and the grandeur of the universe, and who can yet deny that there is a God? As we have said, these beautiful words give vent to the hearts and minds of those who with the natural eyes behold the literal heavens and earth; but the mind is also enlightened in and the heart thrilled with the contemplation of the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ; the new heavens and the new earth which will bring the long-looked-for blessing to our groaning world stand out in all their resplendent glory and it is then that the passage becomes doubly charming, because while the natural eye can feast upon the abounding glories of the natural world, the eyes of the mind, or of faith, can behold with ecstacy a kosmos or world which will indeed declare the glory of God and show forth His handiwork in the highest sense conceivable. Then "day unto day will utter speech and night unto night will give knowledge," so that "all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest," and there will be no language where their voice shall not be heard. The "line" or rule of those new heavens, consisting of Christ and his redeemed saints, shall run through all the earth--to its "uttermost parts"--and "their words to the end of the world." In these new heavens God has provided a tabernacle for His Son who will be the Sun thereof and who will in very deed be the "strong man to run the race," when he comes forth as a bridegroom from behind the veil.

That we can safely apply the passage to this spiritual and higher aspect of things is clear from verse 7; for here we have the law which now prepares stars for the new heaven and which will "convert," "make wise," "rejoice the heart" and "enlighten the eyes" of those who shall be blessed in the new earth in which will dwell righteousness. Then "the fear of the Lord will be clean" in very deed, "enduring forever" and "the judgments of the Lord will be righteous altogether." While now the laws of the Lord are not sought for, then they will be "desired more than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also (will they be) than honey and the dropping of the honey comb."

The sound of the gospel pertaining to this grand time is what is heralded to the world in the covenants of promise. This "sound" or "line" is also termed "their words" (verse 4), which are the words of the truth of the gospel of the kingdom of God, which when established will be the planting of the new heavens and laying the foundation of the new earth. Hence the apostle Paul in preaching the gospel quotes from this Psalm, saying, "So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But, I say, have they not heard? Yea, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world" (Rom.10: 17, 18).

Now, with this twofold aspect of truth before our minds we may view the creation of the natural world as described by Moses and at the same time keep our minds upon the new creation of which Christ is the first-born. The two great lights of the new heaven will be Christ the Sun--the greater--and his bride, the moon--the lesser--and the stars which will "shine for ever and ever" will be the individual saints.

THE LITERAL AND THE SPIRITUAL

Man was created and when in a deep sleep woman was taken out of man. These two became one, and of them it was said, "Let them have dominion." In the new creation the new man, Christ, was made or formed in the image of the Elohim, first in character and afterwards in nature. By the deep sleep of death into which he passed his bride is formed, and when these two become one in nature, as they are now one in mind, which will be at the marriage of the Lamb to his bride, who shall have "made herself ready," then the words, "Let them have dominion," will find a grand fulfillment. This dominion shall be "from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth;" "the kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him;" the new heavens and the new earth shall then make ashamed, confound and chase away the present corrupt governments of men--while they "shall never be moved," but "abide for ever," having ordinances which can no more be changed than can those of the literal heavens and earth, nor than God's covenant can be broken. "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously;" and favored Mount Zion and restored Jerusalem shall realize the fulfillment of the words, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying" (Isa. 65: 17, 19).

"And who is He? the vast, the awful form (Rev. 10: 1, 2),
Girt with the whirlwind, sandall'd with the storm!
A western cloud around his limbs is spread,
His crown a rainbow, and the sun his head.
To highest heaven he lifts his kingly hand,
And treads at once the ocean and the land:
And hark! His voice amidst the thunders roar,
His dreadful voice, that time shall be no more.
Lo! thrones are set, and every saint is there (Rev. 20: 4-6).
Earth's utmost bounds confess their awful sway,
The mountains worship, and the isles obey;
Nor sun, nor moon they need--nor day, nor night;--
God is their temple, and the Lamb their light (Rev. 21: 22);
And shall not Israel's sons exulting come,
Hail the glad beam and claim their ancient home?
On David's throne shall David's offspring reign,
And the dry bones be warm with life again (Ezek. 37).
Hark! white-robed crowds their deep hosannas raise.
And the hoarse flood resounds the sound of praise;
Ten thousand harps attune the mystic song,
Ten thousand thousand saints the strain prolong!
Worthy the Lamb, omnipotent to save,
Who died, who lives triumphant o'er the grave."

 

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Chapter 11

The World's Redemption


Tokens of Our Times in Relation to the
Return of the Messiah

While there may be convulsions in the literal heavens and earth attending the coming crisis among nations, which will transform the kingdoms of this world into the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, it is not in the literal sun, moon, and stars that we are to look for the signs portending the end of the present order of things. When Moses foretold the end of the Jewish commonwealth he described the great nation that should come into existence, as well as the status of Israel which should provoke the downfall of that ancient and favored people. One watching the signs of the times in the first century would carefully compare the apostate condition of Israel with Moses' prediction of what should be the reason for the punishment awaiting them. He would also compare the Roman empire in its relation to Israel and weigh well the probabilities which would suggest themselves in the natural order of cause and effect. He would see that Israel was ripe for the destruction of the last vestige of its national existence and that the "nation of fierce countenance" was the great dominating power which was ready to follow its heraldic eagles in fulfillment of the prophecy, "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the ends of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth" (Deut. 28: 49). Notwithstanding that Israel had passed through experiences that no other people had been able to endure and survive, true to the words of Moses there was that nation actually in existence after the lapse of fifteen hundred years. While when Moses wrote the prophecy they were a new-born nation, not yet in their land, having no "gates" to besiege nor "fenced walls to come down" (Deut. 28:52), here they were with a city whose checkered history surpassed that of any other, in which stood a temple which had commanded the admiration and astonishment of the world, and around which had been built massive walls which challenged attack. These were realities, not in the clouds, the sun and the moon, but realities on the earth among nations. And the careful watcher would finally see that these signs would really culminate in the exact fulfillment of the dreadful words of the prophet, in the downfall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans, and the captivity and scattering of her children to the four winds.

It is in this way that we must watch the signs of our times. We have now a broader world of nations to look out over, and in proportion to the magnitude of the coming revolution so is the number of unmistakable signs portending the near approach of the greatest event the world has ever witnessed.

SEVEN GREAT SIGNS

It is not our purpose here to deal with the many smaller details which point in the direction indicated, but to call attention to the great facts which must strike the most careless reader as sure and certain signs of the times. These facts are to be seen in

1. Israel, its providential existence, and its wonderful development and progress in these latter times, notwithstanding its persecution in times past in all the world and at present in some parts. This is a sign, because Israel is to be ready for deliverance at the return of their Messiah as they were about thirty-five hundred years ago at the hands of Moses.

2. The Holy Land, its desolation of the past and the present attraction which is turning the eyes of the world thither; colonization and railroad enterprises which the nineteenth century has been remarkable for; the fact that it is the desire of all nations and that many movements, great and small, are on foot, looking to the return of her people upon a large scale, a return which even now has become an accomplished fact to a considerable extent. This is a sign because it leads to the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that all the land should be given to his seed, which Paul says is Christ, and "the Lord is to inherit Judah, his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again."

3. The Turkish Power, its phenomenal and rapid rise, and its gradual decline. This is a sign because the desolator of the Holy Land is losing his grasp and is ready for the destructive whirlwind from the north which will bring the great war of God Almighty when the words, "Behold I come quickly," will find their fulfillment.

4. The Papacy, its uprise upon the wave of a great apostasy; the cruel and desolating days of its ascendancy and its present decrepit and declining condition. This is a sign because before the coming of Christ the man of sin was to "wear out" the saints and then experience a "consuming" process ending in destruction by the brightness of the Lord's coming.

5. France, the disturbing power of Europe, as the "three unclean spirits like frogs" which will gather the nations to the great war of God Almighty. This is a sign because it leads to the war of God Almighty at the coming of the Lord, to finally make wars to cease to the ends of the earth.

6. Britain, in relation to the Holy Land, Egypt, and the partial return of the Jews to Palestine; her now threatening final conflict with Russia, which will end in the destruction of the king of the north at the hands of Christ returned to claim the whole earth as his own.

7. Russia, its gradual development and present ascendancy among the nations, looking towards its ultimate victory, when it will drive out the Turks and take possession of the land of Israel. This is a sign because it indicates the readiness to form that situation which will hasten the great war of Armageddon, wherein Christ will appear as the victor over and vanquisher of all kings and rulers, sweeping every form of human government off the earth and inaugurating the heavenly reign of peace on earth, good will toward men and glory to God in the highest.

I. -- ISRAEL

The providential preservation of Israel through a trying history such as no other nation could outlive has been dealt with in a previous chapter. The fact that Israel still exists is proof that the Bible is true, as is to be seen in the hitherto fulfillment of its prophecies concerning that people. Great and wonderful things are promised for this people, the fulfillment of which depended upon their preservation throughout the vicissitudes of their fickle and fearful history. Had they sunk out of sight in the waves of war which carried down the great nations of antiquity, nations of greater power than they possessed, the skeptic's scorn would have found free vent in the taunting and unanswerable questions, Where are these people that your Bible says were to be "terrible from their beginning and forward?" Where is Israel whom Christ is to rule? The Jews of whom he is to be king? What becomes of your prophecy that Israel and Judah were to become one nation and never to be divided? But Israel is here; and as her situation in the first century was what Moses declared would and did bring the Roman eagles against her for her downfall and world-wide scattering, so is she now shaping herself preparatory to fulfillment of the prediction of the same prophet: "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land and to his people" (Deut. 32: 43); "The Lord will gather thee from all nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee" (Deut. 30: 3).

In Ezek. 37, "The whole house of Israel" is likened to a valley of dry bones, a fitting representation of the dissolution of their national existence. The question, "Can these bones live?" was one not many years ago that would have been answered in the negative. The general public sentiment was that Israel was gone never to become a people of any note again. But within the latter part of the nineteenth century they have forced themselves to the front in every department of life. This is as it should be according to prophecy of the latter days; and it is what is prophetically called the noise and shaking of the bones, and the bones coming together, bone to his bone, sinews and flesh being formed, preparatory to the breath of resurrected national life being breathed into them, when as a nation Israel shall "live and stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (Ezek. 37: 10). As showing the extent to which public attention was centered upon Israel in 1883 the author of "The Jews, or Prediction and Fulfillment," says that "public attention has of late years been called to the Jews in a degree quite unusual, if not, indeed, without precedent;" in proof of which he gives the following as a foot-note:

This is well illustrated by the prominence given of late to Jewish topics in the periodical literature of the day. These, e.g., to mention only a few of many instances, the Contemporary Review has had articles on various phases of Jewish affairs in the numbers for July, 1878, January and March, 1881, September and November, 1882; the Nineteenth Century in numbers for April and July 1878, February, 1881, August and November, 1882. In the last-named month, besides the Contemporary and the Nineteenth Century, Macmillan's and Blockwood's Magazines also had articles dealing with Jewish questions. It is not without some reason that the leading Jewish paper, commenting on this last circumstance, remarks that "it is a very marked sign of the times that editors, who can gauge so well the interests of the public, are so ready to admit articles dealing with Jewish topics."

Following along to chap. 38, Gog, of the land of Magog, is introduced and the part he is to play in the final drama of this world is vividly described; and it is all to take place in the "latter years" and "latter days" (verses 8, 16). That which tempts the cupidity of Gog to overflow the Holy Land is the fact that part of Israel has returned there--to the "land that is brought back from the sword," "gathered out of many people," "dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates." They "have gotten cattle and goods and dwell in the midst of the land."

Now that this is partially fulfilled, and is rapidly fulfilling nothing is clearer; and the more enlightened among the Jews see that the tide is swiftly turning in the direction of the preadventual return of the Jews as the prophecies require. They have the influence; they have the talent; they have the burning desire and quenchless patriotism. The exodus has commenced and assumed proportions that will not stop short of forming the situation that will yet explode the magazines of the nations and start the wild rush of the dogs of war to the great day of slaughter that will settle the perplexing Eastern question. Of this partial and preliminary exodus the Jewish Chronicle said some time ago,

The Russian and Roumanian Jews are bent on going to Palestine. Whatever we may think or say as to the practicability of the new exodus, it is evidently to take place. To all the objections to Palestine colonization that can be pointed out, the Jews of Russia and Roumania have one all-sufficient reply: We cannot be worse off there than here. The movement is irresistible."

As far back as 1882 the movement had assumed proportions that attracted the eyes of the world, and how it has been accelerated since by Russian persecution and Zionism is too well known to need stating. In February, 1882, a writer in the Jewish Chronicle said:

Once more are we on the eve of the Exodus. . . . It wants no prophetic eye to see that the Russian empire is on the eve of one of the greatest revolutions that the world has ever seen. The time has arrived for Israel to depart thence, and for the exodus, greater even than the original one, to commence. . . .But whitherward shall the steps of the millions of Israel be bound? Shall he again, as in the exodus from Spain, betake to other and more friendly lands, to be again, perchance, in the course of time, driven from them? No! a thousand times no! For the sake of our unborn posterity let this, with God's help, be the final exodus of our race. The land of promise is now subject to a power who can barely struggle against financial difficulties. That power is not unfriendly to Israel; his sovereign rights should be purchased with no niggard hand, and the independence of Israel established under international guarantee. What Israelite worthy of the name would hesitate in giving his quota towards the redemption of the land? Once under a stable and just government the land would again flow with milk and honey, and Jewish enterprise, capital and industry combined with the geographical situation of the country, would cause prosperity once more to shine upon it. Rome, Greece, and Egypt are once more numbered among the nations and the shaphar (trumpet) which announces the resurrection of Israel, the eldest born of the nations, should soon wake the echoes in the mountains of Judah. To Israel this restoration should prove an unmixed blessing; for possessing a political centre, the dread of persecution would no longer haunt her sons."--Quoted from Prediction and Fulfillment.

This tide of public sentiment is still flowing and now it is not at all averse to the settlement of the Jews in Palestine as an independent State. Zionism is now a prominent topic, and it has gathered sufficient strength to bring about a congress of two hundred delegates from various countries of Europe in Basle, in September (1897). One of the acts of this congress was to unanimously adopt the programme for the re-establishing of the Jews in Palestine. The plan is to "send out an exploring expedition equipped with all the resources of modern science to make a careful survey of the land and its possibilities, and also to establish telephonic and telegraphic communications before actual work of colonization begins." By the aid of many societies colonization has been going on for many years to a great extent; but this is scarcely noticed in comparison with that now proposed.

Now according to prophecy a preadventual colonization should take place of Jews in Palestine. It is partially done, and is being carried on with great success, even to the extent of having the money ready to offer and tempt the bankrupt Sultan to sell his sovereign right to that part of his domain. The sign to be seen in this is that the very situation which the prophet Ezekiel says is to bring the king of the north to the mountains of Israel is forming, and almost formed. The time is then here for the fulfillment of the words, "Prophecy against Gog, thus saith the Lord God; in that day when my people of Israel shall dwell confidently, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou and many people with thee, * * * And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes." Then he says, "My fury shall come up in my face," and He "pleads with Gog" till he is left upon the open field to be buried in the valley of Hamon-Gog. The victor in this great battle is Christ; for it is when the king of the north "plants the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain," that Michael, the great prince, is to stand up for the children of Daniel's people, Israel, and a time of trouble is to follow such as never was; and "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Dan. 11: 45; 12: 1, 2). First, then, Israel partially returned to the Holy Land. Second, Russia's for-a-time successful assault upon them. Third, the sudden and powerful appearance of Christ to destroy the great Philistinian giant with the sling and stone of divine accuracy of aim and force of defeat and destruction. What is the sequel of the Israelitish sign then?--Christ in the earth again.(1)

(1) The Zionist movement launched in 1897 under the leadership of Dr. Theodore Herzl, has constantly gathered headway. Today it has become like a river of many tributaries. Where, in 1898, there were only a few thousands of Jews dwelling in feeble colonies, now there is a flourishing Jewish State--the nation of Israel--recognized by other great States of the world. The Jewish population of Palestine has now passed the million mark.

II --THE HOLY LAND

Over thirty-eight hundred years ago God made selection of the Holy Land as the center around which His plans and purposes in relation to the world's redemption should revolve. We have, in a previous chapter, shown how this land is involved in the covenants of promise, and made clear that the extent as described in the promises is far greater than was that possessed by the descendants of Abraham. Since this land was promised to Abraham, all signs of God's dealings with nations and all fulfillment of such signs, so far, have been closely connected therewith. In a special sense it is God's land; it is Israel's land; it is the land of the Bible, and the birthplace, home, and future inheritance of the Son of God, the world's Redeemer. To see the signs that the "iniquity of the Amorites was full" (Gen. 15: 16), and to prepare for Israel's deliverance from Egypt to take the promised land of milk and honey, the eyes of the watchers of those times of the far distant past must have been fixed upon the Holy Land. From the Exodus to the Babylonish captivity, there is no reliable history which is not closely associated with this land. It is the center of the world's history. Signs of Judah's deliverance from Babylon at the expiration of the allotted seventy years of Jeremiah's prophecy had all to do with the turn of things in this land and the attitude of Babylon's king towards it and its people. From this great historic landmark down to the time for the complete desolation which still curses that forsaken country, history is as nothing considered apart from the Holy Land. Upon the arrival of that dreadful time of trouble for the land and the people, the eyes of the world were forcibly attracted thither; and from then till now the changing scenes upon the stage of national dramas have all, in a direct or remote sense, had the Holy Land as their background.

Notwithstanding the fame and renown of this wonderful land, its commanding geographical position, its fertile soil, and its healthful climate, no nation, except Israel while obedient, has ever been able to prosper there. The usurper and conqueror might take possession of it and punish its people for their wickedness; but to appropriate it to its profitable use for any considerable length of time has not been permitted. The Holy Land in the hands of usurpers, and Israel in the hands of enemies are like the ark in the hands of the Philistines (I. Sam. 5), and the time will soon come when Dagon will fall and dreadful scourges will make all Philistinian foes quite anxious to return the land and the people to their rightful owner, when "The Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord."

In the strongest language the prophet Jeremiah speaks of the desolation of the land, and at the same time foretells its restoration. The desolation is a fact which needs no proof; it is known of all. Thus far the prophecy has been literally fulfilled; and in view of this who can deny its future restoration? And since its desolation gradually came with the decline and fall of the nation to which it belongs, is it not reasonable to expect that as Israel's restoration is now to some extent taking place, simultaneously the resources and returning fertility of the land will become again recognized and the attraction of public attention become a sign of the times?

The desolation and restoration are clearly set forth in the following words:

Thus saith the Lord: Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast; the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts; for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth forever; and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah (Jer. 33).

Now that it is a fact that public sentiment has been turning favorably to the land as it has to its people is witnessed in the popular literature of our time; and the adaptability of the country for what prophecy has laid out for it in the future is recognized. Nearly twenty years ago the Hebrew Observer bore the following testimony:

Is there no other destiny for Palestine but to remain a desert, or to become the appendage of an ambitious foreign power? Syria will ere long be the entrepot between the East and the West. On the Euphrates and along the coast old cities will revive and new ones will be built; the old times will come back on a scale of greater vastness and splendor, and the steam cars will run in the tract of the caravan.

Since the foregoing was written the whistle of the locomotive has become a familiar sound in parts of Palestine and a general enhancement in the value of land has taken place. And now some of the leading Jews of the world are vigorously advocating the establishment there of an independent Jewish State.

George Eliot, in Deronda, represents a Jew as giving eloquent expression to present prospects for Palestine. In this the Jew voices the growing sentiment which must soon be realized in the rising of Israel's sun to shine upon that favored but long-desolate land. He says:

Looking towards a land and a polity, our dispersed people in all the ends of the earth may share the dignity of a national life, which has a voice among the peoples of the East and the West--which will plant the wisdom and skill of our race so that it may be, as of old, a medium of transmission and understanding. Let that come to pass, and the living warmth will spread to the weak extremities of Israel, and superstition will vanish, not in the lawlessness of the renegade, but in the illumination of great facts which widen feeling, and make knowledge alive as the young offspring of beloved memories.

What is it to me that the ten tribes are lost untraceably, or that multitudes of the children of Judah have mixed themselves with Gentile populations as a river with rivers? Behold our people still! Their skirts spread afar; they are torn and soiled and trodden on; but there is a jeweled breast-plate. Let the wealthy men, the monarchs of commerce, the learned in all knowledge, the skillful in all arts, the political councillors, who carry in their veins the Hebrew blood which has maintained its vigor in all climates, and the pliancy of the Hebrew genius for which difficulty means new device--let them say, "We will lift up a standard, we will unite in a labor hard and glorious, like that of Moses and Ezra, a labor which shall be a worthy fruit of the long anguish whereby our father's maintained their separateness, refusing the ease of falsehood." They have wealth enough to redeem the soil from debauched and paupered conquerors; they have the skill of the statesman to devise, the tongue of the orator to persuade.

This was written about twenty years since, and goes to show how sensitively in touch with the heart of the times was that able, heart-reaching writer. The "land and a polity," a restoration of the land and the people that shall "redeem the soil," and again establish a nationality of a people who have the "skill of the statesman to devise, the tongue of the orator to persuade," are the objects seen. Is it not remarkable that the spirit breathed in these words is now clothed with a reality which manifests itself in the form of definite organization for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Holy Land?

Among the promoters of the project to establish the Jews in the Holy Land as a free State is Dr. Pereira Mendes, who recently found welcome to the advocacy of his claims in the North American Review. He says among many other things favorable to this favored spot, that the land once in the hands of its people--the Jews--would cause

The opening up of a vast commerce, for which the Hebrews are peculiarly qualified by commercial genius, and for which they are prepared by their commercial establishment in all countries, which would be maintained and continued (See Isa. 61: 9). In this commerce all nations would advantageously participate, for Palestine geographically is the natural converging point of the trade routes between two continents, Europe and Africa on one side, Asia and Australia, on the other. Tyre, Sidon, Elath, Ezion-Geber, Beyroot (Beyrout), Haifa, and Acre among her ports would speedily become the London, Marseilles, New York, or Hamburg of the East. And while to them the ships of the world would "fly as a cloud and as doves to their windows" (Isa. 60: 8), the hum of industry's pauseless fingers would be the psalm of life of myriads in a land once the granary of the world, the successors of the myriads of whose existence the countless ruins of to-day are the dumb but heart-moving witnesses.

It would mean the solution of the so-called Jewish question, whether it is Russian Pan-Slav policy or Franco-German anti-Semitism which propounds it. And the Hebrew nation of to-day by its eminence in finance, letters, science and trade, deserves attention, for reasons that need not here be noted.

It is well known that large tracts of land in Palestine have been purchased by rich Jews during this year, and that colonization there is quite a success, proving that the fertility of the soil is abundantly sufficient to sustain a great population. The return of the "early and latter rains," too, is another sign of the providential dawn of prosperity. "Westward ho!" has been the cry for ages; but now it is "Eastward ho!" The East is the attraction which draws the attention of men and nations. Railroads are built and more are projected; the rise in real estate has been what in the West would be called a "boom," and the products of the field and the garden have, during this year, been shipped as far west as the city of Chicago.

The newspapers of the world have just been saying to their readers that

The Jewish conference at Basle which closed August 31, marks an important epoch in the history of that prophetic people. The interest manifested and the work accomplished were fully as great as had been expected. To establish a Jewish kingdom in Palestine and colonize there under an autonomy the world's millions of wandering Jews, "from the land of the north (Russia) and from all the lands whither he has driven them," thus bringing to its climax the mystery and miracle of the ages, is no small project, and to its contemplation there gathered at Basle the chief thinkers of the Jewish race from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. It is reported that there were present beside the leaders of the movement--Drs. Herzl, Nordau and Ernst--W. Bainbus; Dr. Hirsch Hildesheimer, of Berlin; D. Bodenheimer, of Cologne; Oscar Strauss, New York, late United States minister to the Ottoman Empire; Simon Wolff, of Washington, D. C.; Jacob Schiff, of New York; Julius Bien, President of the order B'nai B'rith, New York, and many other well-known Hebrews.

The topics discussed were: Position of the Jews in different countries; reports from Jewish colonies; the chaluka, or funds collected for Jerusalem; emigration question as it affects the United States; subscription funds, agitation plans, etc., the Jewish question as it will be presented before the approaching diplomatic congress of the great powers, and the feasibility of acquiring a fee simple title to Palestine and part of Syria.

A central committee consisting of twenty-three members, to be located at Vienna, was elected, with the exception of the English and American delegates. All Jews are asked to contribute to the central fund, their subscriptions being made the basis of franchise for the election of delegates to future congresses.

A resolution was passed authorizing the committee to raise a fund of fifty million dollars. This, taken in connection with the rumor recently current that the Paris house under Baron Edmond de Rothschild's direction, has already offered this exact sum (fifty millions) to the Sultan of Turkey for the Province of Palestine, not only tends to confirm that report, but would also indicate that negotiations were progressing favorably along that line.

Baron de Rothschild is already the owner of large tracts in Galilee and the mountains of Judea, where he has established twenty-one Jewish colonies, having expended thus far over a million dollars in aiding these colonies, until they become self-supporting.

Fifty thousand Jews from Russia, Austria, Germany and the Balkan Provinces are now settled in Palestine, and these various colonies were reported at the congress to be in a flourishing condition.

The Alliance Israelite Universelle of France has established and is maintaining extensive schools and colleges in Palestine, and a commission was appointed at Basle to report on the subject of the proposed university at Jerusalem.

The congress closed after a week's session amid scenes of great enthusiasm, and the next meeting was appointed to be held at Jerusalem in 1898.

Now, while we do not believe that Israel's hope and consolation will be realized by these projects, yet they are providential means towards that end. The natural means generally precede the supernatural, leading events up to that climax when the visible hand of God is stretched out for his glory and the final well-being of His creatures.

So it must be evident to all that "the time to favor Zion" is close at hand, and that the various remarkable trains in modern events are making, as railroad men would say, "close connections." All these things, without recognizing the hand of God, would be co-incidental beyond possibility; but viewed as the developments of a Guiding Hand toward the grand fulfillment of the covenants of promise they are as beacons of light in the darkness of a dismal night.

III.--THE TURKISH POWER

When the Macedonian empire passed into the hands of Alexander's four generals in accordance with what had been revealed through the prophet Daniel, that empire became divided into four parts. "Four kingdoms stood up for it (Alexander's), but not in his power" (Dan. 8: 22). These were to be "toward the four winds of heaven" (Dan. 8: 8; 11: 4), or east, west, north and south. After a while the four merged into two--the king of the north and the king of the south. These are the subjects of Daniel 11, and are Egypt, the king of the south, and Syria, the king of the north. Under the symbol of fiery horsemen the inrush of the Turks into Europe is represented in Rev. 9. In verse 12 we read, "One woe is past; and, behold, there came two woes more hereafter. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates." In this the terrible conquests of the Turks would seem to be fitly represented by the overflow of the river Euphrates, its waters inundating a large part of Europe and at one time threatening to deluge the entire civilized world.

The prophecy further says, "And the four angels were loosed which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand." There is then a description of the war horses which many able writers have identified with the Turkish forces. History is prophecy fulfilled; and in strict harmony with the foregoing prophecy the pen of the historian says, "Six centuries ago a pastoral band of four hundred Turkish families was journeying westward, from the upper streams of the river Euphrates. Their armed forces consisted of four hundred and forty-four horsemen, and their leader's name was Ertoghrul." Commenting upon this Grattan Guinness says, "This little band of Euphratean horsemen were the ancestors of that terrible host or army of horsemen two hundred thousand thousand strong, whom the Seer of Patmos beheld loosed from the Euphrates and overflowing the Roman earth, carrying distress and death wherever they went."

Thus the Turkish power became a terror to all nations and grew to such proportions in a territorial and military sense that writers who saw from prophecy that the empire was destined to decline and fall and who could apply the prophecy to no other power, were at a loss to see how such a thing could come to pass.

The same inspired writer, however, who had foreseen its triumph saw also and declared, in spite of all appearances otherwise, that the great political river would be dried up. He says, "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east (kings from the sun's rising) might be prepared" (chap. 16: 12). These kings from the sun's rising are the saints redeemed and made "Kings and priests to reign on the earth" (Chap. 5: 10). The Sun, by whose rising they are made kings, is the "Sun of righteousness" who is to arise "with healing in his beams" to those "who fear Jehovah's name" (Mal. 4: 2). This will find its glorious fulfillment at the return of Christ, and therefore, since the drying up of the political Euphrates is to prepare for this, and since the drying up is a symbol of the decline of the Turkish power, it follows that in this we have a sign of the approaching advent of the Messiah.

The next thing which follows the account of the drying up of the Euphrates is the issue of the three frog-spirits (verse 13) to gather the kings of the earth and of the whole world to the great war of God Almighty which in the Hebrew tongue is called Armageddon (verses 14-16); and right in connection with the drying up and the issuing of the frog-spirits we have the declaration, "Behold I come as a thief; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments" (verse 15).

Against all human probabilities, the decline of the Turkish power came, and came, too, just as the sign of the evaporation of a river would indicate. The gradual disintegration has been going on till now the Sultan is invariably spoken of as "the sick man of the East," and the so-called "integrity of the Ottoman power" is a theory with which all the great nations are playing, and about which their constant quarrels are hastening the great day of the war of God Almighty, when all nations shall be brought against Jerusalem to the battle which will bring upon the scene the World's Great Conqueror who will finally make wars to cease to the ends of the earth.

As showing to what a remarkable degree prophecy has been fulfilled concerning the drying up of the political Euphrates, we quote from Mr. Guinness in his Approaching End of the Age, page 367.

The "drying up" of this flood, that is to say the liberation from Turkish oppression, of the Christian nations and lands overwhelmed by it began with the Greek rebellion in 1820. But fatal blows to the power and prestige of the Ottoman Empire had previously been dealt by Russia. In the war of 1768 between the two kingdoms, the Turkish armies were beaten and destroyed, and ruin and disgrace attended each succeeding campaign. In 1770 the Russian admiral annihilated the Turkish fleet in the Aegean sea. In 1774 a large Turkish army was again most disgracefully beaten, and the humiliating peace of Kainarge, showed that the conqueror was in a position to dictate terms. Three years later war again broke out between the two powers, and again the Russians had the mastery both by sea and by land, and obtained the session of important towns and districts before concluding peace. In 1806 Russia occupied Moldavia and Wallachia and the old hostility broke out afresh, the weakness of the Ottoman Empire becoming more apparent than ever. A new fleet, which had been created, was destroyed by the Russians at Lemos. Mahmoud II had to buy a peace by the cession of all his territory north of the Pruth, of a number of fortresses on the Danube, and of a principal mouth of the Danube itself. In 1820 began a formidable insurrection in Greece, the finest province of the Turkish Empire, which quickly spread to Wallachia, Moldavia and the Aegean Isles.

In 1826 the Porte surrendered to the Russians all the fortresses it retained in Asia; in the same year civil commotions distracted Constantinople; and the awful slaughter of the Janissaries took place, four thousand soldiers being shot or burned to death in their own barracks in the city, and many thousands more all over the empire, by the Sultan's own command.

The Greek rebellion continued till 1827, when, after a severe and prolonged struggle, Turkey was obliged to acknowledge the independence of Greece. The sympathies of Western Christendom had been aroused by the horrible cruelties perpetrated by the Turkish admiral in the conquest of Scio: and England, France and Russia intervened between the Porte and its Greek Christian subjects. At the great naval battle of Navarino the fleet of Turkey was once more destroyed, and Greece became independent.

In 1829 the freedom of Servia was similarly secured by a treaty which forbade a single Turk to reside north of the Danube; and in the same year the Turkish province of Algeria in Africa became a French colony.

Mehemet Ali, the powerful Pacha of Egypt, who had long been aiming at an hereditary kingdom for himself, rebelled against his master, and asserted his independence in 1832. He attacked and conquered Syria, and defeated the Turkish armies in three great battles. Nothing but the interference of Christendom at that time prevented his marching on Constantinople, and overthrowing the Sultan altogether. He was forced back into his own province, and made again nominally dependent on the Sultan by payment of an annual tribute, and the furnishing certain military aid when asked. But Egypt is virtually independent of the Porte, and her present ruler has assumed the title of Khedive, or king, in recognition of the fact.

In 1844 the Porte was compelled, under threat of European interference, to issue an edict of religious toleration, abolishing forever its characteristic and sanguinary practice of execution for apostasy (i. e., for the adoption of Christianity). This compulsory sheathing of its persecuting sword was a patent proof that its independence was gone, and a marked era in its overthrow.

The same able writer, in dealing with the predicted cleansing of the sanctuary, which depends upon the removal of the desolator of the East says:

Every step in the downfall of Turkey is a step in the direction of the cleaning of the sanctuary, and these steps are in our day succeeding each other rapidly. Since 1821 Turkey has lost Greece and Servia, Moldavia and Walachia, Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt; and now in the recent war, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria. The once mighty Ottoman Empire is in Europe practically extinct. Its power in Asia is also seriously diminished, and notably so in Syria. Aliens, or non-Mussulmans, are now allowed to hold landed property in Palestine, and the number of Jews resident in their own land is every year on the increase. Thousands of intelligent Christians visit its shores annually, and the Palestine Exploration has completed a survey of its every square mile. "Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof." There is every sign, when the present is contrasted with the past, that the time for the complete liberation of Palestine from tyranny is at hand.

Returning to Dan. 11, where the Turkish power is spoken of as the king of the north, we shall find the prophecy leading on to the final destruction of this abominable desolator of the Holy Land and the appearance upon the scene of Christ as the deliverer of Daniel's people, Israel. It must not be supposed that the Turkish power is the king of the north spoken of all through this chapter. While Rome held the East in its grasp it would be denominated by this title. Indeed, the title seems to apply territorially. That is, under its heading the history of that country is given, without specifying the powers in possession, except so far as the parts they play help to identify them. Hence the "taking away of the daily sacrifice" (verse 31) and honoring the god of forces mauzzim--gods, protectors, or guardian saints (verse 38), point to the Roman power, while at "the time of the end" there is to be a power in possession of the land under the same title who is to be removed by another power north of it, which in its turn is to be removed by Michael the great prince, when the resurrection is to take place (chap. 12: 1, 2). Now we shall show, in its proper place, that Russia is this last usurper of the Holy Land, and nothing is clearer among the facts of to-day than that Turkey is to fall at her hands; and since Turkey is the one now in possession, a comparison of the facts with the prophecy leaves no room for doubt that she is the "king of the north" of verse 39. (2)

(2) There is a tendency with interpreters of unfulfilled prophecy to telescope events, making one event of what time proves to be several events. It was clearly seen that prophecy required the removal of the desolating Turk, so that the preliminary re-settlement of the Jews might take place, but events have shown that--not by Russia--but by the Arabs under Lawrence and the British under Allenby, the Turks would be forced to withdraw from Palestine.

We feel impelled to point out also, that there are many who hold that the latter port of Dan. 11, and Ezek. chs. 38 and 39, are prophecies applying to different world powers. That Daniel's "King of the North," and what is predicted concerning that power, is now historical, and relates to the uprise and dominion of the Saracen amid the Turk. Whereas Ezekiel's prophecy is still unfulfilled, and is correctly applied to an invasion of the Holy Land by Russia (Gog), at Armageddon.

It may also be worthy of suggestion, that Armageddon is not one event or one crisis, but a number of events and of world crises--not one war, but a series of wars. If one man may, in the Apocalypse, represent a multitude; and one year, many years; and a city, ten nations; so Armageddon may consistently embrace a number of terrible wars near the end, preparatory to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. World War I, in its eastern phase, culminated at Armageddon--the ancient battleground of nations. Thus it was that Lord Allenby came by his title, Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe.

Now the question is, Wherein is the sign of Christ's coming to be seen in these things? We are distinctly told that the causes of the decline and fall of this "king of the north" are events of the "time of the end" (verse 40) and that within this time the king of the south is to "push at him," the king of the north. This "push" cannot mean its destruction; for that is reserved for the "king of the north" which is still north of him. The very phraseology indicates the character of the conflict.

A push is not a death-blow. Nothing seems to so well fit this "time-of-the-end" event as the assault of Mehemet Ali, of Egypt, in 1831. The history of this "push" is thus given by McCabe, and I see it is partly quoted in a book recently published, entitled Armenian Massacres and Turkish Tyranny:

Mehemet Ali was given the sovereignty of Crete by the Sultan for his services in the Greek revolution. Not satisfied with this acquisition, he sent Ibrahim Pasha, an able commander, in 1831, to conquer Syria. That country was overrun by the Egyptian forces, who also advanced to Asia Minor. Their progress was at length stayed by the intervention of Russia, England and France, whose forces defeated Ibrahim at Nisibis on the Euphrates. A few days after this battle Sultan Mahmoud died, France was anxious that Mehemet Ali should succeed him, but England and Russia drove him out of Acre and Syria, and secured the Turkish throne for Abdul Medjid, the young son of Mahmoud. In 1840 the treaty of London was signed. Crete and Syria were restored to the Porte, and Mehemet Ali was limited to Egypt.

Here is the "push" from the king of the south, answering clearly to the prophecy, and nothing else can be found that will answer to it. Some recently have applied this prophecy to the late war between Turkey and Greece; but Greece cannot be called the "king of the south" within the meaning of that term in Dan. 11.

Subsequent to this, against the same power at which the king of the south was to push, the king of the north was to come like a whirlwind. Here is a new "king of the north" introduced, and still north of the Syrian king of the north. The words are, "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him [the same him] like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over" (verse 40). That this is a new king of the north is clear from the fact that he is to "enter into the glorious land" (verse 41), while the old king of the north is already there and is the object of attack.

Several attempts have been made by the czar of Russia, the new and latter-day dominant king of the north, to carry out this, but the fact that hitherto he has not succeeded is also provided for by prophecy. He was to have hooks put in his jaws and be "turned back" (Ezek. 38: 4), and afterward be "brought forth and all his army," etc., to finally "enter the glorious holy mountain." It is at this juncture that the end is reached, when as the prophet Daniel declares, "At that time shall Michael stand up," the unequaled "time of trouble" ensues, "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth awake" and they shine as the brightness of the firmament in the new heaven, or the kingdom of the stone which is to "fill the whole earth." This, then, is how the Turkish power is a sign of our times indicating the near approach of Christ. She is declining; she is ready to fall. Her conqueror has the will and is rapidly getting the power to "overflow and pass over," when he will gloat in his universal triumph. Christ, meanwhile, is hidden behind the dark clouds, waiting for the climax of human pride and pomp to be reached, when he will break through with lightning flash and thunder peal which shall clear the foul atmosphere and give health and happiness to a troubled, priest-ridden and oppressed world. (3)

(3) There is written evidence (see Eureka, vol. iii, p. 546) that the prophecy in the 16th of Rev. concerning the drying up of the river Euphrates has been understood to apply to the decline of the Ottoman Empire, for nearly three hundred years--which would take us back to a time when it was at the supreme height of its power. A series of wars and adversities, beginning about 1820, have caused a steady decline in strength and area of sovereignty, aptly comparable to the receding of the water of a river, after having reached flood-stage. Perhaps no prophecy has ever had more striking and unmistakable fulfillment.

IV.--THE PAPACY

What was a reason in apostolic times for not expecting the immediate coming of the Lord was that the "man of sin" and "son of perdition" had not yet appeared. It follows, therefore, that when he had appeared and performed his wicked part in the worlds drama, it is safe to look for the Lord soon to return.

The apostle Paul says:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord, shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

This description of the man of sin whose ambitious, corrupt and abominable career was to precede the coming of Christ is evidently identical with the little horn of Dan. 7, as a comparison will show:

1. Daniel says, "The same horn made war against them," and shall wear out the saints.

Paul says "there shall be a falling away, and that man of sin shall be revealed.

2. Daniel says the little horn has eyes and a mouth and speaks great swelling words against the Most High.

Paul says the man of sin shall oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.

3. Daniel says he shall think to change times and laws and the saints shall be given into his hand.

Paul says he shall be revealed as a wicked one giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

4. Daniel says he shall not regard the God of his fathers nor the desire of women.

Paul says he shall forbid to marry and command to abstain from meats, which God hath ordained to be received with thanksgiving.

5. Daniel says his dominion shall be taken away to consume it and to destroy it unto the end.

Paul says the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth and destroy him with the brightness of his coming.

Now before the Reformation, when Rome was supreme and could dictate what men should believe and teach, it was not to be expected that the papacy would be clearly pointed out as answering to these prophecies. The "consuming" process must first commence so that the hands of the tyrant may be held from torturing and killing those who had the courage of their conviction. The consuming process of which the apostle speaks commenced with the Reformation, for that event resulted in infusing the "spirit of the Lord's mouth" as it breathed in the Scriptures of Truth into the minds of the common people; and they learned enough from it to become Protestants. Previous to this a Bible was not allowed in the hands of a layman.

In the development of the papacy, the religious element worked first, and afterward the civil power. The former worked upon the ignorance and superstition of the people till it had them awed into submission, and then all was ready for a union of church and state, and temporal power as well as spiritual became the possession of the pope.

In the decline of the papacy, also, the religious element did the first work, and receiving an impetus from the Reformation it gained power till the claims of the pope to temporal dominion were denied him, and the power wrested from his blood-stained hands.

During the dark ages the papacy thrived, for then it was in its native element; but, as prophecy had ages before declared, men began to "run to and fro and knowledge increased," and Protestantism became a welcome fact which allowed men to read the Bible wrested from the monopolizing priestcraft of Rome and opened to be read and studied by old and young, rich and poor. In this "the earth again helped the woman," and made it possible for her return, in her doctrinal purity, after twelve hundred and sixty long years exile in the wilderness (Rev. 12: 6). Had not this great revolution taken place, the production of this book we are writing would cost the writer his life and itself would soon end its existence, as thousands of men and women have who dared to believe what it sets forth, by the torch of Roman bigotry and tyranny. We may therefore thank God that the consuming power has largely done its work and that, while we wait and watch, the day is hastening when the last vestige of the abominable system will be destroyed by the brightness of the Lord's coming. We may also thank God for the Reformation; we may thank Him for Protestantism; we may thank Him for such men as Luther, Tyndale, and for Newton and those of his class, who have boldly and masterly pointed out from the facts of history that in the sorceries and cruelties of the papacy, prophecy concerning the latter days finds its unmistakable fulfillment.

Years ago there was published a pamphlet by Canon Wordsworth of Westminster, in which Rome was fully shown to answer in every particular to prophecy concerning "Babylon the great the mother of harlots," Daniel's blasphemous horn with eyes and mouth, and Paul's man of sin; and that there was no other power or system which could possibly be made to fit these prophecies. The pamphlet was entitled Babylon; or the Question Examined. Is the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse? Mr. Guinness quotes largely from this book and says:

In 1859 the author challenged the Church of Rome to answer his argument in the following words; "If any minister or member of the Church of Rome can disprove this conclusion he is invited to do so. If he can doubtless he will; and if none attempt it, it may be presumed that they cannot; and if they cannot, then, as they love their salvation, they ought to embrace the truth which is preached unto them by St. John, and by the voice of Christ." Sixteen years ago, when the above was published, the author reiterated the challenge, and no reply has as yet been made to it by any member of the Church of Rome! "Speechless!" "Guilty before God!"

According to Daniel's prophecy this power was to wear out the saints. According to Paul's, it was to cause a falling away from the truth. According to the revelation to John the woman was to be drunken with the blood of the saints and of the martyrs of Jesus. That this was all to commence in apostolic times, and is not a matter of the future is clear from the fact that Paul says, "The mystery doth already work" (II. Thess. 2: 7); and that as soon as that which "hindered" were removed, the system would be revealed. Paganism was the hindering religion and power, and as soon as the pagan dragon was cast out of the Roman heaven and a so-called Christian emperor was enthroned the way was open for the full development of the mystery which in Paul's time was secretly at work to become finally boldly and openly and boastfully the "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17: 5).

This is the title emblazoned upon the brow of the woman whom John was shown riding upon a scarlet colored beast "full of names of blasphemy" (verse 3). At this woman John was astonished and wondered, and to him she represented a system which God's people must shun as they would the most foul and fatal disease. The spirit cries, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues." Persecuted as the early Christians were by pagan Rome, they would naturally expect exemption from the cruel hand of the persecutor when "Christian emperors" seized the throne. John's astonishment is not to be wondered at when it is remembered that he beheld "Christianity" enthroned and become a greater persecutor of God's people than was the pagan Satan, which it had displaced.

The Scriptures speak of Israel under the symbol of a woman, first in marriage relation with God and afterwards, when it apostatized, as a woman divorced. In the former state the woman would be pure and chaste; in the latter, lewd and impure. In the New Testament the pure church of Christ, before the "falling away" of Paul's letter and the "wearing out" of Daniel's prophecy, is given under the symbol of a chaste and pure virgin. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones" (Eph. 5: 25-27, 30). "For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (II. Cor. 11: 2).

With this key to the understanding of the symbolic meaning of woman in the symbolic book of Revelation, we may safely conclude that in one case the bride, the Lamb's wife, is the true church, while the "mother of harlots" who has spiritually cohabited with the kings of the earth and is intoxicated with the blood of saints, is the church of the apostasy--developed from the "falling away" and the Laodecean lukewarmness which was so nauseating to God as to be spewed out of His mouth.

These two women are held in contrast throughout the book, and they are also represented by two cities--Rome and Jerusalem, the one hated of God and the other loved. On account of the idolatry of Rome and its likeness to ancient Babylon it is fitly given that ancient synonym for confusion as a title. These two systems are thus spoken of in the book of Revelation:

A COMPARISON: THE BRIDE, THE LAMB'S WIFE;
THE NEW JERUSALEM

There came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife (Rev. 21: 9).

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10).

To her it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19: 8).

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21: 2).

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman. * * * And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev.12: 13-17).

THE HARLOT THAT SITTETH UPON MANY WATERS, BABYLON THE GREAT

There came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters (Rev. 17: 1).

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 17:3). And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth (verse 18).

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. . . . And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev. 17: 4, 5).

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints (Rev. 17: 1-6). And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Rev. 18: 4).

Now Rev. 17 is self-explanatory. It leaves no room for doubt as to the meaning of the symbols. The first that John sees is the apostate woman. Let us ask,

1. What does the woman represent?

ANS.--"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (verse 18).

2. What do the waters which the woman sitteth upon represent?

ANS.--"The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (verse 15).

3. What do the seven heads of the beast represent?

ANS.--The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (verse 9).

4. What do the ten horns in the head of the beast represent?

ANS.--"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings" (verse 12).

5. What does the beast represent?

ANS.--It was not necessary to give the answer to this in this chapter, because it had been made clear by the prophet Daniel, and well known as the fourth beast with ten horns or the Roman empire.

Here we have the seven-hilled city of Rome, representing the headquarters of that apostate church, which should be headed up in the man of sin, or little horn that was to come up among the ten horns of the Roman beast. "The spirit speaketh expressly," says the apostle Paul, "that in subsequent times" this power should arise "forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats," etc. Here is the prophecy which shows the earmarks of this creature in forbidding its priests and nuns and "Sisters of Mercy" to marry, and all its devotees to eat meat on Fridays and at certain "times" of its own appointment.

Now wherein is the papacy a sign of our times in relation to Christ's return? The antichrist is declining and ready to fall, and when we see the Lord thus consuming him with the spirit of his mouth, Christ is due to destroy him with the brightness of his coming. Before the little horn of Daniel's prophecy, three of the horns of the Roman beast were to fall. The pope's tiara is the answer to this. The arrogancy and impudent assumption of his power in "exalting itself above all that is called god or that is worshipped" is a well-known fact in its history and instances of exemplification are too numerous to admit of collating and recording. Mr. Guinness says:

"Fox, in his Acts and Monuments, gives extracts from two hundred and twenty-three authentic documents, comprising decrees, decretals, extravagants, pontificates, and bulls. Twenty pages of small type in a large volume, are filled with the 'great words' of the popes, taken from these two hundred and twenty-three documents alone."

We can hardly afford space for comparatively a few samples, but here they are:

"Wherefore, seeing such power is given to Peter, and to me in Peter, being his successor, who is he then in all the world that ought not to be subject to my decrees, which have such power in heaven, in hell, in earth, with the quick, and also the dead. . . . By the jurisdiction of which key the fullness of my power is so great that, whereas all others are subjects--yea, and emperors themselves, ought to subdue their executions to me: only I am a subject to no creature, no, not to myself; so that my papal majesty ever remaineth undiminished; superior to all men; whom all persons ought to obey, and follow, whom no man must judge or accuse of any crime, no man depose but I myself. No man can excommunicate me, yea though I commune with the excommunicated, for no canon bindeth me: whom no man must lie to, for he that lieth to me is a church robber, and who obeyeth not me is a heretic, and an excommunicated person. . . . Thus, then, it appeareth, that the greatness of priesthood began in Melchisedec, was solemnized in Aaron, continued in the children of Aaron, perfectionated in Christ, represented in Peter, exalted in the universal jurisdiction, and manifested in the Pope. So that through this pre-eminence of my priesthood, having all things subject to me, it may seem well verified in me, that was spoken of Christ, 'Thou hast subdued all things under his feet, sheep and oxen, and all the cattle of the field, the birds of heaven, and fish of the sea,' etc., where it is to be noted that by oxen, Jews and heretics; by cattle of the field, Pagans be signified. . . . By sheep and all cattle, are meant all Christian men, both great and less, whether they be emperors, princes, prelates, or others. By birds of the air you may understand angels; and potentates of heaven, who be all subject to me, in that I am greater than the angels, and that in four things, as afore declared; and have power to bind and loose in heaven, and to give heaven to them that fight in my wars. Lastly, by the fishes of the sea, are signified the souls departed, in pain or in purgatory. . . . For, as we read, 'The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof;' and, as Christ saith, 'All power is given to Him, both in heaven and in earth;' so it is to be affirmed, that the Vicar of Christ hath power on things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal, which he took immediately of Christ. . . . I owe to the emperor no due obedience that he can claim, but they owe to me, as to their superior; and, therefore, for a diversity betwixt their degree and mine, in their consecration they take the unction on their arm, I on the head, And as I am superior to them, so am I superior to all laws, and free from all constitutions; who am able of myself, and by my interpretation, to prefer equity not being written, before the law written; having all laws within the chest of my breast, as is aforesaid. . . . What country soever, kingdom, or province, choosing to themselves bishops and ministers, although they agree with all other Christ's favored people in the name of Jesu, that is, in faith and charity, believing in the same God, and in Christ, His true Son, and in the Holy Ghost, having also the same creed, the same evangelists, and scriptures of the apostles; yet, notwithstanding, unless their bishops and ministers take their origin and ordination from this apostolic seat, they are to be counted not of the church, so that succession of faith only is not sufficient to make a church, except the ministers take their ordination from them who have their succession from the apostles. . . . And likewise it is to be presumed that the bishop of that church is always good and holy. Yea, though he fall into homicide or adultery, he may sin, but yet he cannot be accused, but rather excused by the murders of Samson, the thefts of the Hebrews, etc. All the earth is my diocese, and the ordinary of all men, having the authority of the King of all kings upon subjects. I am all in all and above all, so that God Himself, and I, the Vicar of God, have both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. In all things that I list, my will is to stand for reason, for I am able by the law to dispense above the law, and of wrong to make justice in correcting laws and changing them. . . . Wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God: WHAT CAN YOU MAKE ME BUT GOD? Again, if prelates of the church be called and counted of Constantine for gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be ABOVE ALL GODS. Wherefore no marvel if it be in my power to change time and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ; for where Christ biddeth Peter put up his sword, and admonishes his disciples not to use any outward force in revenging themselves, do not I, Pope Nicholas, writing to the bishops of France, exhort them to draw out their material swords? And, whereas Christ was present himself at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, do not I, Pope Martin, in my distinction, inhibit the spiritual clergy to be present at marriage-feasts and also to marry? Moreover, where Christ biddeth us lend without hope of gain, do not I, Pope Martin, give dispensation for the same? What should I speak of murder, making it to be no murder or homicide to slay them that be excommunicated? Likewise, against the law of nature, item against the apostles, also against the canon of the apostles, I can and do dispense; for where they, in their canon, command a priest for fornication to be deposed, I, through the authority of Silvester, do alter the rigour of that constitution, considering the minds and bodies also of men now to be weaker than they were then. . . . If ye list briefly to hear the whole number of all such cases as properly do appertain to my Papal dispensation, which come to the number of one-and-fifty points, that no man may meddle with but only I myself alone, I will recite them:

"The Pope doth canonize saints, and none else but he.

"His sentence maketh a law.

"He is able to abolish laws, both civil and canon.

"To erect new religions, to approve or reprove rules or ordinances, and ceremonies in the church.

"He is able to dispense with all the precepts and statutes of the Church.

"The same is also free from all laws, so that he cannot incur any sentence of excommunication, suspension, irregularity, etc., etc.

"After that I have now sufficiently declared my power in earth, in heaven, in purgatory, how great it is, and what is the fulness thereof, in binding, loosing, commanding, permitting, electing, confirming, disposing, dispensing, doing and undoing, etc., I will speak now a little of my riches and of my great possessions, that every man may see by my wealth and abundance of all things, rents, tithes, tributes, my silks, my purple mitres, crowns, gold, silver, pearls and gems, lands and lordships, for to me pertaineth first the imperial city of Rome; the palace of Lateran, the kingdom of Sicily is proper to me, Apulia and Capua be mine. Also the kingdom of England and Ireland, be they not, or ought they not to be, tributaries to me? To these I adjoin also, besides other provinces and countries, both in the Occident and Orient, from the north to the south, these dominions by name (here follows a long list). What should I speak here of my daily revenues, of my first-fruits, annates palls, indulgences, bulls, confessionals, indults, and rescripts, testaments, dispensations, privileges, elections, prebends, religious houses, and such like, which come to no small mass of money? . . . But what should I speak of Germany, when the whole world is my diocese, as my canonists do say, and all men are bound to believe; except they will imagine (as the Manichees do) two beginnings, which is false and heretical? For Moses saith, In the beginning God made heaven and earth: and not In the beginnings. Wherefore, as I began, so I conclude, commanding, declaring and pronouncing, to stand UPON NECESSITY OF SALVATION, FOR EVERY HUMAN CREATURE TO BE SUBJECT TO ME."

There surely is no room to expect a greater fulfillment of the prophecies than we have in this. What more can any being or institution claim? In what can there be greater pretenses? Has not the climax of iniquity been reached? And is not this enough to identify the antichrist beyond the shadow of doubt? The counterfeit Christianity was to appear and play its hypocritical, foul, and cruel part in the darkness of its own creating. It is done. What next is due? Surely the Christ, true Christianity, the kingdom of God. The "mystery of godliness," has been removed by the "mystery of iniquity," and every sacred thing has been counterfeited. As Mr. Guinness says, "The papacy has its counterfeit high priest, the pope; its counterfeit sacrifice, the mass; its counterfeit Bible, tradition; its counterfeit mediators, the Virgin, the saints and angels; the forms have been copied, the realities set aside. Satan inaugurated and developed a system, not (avowedly) antagonistic to Christianity, but a counterfeit of it; and as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses so (i. e. by imitation) he has withstood Christ." Now there is another way by which we can follow the history of the papacy as a sign of the times; and whether or not it is safe thereby to fix definite dates, it serves approximately, which is near enough for a sign to stir to readiness and cause to lift up the head--to point out our whereabouts in relation to our Lord's return.

It is safe to say that, along with signs, prophecy gives times by which the diligent student may determine approximately how near we are to the realization of our hope. The length of time is not always given in literal terms, for in this, as well as in other advanced phases of revelation, the principle is followed, that it is "the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search out a matter."

It is not wise to be dogmatic in dealing with prophetic times, as the experience of many failures in the past go to show. Still, it is an interesting branch of Divine revelation and the interest awakened in the mind by its study is of a healthful nature to those aspiring to be spiritually minded. If "variety is the spice of life" why should there not be some "spice" in the most interesting study the mind can be engaged in?

There are two sides to what is known as the "day for a year" question. Some claim that this method of representing time is employed in the Scriptures, while others deny it and claim that literal days are meant always. We cannot here elaborately give the strong arguments in favor of the day for a year theory; but must limit our remarks on this subject to reference to the seventy weeks of Dan. 9. Here we have a period which would seem to us to give a safe precedent. The events to transpire in the period called "seventy weeks" can only be found inside of the period of four hundred and ninety years beginning with the "going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem," and reaching to the "cutting off of Messiah" (verses 25, 26). In this time Israel was to "finish its transgression," which it did in the crucifixion of the Messiah; sin offerings under the Mosaic law were to end, Christ's offering upon the cross being the "end of the law"; "reconciliation for iniquity" was to be made, which was effected by the death of Christ; everlasting righteousness to be sealed up or confirmed, which Christ did in the shedding of the "blood of the everlasting covenant" through which he was raised from the dead (Heb. 13: 20); and the Most Holy was to be anointed, which was fulfilled when Christ was made immortal and thus constituted the antitypical Most Holy.

The beginning of this period is shown by history and by the marginal note in our reference Bibles to be the twentieth year of Artaxerxes which was 456 B. C. Seventy weeks are four hundred and ninety days, or on the prophetic principle of a day for a year, four hundred and ninety years. Add the year of Christ's death A. D. 34, to 456 B. C. and we have four hundred and ninety years as the time in which all the events named were to take place. This principle of using a day to represent a year is laid down in Ezek. 4: 4-6, where the prophet is commanded to lie first upon his left side and then upon his right three hundred and ninety days and forty days, of which it is said, "For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity," and "I have appointed thee each day for a year."

Now returning to the subject, the prophet Daniel is told that the little horn of the Roman beast was to have power to dominate over the saints for "a time, times, and the dividing of time" (chap. 7: 25). In chap. 12: 6, 7, in answer to the question, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" the answer is, that "it shall be for a time, times and a half." This was to reach towards the accomplishment of the scattering of the holy (set apart) people (Israel). A Jewish time was three hundred and sixty days. It is remarkable that the power of "swelling words" is spoken of in Rev. 13: 5 of one to whom is given "a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies" and "power is given unto him to continue (in persecuting power) forty and two months." Counting the Jewish month of thirty days this would be twelve hundred and sixty days.

Thus 42 x 30= 1,260 day-years.

And in the time, times and an half of Daniel we have

One time 360
Two times 720
One half time 180
1,260 day-years.

Taking the day for a year this would be twelve hundred and sixty years that the papacy should have power to "wear out the saints."

Now the development of political power in any form must necessarily be more or less gradual. It is therefore difficult to fix upon one definite time when we can say it commenced. Indeed, it would seem that some of the prophetic times have gradations of beginning and of ending, each beginning reaching the whole given length of time to its ending. The "seven time" period, or twenty-five hundred and twenty years of Jewish suppression and Gentile dominion, would seem to be presented in this form; and in the Babylonish captivity there were several deportations, and the restoration was on what we might term the installment plan. The seventy years of Jeremiah's prophecy would therefore have several beginnings and several endings; but seventy years would measure the time from each beginning to its own ending. This is capable of elaboration at great length, but we cannot deal with it here. Perhaps we shall in another part of this book. We have only referred to it to show that seeming failures on the part of prophetic students in dealing with this question have only been the result of expecting the last end of the given time when the date was only one of the previous endings.

On the end of the twelve hundred and sixty years of papal supremacy we have the same advantage as with the seventy weeks--we can begin at the end and count backward to the beginning. That the end came in A. D. 1870 cannot be questioned. Cardinal Gibbons says that it was then that the pope lost his temporal power, termed by him "temporalities." And what more fitting than that he should, and that it should be at the hands of Victor Immanuel--a victor in the hands of God for that purpose and therefore in that sense "God with us?" In 1870 Pius IX reached the climax of blasphemy by calling the famous Ecumenical council, at which sat "six archbishop princes, forty-nine cardinals, eleven patriarchs, six hundred and eighty-nine archbishops and bishops, twenty-eight abbots, twenty-nine generals of orders, eight hundred and three spiritual rulers, representing the Church of Rome"--all to decree the impudent claim of the infallibility of the pope. It is said that "arrangements had been made to reflect a glory around the person of the pope by means of mirrors at noon, when the decree was made (July 18, 1870). But the sun shone not that day. A violent storm broke over Rome, the sky was darkened by tempest and the voices of the Council were lost in the rolling thunder." Now the remarkable thing is that the very day following this the Franco-German war was declared, which necessitated the withdrawal of the French soldiers who had been stationed in Rome to protect the pope from Garibaldi: and this opened the door for the king of Italy to make the pope a "prisoner in the Vatican," which he confesses himself to be. It was then that the last vestige of temporal power was wrested from the pope and the "consuming" process was accelerated. On September 20, Rome was proclaimed the capital of Italy and became the seat of government of King Victor Immanuel. From this time it seems to have been a foregone conclusion that the sick man of sin of the West was indeed a consumptive. The London Times, commenting on the event, said:

"The most remarkable circumstance in the annexation of Rome and its territory to the kingdom of Italy is the languid indifference with which the transfer has been regarded by Catholic Christendom. A change which would once have convulsed the world has failed to distract attention from the more absorbing spectacle of the Franco-German war. Within the same year the papacy has assumed the highest spiritual exaltation to which it could aspire, and lost the temporal sovereignty which it had held for a thousand years."

Counting back from this complete overthrow of the temporal power twelve hundred and sixty years and we are in A. D. 610, when the Phocan decree, which is supposed to have been issued in A. D. 606 or 608, and which made the pope a Supreme pontiff, might be said to be in full effect.

We can now safely conclude that the "consuming" has been going on in our days, that the lease of temporal power of "forty and two months," and of "time, times and an half" has expired and the next thing due is the coming of the Christ to destroy the antichrist, and what clearer signs can we ask for to prove that we are nearing the end of Gentile times and the inauguration of the glorious reign of righteousness and peace? (4)

(4) Later, the Author came to believe that there would be a restoration of the temporal power, though of short duration. Prophecy requires that the False Prophet take the leadership of the "ten kings" in their militant opposition to Christ. (See Rev. 17: 12-14; 19: 11-20.) It is not difficult to conceive as to how this may come to pass. The Pope has already been accorded rule in the Vatican State, to which the envoys and ambassadors of other countries are delegated. Statesmen have come to recognize the vital need for religion as a basis for stability in world affairs. And in turning to religion, we may be sure they will not adopt such doctrines as are proclaimed in this book, however Scriptural, reasonable and wonderful. In the fight against Communism, forces are being joined with Catholicism in both Church and State.

FRANCE

A power represented by three frogs is to be a great disturber among the nations under the sixth vial, and it is to play a prominent part in gathering them to the "war of God Almighty." Rev. 16: 13, 14 read as follows:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

History well establishes the fact that France was once represented by three frogs. Dr. Thomas, in his Eureka, an exposition of the Apocalypse, quotes the following from Elliot's Hor. Apoc.:

In M. Court de Gebelin's work, styled "The primitive world compared with the Modern world," he says, "The armoral bearings of Guyenne are a leopard; those of the Celts (especially of the Belgians) are a lion; and of the French a frog. The frog represents the marshes whence the French originated." And again, "The Cosmography of Munster has transmitted to us a very remarkable fact of this kind. Mercamir, king of the French, having penetrated from Westphalia into Tangres, saw in a dream a figure with three heads, the one of a lion, the other of an eagle, and the third of a frog. He consulted there, it is added, a celebrated Druid of the country, named Al Runus; who assured him that this figure represented the three powers which had successively reigned over the Gauls; the Celts whose symbol was a lion; the Romans designated by an eagle, and the Franks by the frog because of their marshes."

The characteristic restlessness of the French people and the uncertainty of their governmental movements are facts too well known to need recording here. They are always croaking to the annoyance and disturbance of the other nations, allowing of no political rest. According to the prophecy, they are to breathe out their unclean spirits of disturbance and political mischief through the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. These mouths are supposed by some to be Constantinople, Vienna and Rome, and they give the history answering well to this view of the matter.

It is sufficient for our present purpose, however, to identify the nation represented by the three frogs, and this will enable us to see how France is playing the part allotted to it leading up to the final crisis when the thief-like advent will take place. In our day France is continually an uncertain element in the universal unrest among the nations. We hear of "another crisis in Paris" time after time, and any morning and any evening the world is prepared to read blazing headliners, "Another crisis in Paris!" Russia and England are necessarily opposing powers shaping their policies preparatory to the final struggle, which they know must come, the jealousy and envy which will hasten it being for the present hidden behind the thin netting of "diplomatic courtesy." Now it happens that France, though a republic, has allied itself with despotic Russia--a strange mixture. It is not for any love she has for Russia, but to show her spitefulness towards England and Germany, the latter because of the galling defeat she suffered in the Franco-German war; the former because she was foolish enough to withdraw from Egypt and leave England in full control to carry out her plans there as prophecy requires her to do. Ever since she did this she has been croaking impudently at the British lion while that "king of the forest" has looked down upon her with contempt and only answered her croaks with an occasional growl, holding fast to Egypt and steadily and persistently penetrating into the interior of that country. It is only recently that a great ado has been made about a visit of the president of the French republic to the Czar, in which France in her usual running-over excitement and frenzy has done all that was possible to arouse the jealousy of England and to intensify the hatred of Germany towards her. Smarting under the humiliating defeat her impudence received at the hands of Germany, she never will be quiet as long as Alsace and Lorraine are in the hands of her victor; and this, with her mistake in leaving Egypt to British control, is the providential net in which she has entangled herself as one of the last causes of her frog-like disturbing spirit which is to be a great factor in "gathering all nations to the war of that great day of God Almighty." Every month widens the breach and intensifies the jealousy; and every action seems to be guarded to effect the greatest insult possible in the faces of her foes. All the great writers on the political situation see this danger as the outcome of the French frog-like Spirits; and to the prophetic student it is evident from this sign that the war is near, when that great end will be reached declared in the words thrown into this passage in Rev. 16: 13-16, "Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and his shame appear."(5)

(5) Some see the "three unclean spirits like frogs" in Bolshevism, Naziism, and Fascism. A frog is a loud-mouthed creature, and may appropriately symbolize these so-called ideologies, characterized by noisy and lying propaganda. They have led and are leading the world to Armageddon.

BRITAIN

There is not much trouble in identifying Britain in prophecy, a fact which might naturally be expected, for a nation of such power and fame in all the world, and one whose subjects and rulers have a higher regard for the Bible than any others upon the face of the earth, and have done more to give the world an open Bible, free to poor and rich alike, than all others combined--such a nation surely should be found distinctly marked out in prophecy.

In view of these considerations, we should have no trouble in discovering Britain as a prominent sign in the political heavens of the last days of Gentile times; and since it is in the hostile movements of the nations the signs are to be found, and since Britain must necessarily be one of the chief actors in the final drama, it must be certain that prophecy has given her part in the programme in a manner which cannot escape attention.

Now there are various scenes in which she is found playing her parts. Here are the most remarkable ones and the easiest to understand:

1.--Woe (rather Ho!) to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: that sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a nation terrible from their beginning hitherto (or forward--Lesser); a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled (Isa. 18: 1, 2).

Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring my sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee (Isa. 60: 9).

The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts (Ps. 72: 10).

Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee (Gog), Art thou come to take a spoil? (Ezek. 38: 13).

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (Isa. 43: 3).

THE LAND OF SHADOWING WINGS

Britain is the only nation that will fully answer to the description of Isa. 18. Some have tried to apply it to the American continent, allowing their imaginations to see the shape of two wings in the geographical form of the country. There is no fitness in this theory. The wings are "shadowing wings," which belong to the land; not that the wings are the land and vice versa. It is strictly an island country whose ambassadors must go to foreign nations "by the sea," and a land remarkable for shadowing wings or protection beyond its own domain proper. The words, "Hide me under the shadow of thy wings" imply protection, and this is the sense in which the words, "shadowing with wings" are used in this chapter.

Now there is no nation upon earth who has wings stretched out as Britain has. Her dependencies reach far and wide, and upon them it is said the sun never sets. Not only is it true of her as it is of no other nation in a geographical sense; but it is universally admitted that Britain protects her subjects at home and abroad with a jealous care unequalled in all the world. In regard to her "the land shadowing with wings" is no empty phrase.

Another mark of identification is that the land of Isa. 18 is remarkable for the possession of "swift messengers upon the waters;" this to such an extent as to point out the nation as distinct from all others. With this consideration no room is left for the faintest surmise of the prophecy applying to any power except the proud nation of the song, "Britannia, the pride of the ocean, the home of the brave and the free." That "Britain rules the waves" is a proverbial fact which removes all doubt as to what nation is in these latter days to play such an important part in the dreadful drama, whose last act is Armageddon.

There has been some difficulty with the chapter because of the "vessels of bulrushes," students thinking Egypt must be meant by this sign; but Dr. Thomas seems to have good grounds for translating this, "vessels of turning or whirling things." If this is the correct translation the question is still further removed from doubt; for the fulfillment of the prophecy is clearly seen in Britain being foremost in the possession of the great leviathans, which by the "whirling things" of modern wonderful mechanical inventions become "swift messengers" to plough the mountain waves of the mighty ocean. But even accepting the translation of the A. V., there should be no difficulty. Let us grant that Egypt is referred to, and that her ancient "vessels of bulrushes" are alluded to, to whom does Egypt belong at the present time? Is not Britain the dictator of its destiny? It is not unusual for the bows and arrows of ancient warfare to be spoken of in prophecies relating to the latter times when such weapons have been superceded by cannon and shell. Speaking of the time when God will be known in Judah and His name be great in Israel, and when "in Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion," it is said, "There brake he the arrows and the bow, the shield and the sword, and the battle--Psa. 76: 1-3. And to Gog of the latter days the spirit through the prophet Ezekiel says, "And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand" (Ezek. 39: 3). Many other similar cases may be found by the diligent reader. Now when Gog is destroyed in the latter days (Chap. 38: 16) there will be no literal bows and arrows, but mightier weapons of destruction than these; but language familiar to the times of the prophet is carried down to the latter days. So with the vessels of bulrushes; the great merchant ships and warships of our times as far exceed these as the cannon and shell do the bow and arrow. England therefore, having control of Egypt, the land of papyrus vessels is in the chapter clearly marked out as that nation that will respond to the Providential call (unwittingly, no doubt) Ho! to the land shadowing with wings. Send your swift messengers to bring the scattered nation of Israel to the Mount Zion.

There is a reason why Britain's possessions "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia," and those of Egypt should be given more prominence here than the British Isles, and that is that these countries in the hands of England are the natural cause for her response to the call to bring Israel to the Holy Land. Her Indian possessions, the Suez Canal, as the main artery of her life, and her advantageous possession of Egypt combine to make it necessary for her to have Israel as a friendly people in the East; and it is with a view of helping to hold back the force of the great northern mountain that she is so deeply interested in colonizing the Jews in Palestine. When the great conflict takes place between England and Russia, British troops in India and Egypt will necessarily be foremost in the battle, and this is why the land of bulrushes and ancient Cush "beyond the rivers"--the Euphrates and the Tigris--a country now in Britain's possession, are named in this latter day prophecy.

In Isa. 43: 3 we are told that preparatory to the divinely bestowed favor upon Jacob and Israel (verse 1), in redeeming them, when Jehovah will be "The Lord their God, the Holy One of Israel, their Saviour," Egypt is to be given to a nation as a reward for ransoming Israel. This is to be at a time when it is declared "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back! bring my sons (Israel) from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth" (verse 6). When the time for the deliverance of the twelve tribes from Egypt came, God gave the peremptory command to Pharaoh, "Give up." For a time Pharaoh was not willing; but at last Israel became a sore and a scourge to him to an extent that he was quite willing to "give up" and to hasten them out of the land.

Now in the latter-day deliverance of Judah and Israel there will be preliminary work, and circumstances should shape themselves so as to make "the north give up." The nation north of the prophet's standpoint is Russia, and only three years ago Providence said to the Russian Pharaoh, "Give up!" and the Jews were hastily driven out by thousands. Simultaneously with this, and previous to it, the call, which is couched in milder words because addressed to a friendly nation instead of an unfriendly one, "Keep not back," was being obeyed by a nation south of the prophet's standpoint. What nation was and is helping Israel's return to their land? Not Egypt, considered of itself in the hands of its nominal ruler; but Britain, who is the real ruler of that country, and has done more towards colonizing the Jews in Palestine than any other nation. To her God has given Egypt, in spite of the discontent and threats of other powers, France in particular.

It is a Britain, then, that the words of Isa. 18 are addressed, and she is called upon to send her swift messengers upon the waters to a "nation scattered," whose land the rivers (nations) have spoiled; and she is to bring them as "a present unto the Lord of hosts" "to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion" (verse 7). She has partly done this, and is doing it; and since this is preparatory to the appearance of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," in it we have a latter-day sign leading up to the grand sequel we are looking for and hoping for. It is not, we presume, necessary to prove that England is the real ruler of Egypt, for it is generally known and admitted. At this very time the Chicago Record is giving a series of lessons on various useful branches, one of which is "General History," and in the history of Egypt it says,

"The Macedonians were succeeded in turn by the Romans, Saracens, Mamelukes, and Turks, to the last mentioned of which Egypt still nominally owes allegiance, though its policy is now controlled absolutely by England and it is practically a part of the British empire, under whose protection it is even now winning back the vast territories in the Soudan which were undoubtedly under its sway in the days of the Pharaohs."

Not only is England addressed by the prophet as in possession of Egypt, but as "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" (verse 1). In this again we have the ancient name of a country brought down to our times. For the Ethiopia of this chapter we must look back further in history and farther east than Abyssinia. Looking east from the prophet's standpoint we reach beyond the rivers Euphrates and Tigris to India. According to some ancient descriptions, of Ethiopia it would embrace part of the country through which these rivers run and include India. The American Cyclopedia has the following:

Recent linguistic discoveries, says George Rawlinson (Herodotus), book I, essay xi), tends to show that a Cushite or Ethiopian race did in the earliest times extend itself along the shores of the southern ocean from Abyssinia to India. The whole peninsula of India was peopled by a race of this character before the influx of the Aryans; it extended from India along the sea coast through the modern Baluchistan and Kerman, which was the proper country of the Asiatic Ethiopians; the cities on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf are shown by the brick inscriptions found among their ruins to have belonged to the race; it was dominant in Susiana and Babylonia, until overpowered in the one country by Aryan; in the other by Semitic intrusion. It can be traced, both by dialect and tradition, throughout the whole south coast of the Arabian peninsula; and it still exists in Abyssinia.

This again identifies England as the nation of Isa. 18. So we have her as a land of shadowing wings; a land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia; an island nation that "sendeth ambassadors by the sea"; a nation to which Egypt is given as wages for helping Israel's return to its home; a nation remarkable for the possession of "vessels of turning things;" the nation sent to a people terrible from their beginning and forward, but who for a time have been "scattered and peeled" and that takes them to the land of Mount Zion.

In Isa. 60: 9 Britain is again spoken of as bringing God's sons (Israel) from far, and here she is called the "isles," that are to "wait for me" (Jehovah) as the "ships of Tarshish." Again she is called "the kings of Tarshish and of the isles" (Psa. 72: 10); and the "merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof" (Ezek. 38: 13). We have only to ask, Which is the great merchant nation of the world? Which is the great maritime nation of the world? What nation is represented by the lion, having many possessions as "young lions?" To Britain and to Britain alone we must look for the answers to these questions. Since it is this merchant, Tarshish, lion power that is to defiantly meet the king of the north in defence of Israel colonized in the Holy Land, according to Ezekiel's prophecy, and since the consequent conflict is to bring upon the scene "Michael, the great prince," it is important that we show that Britain is Tarshish. To this end we cannot do better than quote a digest by R. Roberts, in Prophecy and the Eastern Question of a book entitled, The Kings of the East, published in 1842. He says:

The first fact to be looked at is the one stated in Ezek. 27: 12, that Tarshish was a merchant of Tyre (ancient Phoenicia), supplying the Tyrian market with "silver, iron, tin and lead." If the source of the supply of these metals to the Tyrian market can be ascertained the Scripture Tarshish is discovered.

It is a fact that tin was universally used by the ancients as the alloy for the hardening of copper, in the making of swords and other implements. It is another fact that none of the ancient civilized countries possessed tin mines. It is another fact that till the destruction of Tyre by Alexander, all countries were supplied by the markets of Tyre, and that the source of the Tyrian supply was till that time a secret. The secret was afterwards open to the Greeks and Romans, who went to the same source of supply. What source was that? The answer derivable from Strabo, Herodotus, and other ancient historians, is that the Greeks and Romans, like the Phoenicians before them, went for tin to the islands known as the "Cassiterides."

What does "Cassiterides" mean? The tin islands, from cassiieros--the name given by the Greeks to tin. Look on any ancient map and Cassiterides will be found marked under the British Islands. But originally the Greeks did not know the name by which the Cassiterides were known to the original Phoenician traders. They only knew there were such islands without knowing where, or what geographical phrase they were known by. When they did know they found they were known as the Britannic Isles. Why Britannic Isles?

Britannia is a Celtic name. The Celtic language is Phoenician naturalized in these islands from the first settlers, the descendants of the Tarshish, son of Javan, one of those by whom "the isles of the Gentiles were divided in their lands" (Gen. 10: 5). In pure Celtic, Britannia signifies the LAND OF METALS: in Syriac, from which it is derived, Baratanac means the land of tin. The modern name, Britain, is but a modification of the ancient Baratanac, or Britannia, consequently, The British Isles literally mean the tin isles, and identify Britain as the Cassiterides (tin islands) of the Greeks, and the Tarshish of the Scriptures which supplied Tyre with "silver, iron, tin and lead."

In addition to the evidence of historians that Tyre drew her mineral supplies from certain northern islands beyond the pillars of Hercules (the straits of Gibralter) there is abundant evidence in Cornwall and the south and west coasts of Ireland of the existence of ancient mineral mines worked by Phoenician enterprise. Not only are numerous exhausted tin mines found in various localities, whose history is totally unknown, but implements of Phoenician workmanship are found abundantly. Messrs. Lysons, in their account of Cornwall (page 204), say: "Cornwall has been celebrated for its tin mines from very remote antiquity. We learn from Strabo, Herodotus and other ancient writers that the Phoenicians, and after them the Greeks and Romans, traded for tin to Cornwall, under the name of the Cassiterides, from a very early period, Diodorus Siculus, who wrote in the reign of Augustus, gives a particular description of the manner in which the valuable metal was dug and prepared by the Britons." Fragments of ancient weapons are frequently discovered in Cornwall, in streams and buried in the ground. Messrs. Lysons, in the book already quoted, say, "They are instruments of mixed metal, commonly called celts, apparently cast in imitation of the stone hatchets and chisels of the early inhabitants. They are found in greater abundance in Cornwall than in any other part of the kingdom. . . . Several were found on the side of Larnbri Hill in the year 1844. In the parish of Halant, four miles north St. Michael's Mount in the year 1802, a farmer discovered, about two feet below the surface of the earth, a quantity of celts, weighing about fourteen to fifteen pounds, with pieces of copper swords and heavy lumps of fine copper. . . . Another large quantity of celts, with spearheads and broken pieces of copper swords, with several lumps of metal, weighing altogether about eighty pounds, was discovered in the parish of St. Hilary, about the year 1800." Other similar discoveries have been made, and a comparison of these ancient relics, with the armor described by Homer in the Iliad, as worn by the Greeks (who were supplied by Tyre), shows that they are identical in metal and manufacture. As regards Ireland, a report on the metallic mines of Leinster was presented to the Royal Dublin Society in 1828, in which the following paragraph occurs: "If we may judge from the number of ancient mine excavations, which are still visible in almost every part of Ireland, it would appear that an ardent spirit for mining adventure must have pervaded this country at some very remote period. . . . Many of our mining excavations exhibit appearances similar to the surface workings of the most ancient mines of Cornwall, which are generally attributed to the Phoenicians." M. Moore, in his first volume of the History of Ireland, says: "Numbers of swords made of brass have been found in different parts of the country. . . . It has been thought not improbable that all these weapons, the Irish as well as the others, were of the same Punic or Phoenician origin, and may be traced to those colonies on the coast of Spain which traded anciently with the British Isles." Dr. Vincent, in his treatise on the commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean, says: "Tin is mentioned as an import into Africa, Arabia, Scindi and the coast of Malabar. It has continued an article of commerce, BROUGHT OUT OF BRITAIN IN ALL AGES, and conveyed to all the countries in the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, and carried into the Eastern Ocean, from the origin of commerce."

Now in the latter days of Gentile times just previous and preparatory to the coming of Christ, prophecy requires a colonization of Jews in Palestine in which Britain is to be the chief helper. She is before us as an unmistakable sign in this. Prophecy promises that she shall have possession of Egypt as wages for this work; and this, too, is to place her in position ready to meet the king of the north defiantly in the last act of the great war that will bring Christ upon the scene as a man of war. She is in that position as another sign of the end. England was also to be in position in India, "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" when her latter-day service would be required. She is there. Her young lions are also to willingly assist her in the great and final struggle as shown by the words, "The merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof shall say, Art thou come to take a spoil?" It is a remarkable fact that in the late Queen's Diamond Jubilee the British colonies have been brought into closer relations than ever; and they voluntarily proposed to render assistance in increasing and upholding the strength of the navy, a fact which shows their willingness to rush to the aid of the old lion in fighting the bear from the north in his plundering of the Jews who have "gotten cattle and goods, and dwell confidently in the midst of the land."

When the nations are raging and imagining the vain thing of breaking the bands assunder of Christ and his victorious hosts, the stubborn ones will be broken to shivers and dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel; but England will undoubtedly be the most willing to respond to the invitation to "Kiss the Son lest he be angry and ye perish by the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little" (Psa. 2). Should the good queen of England be alive there is no doubt she would rather lay her crown at the feet of Christ as the king of the whole earth than have it placed upon the head of the Prince of Wales. While there is much pomp and aristocratic show in England, her people are the most reverential and Bible-loving of all the earth. With all their display of power and with all the excitement of the late Jubilee, it was possible for the pen of the poet to arrest attention to a few words commencing with "God" and ending with "Lord." It seemed as if bands of martial music and the roar of cannon were hushed into silence, processions seemed suddenly to stand still, when, from the throne to the humblest cot, heads were bowed in reverence to hear the words, "Lest we forget--lest we forget!" Mr. Kipling quietly sent his poem, "Recessional," to the London Times, and, as McClure's Magazine says, "It was at once recognized as the strongest and most searching word of all that the Jubilee had called forth." A nation that can be so touched to the heart with the words of this poem will not be slow to yield all the power, glory and honor to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

RECESSIONAL

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle-line--
Beneath Whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies--
The captains and the kings depart--
Still stands Thine ancient Sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart,
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
Far-called our navies melt away--
On dune and headland sinks the fire--
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
If drunk with sight of power we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the Law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on thy people, Lord! Amen.

The Jubilee was no sooner over than it was being published in the papers that Queen Victoria was a believer in the Lord's return to reign on earth.

QUEEN VICTORIA LOOKING FOR CHRIST

An English journal reports that the Queen recently said to a minister of the Church of England:

"I am looking for the coming of our Lord and I do not think it impossible that I may not have to surrender my crown till I shall lay it down at his feet."

"What a change! The Queen of Sheba came to behold the splendor of Solomon, whose fame had filled the world, and whose wisdom was known to the nations afar. But a greater than Solomon once appeared and is coming again. Earth's greatest sovereign sees in the events now occurring evidence of His coming who is the Desire of nations and the rightful heir to the world's empire.

The Queen apparently passes by the Prince of Wales (who many predict will never come to the throne) and longs to lay her crown at the feet of the King of kings. Truly when Jerusalem shall be rebuilt in the light of the new day, "kings shall come to the brightness of her rising." The ships of Tarshish (England) shall bring her sons from far because the Lord hath glorified her (Isa. 60: 9).

Whether the queen personally will have the honor of repeating the historical drama of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon or not, it is evident that the time cannot be far distant when England as a nation will have the honor of playing that noble part of the greatest drama that has ever been acted upon the stage of the world of nations.(6)

(6)The Author comments upon this further, at the time of the Queen's death in January of 1901. In an Editorial in the February Advocate, of which he was editor and publisher, he says: "By the death of Queen Victoria a pretty little romance which many of our brethren have indulged in has been disappointed--that personally the Queen would literally repeat before Christ the historic drama of the queen of Sheba before Solomon, and that the present she would lay at his feet would be no less than the crown of the vast empire of Great Britain." The failure of this speculation may well serve to illustrate the difference between human imagination and Bible prediction--it requires only the passage of time to discredit the one and to confirm the other.

RUSSIA

The marks of identification of Russia are as clear as those of Britain; and that, too, for the same reason--the prominent part she is to play as a sign of the advent of Christ and in the final struggle. Under various historic names she is spoken of by the prophets; but for our present purpose it will be sufficient to note what is marked out by Ezekiel and Daniel. As with other branches of the subject so with this--the relation of Russia's actions to Israel--Ezekiel 37 deals with Israel's restoration, and chapter 38 presents certain details leading up to the coming of the Messiah. All that is necessary here is to show that "Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal," is the Russian power. This is best done by quoting from Dissertations of Unaccomplished Prophecy, by W. Snell Chauncy, a work written in the beginning of this century, and which is remarkable for its clear insight into the fulfillment of prophecy. Commenting upon verse 2, he says:

Rather Gog the prince of the land of Magog, the Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. By Magog is most probably meant the Scythians or Tartars, called so by Arabian and Syrian writers. Josephus is the earliest Hebrew authority of weight and learning, to which we can address ourselves; and he distinctly informs us, "that Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons," whose names, as recorded in Gen. 10: 2, were Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal and Meshech, and Tiras; who, proceeding from their primitive seats, in the mountains of Taurus and Amanus, ascended Asia to the river Tanais (or, Don); and there entering Europe, penetrated as far westward as the straits of Gibraltar, occupying the lands which they successively met with in their progress (all of which were uninhabited), and bequeathed their names to their different families or nation.--Granville Penn.

By Rosh is most probably meant the Russians, descendants of the ancient inhabitants on the river Araxes or Rosh. See Bochart, Phaleg, lib. III, cap. 13, &c. Michaelis, Spicileg. Georg, part I, p. 34, &c., D'Herbelot and others.

According to our common English translation, the prophecy is addressed to "Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal."

So the English translators of the Bible have rendered that important title, following the interpretation of the Vulgate, or Latin version of Jerome, used in the western church; which interpretation rests upon a criticism of that same ancient writer. But the first translators of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint, or Seventy Jews of Alexandria, who translated the prophecies of Ezekiel into the Greek tongue above six hundred years before the age of Jerome, and above two hundred years before the birth of Christ, rendered this passage with a very notable and essential difference, viz.: "Gog, the chief of Ros, Mesoch and Thobel."

The difference between the two interpretations turns upon this one point. The Hebrew word rosh or ros, used as an appellative noun, signifies indeed "head," "chief," or "prince." But the ancient Jews were sensible that in this place it was not an appellative, but a proper name; and they therefore rendered it by the proper name Ros.

Ezekiel makes mention of other proper names of nations besides Ros, which yet are nowhere to be met with in the writings of Moses; and the question has long been set at rest by the concurring judgment of the learned, who have adopted decidedly the primitive interpretation of the Alexandrian Jews. And although our common English version has not derived the benefit of that decision, yet the title of the prophecy has been generally received among the erudite portion of the western nations for nearly two centuries, according to the ancient Greek interpretation; that is to say, as uniting the THREE proper names of nations. Ros, Mosc, and Tobl. Vitringa observes that "the Seventy interpreters, Symmachus, and Theodotion, perceived Ros in this place to be the proper name of a people." Conformably to this corrected interpretation Archbishop Newcome has expressed the three names Rhos, Meshech, and Tubal, in his English translation of Ezekiel; following Michaelis in the orthography of these words. And David Levi, the most learned Jew of our own days, thus determined the signification of the word Ros: "So to this word I must observe, that it is not an appellative, as in the common translation of the Bible, but a proper name,"--Dissert, on the Prophecies, vol. II, p. 308. The word "prince" in our common translation, ought therefore to be replaced by the proper name Ros. The celebrated Bochart has observed that Ros is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of the name of Russia; and he contended that the two first of those names properly denote the nations of Russia and Muscovy. "It is credible," says he, "that from Rhos and Mesech, that is the Rhossi and Moschi, of whom Ezekiel speaks, descended the Russians and Muscovites, nations of the greatest celebrity in European Scythia." We have, indeed, ample and positive testimony that the Russian nation was called Ros by the Greeks, in the earliest period in which we find it mentioned.

"The Ros are a Scythian nation, bordering on the northern Taurus."

This testimony is given by Cedrenus, Zonarus, Leo Grammaticus and Tzetzes. And their own historian thus reports: "It is related that the Russians, whom the Greeks call Ros and sometimes Rosos, derived their name from Ros, a valiant man who delivered his nation from the yoke of their tyrants. This is the identical name which the first interpreters of Ezekiel found in the text of that ancient prophet; upon the peculiar form of which name Mr. Gibbon has this remark: "Among the Greeks this national appellation has a singular form, Ros, as an indeclinable word, of which many fanciful etymologies have been found." Moskwa or Moscow, the ancient capital of the Russian empire, derives its name from the river Moskwa, which runs in the south side of it. Busching's Geography vol. I, p. 452. The river Tobol gives name to the city Tobolum or Tobolski (ut supra, p. 506, 483), the metropolis of the extensive region of Siberia, lying immediately eastward of the territories of Muscovy or Mosc. "Tobol and Mosc are mentioned together in a former chapter of the same prophet, 27: 13, where they are characterized as nations trading in copper; a metal which it is notorious abounds in the soil of Siberia. And thus the Three Denominations, united in the prophecy, point out, with equal capacity and conciseness, those widely extended regions which, at the present day, we denominate collectively, THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE. It is true that in I. Chron. 5: 4, we find the name Gog in our English Bible as a Hebrew name among the Reubenites; but the ancient Greek interpreters teach us that in that place it was properly enounced Goug, and not Gogue. But the name in Ezekiel's prophecy is not a Hebrew but a Gentile name. "If," as Michaelis says "Gomer was the Hebrew name for the Gauls, it is not improbable that the Trocmi, a nation of the Gauls, were Togarmah." --Penn's Prophecy of Ezekiel.

Here we have the Prince of Rosh, or Czar of Russia beyond doubt; and now we have only to follow him in the great feats he is to perform in the latter days up to his final destruction upon the mountains of Israel. He is an enemy of God and of His people Israel, and, therefore, in verse 3 it is said, "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog." Verse 4 says, "I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws." This implies that he was to step upon forbidden ground, and make attempts to force his way before the time appointed by Him who "rules in the kingdoms of men." After he is turned back, a time is to come when, it is said, "I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen" etc. Now when this bringing forth takes place he is to be prepared with a great company to "come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel;" and this is to be in the "latter years." Since it is to the mountains of Israel he is to come, it follows that thither he was bound in his attempts when he was "turned back." Constantinople is what Russia wants, not as an end; but as a means to an end--the possession of the Holy Land, the holy places of Mount Zion and Jerusalem in particular. The Crimean war was with this in view; but he was "turned back." The war with Turkey in 1876 seemed as if it must be the final "bringing forth;" but instead there was another "turning back," for the reason that the situation had not been fully formed. The situation to be formed is:(7)

(7)This is another particular, in which time has brought change. In the Crimean War, charge of the Holy Places, and jurisdiction over the Principalities, mostly Greek-Catholic, was made the pretext for Russian expansion. It does not now appear probable that history will repeat itself in this respect. Bolshevik zeal is addressed to the abolition of all religion. In this it agrees with its prototype, the Assyrian of old. (See Isa. 10: 10, 11; 36: 18-21.)

1. The settlement of Jews in the Holy Land, which now has taken place to a large extent and is growing apace, as we have shown under "Israel" in this chapter.

2. Turkey weakened and in the power of Russia, which has fully become a fact as the result of the Armenian outrage, the pressure of the other powers leaving no other alternative for the Sultan, and the intrigue of Russia welcoming it.

3. England well settled in Egypt, which has of late became the policy to a remarkable degree under the administration of Lord Salisbury, even to the extent of recovering lost prestige in the Soudan.

4. France in a position to disturb, which she has become quite able to do of late by her alliance with Russia whom she threatens against England in Egypt and Germany in Alsace and Lorraine.

The situation is now formed, and all is ready for Turkey to go down, for Russia to take Constantinople, and afterwards prepare to execute the "evil thought," when she shall say, "I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell confidently all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land" (verses 11, 12). Here are the Jews whom the "swift messengers upon the waters" have taken there and colonized under British guarantee of protection. Russia's "evil thought" is to plunder them and make conquest of the land; but England must be true to her promises of protection, as well as obey the "first law of nature," that of self-defence; and it is now that the "merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof" are to challenge the Prince of Rosh, Gog, of the land of Magog, the "king of the north," saying, "Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" (verse 13). Now the battle begins in earnest; but the Prince of Rosh is to be victorious over all human foes. He is to "overflow and pass over" to the extent of "planting the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11: 45) stopping not short of Egypt; for it is said, "He shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over the precious things of Egypt. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries and the land of Egypt shall not escape" (verses 42, 43). Thus he has carried everything before him and become the Nebuchadnezzar of the latter days, who will in his pride and pomp, flushed with the glory of his successful conquests, 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 a voice comes not from this nation nor that, for there is no power on earth that is able to meet the Philistinian giant. They are all "at his steps." Human pride, and pomp and haughtiness have been permitted to reach the climax, and a voice comes from heaven, saying, "O, King Nebuchadnezzar! O proud Prince of Rosh! The kingdom is departed from thee." "I am against thee, O Gog, Prince of Rosh, Moscow and Tubal" (Ezek. 39: 1). "My fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel" (chapter 38: 18, 19). "I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord; every man's sword shall be against his brother and I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands and among the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone" (verse 22). "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one that is found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Dan. 12: 1-3).

ALL NATIONS GATHERED

The going forth of the three unclean spirits like frogs is to "gather all the kings of the earth and of the whole world to the war of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16: 14). The same great event is predicted in the following prophecies:

For behold in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted my land (Joel 3: 1, 2).

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee, for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle (Zec. 14: 1-3).

The king of the north, or Russia, is destined to become the head of all nations in this final gathering against Jerusalem. It is the final stroke so far as the nations are concerned in the settlement of the Eastern question, which has been so perplexing for a long time. When Russia comes forth to execute his evil thought, and to be as a "cloud to cover the land," Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya "are to be with him, all of them with shields and helmet, Gomer and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands; and many people with thee." He and all that are to be with him are warned, "Be thou prepared and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company, that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them" (Ezek. 38: 5, 7). Either by agreement, under pressure, or by force all these nations will be under the power or guardianship of Russia; and this will constitute the Czar the king of Babylon of the latter days and the head of Nebuchadnezzar's image when it stands upon its feet in all its military power and pride. At this time, the point of attack and the coveted spot is Jerusalem, which will have been a "burdensome stone to all nations." It is for this great and final war that the nations are now preparing in fulfillment of the words, "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up; beat your ploughshares into swords, and your scythes into spears; let the weak say, I am strong; assemble yourselves, and come, all ye nations, and gather yourselves together round about" (Joel 3:9-11). This proclamation is obeyed till the nations are all assembled in the valley of Jehoshaphat to the extent that there will be "multitudes, multitudes in the valley of threshing" (verse 14), which is the Armageddon, "or heaps of slain," of Rev. 16: 16, and of which it is said, "and he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

This great gathering completed and under the guardianship of Russia, the power, and the only power in sight, to be dealt with is Britain, who as the "merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof," is preparing to resist the attack, but in the end fails, as we have already seen, from the fact that "the land of Egypt shall not escape." It is now that the great giant says in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" (Zion--Psa. 48: 2); "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." The climax is reached now, and the time has come for Jehovah to be sanctified in Gog before the eyes of all nations (Ezek. 38: 23). But by what means? Where is there a power to be used as the "rod of God's anger and staff of His fury?" There is no power in sight--no such nation known upon the earth. The world stands amazed and breathless before the victorious king of the north, Prince of Rosh, wondering what will be next. The unexpected comes, and comes with such force as to "leave but the sixth part" of the mighty hosts of the Gogian army. The great giant falls upon the mountains of Israel, "thou and all thy bands, and the people that are with thee." That which smites the image and brings it down to the ground is the "stone which the builders rejected," the stone of Israel, the man of God's right hand--Christ.

After this first and staggering blow to the power which has forced its guardianship over the nations, the One who smites him seems to disappear for a time; and the nations, seeing their despotic victor stricken down, cry out, "How hath the oppressor ceased, the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth," "How art thou fallen from heaven, O day star: how art thou cut down which didst weaken the nations!" "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms!" (Isa. 14).

Then there seems to be a rally in the vain hope that now their great enemy that had made them tremble is destroyed they can seize the coveted spot and after all settle the Eastern Question to their own satisfaction. But their attention is suddenly arrested, and turned Edom-ward, and the question goes out, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" Who can this be? It cannot be a power of any great strength coming in that direction. What Madhi is this that presumes to come from the wilds of the wilderness to contest the rights of Christian nations in the land of the birth and death of our founder and protector? "The nations rage and the people imagine a vain thing. The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord (ignorantly) and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands assunder and cast their cords from us" (Psa. 2: 1-3)--"Who is this that cometh from Edom?" The answer comes in thunder tones, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save * * * I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. * * * And I will tread down the people in my anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth" (Isa. 63 :1-6). "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure." Setting His king upon His holy hill of Zion, and giving him the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, he shall break the nations with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. The "time of trouble such as never was" is now over. The sickle has been thrust in and the harvest of the earth reaped. Armageddon's war has been fought. God has plead with all nations in the valley of decision. What now? To those that are left the command will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, and it will be obeyed, in the nations "beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into scythes, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." "O, house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord" (Isa. 2:3-5). The world's storms have now passed away. The howling winds have been hushed into silence. The raging sea has been calmed and the sweeping tempest stilled. The gently descending rain comes down upon the mown grass, which springs up in beautiful verdure. There is a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains, the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon; and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. All nations call the Messiah blessed; all nations are blessed in him. Peace, sweet peace, reigns universally. "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wonderous things, and blessed be his glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory." The world's conqueror and saviour reigns till he hath put down all enemies under his feet, when the last enemy death is destroyed, and God is all and in all, and here is the world's redemption. Amen and amen.

 

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Chapter 12

The World's Redemption


Objections Met and Difficulties Removed

The writer has learned from experience that it is not only necessary to set forth the truth in a clear and conclusive manner in these days when a false theology has bewildered the minds of the people; but it is also necessary to anticipate and remove what difficulties arise in the readers' minds concerning a few texts which, superficially viewed and sophistically presented by theologians, appear to be at variance with what has been set forth herein. He has had ample opportunity during thirty-two years of his life of observing the methods employed in endeavoring to sustain the popular theories, and has had considerable experience in defending the truth of the Bible against the different tactics of representative men of the various sects of Christendom, both in private conversation and public discussions. He feels that the first part of this book will be more useful to the inquirers after truth and to those who are equipping themselves to effectually defend it, if a chapter is devoted to the careful consideration of the few texts which are used, or rather misused, against the truth it contains and the many proofs given in their support.

The representative men of different sects must necessarily employ methods somewhat differing according as they differ in their theories. Hence a Campbellite, who believes in a Pentecostal kingdom must resort to different tactics from those employed by a Baptist, who believes the kingdom was established before Pentecost--some Baptists claiming it was set up when Christ triumphed over death and others at an earlier date, not being willing to be definite as to the date. In meeting these opponents of the Truth it is necessary that one "study to show himself a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth;" for an awkward use of the sword of the Spirit is quite likely to leave the interested listeners confused and deluded by the sophistry of perverters of the word of God. We are commanded to "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good," and to "Try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." It is our duty to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints;" and this cannot be done unless we carefully prepare ourselves as good soldiers of Christ. Let us not be driven from our duty in this matter by the taunts of some that we are controversialists and always ready to discuss for the sake of discussion. This is one of the tactics used to enable the enemy to escape the test of truth. We must make up our minds to obey the foregoing injunctions, not for discussion's sake, but for truth's sake, and for the sake of deluded fellow men, and we must not shirk nor be cowardly, but press the battle, giving no quarters, and fully convinced that truth can never surrender to, retreat from, nor compromise with error.

THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM NOT FULFILLED

NEH. 9: 7, 8

In chapter iv, page 36 we have shown that the promise to Abraham that he and his seed should have the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession was not fulfilled. In attempting to meet this and sustain the popular theory that it was fulfilled and that Abraham is in heaven, Neh. 9: 7, 8 is quoted with great emphasis on the words, "and hast performed thy words." Now how is this to be met? In the first place we must never give place for a moment to a theory or an argument that will make the Word of God appear to contradict itself. Let us ask our opponents a few questions and give the answers which they give--and let it be remembered we give substantially the answers representative men have given in this case. Let us ask, then, Do you believe that the covenant spoken of in verse 8 is the same covenant, relating to the same time and the same extent as that wherein God said to Abraham, "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever" (Gen. 13: 15)? Ans. Yes. Then you make the Bible contradict itself; for if you apply Nehemiah's words to the covenant of Gen. 13: 15 you make the Bible say that God had given to Abraham and to his seed all the land promised forever: and yet the Bible says, "He gave him (Abraham) none inheritance in it (the land of Canaan), no, not so much as to set his foot on, yet he promised that he would," etc. (Acts 7: 5). Do you believe the words which say He gave him not so much as to set his foot on? Yes. Then how could inspiration speak of the same promise in two different places and say in one, God had fulfilled it and in the other say He had not? Acts 7: 5 not only declares that God did not give him so much as to set his foot on, but it also says, "Yet he promised that he would give it." Therefore that which was not given was identically the thing that was promised; and that which was promised was the very thing that was not given. Think of this! Does Nehemiah say that God fulfilled the promise to Abraham and his seed? You are bound to answer no. To fulfill the promise of Gen. 13 :15 would not the land promised have had to be given to Abraham and his seed? You are compelled to answer yes. Then since Nehemiah does not say that God fulfilled the covenant he speaks of to Abraham and his seed, and since Gen. 13: 15 speaks of a promise to be fulfilled to Abraham and his seed, it follows that Nehemiah's words do not apply to the fulfillment of the promise of Gen. 13 :15. Now all that is necessary to escape and expose the sophistry of the opponent is to read Neh. 9: 7, 8, as it is, without adding to or taking from, and then it will be seen that he does not contradict Acts 7: 5. It reads as follows: "Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abraham, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous."

Now how does the matter stand? Is it not clear that Nehemiah says that the fulfillment he is speaking of was one that pertained only to Abraham's seed and not to Abraham, while Gen. 13: 15 promised the land to both Abraham and his seed? Nehemiah is therefore referring to the typical and temporary possession of a part of the land involved in the everlasting covenant; and the apostle Paul distinctly says that this temporary possession under the Mosaic law "cannot disannul that it should make the promise of none effect." "For," he adds, "if it be of the law, then it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham by promise" (Gal. 3: 18). The possession under the law, of which Nehemiah speaks, was an added, temporary and typical thing like the law itself-- "till the seed (Christ) should come to whom the promise was made;" but under the everlasting covenant to which the Mosaic was added, Abraham and the "seed to whom the promise was made" had not been given so much as to set foot upon, yet it was promised and the promise remained unfulfilled, and will so remain till the words of Micah 7: 20, uttered about ten hundred years after Abraham's time, are fulfilled: "Thou wilt perform (not thou hast performed) thy truth to Jacob and thy mercy to Abraham which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." If the sophists say that the meaning was heaven as a spiritual Canaan, then the answer is still that "He gave him none inheritance in it (heaven), no not so much as to set his foot on." The truth will allow of no evasion or quibbling. It is protected on every side and when "rightly divided" will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND

MATT. 3: 2

In attempting to prove that the kingdom of God is a "kingdom of grace in the heart," and that the church is the kingdom, the words "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3: 2; 4: 17) are often quoted. In Chapter III, page 24, we have shown that the kingdom of God, which, of course is the "kingdom of heaven," is a more glorious, substantial and extensive thing than can in any sense be termed a "kingdom of grace in the heart." "In the days of these kings," says Daniel, referring to the kings of the earth that should exist after the division of the Roman empire, "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. This is the kingdom of God, or of heaven to be set up by the God of heaven upon the downfall of all the kingdoms of men, when, as represented by the stone which destroys these kingdoms it is to fill the whole earth (verse 35). Speaking of this same kingdom of God and these kingdoms of men, John, who in vision was enabled to look down to the time of the seventh trumpet, beheld that "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11: 15).

This is neither a "kingdom of grace in the heart" nor the church, but a grand constitution of things far more powerful, glorious and extensive, and fraught with sweeter blessings than the "heart hath conceived," than the church has ever experienced or the world ever witnessed.

But there was a sense in which the kingdom of heaven was at hand in the days of John's ministry, for the words quoted so declare. In order to get at the meaning of the words we have only to ask, What was the mission of John? What or whom did he come to herald? In Isa. 40: 3 the prophet says, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." And Matt. 3: 3 says of John's coming, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight."

From this we learn that John came to herald and to prepare the way of the Lord, Christ; and we may therefore conclude that it was Christ who was "at hand," as declared in John's preaching. But if it was Christ, why does it say "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Is there a sense in which Christ can be spoken of synonymously with kingdom? The word in the Greek for "kingdom" is Basileia, a word which the lexicons say stands for royalty or a royal personage, as well as for kingdom. Pickering's Greek lexicon has the following: "Basileia, a kingdom, realm, domination, royal authority, hereditary monarchy." The same word in the feminine form, he says, means a queen, princess, lady of royal blood. For Basileias he gives kingly, royal, regal. Now in view of the fact that it was the royal person, Christ, whom John came to prepare the way for, it is certain that he used the word Basileia for Him, meaning that the King, Prince of royal blood, in whom was the "hereditary monarchy," was at hand. So in accordance with this meaning of the word which John used (Basileia), the Emphatic Diaglott correctly renders the passage as follows: "Reform! because the ROYAL MAJESTY of the HEAVENS has approached." Christ, the king of the kingdom of God had approached, or was "at hand;" but the time for the establishing of his kingdom was not at hand. When the disciples "thought," some time after Christ had appeared, "that the kingdom of God would immediately appear, he added and spake a parable unto them" (Luke 19: 11)--the parable of the nobleman, in which he taught that his kingdom would not appear till his return from heaven. When this kingdom is established, the least in it will be greater than John the Baptist was in his humility and suffering. Not that the least in the church now is greater than John the Baptist; for John was surely a greater man than many in the church. The kingdom to which the Saviour refers, therefore, is the glorious kingdom to come, in which the lowest position will be higher and the least honor will exceed anything attributable to John in this life, honorable and great though his office was--that of being a messenger to prepare the way of the Royal Majesty of the Heavens.

Now that Christ is spoken of as synonymous with the kingdom of God is a matter not entirely dependent upon the meaning and use of the word Basileia. The same truth is revealed in another way. It is said in Acts 8: 5--"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them." What it was to preach Christ is seen from verse 12--"But when they believed Philip preaching the "things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women." To preach Christ, therefore, is to preach the kingdom of God; for he is the germ that is to grow and expand into a kingdom that shall fill the "uttermost parts of the earth;" he is the acorn which is to become the great and mighty oak whose branches shall spread protection and shelter over the now groaning but then blessed, happy creation.

THE KINGDOM NIGH

Luke 10: 11--"Be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

The work of Christ and his apostles was not to set up the kingdom of God, but to preach it--the good news concerning it. In the very nature of things a great plan or purpose in which many are to participate must be made known, or preached or heralded, before the actual full establishment of that which is contemplated or proposed takes place. In the initiative step towards the carrying out of a great plan the name of whatever form the plan is to assume when complete is given to the initiative step. We may illustrate this by great business enterprises, it may be the building of a railroad or the formation of a great company, whose purpose is to establish and carry on in a systematic manner a certain line of business.

In building a great railroad, after the plan is conceived and arranged, the first thing necessary to the accomplishment of the purpose is to make it known--to preach it. In doing this the name the railroad is to have when complete is used in making known the enterprise. Suppose it is the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was planned and called by this name before anything was done towards preparing the literal bed, ties, rails, cars and locomotives, etc., and when agents are sent out to make the plan known, they call it the Northern Pacific Railroad, and they present the plan to those whom they desire to become participants in the enterprise. If they are asked, What do you represent? they answer "The Northern Pacific Railroad. We have come to make it known to you--or to "bring it nigh"--for your acceptance and embarkation in it, so that when our plan, to use a modern term, materializes, you may partake of the profits.

At the present time Zionism is preaching the establishment of an "Independent Jewish State" in Palestine. The advocates are presenting the plan, or bringing it "nigh" to all who will listen to their elucidation of the contemplated "Jewish State;" but there is no such "Jewish State" actually established yet, it is only brought "nigh" to the people in the sense of being preached.

Now, if we apply these illustrations to the verses quoted, we shall readily see that the kingdom of God has been planned and named by the God of heaven Himself--in this sense "prepared from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25: 34). When this great and good and sure plan is spoken of it is called by its name-- the Kingdom of God--though it has not actually been established, but is being preached, made known or heralded to those who are invited to join in this divine enterprise with a view of receiving a share in the blessings which shall come from its operations when it becomes an actual fact. In presenting this glorious plan it was brought "nigh" to the Jews first and afterwards to the Gentiles in the form of the Gospel, or good news, "concerning the kingdom of God." Hence we read of Jesus that "he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with him" (Luke 8: 1). "And he sent them (the twelve) to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick" (chap. 9: 2).

Those who would "study to be workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," should always be on guard not to apply one scripture in a way to contradict other scriptures. To say of the verses we are considering that they mean that the kingdom of God had come nigh in the sense of being set up is to array them against the teachings of Jesus when he corrected the mistake of his disciples in supposing that "the kingdom of God would immediately appear" (Luke 19: 11). If the kingdom of God had "come nigh" in the sense of being set up or established--in the form of a church, or in a spiritual sense in the heart--then the disciples were right in believing in its immediate appearance, and then the question is, Why did Jesus declare them to be mistaken in this immediate appearing aspect of the question? He taught them that the kingdom of God which they thought would immediately appear would appear, but not immediately; not until he would go to heaven and return, "having received the kingdom" (Luke 19: 15). It follows therefore that the only sense in which the kingdom of God had "come nigh" was in that it had been presented to them for acceptance, in which acceptance they would receive Christ, who was the kingdom in its germ form, and would receive the gospel which had Christ for its alpha and omega, and which was the kingdom of God in gospel form, destined to ultimately pass from being a matter of gospel, or good news, into a reality that would bring to an afflicted world the blessings of a reign of "peace on earth, good will toward men and glory to God in the highest."

THE KINGDOM OF GOD SUFFERETH VIOLENCE

Matt. 11: 11, 12--"Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."

It is here said that John was a great man, yet in the kingdom of heaven the least is greater. It can not be said that the least in the church is as great as John. Neither can it be, that the least one who has the so-called "kingdom of grace in the heart" is greater than he. The "kingdom of heaven," here, therefore, is not the church, nor the "kingdom in the heart." What then is the meaning of the words? When the kingdom of heaven in answer to the prayer, "Thy kingdom come," is established and the redeemed will inherit it, having been invited to that honor in the words, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," the position of the very least there will be a high and glorious one. It is said, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3: 21). This will be "When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all his holy angels with him," for it is added "then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25: 31). "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13: 43). For the least in this exalted state the honor and glory will be great. Notwithstanding John's greatness in this life, compared with that of the least in the kingdom of God it is small. The object of the words is to show the greatness and glory of those who shall be permitted to enter that glorious kingdom when its king shall say "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you."

While we have partly dealt with this text before, since it is here connected with what is said in verse 12, we deemed it best to give a more elaborate treatment.

The next question is, In what sense did the kingdom of heaven suffer violence? It cannot be that in the establishment of the kingdom of heaven there will be power enough to "treat it with violence," nor that it can be taken by force; for at that time the violence will be on the part of the kingdom of heaven against the wicked kingdoms of men. The prophet Daniel says, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, neither shall it be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. 2: 44). So we may safely conclude that when the kingdom of God "suffered violence and the violent took it by force" was not at the time of the establishment of the kingdom.

Now, if when agents are sent out to preach Zionism, or the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine, some one should ask, How is the Jewish State being received by the people? and if they should answer, "It is receiving violence and the violent are taking it by force," we should not conclude that the Jewish State had been actually established and had been taken by force; but the only conclusion we could come to would be that the preaching of the plan of establishing a Jewish State had caused the people to become violent and that they had mobbed the agents or preachers. Now, this was the fact in the preaching of the kingdom of God. John, himself, because he preached the kingdom of heaven, was beheaded; the Saviour, who "went through every city and village preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of God," was "smitten" and finally crucified, and his disciples were "cast out of the synagogues," imprisoned, scourged and martyred. In its preached form, then, the words of our text find fulfillment; but when the time comes to establish the kingdom, there will be no power on earth able to use violence against it, for it--the kingdom of the "God of heaven," or the kingdom of heaven--will come with such force and violence as to "break them (all human powers) with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psa. 2: 9).

EVERY MAN PRESSETH INTO IT

Luke 16: 16--"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it."

We are asked, How could they press into the kingdom if it was not there? This question has been put by Campbellite preachers to the writer in public debates; but they forgot for the moment that their theory is that the kingdom was not set up till the day of Pentecost. To expose the sophistry of the question with them, all we had to do was ask, Since you say the kingdom was set up on the day of Pentecost, how do you account for every man pressing into it from the days of John the Baptist? According to your own theory the kingdom was not there in its established form, and the force of your attempted blow at your opponent falls upon your own head. How could they press into the kingdom when it was not there?

Most of the "orthodox" representatives, when pressed to state the time when such a remarkable event as the establishment of God's kingdom took place--an event which must have been a marked epoch in history if it took place in the past--will answer that it was when Christ had triumphed over death and hades. So with all such the question is still pertinent, How could every man press into the kingdom from the days of John? None of them are willing to say that the kingdom was set up in the days of John's ministry, and therefore, since it was from that time every man was pressing into it, the difficulty, if there be a difficulty, which they raise against a future establishment of the kingdom is as great against one set up in the form of a church or otherwise after John's ministry and before or at Pentecost. There is, therefore, nothing in the passage to sustain the popular view of a heart-kingdom or a church-kingdom.

Now, the illustrations we have given relative to the kingdom "coming nigh" and "suffering violence" will help to explain this text. It does not say that "the law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is established and every man presseth into it; but it says, "Since that time the kingdom of God is preached." For men to "press into" Zionism when it is preached is for them to enter the society promoting the enterprise and become parts of the institution; but not till Zionism is established at Zion can they enter it in its established form and receive the real advantages, faith in which induced them to enter it in its preached form. So when men believed the gospel of the kingdom and were baptized they pressed into that institution as constituent parts in the hope that when it would become an established fact, fraught with the promised blessings, they may realize how "good it is to be there."

Then, again, the matter of pressing into the kingdom of God is one of probation. The "pressing" begins when we "put our hand to the plow," when we start on probation, which is when we believe the gospel and are baptized into Christ, and we must continue "reaching forth unto those things which are before" and to "press toward the mark of the prize, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3: 13, 14). Having put our hands to the plow we must not look back, else we shall not be fit for the kingdom of God when the time comes for there to be ministered an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (II. Pet. 1: 11). We must not delude ourselves with the idea that we are in the kingdom before the Master has invited us to inherit it, which will be when "the Son of man shall come in his glory." Those who claim to have been in the kingdom as long as they have been in a church would be surprised to hear in that late day--the day of judgment--an invitation to enter the kingdom. They would be apt to say, "We have been there for a long time." And those who think the kingdom is in their hearts might be surprised to find that the kingdom of God is a thing to be entered into, not a thing to enter into men's hearts. The only sense in which it can be spoken of as in our hearts is that we believe and love the gospel of the kingdom of God because we know that its coming will flood the earth with heavenly blessings and chase away the darkness and gloom of this long and dreary night of sin and sorrow.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU

Luke 17: 20, 21--"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."

This is the text generally quoted to prove that the kingdom of God is a "kingdom of grace in the heart." Now let it be understood that in refusing this theory we are not denying nor speaking disparagingly of Christ dwelling in the true Christian by faith, governing his heart in centering his affections upon heavenly things and shaping his conduct according to the precepts of Christ. This is the clear teaching of the Scriptures and if in this sense the spirit of Christ, or his disposition, is not in us we are none of his (Rom. 8: 9). All this, however, is not the kingdom of God in us as an actual kingdom. What is in our minds and hearts is an affectionate belief in the "things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8: 12) which will be the means at last of insuring us the welcome of the words, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." This glorious kingdom, instead of being in us, is what we are to enter into when we have "passed through the much tribulation," through which "we must enter the kingdom" (Acts 14: 22).

Still, the inquirer will ask, What about the text in question, which says, "The kingdom of God is within you?" For the word "within" we have, in the margin of our Bibles, "among," and here again we must take heed to the context and the meaning of the words used. We may ask, What called forth the words from the Saviour? The Jews were looking for the coming of their Messiah; but did not see a fulfillment of their expectations in the "despised Nazarene." To them the coming of the Messiah was his coming in glory to establish his kingdom, overlooking the prophecies of his first appearing as a "lamb to be led to the slaughter." Looking anxiously for their Messiah to come to deliver them from the galling Roman yoke they were then groaning under, they were crying out, "Lo here! and lo there!" is our expected Messiah. Their belief of the kingdom of God when restored to them and fully established was that it would be in their own land, with David's throne restored. Of this kingdom, therefore, they would not be saying, "Lo here! or lo there! is the kingdom." The words could apply only to the personal coming of their Messiah, who might appear here or there in person, afterwards, as they hoped, to restore the kingdom to Israel. It is clear, therefore, that it was the personal appearing of Christ that was in question, and he told them that he whom they were looking for, and of whom they were saying "Lo here! or lo there!" was among them. Thus the facts of the case define the meaning of the word here translated kingdom (Baseleia) a word which we have before shown to sometimes mean royal personage, etc. See under heading of "The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand."

The Emphatic Diaglott renders the passage as follows: "Nor shall they say, Behold here! or behold there! for, behold, GOD'S ROYAL MAJESTY is among you," and in a footnote the author says:

"In this verse it has been found necessary to depart from the usual signification of hee basileia tou theou, the KINGDOM of GOD, and render as in the text. That this rendering is admissible and correct, see note on Matt. 3: 2. Basileia here refers to the person to whom the title and honor of king belonged, rather than to his territory or kingdom. Prof. Whiting, an able Hebrew, and Greek scholar, says, this clause in the 21st verse ought to be rendered "The King is among you." Dr. A. Clarke, in a note on the 21st verse, evidently understood it as relating to the Christ. He says, "Perhaps these Pharisees thought that the Messiah was kept secret, in some private place, known only to some of their rulers; and that by and by he should be proclaimed in a similar way to that in which Joash was by Jehoiada the priest. See the account, II. Chron. 23: 11."

Of his first coming Jesus could truthfully say, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation," or outward display. Or, "God's Royal Majesty cometh not with outward show;" for "a bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench till he send forth judgment unto victory" (Matt. 12: 20). When he comes the second time to "send forth judgment unto victory" he will come with "observation" or visible display of glory and power; for it is said, "Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him" (Rev. 1: 7). He will then come to establish the very kingdom which Israel hoped for when the prophetic words of Zacharias will be fulfilled, and the hope of Israel realized: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people * * * as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham" (Luke 1: 68-73).

MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

John 18: 36--"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence."

This passage is quoted to prove that the kingdom of God is not on this earth, many when they quote it forgetting their theory that the church is the kingdom and that they have called the civilized world Christendom-dominion of Christ. If the church is the kingdom, since the church is on earth the kingdom must be on earth. If the kingdom of God is a kingdom of grace in the hearts of so-called Christians, then, since these are on earth, the kingdom in their hearts must be on earth.

But, it will be said, in answer to this, The meaning is that Christ's kingdom is not of this world--the present worldly institutions. Then, we answer, do not call this world Christendom: for if this world is Christendom, and if Christendom is the dominion of Christ, then this world is Christ's kingdom, and his words in the text are denied.

Finding a difficulty here to sustain a false theory, there is an attempt to prove that the meaning of the passage is that the kingdom is not on earth, but in heaven. This, of course, contradicts the hundreds of texts which show that Christ is to have "the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession" (Psa. 2: 8), and that the kingdom is to be "under the whole heaven" (Dan. 7: 27). When the champions of the popular theories take this turn to protect their claims they forget that they are praying, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

The passage does not say the kingdom is not to be on earth; but that it is not of this world. World, from the Greek word kosmos, here does not mean earth, but order or constitution of things. At that time the world represented by Pilate (to whom the words of the passage were spoken) was the Roman government, consisting of civil and religious laws and institutions of men--false, corrupt and sinful in the sight of God. Christ's disciples were not of that world, but had been called out of it, and were no longer "walking according to that world (kosmos) according to the prince and power of its aerial (or ruling customs) the spirit (disposition) that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2: 2). Christ's kingdom is not a worldly kingdom, but a heavenly kingdom. Its great plan was conceived in heaven, and the revelation concerning it came from heaven. It is a heavenly or heaven-like kingdom to come, that God's will might be done on earth as it is in heaven. Had Christ's kingdom been of that world represented by Pilate it would have been one kingdom of that world contending against another, and in that case his servants would have fought that their king might not be delivered to the Jews. Hence he adds, "But now is my kingdom not from hence." As he had shown by the parable of the nobleman, he must go to heaven and receive the title and power at the hands of Him who said, "Sit thou at my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." Then his kingdom will come as the stone, to smite the kingdoms of this world, break them in pieces, grind them to powder and blow them away as the chaff of the summer's threshing floor. Then the stone kingdom will become a great mountain and fill the whole earth.

To accomplish this great work Christ will come as a man of war and then his servants will fight for divine rights; for they are to "execute vengeance upon the nations and punishment upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all the saints" (Psa. 149: 7-9). "The Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord and his name one" (Zec. 14: 9).

In heaven God rules the universe; but to His Son he has promised the earth and a kingdom upon the earth. When the set time arrives, "God 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 since the world began" (Acts 3: 20, 21).

KINGDOM OF GOD NOT MEAT AND DRINK

Rom. 14: 17--"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

This text is often quoted against the literality of the kingdom, and in an effort to prove that the kingdom of God consists of the spiritual effect of conversion in the righteousness, peace and joy some think they experience when they "get religion." In this peace and joy of mind we must discriminate between the fanaticism of ignorance and the calm tranquility begotten by an intelligent belief of and faithful obedience to the gospel. Many shout with joy begotten by delusion, and generally the greater the ignorance and the stronger the impulse of the flesh, the louder the talk and glib about feeling this and feeling that. In this there is a "zeal of God, but not according to knowledge," while, where there is zeal arising from knowledge of the Truth it manifests a corresponding temperance and soberness. The shoutings and ravings of fanaticism, while they may spring from temporary good intentions, are not enduring, and are easily discerned by those who "try the spirits whether they are of God" (I. John 4: 1), and who subject what men say to the test of the "law and the testimony," knowing that if they "speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8: 20).

In the confidence which an intelligent belief of God's plan of salvation only can beget there is an experience of peace and joy; but it is not from present conditions apart from "the hope set before us." "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted" (Matt. 5: 4). "Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh" (Luke 6: 21). It is, therefore, not from present experiences that Christ's followers have peace and joy. It is from the consciousness that the hope which they have come to possess will be realized in the future. Shut out from view this glorious future and we should "be of all men the most miserable" (I. Cor. 15: 19). The mortal life of the Saviour was one of "sorrow and acquaintance with grief," and it was "for the joy that was set before him that he endured the cross and despised the shame" (Heb. 12: 2). This is our time of "much tribulation" through which we must "enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14: 22) and what peace and joy of mind we have arise from contemplation of the prospects ahead.

Now, the true followers of Christ are commanded to "seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness" (Matt. 6: 33); to pray, "Thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6: 10): They are "heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him" (Jas. 2: 5); and if they continue faithful to the end "an entrance shall be ministered unto them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II. Pet. 1: 11). The great question is therefore one of "putting the hand to the plow" and not looking back, in order to a fitness for the promised kingdom. It is, therefore, not a question of meat and drink about which there were discussions in Rome, and which called forth the words in question. The affairs of the kingdom of God did not consist of these; but of "righteousness and peace and joy, in the Holy Spirit," in preparing now and realizing in the future the blessing of that which shall fill the earth with the glory of God, bring "on earth peace, good will toward men and glory to God in the highest."

HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM

Col. 1: 13--"Who hath delivered us from the powers of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."

Here is a verse which is supposed by some to prove beyond a doubt that the church is the kingdom, and the two words, "hath" and "into" are sometimes vehemently emphasized when this verse is quoted by the advocates of a church-kingdom, and the "kingdom of grace in the heart" is forgotten; for instead of it proving that the kingdom is "within"--in the heart--it shows that it is something to be entered into, and in this it is in perfect harmony with the general teaching of the Scriptures; the only texts which could in any way favor the grace-in-the-heart-kingdom being Luke 17:21, which we have explained under the heading "The kingdom of God is within you."

There being a willingness to agree, therefore, that the verse in question teaches that the kingdom of God and of His dear Son is one into which the "saints in light" are to enter, the only question to be dealt with is, When does this entrance take place?

The answer generally given is that it takes place when one enters the church, and it is to sustain this theory that the word "hath" is emphasized. Now it is always well to be careful not to build too much upon the tenses in the Scriptures. To the Author of this wonderful book all is present, for He seeth the end from the beginning, and he speaks of things that are not as though they were, because the things that are not and are parts of His purposes are not dependent upon emergencies; they are as sure of fulfillment as if they had actually come to pass. It would have been a mistake seven hundred years before Christ was born to have emphasized the word "is" in the passage, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isa. 9: 6)--that is, for the purpose of proving it to have become a fact then; so with the prophetic words of Mary: "He hath scattered the proud," "hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel," etc. (Luke 1:51-54). We give this word of caution here because many are very apt to put too much stress upon the tense of a verb, when a careful observance of the context and the subject in hand would show that the future was meant when the present tense was used.

Coming, however, to the real meaning of the text in question, a little more than a superficial view will show that it in no way sustains the theory of a church kingdom, and surely we ought to expect the religious leaders of the people to go deeper than the surface of a certain translation of a text that seems to contradict the general tenor of the Scriptures. Christ is to "Judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (II. Tim. 4: 1), and it is "when the Son of man shall come" he shall say, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you," etc. (Matt. 25: 31). Now the fact that viewing the words, "hath translated us into the kingdom," as a present reality seems to contradict these and many other passages ought to evoke a close and careful investigation of the verse, even to the extent of a comparison of the different translations. When the question of translation is mentioned some are apt to ape indignation, and they cry out, "There you are, questioning the translation again!" And why not? Why was there a revision a few years ago? Why have our best scholars deemed it necessary to give us translations differing from our Authorized Version? Why do "orthodox" commentaries so frequently correct the translation of the Authorized Version? "But how can common people be expected to look critically into the question of the translation of texts?" Well, there are not many texts needing such careful, critical investigation, and if one is as much in earnest about the meaning of a clause in his title to eternal life in the kingdom of God as he would be about that of a title to a worldly estate he would not consider it too much trouble to go critically and deeply into the investigation of the apparently difficult texts of the Bible. "But what do common people know about Greek and Hebrew?" we are asked. They need not understand Greek and Hebrew to critically examine these matters. They have the meanings of words given by Hebrew and Greek lexicons in English dress. So they can, if they are in earnest, examine the meanings of a given Hebrew and Greek work, as they can an English by the use of an English dictionary. Then, again, they can compare one translation with another, and when they find that the words are by some scholars translated in such form as to be in harmony with the general tenor of Scripture, they can be sure that they have found the solution of the difficulty.

Of late years, Dr. Young, author of Young's Concordance, has come to be regarded as a very able Greek and Hebrew scholar. In his "Commentary of the Holy Bible, as literally and idiomatically translated out the original languages," he has the following on the passage in question:

"12. [GIVING THANKS.] lit. 'Ye leaping much for joy in the Father, who made us sufficient with a view to the portion of the lot of the hallowed ones in light.'

"13. [HATH.] lit. 'Who freed us out of the authority of darkness, and set with (them) with a view to the kingdom of the Son of his love.'"

Here the verse is shown to be in perfect harmony with the general teaching of Scripture that entrance into the kingdom is future. We are now "freed out of the authority of darkness with a view to the kingdom." It is to prepare us to be fit for the kingdom that we are brought into the light of the good news of the coming kingdom.

In the Greek the preposition rendered in verse 13 into is the same as in verse 16, next to last word, is rendered for. It is eis in both places. Now, if eis can be rendered for in verse 16 why not in verse 13? It would read quite sensibly, and indeed, put verse 13 in perfect accord with other passages.

The Emphatic Diaglott gives the best rendering of the passage we have ever seen. It agrees with Dr. Young's in showing that the kingdom is future and shows that "translation" means the change which brings an "alien from the commonwealth of Israel," into Christ, wherein he is an "heir of the kingdom" which God hath promised to them that love him (James 2: 5). Here it is:

12. Giving thanks at the same time to THAT FATHER WHO CALLED and QUALIFIED us for the PORTION of the saints' INHERITANCE in the LIGHT.

13. Who delivered us from the DOMINION OF DARKNESS, and changed us for the KINGDOM of the SON of His LOVE.

14. By whom we have REDEMPTION, the FORGIVENESS of SINS.

Those the apostle wrote to, then, had been qualified for the portion of the saints' inheritance in the light. They had been changed for, or "with a view to," or in order to, the kingdom of God's dear Son. Having thus put their hands to the plow, if they will not look back they will be fit for an "entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II. Pet. 1:11), when he shall come to "Judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (II. Tim. 4: 1).

Among those the writer has met in public debate, the ministers of the Campbellite church have made the most of this passage, and yet there is a reason why they should be more careful than others in the use they make of the Greek preposition eis. In the many discussions between Baptists and Campbellites on "baptism for the remission of sins," the latter, following their leader, are very emphatic in saying "for, or in order to, the remission of sins" (Acts 2: 38). Here we have the same preposition, eis, and it is strange that our Campbellite friends (Christians as they prefer it, we mean no dishonor, only we do not think they are Christians in the sense they use the term), forget this in the verse under consideration. Let them take Mr. Campbell's translation of eis in Acts 2: 38, and apply it to Col. 1: 13, and read "translated us into (eis, in order to), the kingdom," and then all is clear.

COMPANION IN THE KINGDOM

Rev. 1: 9-"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."

By this verse there is an attempt to sustain the theory of a church-kingdom. It is claimed that John meant that he was, when he wrote these words, in the kingdom as well as in tribulation, etc. This is a very short-sighted view of the text, and its misuse in bolstering up a theory goes to show how hard-pressed that theory must be for support. If to be in the kingdom is a fact when one is in "tribulation," it cannot be a great boon to be in the kingdom. The general teaching of Scripture is that to be in the kingdom is to have passed beyond the reach of tribulation. In the church tribulation is to be expected, but not in the kingdom. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14: 22). It does not require much tribulation to enter the churches whose members are the kingdom. It does require tribulation to enter into the kingdom of God--therefore these churches and the kingdom of God are not the same thing.

Since it is through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom, we might safely conclude that when we are in the kingdom the tribulation is a thing of the past. If one passes through Chicago to go to New York he would not be in the two cities at the same time.

In the form of words of the text in question it is obvious that John combined the language of fact and of hope, just as one might exclaim to a friend, "I am your friend in adversity and in prosperity," or to a comrade, "I am your comrade at home or on the battle field." It would be a very foolish thing to infer from these expressions that the friend must be in prosperity and adversity at the same time, or that the comrades would be at home the same time they would be on the battlefield. In the time of John he and his companions were passing through much tribulation, and it was by this that they hoped to enter the kingdom under the seventh trumpet; for it was not till then that John saw, by the Spirit, the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ (Rev. 11: 15). The tribulation through which they were passing was the means of discipline; entering the kingdom when Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom is the goal. This is the joy that is set before us to enable us to endure the conflict to the end with a hope before us shining along the rough and rugged pathway brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Our companionship gives a little sweetness mixed with the bitterness of this evil day; but now even this companionship can last but a short time when death defiantly severs the closest ties that bind us. At the end of the journey, however, death will have no power. It will then be a sweet companionship in the kingdom of God with all the ancient worthies, the apostles of the Lamb, the Lamb, himself.

"Friends then shall part from friends no more
Endless as time their joy shall be:
For pain is swallowed up in joy,
And death in victory."

 

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Chapter 13

The World's Redemption


Man, His Origin and Nature

In dealing with the question of man's redemption, we must, necessarily, consider the question of his origin and nature; and in doing this we are quite conscious of having much prejudice to contend with. There is a popular side to this question, and it has bred and fostered a sensitiveness which makes the task of reducing it to reason and subjecting it to the light of scripture quite a difficult one. He who would undertake to call in question the popular view must not hope to escape the suspicion of being a troubler, bent upon "turning the world upside down."

Those in whom truth has produced thorough conviction, will never shirk a duty from fear of popular sentiment. Truth is too precious to be bargained off for the good will and applause of the world, especially truth upon which hangs the question of what is pleasing or displeasing to Him "in whom we live and move and have our being." If it is the duty of honest conviction to face the popular prejudice at all risks in the presentation of truth, it is also the duty of every man to so far overcome prejudice as to investigate for himself in an earnest endeavor to obey the injunction, "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good."

But, the reader will say, you are assuming that the claims you are about to make are sustained by truth. Certainly, otherwise we should not attempt to brave opposition with the certainty of incurring the displeasure of the religious world, of friends and of neighbors. Whether our claims are based upon assumption, however, is the very question we beseech our readers to test, and the only way to test it is to read carefully what we say, and examine impartially the evidence given and then judge ye.

On many exploded theories the world in all ages has drifted into the habit of following the popular procession, spurning any attempt of truth to emerge from the obscurity of its shelter in caves and to break into the ranks and sound a word of warning. Perseverance, however, has many times succeeded--not that we hope to stop the procession, but the most we can hope for now is to pull a few out of the crowd and help to save them from the precipice ahead. The time for a revolution will come, but not by human effort; that honor is reserved for him who is the strong arm of the Almighty. With the few who may be willing to stop and reason we desire to reason on the question in hand.

"What is man that thou art mindful of him" (Psa. 8: 4)? is a question in which the whole problem of life here and hereafter is involved. In seeking the answer, experience and observation are not sufficient, for if you ask two men to look at a man and answer the question, What is he? two very different answers will be given. One will say he is a being composed of two natures, that he is an immortal soul and a mortal body; the former capable of surviving the latter as a living, conscious entity. The other will answer that he is a mortal being, animated by that principle of life which sustains all living beings, and without which he must cease to be.

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has such a hold upon the people that to challenge it is to arouse the indignant question, What! all of our great men of this day and ages gone by, wrong? Nothing but the courage of strong conviction can meet this, and the question is, how best to induce it to lay down its arms long enough to reason on the matter. We think that perhaps a brief history of the doctrine would help to induce this prejudice to give place to reason, and so let us glance over this phase of the subject under the heading of

THE HISTORY OF THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL

It is well known that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is called "Platonic;" which is an implied admission that Plato was its founder, at least in its present popular form. This places the matter in a bad light at once; for who that has the least knowledge of the Bible can help viewing with suspicion a doctrine having its origin in the mind of a heathen philosopher? The Grecian philosophers were the very men of whom the apostle Paul warned the churches of Christ to beware. Writing to the church at Colosse, he says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ" (Chap. 2: 8).

If we trace the history of this doctrine farther back than the time of Plato and Socrates, its more ancient origin is calculated still more to arouse suspicion--yea, rather to stamp it with unqualified condemnation, as emanating from a nation who were the enemies of God and His people, and who groveled in the lowest depravity of their natures. These were the Egyptians, who are said to be the first to hold the doctrine of the soul's immortality, believing also, as Plato did, in the transmigration of souls through various animal bodies, and their return to a human body in a period of three thousand years. Search where we will, instead of this doctrine having its origin in the Scriptures of truth, it has emanated from heathen minds, and come down through heathen channels, at last to be united with so-called Christianity when the latter became enthroned as the religion of the State.

Herodotus, the oldest historian, says:
The Egyptians say that Ceres (the god of corn) and Bacchus (the god of wine), hold the chief sway in the infernal regions; and the Egyptians, also, were the first who asserted the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal. --Herodotus, p. 144.

Its promoters argued from that known doctrine of the Platonic School, which was also accepted by Origen and his disciples, that the divine nature was diffused through all human souls. --Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Vol. I, p. 86.

Even with the originators of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, it was a matter of expediency rather than one of truth. As Gibbon says, "With the people"--the ignorant masses--"it was equally true, with the philosophers equally false, and with the statesmen equally necessary." The "Pious Fraud" was used as a means in the hands of philosophers and statesmen to intimidate the common and ignorant masses. With them the policy was to do evil that good might come--to teach lies as productive of supposed good results. They would seem to have reasoned thus: We must persuade the masses that they have or are immortal, or never-dying souls; and that if they do not obey the laws of the State, their souls will be preserved in misery eternally in the fires of Tartarus; but if they are obedient to the laws of their superiors, then their souls will be taken to the happiness of the elysium fields. Hence Plato, alluding to this sentiment says, "If falsehood be indeed of no service to the gods, yet useful to men in the form of a drug, it is plain that such a thing should be touched only by physicians, but not meddled with by private persons. To the governors of the State then (if to any) it especially belongs to speak falsely, for the good of the State, whereas, for all the rest, they must venture on no such thing." It is said that Cicero, on the authority of Plato, taught that not to deceive for the public good was wickedness. (We quote from Hudson, Future Life, pp. 277-8.)

The most casual examination of the Pious Fraud of the Greeks and Romans will reveal the similarity between it and the popular religious systems of our times. The Platonic and the modern beliefs in relation to the soul's immortality are identical; for the heathen tartarus the Bible term hell has been made to do service in expressing the heathen doctrine of endless misery, and the term heaven to represent that of the elysium fields. It is a question if the same "Pious Fraud" is not secretly perpetuated by the theologians of our times; and indeed it is observable that the immortality of the soul and its cognate doctrine of endless misery find more willing welcome among the ignorant masses than with those whose minds have by education been released from the slavery of a cruel delusion and a degrading superstition. Of the modern phase of this Mr. Hudson says: "Isaac Watts deserves praise for his exposure of a flagrant instance of 'Pious Fraud' by Thomas Burnet, who had advised a preacher, in sly Latin, to use the common language concerning future punishments, whether he thought them eternal or not."

When the theory of eternal torment is treated of in what quotations we make under this heading, it must be remembered that it stands related to the immortality of the soul as effect does to cause. Eternal torment is a necessary outgrowth from the immortality of the soul, for if the soul is immortal and some are to be lost, what can be done with them? They cannot be destroyed; and therefore a place of eternal misery must be provided for them.

From the "Bible Vindicated" we quote the following:

"Fitch, in his review of Tyler, on future punishment, gives the following translation of one of the early fathers in reference to eternal torment: 'Allowing our tenets to be as false and groundless presumption as you would have them, yet I must tell you they are presumptions the world cannot well be without. If they are follies, they are follies of great use; because the believers of them, under the dread of eternal pain, and hope of eternal pleasure, are under the strongest (?) obligations to become good men.'"

It is well known that Plato and other Grecian philosophers received considerable of their education in Egypt, whence they derived their theories of transmigration, etc. Through their influence the immortality of the soul became the fundamental doctrine of the philosophy of the Greeks; and when the time came for the gospel of Christ to be preached among the Gentiles, it consequently found them steeped in the wisdom of their schools. The preaching of Christ was therefore to them foolishness; for to believe in Him meant a total abandonment of their exalted and vain thoughts of man's natural immortality and boasted dignity. To accept Christ as the Saviour of mankind was to view man as a mortal, helpless creature, dependent upon the goodness of God and the faithfulness of His Son for his redemption; and the gospel of Him who "brought life and immortality to light" was a condemnation of the theory that immortality is man's nature by necessity, whether he be good or bad, whether he be saint or demon. The light from heaven which, through the gospel, was thrown upon the subject, made the Platonic wisdom of the world foolishness and its light darkness.

As the work of Christ and his apostles progressed and prospered, in the pulling down of the strongholds of both Jewish and Pagan superstition, and by signs and mighty wonders performed by the apostles in attestation of their cause the masses were becoming loosed from the thralldom of the "Pious Fraud" that had held them in ignorant and slavish subjection, and they rallied around the standard of "Christ and him crucified" until the pagan world was being turned upside down, the philosophers saw that something had to be done to save their cherished thoughts from utter destruction. In the state of unrest incident to the wonderful revolution which the cause of Christ was effecting, the selfish and ever watchful priests of paganism and the ambitious and unscrupulous politicians were on the lookout. They were planning the best methods to appropriate the new cause to their own use, and to make it subservient to a system of selfish and ambitious priestcraft and statecraft. To carry out their plans, they cunningly worked the scheme of amalgamating paganism and Christianity. A little Christianity and much of paganism would do, only give it the name of the former; and upon the great Constantinian tidal wave they were carried up to the throne of "Christendom," where, by decrees of councils, patronized by the emperor, they fortified themselves and were in a position to compel the acceptance of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and all its cognate theories. Peter, being led by the Spirit to forsee this, says, "There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them. * * * And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment now of long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not"--II. Pet. 2: 3. Paul assures us that these deceivers should cause a "falling away," and says that the "mystery of iniquity doth already work." Here and there after the apostles' death we find an opponent of these heathen dogmas, as they were stealing their way into the church of Christ. Justin Martyr, in the second century, who at one time had been a Platonist, makes a strong protest, and warns those for whom he wrote not to give place to the pagan heresy. He says:

For if you have conversed with some that are indeed called Christians and do not maintain these opinions, but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, and say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that the souls, as soon as they leave the body, are received up into heaven, TAKE CARE THAT YOU DO NOT LOOK UPON THESE. But I, and all those Christians that are really orthodox in every respect, do know that there will be a resurrection of the body and a thousand years in Jerusalem, when it is built again and adorned and enlarged, as Ezekiel and Esaias and the rest of the prophets declare--Dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, Section lxxx.

But what could an individual protest do to stem the tide of what was rapidly becoming the popular sentiment? The light of immortality brought to light through the gospel was doomed to be hidden under a bushel in order to afford scope for the continuance of the "Pious Fraud," which of course would prove profitable to the "clergy" at the expense of the intelligence, liberty and salvation of a plastic and helpless "laity." The "mystery of iniquity" continued to work until the man of sin was revealed. The old Platonic doctrine of the immortality of the soul was incorporated into the so-called Christian religion, which then became the religion of the State. The philosophy of Greece became the religion of Rome. The East was moved to the West, and Plato's disciples became multiplied until their name was legion. Every man who had the courage of his conviction was pronounced a "heretic;" and the "man of sin" in the person of Pope Leo X, backed by the council of Lateran, having closed the Bible to the common people, made the doctrine the subject of the following decree:

Whereas, in our days some have dared to assert, concerning the nature of the reasonable soul, that it is mortal, or one and the same in all men; and some, rashly philosophizing, declare this to be true, at least according to philosophy: We, with the approbation of the sacred council, do condemn and reprobate all those who assert that the intellectual soul is mortal, or one and the same in all men, and those who call these things in question; seeing that the soul is not only truly, and of itself, and essentially the form of the human body, as is expressed in the canon of Pope Clement V, published in the general council of Vienne, but likewise immortal * * * And seeing that truth never contradicts truth, we determine every assertion which is contrary to the truth of revealed faith to be totally false; and we strictly inhibit all from dogmatizing otherwise, and we decree that all who adhere to the like assertions shall be shunned and punished as heretics."

The system of abomination which here finds vent in the decree of council and pope is the one which has profaned and degraded the name of Christ by effecting the unholy alliance between paganism and Christianity, and in this is to be seen the Antichrist so clearly described by the apostle Paul in the following words: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry" (priests, nuns, etc.), "and commanding to abstain from meats (on Friday and Lent) which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them that believe and know the truth"--I. Tim. 4: 1-3.

This system, the apostle says, shall be headed up in "the man of sin, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God" (II. Thes. 2:4).

It is by the decree of this "man of sin," with the "approbation of the sacred(?) council," and by "the canon of Pope Clement V," that the immortality of the soul is declared to be true; and it is by this Antichrist that the faithful are "strictly inhibited from dogmatizing otherwise," and commanded to be "shunned and punished as heretics." In thus maintaining the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and other heathen doctrines by force, the "man of sin" has fulfilled the prophecy: "I beheld and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them * * * and he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High" (Dan. 7: 21, 25).

Now, dear reader, if you cherish this heathen dogma, look at its origin! Look at the channels through which it has come down to you! Look at the character of its supporters! Look at the means employed in its support! and then tell me what you think of a doctrine which was conceived and born in Egyptian darkness, which was nursed and fed in the speculative heathenism of Greece and which has been made the idol of the corrupt and abominable religion of Rome! Look at this very pope, Leo X, whose decree for the maintenance of the immortality of the soul by brute force we have given. Here are some of the abominable practices under his sanction. I quote from the able writer, H. Grattan Guinness, in his Approaching End of the Age, p. 181.

The deeply interesting story must not be told here--how Tetzel the indulgence-monger, bearing the bull of Leo X, on a velvet cushion, traveled in state from town to town in a gay equipage, to his station in the thronged church, and proclaimed to the credulous multitude, "Indulgences are the most precious and sublime of God's gifts; this red cross has as much efficacy as the cross of Christ. Draw near and I will give you letters duly sealed, by which even the sins you shall hereafter DESIRE to commit shall be forgiven you. There is no sin so great that indulgence cannot remit. Pay, only pay largely and you shall be forgiven. But more than all this, indulgences save not the living alone, but they also save the dead. Ye priests, ye nobles, ye tradesmen, ye wives, ye maidens, ye young men, hearken to your departed parents and friends (immortal souls of course), who call to you from the bottomless abyss, "We are enduring horrible torment, a small alms would deliver us, you can give it, will you not? The moment the money clinks at the bottom of the chest, the soul escapes from purgatory and flies to heaven. With ten groschen you can deliver your father from purgatory. Our Lord God no longer deals with us as God--he has given all power to the pope."

It will be seen that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is the very foundation of this corrupt practice; and no wonder, therefore, that the papacy should go to such lengths to maintain it. Remove the doctrine. Relegate it to heathenism whence it came, and what would be the result to Rome? With no immortal soul, there would be no use for purgatory and "hell;" and there would be no heaven for those whom we pretend to give release from purgatory. These all gone, which would be the case if we surrendered the immortality of the soul, and we are left without a "hell" to frighten without a "heaven" to allure, and our indulgences, and consequently our income, are gone, and our cause must fall to pieces. Reasoning thus they determined to maintain the foundation doctrine by force; and what have they not been guilty of in supporting this child of heathen parentage?

Mr. Guinness says of this wicked system:

As to the practice of this unchangeable church there is not a statement in the following quotation which history does not abundantly substantiate: "As some luxurious emperors of Rome exhausted the whole art of pleasure, so that a reward was promised to any who should invent a new one, so have Romish persecutors exhausted all the arts of pain, so that it will now be difficult to discover or invent a new kind of it which they have not already practiced upon those marked out for heretics. They have been shot, stabbed, stoned, drowned, beheaded, hanged, drawn, quartered, impaled, burned or buried alive, roasted on spits, baked in ovens, thrown into furnaces, tumbled over precipices, cast from the tops of towers, sunk in mire and pits, starved with hunger and cold, hung on tenter hooks, suspended by the hair of the head, by the hands or feet, stuffed and blown up with gunpowder, ripped with swords and sickles, tied to the tails of horses, dragged over streets and sharp flints, broken on the wheel, beaten on anvils with hammers, blown with bellows, bored with hot irons, torn piece-meal by red-hot pincers, slashed with knives, hacked with axes, hewed with chisels, planed with planes, pricked with forks, stuck from head to foot with pins, choked with water, lime, rags, urine, excrements, or mangled pieces of their bodies crammed down their throats, shut up in caves or dungeons, tied to stakes, nailed to trees, tormented with lighted matches, scalding oil, burning pitch, melted lead, etc., etc.

Here we stop, for other things given are too horrible to repeat, and we again ask you who still hold the very doctrine from which all these crimes, cruelties and abominations have resulted, what do you think of it and its results?

The mysteries of Egypt having been transferred from the Nile to the Tiber, the Dark Ages ensued and shut out the light of the gospel, the saints of the Most High were "worn out" and the "Pious Fraud" became universal. Martin Luther, however, emerged to some extent from the thick darkness in which the masses of his time were shrouded, and made a strong protest which bid fair to effect a revolution. Indeed it did effect a wonderful revolution in the sense of arousing the people to assert their rights, and free themselves from the bondage of religious tyranny. But to fully expose the fallacy of the underlying doctrine--the immortality of the soul--was too great a work, considering the odds that were against him. He failed not, however, to offer his protest, as soon as he caught a glimpse of the true light upon the subject; and defiantly he declares:

It is certain that it is not in the power of the church or the pope to establish articles of faith, or laws for morals or good works * * * But I permit the pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful such as * * * the soul is the substantial form of the human body, the pope is emperor of the world, and the king of heaven and God upon earth; the soul is immortal, with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dung-hill of decretals.--Luther's Works, Vol. II, fol. 107. Wittenberg, 1562.

As Justin Martyr answered the Platonists of the second century, so did Tyndall those of the fifteenth:

Ye (he says), in the putting them (souls) in heaven, hell and purgatory destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul proved the resurrection.* * * If the souls be in heaven tell me why they be not in as good case as the angels be. And then what cause is there of the resurrection?

Notwithstanding the strong protest of these men, according to the light they could catch in the midst of such thick darkness, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul still held its heathen grasp upon the minds of the people, and merged from Papalism into Protestantism, and is found today the foundation of popular religion in all its increased and ever increasing branches. The Bible, however, having been plucked as a brand from the fires of Roman tyranny, was opened to the people, and was no longer entirely monopolized by a selfish and dishonest clergy. To the extent that the Bible was carefully read and studied, it was once more true that the "poor had the gospel preached unto them." Here and there has sprung up a John in the wilderness, through whom the light of the gospel immortality has been caused to shine in a dark place. Coming to bear witness of that light, the truth in a measure has been revived, and in the wilderness of Romish superstition, as in the wilderness of Judea, the former in relation to the second coming of Him who is the Light, as the latter was to his first coming, the voice is heard, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make his paths straight." The Scribes and Pharisees of Romanism, like those of Judaism, gnash their teeth at the sound of the voices; and if their king had not lost his power to "wear out the saints," how gladly would even the daughters of Rome dance before its Herod could they thereby secure the heads of those Johns who rebuke them as a "generation of vipers," and warn their followers to "flee from the wrath to come," when the "merchants" of Rome, "who have been made rich by her delicacies, 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 have come to naught. Alas! Alas! for in one hour she is made desolate, with violence thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

Now with this history before the eyes of the reader we may hope to have disarmed, in some degree, the prejudice that would indignantly refuse to calmly consider this question; and by way of gaining still more the friendship of our readers we would press upon their attention that the quotations from Justin Martyr, Luther, and Tyndall show that in protesting against the doctrine of the immortality of the soul we are in good company. Perhaps to supplement these it would not be amiss to refer to a few writers of more modern note:

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is omitted in the law of Moses-Gibbon, Vol. 1, p. 530-31.

No idea can be more erroneous than to suppose that man is an immortal being, on account of the substance of which he is composed.--George Combe's, System of Phrenology, p. 595.

As a noun nephesh (the Hebrew word for soul) hath been supposed to signify the spiritual part of man, or what we commonly call his soul. I must confess that I can find no passage where it hath undoubtedly this meaning.--Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon.

Before examining the highest authority, the one that must forever settle the question, it may be profitable to view the subject from the standpoint of nature, for if we find from history and nature that the evidence is against the doctrine the satisfaction of finding the Scriptures in harmony with these will be all the greater. So let us consider the question:

DOES NATURE TEACH THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL?

We behold man a living, breathing, thinking creature, possessed of what we call the five senses--seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Viewing him as we see him in the exercise of his various functions, forbidding the play of imagination, and excluding the influence of theological training, do we find anything in him that may be set down as proof that he is possessed of an immortal, or immaterial soul? Does the fact that he can see and hear, smell, taste and feel prove it? If it does, then it proves the same for every creature possessed of these senses. The five senses are exercised and experienced by contact, in some form or other, with objects; and it is the same whether in the lower animals or in man. Is it, as some claim, that "the eyes are the windows of the soul?" If so, then what are the eyes of all animals the "windows" of? Why do they have "windows" if there is nothing in them to use the "windows," to look out through the "windows?" The eyes of the lower animals serve the same purpose as the eyes of man. They produce sight in both. There is a use for the eyes of the animal and there is something to "look out through the windows." What is it? Is it not the animal itself? the living, breathing (if not the thinking) animal? When the eyes of the horse strike an object, it is the horse that sees, and when any part of the animal comes in contact with any other substance, it is the horse that feels. Why is it not the same with man--why is it not the living, thinking, breathing man that "looks out through the windows," or that sees? Call the horse a soul--for that is what he is, a living creature--and then we may say, "The eyes are the windows of the soul," and yet never dream of an inside horse-soul, separate from the living, breathing horse. Call the man a soul, and forbidding the play of imagination and excluding the influence of theological training, why not say, "The eyes are the windows of the soul," i. e., the living, breathing, thinking man sees with his eyes, and not that there is an inside soul entirely separate from the physical man we behold?

It is not claimed that the immortal soul is visible. When we examine man from the natural standpoint we cannot see the immortal soul. If we believe there is one it is not because it has come in contact with the five senses--either any or all of them. Our five senses will not reveal to us an immortal soul in man or beast. It is no use to try to find it by sight, hearing, feeling, tasting, or smelling; and since these are the five natural senses, and we are considering the subject from a natural standpoint, there is no natural sense by which to discover it. If it is discoverable at all, it must be by supernatural means, which we will examine further along.

But, it will be said, there is something back of the five senses; because sight, hearing, feeling, etc., are not mere contact. True, there may be contact without feeling, or without producing the experience of any of the five senses; there must be "something" to take cognizance of contact--to feel pain or pleasure; but what is that "something?" If we, for the want of any natural law of demonstration, imagine it is the immortal soul, then we have over-reached the mark, because that "something" experiences the results of contact in animals as well as in man. What is it that makes the animal conscious that any part of its body has come in contact with another substance? In other words, where is the seat or center of consciousness in the animal, to which the fact of contact is instantly carried by the electric nerve wires of its natural being? Can we, by the use of our natural senses find the center? If we can find it in the animal, shall we not be in a fair way of discovering its seat in man? Well, we shall not look for it in its feet, nor in its body; but, instinctively, we shall go to the head of the animal, and when we remove a portion of the skull, we shall find that by pressure upon the brain we are able to stop the consciousness from taking cognizance of contact--the five senses will cease to perform their functions. The animal will be in a state of insensibility. Why is it that the contact of the foot with another substance is not felt now? If it were the foot that felt, it would still feel, but an interference with the brain is what has stopped the sense of feeling, and what does this prove? It proves that the brain is "headquarters" of the animal institution, and when it is prevented, by natural causes, from performing its natural functions, there is no consciousness, no experience of pain or pleasure, no knowledge, no thought.

When the animal is in its normal state, the fact of any part of its body coming in contact with another body is felt because by the electric nerve-wires the fact is communicated to the nerve-center, the brain, and then causes sensation; pain or pleasure is experienced, and knowledge produced, which is retained in the storehouse of memory, and used, practically, according to the degree of intellectuality possessed by the creature. The very same is true of man, and therefore, so far, we have found no reason, viewing the subject from the standpoint of nature, for man's possession of an immortal soul.

The metaphysician asserts that matter cannot think, and upon this he proceeds to build his theory, adding, "Man thinks, therefore he is more than matter." In the same manner it might be asserted that matter cannot see; the horse sees, therefore he is more than matter. Logic will lie if it is based on a false premise. Who is to say what matter can or cannot be made capable of doing when fearfully and wonderfully organized and vitalized by the creative hand of Omnipotence? What is it that feels, sees and hears in the horse--yea, what is it that thinks and retains thoughts, manifesting them in memory, in some animals, too, in a higher degree than in some men? Who will be presumptuous enough to assert that it is not matter? If it is anything besides matter in the animal then the mark is overreached again, in proving the animal in possession of an immateriality which is desired to be limited to man. If thought is the property and product of immateriality, then nothing material can affect it; the one cannot come in contact with the other, and therefore they cannot interfere with each other, any more than an act of congress can collide with a locomotive. But we do find that materiality may interfere with thought, that one material substance producing pressure on another--the brain--will put a stop to the evolution of thought. Numerous experiments have proved this, and observation demonstrates it every day. From the American Advent Review the Bible Vindicated quotes the following:

Richmond mentions the case of a woman whose brain was exposed in consequence of the removal of a considerable part of its bony covering by disease. He says, "I repeatedly made a pressure on the brain, and each time suspended all feeling and all intellect, which were immediately restored when the pressure was withdrawn." The same writer mentions another case. He says: "There was a man who had been trepanned, and who perceived that his intellectual faculties were failing and his existence drawing to a close every time the effused blood collected on the brain so as to produce pressure."

Prof. Chapman in one of his lectures, says: "I saw an individual with his skull perforated, and the brain exposed, who was accustomed to submit his brain to be experimented upon by the late Prof. Weston before his class; his intellectual and moral faculties disappeared on the application of pressure to the brain. They were held under the thumb, as it were, and restored at pleasure to their full activity by discontinuing the pressure."

The most remarkable case, however, is that given by Sir Astley Cooper, in his "Surgical Lectures," as follows:

A man by the name of Jones received an injury to his head while on board a vessel in the Mediterranean, which rendered him insensible. The vessel soon made Gibraltar, where Jones was placed in the hospital, and remained several months in the same insensible state. He was then carried on board the Dolphin frigate to Deptford, and thence was sent to St. Thomas' Hospital, London. He lay constantly on his back and breathed with difficulty. When hungry or thirsty he moved his lips or tongue. Mr. Clyne, the surgeon, found a portion of the skull depressed, trepanned him, and removed the depressed portion. Immediately after the operation, the motion of his fingers occasioned by the beating of the pulse, ceased, and in three hours he sat up in bed, sensation and volition returned, and in four days he got up out of his bed and conversed. The last thing he remembered was the occurrence of taking a prize in the Mediterranean. From the moment of the accident, thirteen months and a few days before, oblivion had come over him, and all recollection ceased, yet on removing a small portion of bone which pressed upon the brain, he was restored to full possession of the powers of his mind and body.

These facts are sufficient to show that men and animals are dependent upon matter, in the form of brain, for the power of thought, and that it is the living brain that takes cognizance of contact, and is, therefore, the center to which facts that come within the range of the five senses are carried to be intellectually dealt with. When communication with this center is cut off, or when the brain is injured, consciousness and intellectuality cease in all creatures possessing these powers.

There is no use denying that there are degrees of intelligence in men and animals. It is a fact that is patent to observation and experience that the shape of the head is quite a consideration in the question of degree of intelligence, both in the creature and man, a fact that can never be accounted for upon the hypothesis of thought being a property or product of an immaterial soul--that which has no shape, because it has no substance, cannot be seen, felt, weighed or measured--which is supposed to possess the power of thought independently of the body, and, indeed, if the body has anything to do with the evolution of thought at all, it is a hindrance rather than a help; and it is claimed that the soul thinks more perfectly when disembodied than when it is imprisoned in the body, although it is difficult to see how a material body could affect the functions of an immaterial entity; and if this difficulty could be explained in relation to man, we should still have the fact that thought, in various degrees--according to the "shape of the head," too--is manifest in animals. Moreover, it is a fact that the degree of thinking powers in the animal ascends in proportion to the extent the shape of its head approaches to that of man. When these facts are recognized it will be evident that instead of there being a necessity of going from the material to the immaterial to account for thought, we are driven to the position that it can be accounted for upon no other principle than that it is a product of electrically vitalized matter--a position which necessarily forces us back to a First Cause, possessed of infinite wisdom, which, in the impartation of the vitalizing power, impregnated it, as it were, with a will force that determined what should be its functions according to natural laws.

The metaphysician and the theologian claim that God is immaterial, and that the soul is part of God and that it is therefore, immaterial--without body or parts. Without stopping to notice the absurdity of that which is without parts being a part of that which has no parts, we may ask, When does this supposed part of God, which is claimed to be the thinking entity, take possession of the body? Is the question of whether a body begotten by natural laws shall be supplied with an immortal entity decided by the laws of nature, or is it decided by the direct will of Him of whom the soul is claimed to be a part? It would be difficult to see how natural laws could reach up to heaven, into the very presence of Him who dwells in light unapproachable, and snatch millions of parts of God's very essence, transform them into individuals, intellectualities--some of them--and deposit them in their respective bodies as these are forced into the world, some of them in direct opposition to the laws of God, and in the lowest depths of depravity, and the offspring of the worst crimes. To commit one's self to such a theory would surely be to defy nature and give it power to even enter heaven in defiance of the moral laws of God.

On the other hand, if the question of the supply of the immaterial entities in proportion to the demand of material receptacles is determined by a special decision of God in each case, then why is there so much partiality shown? Why are some of these "thinking entities" possessed of so much greater superiority of intellect than others? Why are some not able to think at all--why are there idiots? Moreover, if the thinking entity comes direct from God, why is there not the power of thought in infancy that there is in maturity? And why is not the mind as strong in old age as it is in the full bloom of manhood? Is it that the immaterial grows and declines with the material? and if the material is dwarfed, the immaterial is proportionately dwarfed? This would make immateriality, after all the effort to seek for the power of thought in it, dependent upon materiality, and thus defeat the object in view in refusing to see that vitalized matter thinks.

Again, a man's mind is largely affected by what he eats and drinks. Look at the man tottering and reeling in a state of intoxication. Listen to his foolish talk, and then let us ask, What is the cause of this? To answer that he has been drinking intoxicants is not enough; another question must be answered, viz.: Why has the drinking of intoxicants by the body affected his mind, if the mind is no part of matter--the body--but is the product of an independent entity which is not matter? Are we not driven back to the position that it is matter, in the form of vitalized brain, that is the thinking part of man and animal, and that certain kinds of material things are adapted to affect other certain kinds of material substances; that intoxicants will inflame and excite the brain, throw it out of its normal state into an unbalanced condition, and the incoherent babble of the inebriate is the result?

There are thousands of poor unfortunate people in a state of insanity. How is this to be accounted for, except upon the principle recognized by the reasonable physician, that it is the result of transmission from parent to child, according to (abused) natural laws, or of impairment or disease of the brain? If thought is not a property of matter, what is the use of placing an insane person in the hands of a physician? Surely his professional skill is limited to the domain of matter; and any treatment from him must be based upon the principle that what will restore the brain to a healthy state, or what will remove a disease from any part of the body that affects the brain, will restore soundness of mind. Were he foolish enough to believe that the mind is the product of an immaterial entity, he would never try to reach it with drugs nor by surgical operations; he would do as the heathen do--turn the patient over to the priests and the gods, who alone are supposed to have jurisdiction in the realms of immateriality.

Upon the hypothesis that every man is possessed of an immaterial entity, and that he depends upon it for his mind, how absurd to believe that insanity is transmissible from generation to generation? If mind comes direct to the child as a quality of an immaterial soul, why do we see traits of character--mental and moral habits--inherited from parents? Mental traits and powers possessed by parents are generally manifest in their children, a fact which is accounted for by what common people call "running through the blood." Bitterness or sourness of the fruit of a tree is transmitted, and no one is foolish enough to claim that these qualities are supernaturally infused into it. Why not allow the same natural laws to operate in man in the production and transmission of temperament, mental powers, and moral proclivities? We should then see that the many faults, idiosyncrasies, idiocy and imbecilities "bred and born" in men are not infused into them as qualities of an immaterial entity direct from heaven; but that they are the results of disease and, many of them, perversion of natural laws, generation after generation.

It has been claimed by some that while thought is a quality of an immaterial soul, the brain is necessary as a channel through which it operates during natural life; and that upon this principle the fact of mind being affected by body is to be accounted for. But instead of this explaining the matter, it only presents the absurdity of the immaterial being affected by, and dependent upon, the material; and a philosophy that would volunteer such a theory to extricate itself from a difficulty only manifests the straits to which it is given to hide itself from the light of reason. To admit that the brain is necessary as a channel for the soul to think in man is to lay down a principle that would prove the possession of thought in the animal to be the result of an immaterial soul operating through the channel of the brain, and therefore prove too much. It will not do to try to evade the force of this by splitting hairs to divide instinct from thought, using the former term in relation to the animal and the latter in relation to man. That is only an artificial distinction--a distinction without a difference, when considered in relation to the intelligence of some animals as compared with that of some men; for it must be admitted that such a comparison in many instances gives a verdict in favor of the animal.

But suppose we grant for a moment that the soul as the thinking entity operates conjointly with and is dependent upon the brain for the evolution of thought, what then becomes of the theory that it continues to think when the body, with its brain, lies silent in the dust of death? If it depends upon the brain for thought in life then in death there can be no thought. It will not do for philosophy to imagine that when the brain is gone another channel will be provided; for that would be going into realms of imagination, and stepping on ground that is forbidden philosophy, revelation being the only means of determining its truth or falsity, and that we will consider further along. It is certainly reasonable and logical to reduce this theory to the following syllogism, which will show that it defeats the very object it seeks to maintain: The soul is dependent upon the brain for thought; the brain dies with the body; therefore when the body is dead the soul cannot think.

Nature stands by and sees one who is to be subjected to electrocution; the subject receives one shock and he is unconscious, but signs of life are manifest. He receives another, and nature pronounces him dead and therefore unconscious, while the priest steps to the front and boldly, however absurdly, exclaims, "No, he is not unconscious." Nature asks the "Rev." gentleman, "Was the man unconscious after receiving the first shock?" "Yes." "And do you mean to say that while the first shock nearly killed and struck the man unconscious, the second absolutely killed and yet struck him conscious?" and the priest answers, "Y-e-s," and proceeds to abuse Nature for being too critical and for encroaching upon ground that belongs only to a monopoly that enriches itself upon disembodied ghosts and immaterial entities.

We behold man as he approaches the verge of death, after a long and struggling life. As his body declines his mental powers gradually weaken and wane, until he is in his "dotage." Then he lies helpless upon his dying bed; and soon, while there is little life remaining, consciousness ceases, and at last the lamp of life goes out, and he who once lived is now dead; he who once talked is now silent; he who once could see now sees no more; he who once could hear is now oblivious of all sound; he who once thought has ceased to think--he is dead.

There nature leaves him, and that is as far as it will take us in the investigation of the question, Is the soul immortal? If there is a future life, it must be by a resurrection, a doctrine that nature will not teach and prove to our satisfaction; and if there is to be a resurrection of the dead, we must derive our knowledge of it from Revelation, in the realms of which we will now proceed to further investigation. The only satisfactory way to settle the question of the immortality of the soul is to appeal to Him who is the author of our being. We depend upon Him for the knowledge of our origin and He has been pleased to reveal the particulars to us of man's formation, what he was formed out of and how he was made a living being. In accepting His explanation we shall not have to do it in spite of true science and philosophy, but we shall find that facts and revelation perfectly agree, so our question now shall be, Does the Bible teach the immortality of the soul?

 

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Chapter 14

The World's Redemption


Man, His Origin and Nature

Continued

DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL?

In opening the Bible in the investigation of the subject of the nature of man, we enter upon a work that will repay our efforts much more satisfactorily than can be expected in the wide fields of history and philosophy. It is reasonable to expect that he who formed and gave life to man, and who revealed the plan of salvation, meeting in all respects the requirements of a sin-cursed, fallen and lost condition, would, in that revelation, make known the real nature and condition of the being to be saved, and the nature and state to which the plan of salvation purposed to exalt those who come within its scope. The nature of the case to be dealt with must necessarily be understood before there can be a proper comprehension and appreciation of the plan that purposes to meet the requirements of the case.

If one believes that he is naturally immortal, while the plan of salvation is intended and adapted to save mortal men and bless them ultimately with immortality, he will not be in a position to believe in that plan; because his belief must, necessarily, nullify it. For how can one properly believe in and appreciate an offer of immortality if he is persuaded that he is already in possession of it? As the apostle Paul says, "We are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not (or are not in possession of) then do we with patience wait for it"--Rom. 8: 24, 25.

The word "soul" as used in our times, conveys to the minds of most people the idea of immortality and immateriality; and it is associated with what is supposed to be the thinking, conscious, never-dying part of man which it is thought survives the death of the body, and goes immediately to bliss or woe, according to its deserts.

Opening the Bible with this theory in mind, but with a desire to test its truth, one would think the first thing that would reasonably suggest itself as a wise course would be to examine the use of the word soul in the Scriptures; and what more natural than that such an inquirer would turn to the first place in which the word is found? Supposing him to be a careful inquirer, and desiring to go to the root of the matter, he will avail himself of the ample means now at his disposal, to ascertain what words in the Hebrew and Greek stand for our word soul; and finding that the Hebrew word is nephesh he will, by the aid of a concordance, or otherwise, find the first place where that word occurs in the Bible. He will, no doubt, be astonished when he is referred to Gen. 1: 20, and finds that the word nephesh, translated "life" in the text and "soul" in the margin, is applied to the "moving creature and fowl that may fly above the earth." By continuing he will find that verse 21 reads, "And God created great whales, and every living creature--nephesh, or soul--that moveth." Still further, in verse 24: "And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature-- nephesh, or soul--after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after his kind and it was so;" and in verse 30 he will again find creature--nephesh, or soul--applied to "every beast of the earth."

Having now examined the first chapter of the Bible in search of the immortality of the soul, and having found the word nephesh, or soul used four times and in every case applied to the animal, and not once to man, what conclusion can he come to, but that he has been wrong in believing that the word soul signified an immortal entity?

Recalling the fact that he has frequently used and heard used the phrase "immortal soul," he will leave his critical search for a moment and run over all the books of the Bible to see if he can find the oft-repeated phrase within its pages, and to his astonishment he discovers it is not there; that he has been using and hearing used a phrase that, while always on the lips of theologians, "holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit," never used. Disappointed, and feeling that the foundation upon which he had supposed himself secure is a questionable one, he determines to make a careful investigation of the subject, and naturally returns to the book of Genesis, and reads the second chapter to see what is said about the creation of man.

As a rule, the believers in the immortality of the soul are willing to stake their whole theory upon Gen. 2: 7, believing it says that God formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and put an immortal soul into that body. It is quite reasonable to expect that whatever the truth of the matter is it will be found in this, the account of man's creation; and we may, therefore, freely enter upon a careful examination of the text without fear of disappointment in regard to reaching the truth of the matter.

It reads thus:

And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Here is a clear statement of the facts, and all we have to do is to accept each statement as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It says that the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground; therefore, that which was formed out of the dust of the ground was the man--not a body into which a man was to be put. The statement, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground," must, in and of itself, be true; and the next statement, following the conjunction "and," is the statement of another truth, namely, that God "breathed into his--the man's--nostrils the breath of life;" and this caused the man that had already been formed out of the dust of the ground to become a living (not an immortal) soul.

Here we have a soul called also a man. Where did he come from? Did he come from heaven? or out of the earth? The answer is before us in the words of the text; and if corroborative evidence is needed, it is found in the words of the apostle Paul: "The first man is of the earth earthy" (I. Cor. 15: 47). Since it is clear that man--the soul--came out of the earth and is earthy, and that immortality is God's nature and must come from heaven, it follows that the soul of man is not immortal.

Many believers in the immortality of the soul contend that the soul was breathed into man when he received the breath of life; and they lay stress upon the fact that it is said in so many words, that God breathed into man the breath of life, but that it is not so said of the beasts. This cannot be called an argument. It is simply a foolish attempt to escape the force of the evidence against their cherished but false theory. If it were not that they deserve to some extent to be pitied in their attempt to save themselves by catching at a straw, one might condescend to meet them upon their own ground, and thereby show that their premises would logically lead to the conclusion that the woman was left destitute of an immortal soul. Their would-be argument might be submitted in the following syllogistic form: It is said that God breathed into man the breath of life. It is not said that God breathed into the beasts the breath of life; therefore when the breath of life was breathed into man he received an immortal soul, which the beasts did not receive.

Now let us try the same syllogism in relation to the woman: It is said that God breathed into the man the breath of life. It is not said that God breathed into the woman the breath of life; therefore when the breath of life was breathed into the man, he received an immortal soul which the woman did not receive. This is sufficient to show the absurdity of such a position.

But upon what authority is it denied that God breathed the breath of life into the beasts? That they have the breath of life we are positively told; and the question therefore is, Where did they get it from, if God did not breathe it into them? Besides, what a wild imagination one must have, to see an immortal soul put into the body by the breath of life being breathed into a man's nostrils. Now of the beasts it is said, "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air" (Gen. 2: 19). The similarity between this and the words of verse 7, in relation to man is worthy of note. In chapter 6: 17 it is said, "And, behold, I, even I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life." Again, chapter 7: 15--"And they (the creatures named in verse 14) went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life." Since the beasts are said in these quotations to be possessed of the breath of life, it follows that they must have received it of God, the only source of life; and since it is said to be in their nostrils, who but God could have breathed it into their nostrils, any more than into man's? If they could have the breath of life breathed into them and yet be destitute of immortal souls, as is admitted, then man could also have the breath of life breathed into him and still not have an immortal soul. While life, which is the result of the inbreathing of the breath, or the causing of respiration, is sometimes called soul, it is never spoken of as an immortal soul.

Now at this stage of our inquiry we may venture to give a definition of the word soul and quote a number of passages to show how it is used in the Scriptures:

The Hebrew word nephesh, of the Old Testament, occurs about 700 times, and is rendered soul 471 tunes, life and living about 150 times; and the same word is also rendered a man, a person, self, they, me, him, anyone, breath, heart, mind, appetite, the body, (dead or alive), lust, creature, and even a beast: for it is 28 times applied to beasts and to every creeping thing. The Greek word psuche of the New Testament corresponds to nephesh of the Old. It occurs 105 times, and is rendered soul 59 times, and life 40 times. The same word is also rendered mind, us, you, heart, heartily, and is twice applied to the beasts that perish. Psuchikos, an adjective derived from psuche, occurs 6 times, and is translated natural and sensual; it is properly translated animal in modern translations. Perhaps it may he worthy of notice that in all the 700 times which nephesh occurs, and the 105 times of psuche, not once is the word immortal or immortality or deathlessness or never-dying found in connection as qualifying the terms.--Emphatic Diaglott.

ANIMALS ARE CALLED SOULS, AND THE WORD SOUL IS APPLIED TO THE LIFE OF THE BEASTS

Numb. 31: 28--And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle; one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses and of the sheep.

Gen. 1: 20--(the very first place where the word nephesh, the word rendered soul, occurs). And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life (nephesh, soul, see margin), and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Gen. 1: 30--And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth wherein there is life (margin living soul) I have given every green herb for meat.

Gen. 2: 19--And Adam called (named) every living creature (Hebrew nephesh, soul).

Gen. 9: 9, 10--And I will establish my covenant with every living creature (Hebrew nephesh, soul) that is with you of fowl, of cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you. See also verses 15, 16.

Job 12: 10--In whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

SOULS DIE AND ARE DESTROYED

Josh. 10: 28--And that day Joshua took Makkedah and smote it with the edge of the sword; and the king thereof he utterly destroyed them, and all the souls that were therein. See also verses 30, 32, 35, 37, 39.

Judges 16: 16--And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him so that his soul was vexed unto death.

Job 7: 15--So that my soul chooseth strangling and death rather than my life.

Psa. 33: 19--To deliver their souls from death and to keep them alive in famine.

Psa. 78: 50--He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death.

Isa. 53: 12--Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death.

Ezek. 13: 19--And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live?

Ezek. 18: 4--Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine; the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Verse 27--Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

Matt. 26: 38--My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.

Jas. 5: 20--Let him know that he that converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death.

Rev. 16: 3--And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.

SOULS DESTRUCTIBLE AND DESTROYED

Psa. 35: 17--Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destructions.

Psa. 63: 9--But those that seek my soul to destroy it shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

Acts 3: 23--And it shall come to pass, that every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.

In the following testimonies the Hebrew word nephesh and the Greek word psuche, which are so frequently rendered soul are rendered life. Substitute the word soul for life in the reading of these and it will be seen that, instead of soul being indestructible and immortal it is the opposite.

Ex. 4: 19--Go, return unto Egypt; for all the men are dead which sought thy life.

Matt. 2: 20--For they are dead which sought the young child's life.

Mark 3: 4--Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath day, or to do evil? to save life or to kill (life or soul)?

Rev. 8: 9--And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life (soul) died.

Rev. 12: 11--And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives (souls) unto the death.

SOULS GO TO AND ARE DELIVERED FROM THE PIT, OR THE GRAVE

Job 33: 18--He keepeth back his soul from the pit (grave) and his life from perishing by the sword. Also verses 28, 30.

Psa. 16: 10--For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the grave), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psa. 30: 3--O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit. (The "pit" and the "grave" are here synonymous; also "my soul" and "me" and "I."

Psa. 49: 15--But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall receive me.

Psa. 89: 48--What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul (himself) from the hand of the grave?

Isa. 38: 17--Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; * * * for the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee, they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Acts 2: 31--He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (grave, same word as is translated grave in I. Cor. 15: 55).

The phrase my soul is seized upon by some to prove that the soul is a separate entity from the body; but a comparison of the use of the phrase in relation to man with that of the beasts will show the fallacy of such a claim. In one verse quoted above we have the words, "one soul of"--of what? One soul of the persons, one soul of the beeves, etc. Besides, it is fatal to the popular theory that we have the soul spoken of as belonging to the man, if in the phrase "my soul" we are to understand the pronoun "my" to represent the man, and the "soul" an entity possessed by the "my"--the man. For the theory of those who hold to the doctrine is that the soul is the real man, and the body only the habitation of the soul. But suppose for the sake of the argument we allow the claim, then what should we do with the phrases "my body" (Job 19: 17), "your bodies," etc. (Job 13: 12)? We should have to reverse our position to suit these phrases, and at one time say the soul is the man, and at another time that the body is the man. What we should do with the "my," however, when we read "my body and my soul" (Mic. 6: 7) would be an overwhelming difficulty; for in this case we have "my" separate from both soul and body, and by the premises laid down in the claim we are combating, we should be driven to conclude that the "my," the man, was a separate being from both soul and body. It becomes apparent that no theory of the kind claimed can be built upon such an uncertain foundation. A man might say, My body, my soul, my spirit, my head, my hands, etc., etc., but what folly it would be to conclude that he thereby meant that he himself was a separate being from all the parts named. We cannot avoid this form of expression, and in common parlance it is never misconstrued. It is only when the theory of the soul being a separate entity from the body is hard pressed to protect itself that such a foolish contention is resorted to. One might speak of the foundation of the house, the walls of the house, the roof of the house--everything of the house, and even the believer in the immortality of the soul would not suppose that the house was a separate thing from the parts named. Why not be as reasonable when similar language is employed in relation to man?

"LIVING SOUL"

The Hebrew words rendered "living soul" in Gen. 2: 7, where it is said "man became a living soul" are nephesh chayiah; speaking of which Dr. Adam Clarke says:

It "is a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life in any of its infinitely varied gradations."

This phrase is used thirteen times in the Scriptures; eleven times it is applied to the beasts and twice to man, a fact which of itself is sufficient to convince a reasonable mind that the phrase "living soul" does not mean "immortal soul." The unreasonable mind that would persist in claiming for it the popular meaning of "immortal soul" would be forced to acknowledge that there would be eleven testimonies in favor of the immortality of the soul of the beasts to two in that of man. Many, we are sorry to say, are so unreasonable that, rather than abandon a theory that has become popular, will rest their belief upon the most absurd claims. They have been taught to believe in the immortality of the soul; they cannot find the phrase "immortal soul" in the Bible, and rather than surrender to the force of facts and reason they will delude themselves with the idea that "immortal soul" is to be seen in "living soul," to which they will cling even if it does commit them to the conclusion that the beasts have "immortal souls."

Scripture explains scripture, to observe which is a very safe rule. The apostle Paul makes use of the phrase "living soul," referring to the very verse in question. The use he makes of it must certainly be accepted in preference to that of uninspired men. The latter would say, "There is an immortal soul; for so it is written, 'The first man Adam was made a living soul;'" but Paul says: "There is a natural body, * * * and so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul" (I. Cor. 15: 44, 45). A natural body is a living earthy body: and that is what man is in his present state. What the apostle terms a "natural body" in verse 44 he calls "the first man" in verse 47, where he says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy."

First--He says, "There is a natural body."

Second--He proves that there is a natural body by the words written, "The first man Adam was made a living soul."

Third--He says that this "natural body," which is a "living soul" is "the first man," or man in the state which is first--the natural.

Fourth--He declares that this man is of, or out of, "the earth, earthy." Had the apostle been a believer in the immortality of the soul his language would certainly have been contradictory of his theory, as it is contradictory of the popular theory of our times. To have given expression to the general belief of to-day he should have said, "The body of the first man is of the earth, earthy, but the man himself is an immortal soul, which came from heaven and entered into the body."

If there is such a thing as an immortal soul, then it is a spiritual thing: and if the immortal soul is the man then man is now a spiritual being. Now the apostle shows that man, while he may become a spiritual being, is now a natural being. Can there be anything plainer than his statement?--"There is a natural body (which, as we have seen, is the man, the living soul, of the earth, earthy), and there is a spiritual body. * * * Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. * * * And as we have borne (and do bear) the image of the earthy, we shall (not we do) also bear the image of the heavenly." And to make the matter still more clear, if possible, he adds: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Could anything be clearer to show that man is not both natural and spiritual at the same time? He is not mortal and immortal, of an earthy and a heavenly nature now. The first is the natural and afterward the spiritual. Incorruption does not inhere in corruption. There is not an incorruptible soul in the corruptible body. Man is first earthy and the worthy shall be made heavenly. So that man is first sown a natural body, or a natural being, and then raised a spiritual body, or a spiritual being.

The word soul, philologically, may be said to mean self. The various uses of the word in the Scriptures we have already given; and it will be observed that its primary meaning is living creature. As such it is necessarily a material being; for what would it be if it were immaterial? It would really be nothing; and this is what the popular tradition reduces itself to. The soul is carefully guarded by its champions from anything of a material nature, its zealots being very much afraid of being called "materialists." To regard the soul as material and therefore something is looked upon by those of the Platonic school as sacrilegious. It seems more to their taste to enshroud the subject in a mystery that will baffle the understanding of their followers and hide themselves from the sharp arrows of reason and scripture. Nothing will do for them but a soul that cannot be seen, felt, weighed nor measured. It must have no form, no body, no parts, no substance--it must be immaterial; and yet, without visibility, weight, form, measurement or substance, it is claimed to be an entity! Now we submit that a being without form, weight, measurement or visibility is a nonentity--has no being, because it has nothing to have a being. It is simply nothing--nothing but a phantom of a bewildered and paganized mind. In the Scriptures, however, when the word soul is applied to being it is a substantiality. It can be born (Ex. 12:19); die (Rev. 16: 3); go to the grave (Psa. 89: 48); be raised out of the grave (Acts 2:31); slain (Joshua 10: 28-39); eat and drink (Lev. 7: 20; Isa. 32: 6), etc., etc. Scripturally speaking, therefore, the soul is a being--it is something and therefore it is material.

As set forth in the various Scriptures we have given, when the word is used otherwise than of the person or being, it is always employed to express the variety of aspects in which a living being can be contemplated, such as life, individuality, mind, disposition, breath, etc.; but it never expresses the idea of immortality, and is never used in the popular form, "immortal soul."

SOUL USED FOR LIFE

It is when the word soul is used for life that it seems to strengthen an opinion already formed of it being a separate entity from the body. To a mind holding such an opinion the idea of an immortal soul that can forsake the body and still exist as a conscious entity has, by education and by breathing, as it were, from infancy the paganized theological atmosphere of the religious world, become a self-evident fact. It is taken for granted, and everywhere is viewed from that unscriptural and unreasonable standpoint. The result is that there is not that exercise of reason in the use of phraseology upon this subject that there is upon other matters. The moment the phrase "the soul of man" is seen or heard the thought received is that the soul is a separate entity; but when the phrases, "the hearing of man," "the sight of man," "the feelings of man," "the love of man," etc., are used there is no thought of hearing, sight, and all the other attributes of man being separate entities. If you say to one who believes in the separate existence of the soul as an entity that a man's soul has gone, he would ask, Where to? because his perverted mind cannot conceive of the man's soul "having gone" without also thinking of it being an entity after it "has gone." If, however, one were to say to him, "The man's hearing is gone," he would never dream of asking; Where to? In the latter he is reasonable; in the former he is unreasonable. He is able to see that the statement, "The man's hearing is gone," only expresses the fact that the man has lost the sense of hearing. That condition of things which combined to produce what we call "hearing" has been destroyed. If the condition could be restored, it could then be said, "His hearing returned," and still there would be no danger of any one falling into the mistake that the hearing had, as an entity, been absent and maintained an abstract existence. That the very same is true of life is clear to an unbiased mind. The life of a man is no more an abstract thing than the life of a horse. Life is a condition of being. Destroy the condition in any living being and the life of that being then ceases. You may express this by saying the life is gone, whether it be the life of a man or the life of a horse; but that does not mean that the life maintains an abstract existence as an entity after it "has gone." Restore the condition and you may say the life has returned and still not commit yourself to the idea of the life, either of man or animal, having been roaming around bodiless.

ELIJAH RESTORES THE SOUL OF THE CHILD

Now the word soul, as we have said, is sometimes used for life, and this recalls a text often referred to in support of the popular idea of the departure of the soul at death. In I. Kings 17: 21, 22, it says:

And he (Elijah) stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. * * * And the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

Now all that this teaches is that when the child's soul left him he died and was therefore dead and not alive; and when his soul "came into him again, he revived," or was restored to life. The departure of the soul, as we have illustrated in regard to hearing, sight, etc., was the destroying of that condition of things called life; and the return of it was the restoring to life that which was not alive, but dead. The Septuagint rendering of this text bears this out very clearly. It is as follows: "Let this child's life be restored to him." Of course, a man bent upon holding to the doctrine of the soul's immortality will continue to see in the return of the child's soul the return of an immortal entity. But let us ask such an one, Do you find the word immortal prefixed to soul here? Since you do not why will you add it? Which is the child, the body or the soul? If you answer, The body, then it follows that the child was dead and that which departed and returned was not the child. If you answer that the soul is the child, then it follows that the soul died: for if the soul is the child and the child is the soul, then, since it says the child died, it follows that the soul died. But if you persist in adding to and contradicting God's word and say that the child in the case is the immortal soul and that the child did not die but forsook its body and continued to live, then was it not an act of cruelty, rather than an act of mercy and goodness, to compel the immortal soul to forsake its newly-attained state of bliss (for you believe that death to a child is a certain reward of bliss) and return to its mortal habitation to pass through a probation that might deprive it of ever again enjoying that bliss of which it had been permitted through death to get a taste? If you will persist in claiming that the word soul here means "immortal soul," how will you account for the fact that the very same word is used for the life of the beasts of the field? A glance at your concordance and lexicon will show you that the Hebrew word which is here rendered soul is nephesh and if you will turn to Prov. 12: 10 you will find the same word rendered life and applied to the life of the beast: "A righteous man regardeth the life (nephesh) of his beast." See also Gen. 9: 4; Lev. 17: 11; Deut. 12: 23 and many other places. Now you would hardly be willing to read these quotations as you would the one in question. You are determined to read, "And the child's immortal soul came into him again;" and if you were consistent you would be compelled to read, "A righteous man regardeth the immortal soul of his beast." If not, why not? The word in both instances is the same; and if you derive any strength from the fact that it is worded "the soul of the child" as though it proved it to be a separate entity, then you see that you have the same phraseology in the "life (nephesh, soul) of the beast." Why not surrender a pagan fiction to the Bible and be consistent enough to admit that the word soul is used in this case, as it is in many others, for life; and then you can understand that the child died and the child was restored to life.

"HER SOUL WAS IN DEPARTING"

Another text much relied upon is Gen. 35: 18, in which the wording is very similar to the text we have been considering:

And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni."

The departure of the soul here, as in the other case, results in the death of the person. It is therefore clear that "soul" is used for life; and that when the life departs, it is gone out, as one would say of the extinguished light of the candle. It is gone out; but the man who would claim that the soul (life) that has gone out is still existent as an entity is as unreasonable as one would be to insist that the light of the candle still exists as a light after it is blown out.

In the New Testament, where the Greek word which answers to the Hebrew word nephesh is psuche, we find it used in the same way. Sometimes it applies to the man as a being sometimes to life, etc., variously speaking of the conditions in which a being can be thought of; but never, be it remembered, is it applied to an "immortal soul." To find this phrase or the theory it expresses, it is necessary to go outside both the Old and the New Testaments, into the works of heathen philosophers, such as Plato and Socrates and those of the Platonic school in general.

"THEN WILL I SAY TO MY SOUL"

The superficial character of those who compass sea and land to maintain their theory of the soul being a separate entity is frequently seen in the attempt to force into service the words:

Then I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry--Luke 12: 19.

"There," it is said, "look at that; 'my soul.'" Well, what is there in that? What kind of a soul is the man talking to and about? Is it an immortal soul, an immaterial soul? It cannot be; for it is a soul that had use for "goods" to be stored in barns, of which it was to eat, and surely an immaterial soul without weight, measure or visibility would have no use for such substantial things. But it is the fact that the phrase "my soul" is used that charms the mind. Suppose it had read, "Then will I say to myself, Eat," etc.? Would not the thought have been just the same? Is not that the real thought conveyed? When one uses the word myself is it to be understood that the "my" and the self are separate and that the self can forsake the my and exist independently of it? If this is too absurd to be entertained, why not use "my soul" in the reasonable way we use "myself?" If the "my" is a separate being from the "soul," then we should be committed to the theory that when the words "your body, soul and spirit" are read, they represent four beings--the "soul," the "body," the "spirit" and the "your." Moreover, such premises would lead one possessed of a logical turn of mind to the conclusion that the beasts are separate entities from their bodies; for the apostle Paul speaks of "the bodies of those beasts," etc. This is the same as if he had said the beasts' bodies; but not that they and their bodies are separate beings.

In the next verse to the one in question (Luke 12: 20) we have the word soul used for life:

This night thy soul shall be required of thee.

Here is an illustration of the latitude given the word in its application to a being, attributes of a being, or various conditions in which the being may be thought of or spoken of, the context always showing the sense. The same latitude is seen in our way of speaking of other things. We say, "Blow out the candle," and we say, "Blow out the light." Also, "The kettle boils" is the same as to say, "The water in the kettle boils."

Now to illustrate how the meaning of the word soul in the Bible can be determined by the context, we find it says, "And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle, one soul of five hundred, of the persons and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep" (Num. 31: 28). Here the reader is bound to see that the word means creature or being, both man and beasts. In Job 12: 10 it says, "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." In this case it must be seen that soul applies to the life of the beasts; so that in one instance it stands for the animal itself and in the other for the life of the animal, it being impossible to misunderstand its application, and no one thinks of attaching the meaning of immortal entity to the word. Now carry the same reason to cases where the word stands sometimes for the man and at other times for the life of the man and the texts are clear to a mind willing to be reasonable and scriptural that "immortal entity" is out of the question. It is said that Zilpah bare unto Jacob sixteen souls (Gen. 46: 18); and here "souls" stands for the persons, while in Ex. 4: 19, where it says, "All the men are dead which sought thy life" (nephesh, soul) it is clear that it means life, and the translators so rendered it, as they did also the Greek word psuche in Matt. 2: 20, where it says, "They are dead which sought the young child's life." If the translators had given soul here, as they have in many places, the reader would have seen by the very nature of the case that the word stood for life.

"LOSE HIS OWN SOUL"

With this view of the matter we can readily understand the texts in question to mean, "Then I will say to myself, Thou hast much goods," etc. "Thou fool, this night thy life shall be required of thee." And we may also turn to another portion of scripture often used in support of the dogma we are combating--Matt. 16: 26: "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" This is supposed to be conclusive evidence of the popular doctrine of the soul's immortality; and upon it is based the idea of the priceless value of the soul. It is very easy, however, to see that it is the life the Saviour is speaking of; and the text might be read as follows: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?" The context in this case entirely excludes the idea of "immortal soul," as we shall presently see. To say the least, there must be a word added by the reader to make the case suit the theory of the immortal soulist. The word immortal is not in the text, and, as we have repeated, it is never prefixed to the word soul. Our substituting the word life for soul is strongly objected to by those who are determined to cling to the Platonic dogma, who, loving to have it so, snatch at what appears to them on the surface and run away with their fingers in their ears when one says to them, "Come and let us reason together." Now the fact is that in verse 25 the very word is translated life, which in the verse in question (verse 26) is translated soul; and now it will be clear that the context shows the case to be entirely opposed to the theory of the immortality of the soul. The way those who contend for this theory would like to read the twenty-sixth verse is this: "For what shall a man profit, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own immortal soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his immortal soul?" Since the Saviour used the very same word in verse 25 that he did in verse 26; and since the theorist is determined to have "immortal soul" in verse 26, let us read it the same way in verse 25: "For whosoever will save his immortal soul shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his immortal soul for my sake shall find it." Now it will be seen that this text at once condemns the immortal soul theory and proves that it had no place in the Saviour's mind and that it is the life he is speaking of.

It happens that one of their own commentators bears testimony to the truth upon this portion of scripture. Dr. Adam Clarke, in his Commentary, says: "On what authority many have translated the word psuche in the twenty-fifth verse life, and in this verse (26) soul I know not; but I am certain it means life in both places." In the Revised Version, too, life is used in both verses.

Of all the texts in which the word soul occurs Matthew 10: 28, is the one most confidently relied upon in support of the immortality of the soul. It is thought that this text wholly refutes the idea of the soul being destructible and sustains the theory of its never-dying and indestructible nature. The phrase "cannot kill the soul" is seized and loaded down, as it were, with the claim that it is not only out of the power of man to kill the soul, but that it is, by reason of its essential nature, absolutely indestructible and must live eternally. Of course, if the soul is immortal it can never be destroyed, no more than angels can. If it can be destroyed, it follows that it is not immortal; for to speak of destroying an immortal being is a contradiction in terms.

So far as we have gone in our examination of the subject we have found nothing that would indicate that the soul is immortal; and, no doubt, it is the consciousness of the fact of the entire absence of words in the Scriptures that in any way support the theory that arouses its advocates to almost stake their all upon the text in question; feeling that it is their last and only chance.

"What will you do with Matt. 10: 28 where it says, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul?" ask the zealots of the theory, with an air of triumph. Well, let us examine it critically and carefully; and if we find that it teaches the immortality of the soul we shall be prepared to admit that the doctrine is taught in one text; and it will then be necessary for us to account for one text being contrary to the general tenor of the Bible. That the word soul is used in the text as something distinguishable from the body we admit; and it is clear in "killing the body," whatever that may mean as used here, the soul was not "killed." In admitting this, however, we are standing firmly to the position we have maintained all through, namely, that the word soul is variously used for body, life, mind, etc., and that the text and context must always determine its application. When the apostle Paul says, "Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind" (psuche, soul) we have no trouble in seeing that soul here is used for mind and not for body or life. When, in speaking of Epaphroditus, he says, "He was nigh unto death, not regarding his life" (psuche, soul) we can readily see that he is using soul for life, and not for mind or body. When it is said, "Neither shall he go in to any dead body" (nephesh, soul) it is clear that soul here stands for body. In each case one must be reasonable in discriminating between the various uses of the word and a satisfactory conclusion can be reached.

In the verse in question, then, it is clear that the word soul does not stand for body; but that is no reason that it means "immortal soul." Unless the immortality of the soul can be proved before going to this text it will not do to assume that that is the meaning here. All that the phrase "cannot kill the soul" will justify one in saying is that soul as used here refers to something that man cannot kill. The reason why is not because it is essentially indestructible, we may be sure, from the fact that the word "destroy" is applied to the soul and the body in this very verse. Many reasons may exist why man could not kill a soul and yet the soul be capable under other circumstances of being killed. The question is one of prerogative, of nations in some cases, and of God. For instance, when a criminal is condemned by the law of the land to be put to death, no man can or has a right in the eyes of the law to kill that criminal. The state, and the state only, "is able to destroy" him. So it will be with those who are condemned at the judgment seat of Christ. The life of the condemned is not left within the reach of man's whims or choice, nor to the chances of accident. It is in the hands of a judicial authority whose prerogative alone it is to take it or to destroy it.

Now it is safe to say that the word in this text either stands for life or mind. If for life, then it refers to that life which will be restored at the resurrection, when the just and the unjust shall be judged according to their deeds (II. Tim. 4: 1; II Cor. 5: 10). God, through Christ, will then be the only one who can "destroy both body and soul;" for it will be His righteous judgment that will decide when the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" shall end in destruction in Gehenna; He alone will regulate the "few and many stripes" and determine when the second death shall take place. And in view of this, He is the one to fear. Hence the Saviour says: "Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Gehenna).

If the word soul in the text is understood to be used for mind, as it is in other cases, then a critical examination of the text and context will make the matter quite clear as to the Saviour's meaning. Let it not be denied that soul sometimes means mind, for in addition to the proofs we have already given we submit the following texts in which psuche, the Greek word frequently rendered soul, is translated mind: Acts 14: 2; Phil. 1: 27; Heb. 12: 3. The Hebrew word nephesh, which is mostly rendered soul, is also translated mind in many cases, of which the following are a few: Gen. 23: 8; Jer. 15: 1; Ezek. 36: 5. If, then, the word is used for mind in the verse in dispute, it is not an exceptional case. In verse 16 the disciples were warned that they would be as "sheep in the midst of wolves;" and from verse 17 to 18, that they would be persecuted and scourged in many and various forms--all of which would be bodily punishment. It is a well-known fact that, while the martyrs were subjected to every conceivable form of bodily torture, they were calm, composed and cheerful in mind. Their faithfulness maintained its life while bodily they were "tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." And they "had trial of cruel mockings and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented"--and yet their tormentors could not "kill" that mind or soul that had been begotten and was sustained by the hope of the gospel. Although they were then "killed (or tormented) all the day long" by them that could "kill" or torture the body, they feared not, knowing that so long as they maintained the mind of the spirit of Christ--the soul--they need not "fear those who could kill the body, and after that had no more that they could do" (Luke 12: 4). The only one for them to fear was Him who has power to do more than "kill"--torture--the "body," namely to destroy utterly the entire man--body and mind, or soul, in Gehenna.

In view of the fact that when the wicked are cast into Gehenna, not only is their life or soul to be destroyed, but the body is to be devoured, either by the worm or by fire, and here is a total destruction of the being, the word "destroy" in the text applying to "both soul (mind) and body," a destruction which is to take place in Gehenna, the very place itself assuring that total destruction is what is meant as the destiny of the entire being.

This is a text in which the word psuche may mean life or mind; it is not clear on the surface which. With either meaning, however, the mortality of man agrees and the destructibility of man is certain. With a careful regard for the context, it seems that the word stands for mind, and with that meaning let us consider it further.

We have used the word "kill" as synonymous with torture; and the word "destroy" we have taken in the absolute sense. It must be noticed that not only do we have two words in the English Version--"kill" and "destroy"--but there are two different words in the Greek; and the latter of the two is a much stronger word than the former. The word for "kill" in the verse is apokteino, and some of its meanings as given in Donnegan's Lexicon and others are, to torture, torment, condemn to death. The word "destroy" in the verse is from apollumi; and the definitions given of it are, to abolish, to waste, to cause to be lost, to perish; to be annihilated, to destroy totally. Now it is the latter word that is used to describe the final end of "both soul and body in Gehenna;" and when this fact is seen it seems very strange that any one should attempt to use the verse in support of the immortality and indestructibility of the soul. The advocates of this dogma may refuse the explanation we give if they please, but they cannot refuse to believe that the Saviour is here speaking of a soul whose destruction is expressed by the same word as that of the body. Let me repeat, Gehenna was not a place in which to preserve alive those who were cast therein. It was a place where the victims were devoured, either by worms or by fire. And it will be the same again; and there the just and righteous judgment of God will destroy utterly the entire being of those who shall have been unfaithful.

No countenance whatever is therefore given to the soul's immortality in this verse upon which so much dependence is placed; but, on the other hand, it proves the very opposite, in that the soul spoken of, whether applied to mind, life or what not, is shown to be as destructible as the body.

And now, with these facts in mind, we hear the Saviour saying, Fear not them which torture, torment, render miserable the body (as the persecutors did by thumbscrews, etc.), but are not able to torture, torment, render miserable the psuche, mind. For the mind would be fixed upon the hope of the gospel, even when the body was being tortured by the many wicked devices the tormentors of the Christians invented. The case of Polycarp is an illustration of this, when he assured his persecutors that they need not tie him to the stake, for he could stand there to be burned and yet maintain that composure of mind that a faith such as his only could exemplify. It was a mind such as this, filled with confidence, hope and joy in the promises of God, whose godly zeal could not be quenched by all the bodily torture they might inflict. Therefore fear not them who will torture the body but cannot torture or harass the mind. Fear not men in the sufferings you will be called upon to receive at their hands. Be faithful, be calm and steadfast. Then he tells them whom they should fear. "Fear him who is able to destroy"--here is the stronger word, meaning to destroy totally, to be lost, to perish, to be annihilated. Fear Him who is able to thus destroy both body and mind--the entire being--in Gehenna.

This view of the matter brings out in full the encouragement and the warning of our Saviour's words to those whom He knew stood in need of much fortitude to withstand the terrible sufferings they were to pass through.

THE SOULS UNDER THE ALTAR

Rev. 6: 9, 10 is the only passage that remains to be examined as a stronghold of the popular theory of the immortality of the soul; that is of those texts in which the word soul is found; others we shall examine under their proper headings. Superficial indeed must be the mind that cannot see that, instead of this portion of scripture favoring the immortality and immateriality of the soul, it is directly opposed to such a theory. One would think that the fact of these souls being under an altar, and of their having blood would be sufficient to show that they are not immortal or immaterial. Suppose the words are taken in the most literal sense, we should, standing beside the Apostle John, see a heathen priest place a person on an altar, slay the person or soul, who in the struggles with death falls from the altar and under it cries out, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood (which we see running from the wounded soul) on them that dwell on earth?" What! Slay a soul! cries out the astonished immaterialist. How can you slay that which is immaterial? If it has no weight or dimension; if it cannot be seen or felt, how can it be put on an altar and slain, and how can it be said to have blood? We grant the force of the questions; but they are all based upon "if the soul is immortal or immaterial;" and if that were true the text would be inexplicable. But that is just where the evil is--in reading the verse with the preconceived dogma in the mind, and therefore allowing a distorted imagination to take the place of reason and Scripture. The apostle was not speaking of immortal, immaterial, bloodless souls. Such souls were only found in the myths of those who slew upon the altar souls that were real and substantial. Why be astonished at the idea of souls being slain, when it is said that "Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them and all the souls that were therein" (Josh. 10: 28, 39)? Why should it be thought incredible that souls have blood, when the prophet Jeremiah says, "In thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents" (chapter 2: 34)? To a mind in harmony with and familiarized with the Word of God the text in question presents no difficulty whatever in the way of the materiality and mortality of the soul. Neither is there anything in the fact of their crying out to prove that they were disembodied entities. We would ask the immaterialist, Have the souls of your theory blood? Can they be slain upon an altar? and the answer is, No. Then you have nothing to do with Rev. 6: 9, 10--in fact you have nothing to do with the souls of the Scriptures. Your sphere is in the realms of pagan and Roman myths whose heavens are filled with imaginary dead men's ghosts.

Now as to the real meaning of the verses in question, we have to take our stand along with the Apostle John before we can discern it. We must remember that the things John is seeing are "signified" to him, that is, they are shown by signs. In this way he is shown things before they actually come to pass. "I will show thee things which must be hereafter," says the Spirit to John (chapter 4: 1). In this way he saw the resurrection of the dead, and heard the redeemed sing the song of Moses and the Lamb after they had been raised; and he saw them live and reign on the earth with Christ for one thousand years (chapters 5: 7-12; 20: 4). So in the verses in question, he is relating the signs of what was to take place under the fifth seal, when the Roman persecution and martyrdom of the saints filled to overflowing the pit, as it were, under the altar with the blood of the innocents and faithful. John himself knew from experience that the cruel hand of persecution and death would be imbrued in the blood of his brethren, and his anxiety was to know the outcome. He first sees the scroll sealed with seven seals; and when he hears that no man is worthy to open the book, he says, "I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book" (chapter 5:1-4). Now the actual breaking of the seals and unrolling of the scroll are to be seen in the actual events that have transpired and will yet transpire in the world from John's time down to the fulfillment of the promise, "Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be" (chapter 22: 12). John, hoping to be one of those to be rewarded, and knowing that the reward could not be received till the coming of the Lord within the period of the seventh seal (chapter 16: 12-16), it is no wonder he was so anxious to know the course of events during the interval. His anxiety is soon ended by the information that the "Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, had prevailed to open the book to loose the seals thereof" (chapter 5: 5). Thus by signs he is shown what would take place, not in heaven, God's holy habitation, but in the earth and the political heavens thereof. To signify what would be the treatment his brethren would receive at the hands of Roman persecution, of whose cruelty he was himself a victim, the Spirit causes a panoramic view to pass before his vision showing him that faithful souls would be slain upon the altar of Romish superstition, whose blood would cry to heaven for just vengeance upon the enemies of God, His truth and His people. To show John that there would be a grand sequel to the dreadful drama that was being performed before his eyes, as the canvas, as it were, passes, a vision appears of those souls being given white robes, indicative of the glorious reward of immortality to be bestowed upon them by him who declared, "Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to every man (or every soul) as his work shall be."

The only shadow which the believer in the immortality of the soul can snatch at in this case is, that the souls are represented as crying out. "Can dead souls speak?" they triumphantly ask. To which it would be excusable to retort, "Can blood speak (Gen. 4:10; Heb. 12: 24)? Can the earth sing? Can fir trees and cedar trees rejoice (Isa. 14: 6, 7)? The common sense that can see in a parable or a symbol how blood can speak, the earth sing, trees rejoice and clap their hands, will have no difficulty in understanding how souls, though dead, can be represented as crying out for to be justly avenged of the cruelty of which they have been the victims.

There are some, however, who are possessed of common sense in common things, but who seem to be destitute of it when their cherished myths are in question. So long as men allow themselves to be intoxicated with the spirits of pagan and Roman beverages they can see nothing in this scripture except disembodied souls in a conscious state--alive and conscious because they are represented as speaking. But when the attention is called to the fact that John saw the "dead, small and great stand before God" at the judgment day; and that he heard them sing the song of Moses and the Lamb (Rev. 20: 12; 5: 9), they are able to see that men can be represented as having real bodily existence, and as singing while they are dead--some of them, too, before they are born; for in the view that John had of the resurrection there must have been a representation of some who would die between his time and the resurrection day.

Those who so stubbornly resist the truth, and so tenaciously cling to hoary superstition may be asked, Where is this altar under which these souls are seen? If you say heaven, then we ask, Is there an altar in heaven upon which souls are slain and under which they cry for vengeance? Perhaps if reason and scripture will not persuade you of the folly of such a foolish thing, the prestige of a famous "orthodox" commentator might have some weight. Dr. Adam Clarke, in commenting upon this text, says:

"A symbolical vision was exhibited in which he saw an altar, and under it the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, martyred for their attachment to Christianity, are represented as being newly slain as victims to idolatry and superstition. The altar is upon earth, not in heaven."

We are reminded, however, that "if men will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead," and so we conclude our remarks on Rev. 6: 9, 10.

We have now considered the scripture teaching concerning the soul sufficiently, we think, to convince the reasonable and candid mind that there is no foundation for the Platonic theory as held in the popular schools of theology in our day. That the oft-repeated phrase "immortal soul" is never found in the Bible is a simple fact that can easily be tested by anyone of ordinary intelligence. When it is seen that the Spirit of God never moved a single one of the "holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit," to make use of the phrase or anything equivalent thereto, reason will at once recognize the difference between the phraseology of the Bible and that of so-called orthodox teachers. The few portions of scripture in which the use of the word soul is supposed to sustain popular belief we have shown to afford no support whatever when carefully examined free from prejudice.

Of late years some zealous advocates of the theory finding the application of the word soul to the beasts of the field as well as to man, have surrendered the argument so far as the soul is concerned, and admitted that it is a word expressive of animal being and animal life and not of the supposed spiritual entity in man. Realizing that the day had gone by when papal bulls declaring that the soul is immortal would suffice for the absence of the dogma from the Bible they must find refuge somewhere, rather than abandon a doctrine upon which all so-called orthodox churches are built, and upon the retaining of which depend their clerical position, prestige and support. In the vain attempt to find the desired refuge, spirit is seized as being the word in the Scriptures expressive of the theory of man being an immaterial, immortal entity capable of disembodied existence between death and resurrection. It will therefore now be our duty to examine the Bible upon the subject of the spirit.

THE SPIRIT OF MAN--DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT IT IS AN IMMORTAL ENTITY?

In proceeding to consider what the spirit of man is, it will be well to give the definition of the word, one which we believe a careful examination of Scripture will support; and it is the use of a word in the Bible that must be allowed to determine its meaning so far as the subject under consideration is concerned. Dictionaries give the conventional meaning of words, and it is not always safe to apply such meanings to words found in the Bible--indeed, it is seldom safe to attach the same exact meaning to words in one age that has been applied to them in another, for there has been no uniformity maintained. The safest dictionary, therefore, of Bible words, is the Bible itself. The use made of any given word by the Spirit can readily be seen by comparing scripture with scripture, and conclusions thus arrived at may always be relied upon.

A SCRIPTURAL DEFINITION OF SPIRIT

Spirit in the Bible is used to represent a being, influence, disposition, mind, state of feeling, air, breath and life.

Spirit in the Old Testament is translated from two words, neshamah and ruach. The meaning of these words given by lexicographers is wind, breath, life, mind and intellect.

Neshamah only occurs twenty-four times, and it is translated breath, blast, spirit, soul and inspiration. Example, neshamah, translated breath:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul"--Gen. 2: 7.

"All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died"--Gen. 7: 22.

Neshamah translated blast:

"And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils"--II. Sam. 22: 16.

"By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed"--Job 4:9.

The word is translated soul in Isa. 57: 16 and inspiration in Job 32: 8.

The Hebrew word ruach occurs in the Old Testament over four hundred times, and is translated wind, breath, mind, smell, tempest and blast. For example, ruach translated wind:

"And God made a wind to pass over the earth and the waters assuaged"--Gen. 8: 1.

"The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away"--Psa. 1: 4.

Ruach translated breath:

"And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life"--Gen. 6: 17.

"Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust"--Psa. 104: 29.

Ruach translated mind:

"Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and Rebekah"--Gen. 26: 35.

"A fool uttereth all his mind"--Prov. 29: 11.

Instances of the word ruach being translated smell will be found in Gen. 8: 21: 27: 27; of blast in Ex. 15: 8; II. Kings 19: 7. Now it is clear that the original words translated in our Bible spirit do not mean immortal entity. If spirit as applied to living beings had such a meaning in the minds of the inspired writers they never would have applied the word to the beasts of the field. In Gen. 6: 17 it is said, "I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life;" and in this case breath is from ruach, the word that is most frequently rendered spirit. Again, in Eccles. 3: 19: "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth so dieth the other; yea, they (man and beasts) have all one breath." Here, too, the word breath is from ruach, and if our translators had maintained uniformity they would have given spirit instead of breath. In this same book, chapter 12: 7, they have given spirit, and the original word is ruach there, as it is in chapter 3: 19. It would not do to read, "Yea, they (man and beasts) have all one immortal entity." Yet if ruach or spirit means immortal entity why not so read it? Is it not clear that no such meaning was in the writer's mind? When Moses and Aaron exclaimed, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh," they meant the lives of all flesh. They certainly did not mean the immortal entities of all flesh. It is by the spirit of God the life of all living creatures is sustained. When that spirit is withdrawn from animals they die; and when it is withdrawn from men they die. Hence it is said, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts * * * That thou givest them they gather; thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath (ruach, spirit), they die and return to their dust" (Psa. 104: 24-29). By the spirit of God then the creatures live. While they are allowed to breathe and thereby appropriate the spirit of life to their use, the spirit is called their spirit or their breath; and if God "gather into himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust (Job 34: 14). Since it is "the Spirit of God that hath made man, and the breath of the Almighty hath given him life" (Job 33: 4), it follows that when God withdraws His Spirit it ceases to be man's spirit and man dies. Therefore the Psalmist says, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath (ruach, Spirit) goeth forth, he returneth to his earth and in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa. 146: 3, 4).

Now this is very easy to be seen when we compare the taking away of life with the giving of life. In the creation of man it is said that he was formed out of the dust of the ground, and the breath, or spirit, of life was breathed into his nostrils, and he became a living soul. God's Spirit is the essence of life. He imparts it to the creature for a time, and it is breathed by the creature as a means of receiving and retaining life. Then it is the life, breath, or spirit of the creature. When death comes, the breath, life or Spirit is expired, breathed out, "returns to God who gave it," and the creature, whether it be man or animal, is dead. The spirit that was given to man to make him alive is at death, taken from him; and as a result man becomes as lifeless as he was before he received the spirit.

"THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT"

The words of Eccle. 12: 7 are quoted by believers in the theory that the spirit of man is an immortal entity that survives the death of the body in a conscious state, as a text that is thought conclusive. It is only to a mind already filled with such a preconceived idea that the verse even seems to support the dogma popularly held. Allowing it to read as they would have it, thus, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the immortal entity shall return to God who gave it," it would have to be revised to suit the claim made; for the verse makes no exception. What then about those supposed immortal entities that are unfit to go to God, and that are supposed to go in an opposite direction? If it be said that Solomon is speaking of the good only, we answer, That is a mere assumption, worth nothing without proof. We have already seen that God takes away the spirit of the "creeping things" when they die, and is not the same true of man? Let the mind be freed from the bondage of a superstitious theory of an "immortal entity" and it will have no difficulty in seeing that the spirit that returns to God who gave it is the spirit that God breathed into man's nostrils to give him life. To produce life the spirit was given; to produce death the same spirit is taken away. The Spirit was not an "immortal entity" before it was breathed into man's nostrils; neither is it after it returns to the source whence it came.

The spirit that "returns to God who gave it" is not the man. It is not the he or the him; it is the "it." It is an it that was given to a him and at death is taken away from the him. It is therefore not the man that returns to God, for man never was in heaven and therefore could not return to a place he never came from. It was the spirit that was breathed into man's nostrils to make him a living man that came from God, and therefore it returns to God. It surely was not an immortal entity that was breathed into man's nostrils. It was not a being. It was not a person. It was that which in diffusion was capable of being breathed by the being, person, or man to whom it was given. It came to the man from God; in death it is breathed out into the great ocean of life or spirit and thus returns to God who gave it. The man himself to whom the spirit was given did not come from heaven, but out of the dust. "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2: 7). The first man is of the earth, earthy" (I. Cor. 15:47). Hence the statement in the verse in question, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was," is a simple declaration that the man that is out of the earth returns to the earth; which is in accord with the sentence, "Dust thou--the man--art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3: 19).

It is said that "the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord" (Prov. 20: 27). It is that which lights up, as it were, with life. When a candle is blown out its light is gone; darkness follows. So when the spirit of life is breathed out it is as if a candle were blown out; there is no light, no life, the darkness of death is the result. The breath or spirit goeth forth, the man returns to the earth and his thoughts perish (Psa. 146: 4).

Spirit being the essence of life it is used in various ways and applied to the various conditions in which life can be contemplated. Since there cannot be mind without life, mind is sometimes called spirit; and so with energy, disposition, etc. Hence it is said that Esau's marriage was "a grief of mind unto Isaac" (Gen. 26: 35). "Mind" in this case is from ruach. If it had been translated spirit, as it is in numerous cases, it would have read, "which was a grief of spirit to Isaac." But common sense would see that spirit meant mind. In Prov. 29: 11 it says, "A fool uttereth all his mind." It is said that when the Queen of Sheba saw the glory of Solomon's kingdom there was no spirit in her; from which it is readily seen that spirit is used for energy. It certainly is far from meaning that there was no immortal entity in her. When we speak of a haughty spirit, a proud spirit, a meek spirit, etc., we are giving expression to the various characteristics of man, the word spirit representing the minds of men in their various shades of character or disposition.

"LORD JESUS RECEIVE MY SPIRIT"

Stephen's dying prayer, as recalled in Acts 7: 59, is thought by some to be proof of the theory that the spirit of man is an entity separate from the body. Suppose we read it as such theorists would have it, it would be, "Lord Jesus, receive my immortal entity." This would not suit the theory, for it would not prove that Stephen continued to live after he was dead, since the next verse says, "He (Stephen) fell asleep." Reading the verse just as it is, with the mind freed from a false tradition, it is very easy to understand. When Stephen's spirit had left him he was a dead man; but he is in the resurrection to be made a living man again. To make him a living man his spirit will be returned to him. Left without the spirit he is a dead man; because "the body without the spirit (breath, see margin) is dead (Jas. 2: 26). In the possession of the spirit he will be a living man again.

Now to state the same fact in other words, when Stephen's life returned to God who gave it he died. When the time arrives to raise him from the dead to live again, his life will be returned to him. Stephen, therefore, in the hour of death, with the hope of living again, commended his life into the hands of Him who is the resurrection and the life, and who said, "He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live."

Some ask, Where did the spirit go when it left Stephen? The answer is given in Eccles. 12: 7--"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit (life) shall return to God who gave it." From God the spirits of all flesh come (Numb. 16: 22; Job 34: 14), and in death to God they all return; for it is in Him all creatures "live and move and have their being." Spirit, therefore, in the text under consideration stands for life, without which thought the words cannot be properly understood.

"INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT"

What we have said in relation to Stephen's prayer is true also of our Saviour's dying words, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23: 46). Having uttered these words it is said, "He gave up the ghost," or spirit--ezepneusen--breathed out. In other words he expired; he died. When Jesus had given up his spirit or life he was dead, having "poured out his soul unto death." But God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 3: 15), and therefore returned to him his spirit or life.

With the understanding that the word spirit in the Bible represents influence, disposition, mind, state of feeling, air, breath and life, its meaning in any particular text can readily be seen by keeping in view the context; and in those we have been considering it is clear that life is meant.

SPIRIT APPLLIED TO BEING

In our definition of the Bible use of the word spirit we have said that it represents a being. God is a spirit and yet we read of His spirit. He is everywhere present by His spirit; but He, who is a spirit being, has a "dwelling-place." Hence in the Lord's prayer we say, "Our Father who art in heaven." As a being, therefore, He dwells in heaven; but flowing out from Him as the center of the universe comes His spirit, in diffusion, filling, upholding and sustaining all things. When we speak of God as a being we have in mind Him "who dwells in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see" (I. Tim. 6: 16). He is spirit focalized, as it were, into being, form or personality while that which we speak of as His spirit is the effluence and influence flowing out from His presence. While we can in a measure "know God" to know whom is life eternal (Jno. 17: 3), we cannot fathom the depths nor ascend the heights of His unapproachable being.

There are created beings who are called spirits; for of the angels it is said, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation"? (Heb. 1:14). The angels having become spirit beings are consequently deathless beings; they "die no more" (Luke 20: 36). Notwithstanding that they are spirits, they are real, substantial personalities. They have appeared like men; have had their feet washed and have partaken of food (Gen. 18:1-4).

Now the difference between angels and men is that the former are spirit beings or bodies, and the latter are natural beings or bodies. The popular theory that men are spirit entities dwelling inside natural bodies make men to be like the angels now, which was what the serpent claimed would be the case if our first parents partook of the forbidden tree. "Ye shall be as gods," he said; and the believer in the theory that man is an immortal spirit must believe that the words of the serpent came to pass--indeed some of the popular leaders do not hesitate to say that every man is a god, because he partakes of the immortal nature of God. Very few, if any of them, will hesitate to say that when men die and thus escape the burden of the "mortal coil" they become as gods, immortal spirits. This theory is quite an invention in helping to prove that the serpent was right. It is an attempt to reconcile the words of God, "Thou shalt surely die," with those of the serpent, "Ye shall not surely die," by saying, Yes, they shall die, as God said; and yet they did not die, as the serpent said; for death was only the means of liberating the immortal spirit, which is the real man, from the body, and giving it its freedom to roam in the heavens like the angels or gods. What a good thing, according to this, it was, after all, that Adam sinned; for if he had not sinned he would not have died, and if he had not died he never could have been liberated from his body, he could not have become as gods to roam in the heavens above; so it was a good thing the serpent opened up the way by preaching the first popular theological sermon that was ever preached. Reader, are you prepared for this? If you are you must believe the serpent's lie and deny God's Word. If you are, you must believe the serpent to have been a good creature instead of a "liar from the beginning," a thing which, upon sober reflection, you certainly are not prepared to do.

We have seen that angels are spirit beings. That men are not like them now in nature is shown by the words of the apostle Paul, when speaking of man on this side the resurrection as compared with what he will be on the other side. He says, in I. Cor. 15: 44, "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. * * * Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that (is first) which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." Man is therefore first a natural body or being, and he may "afterward" become a spiritual body. After what? After the resurrection; for he says, "It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body" (verse 44). This is in harmony with our Saviour's words concerning the same subject--the resurrection--when He says, "They that shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20: 35, 36). On the other side of the resurrection, therefore, men who are worthy become like the angels, to die no more, having then been raised spiritual bodies. Of this spirit nature, which Paul says comes after the natural state, Christ is the "first-fruits;" for since God's plan is orderly, it is "every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (I. Cor. 15: 23).

By His power through His spirit God created all things and formed all creatures. In the halo of His spirit all creatures dwell, and by breathing it are sustained in life; and thus "in Him they live and move and have their being." So long as they thus live they have the spirit of life, consequently have mind, and may be in "good spirits" or "bad spirits." They may be of "haughty spirit" or "humble spirit." These are phrases descriptive of the various aspects in which living creatures are seen--all the result of "the spirit of God who hath made us, of the breath of the Almighty who hath given us life" (Job 33: 4). While these phrases, however, would seem to convey the idea of various kinds of spirits, being accommodative terms to express the various shades of human experience, primarily there is only one spirit--the spirit of God; and so long as the creature lives he breathes it; and therefore "all the while his breath is in him and the spirit of God is in his nostrils" (Job 27: 3), which is true of all creatures; for "they have all one breath"--ruach, spirit--Eccles. 3: 19. No room is therefore left for the tradition that the spirit of man is an immortal entity dwelling in the body in life and continuing to be a conscious entity dwelling out of the body in death.

 

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Chapter 15

The World's Redemption


Man Unconscious in Death
Resurrection the Only Hope of Future Life

Having seen that man is not an "immortal soul" or "never-dying spirit," we are prepared to accept the clear and unmistakable scriptures which say that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2: 7); that "the first man is of the earth earthy" (I. Cor. 15: 47); and we can understand the following testimonies:

"Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes"--Gen. 18: 27.

"Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?"--Job 10: 9; 4: 19.

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not." "Man dieth and wasteth away; yea man giveth up the ghost and where is he?"--Job 14: 2-10.

"He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust"--Psa. 103: 14.

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away"--I. Pet. 1: 24; Jas. 1: 10, 11.

It would be impossible to understand these testimonies and many more of the same character if man were such a "precious immortal soul" as he is claimed to be by popular theology. That he is mortal is the only view consistent with the Bible, reason, and the facts of human experience. "Mortal man" is what, therefore, he is declared to be (Job 4: 17).

Coming to see that man is mortal, we are able to understand the scripture use of the word death, and thereby see that "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned" (Rom. 5: 12). It is God's universal law that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). Our first parents having sinned, the "wages" necessarily followed; the penalty was pronounced, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3: 19). By sin they were stricken with mortality, passing from a happy, healthful state into one of sorrow, pain and death; ending at last in the darkness of death itself. The causes that would produce death were set at work in their physical nature as soon as the law of righteousness was broken. Thus the stream of human life, having been poisoned by sin at its head, has carried sickness, sorrow, pain and death down through all its channels, until universally it is "appointed unto men once to die" (Heb. 9: 27), and death has passed upon all men (Rom. 5: 12). It is safe, therefore, to conclude that, had not God's love moved Him to offer a means of redemption, all the race would have gone down to dust under the sentence, "unto dust shalt thou return," there to have remained eternally. This the apostle Paul assures us of when arguing so eloquently and so reasonably for the doctrine of the resurrection. "If," he says, "the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (I. Cor. 15: 16-18). "I know," he exclaims, "that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good." "O, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7: 18, 24). This is the universal cry of man. The spectacle presented by human life past and present is a world shrouded in the gloom of death, with its vast millions being carried down as by an ever-restless and resistless stream into the dark depths of the dismal grave.

When the apostle Paul speaks of the "mortal" he means the man, recognizing nothing as the man except that being which is "out of the earth, earthy," animated by the breath of life. This is what he terms "a natural body," and this natural body, he says, is a "living soul" (I. Cor. 15: 45). Of "natural bodies," "living souls" he says "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump" (verse 52). Redemption with him was redemption of the body--the man, without the remotest hint of a soul or spirit entity separate from the body. "This mortal," he says, "must put on immortality, and this corruptible must put on incorruption;" and this is the triumph of the plan of salvation--the swallowing up of death (by resurrection) in victory. Surely if the apostle regarded the body as a mere receptacle for the soul, which the soul could dispense with and be blissful without, his language concerning the redemption of the body was extremely extravagant. It is only by recognizing that he viewed man as a body and not capable of disembodiment that the force and eloquence of his language can be understood. Entirely ignoring a separate soul or spirit entity, he exclaims, "So when this mortal shall have put on immortality, and this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, then shall be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory." Of the transportation of the soul at the death of the body, popular theology says, "It mounts triumphant there"--to heaven, which if true, the apostle lost sight of when he made a glorious resurrection the "victory" for which he gives thanks to God; and it was in view of this resurrectional victory over death that he exhorted steadfastness and unmovableness, "always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord"--all because there is to be a final triumph over death, by resurrection, and not because of a disembodied triumph of the soul at death.

IS DEATH A FRIEND OR A FOE?

The writers of popular theology have "made a covenant with death" by persuading themselves that it is a friend instead of a foe. This is the logical sequence of the false and delusive theory that man is an immortal spirit entity dwelling in the body till death liberates him. If man is an entity capable of conscious existence separate from the body, and if as soon as death takes place every good man enters a state of happiness, and if death must take place before he can enter such a state, it follows that death is indeed man's very best friend, and the poet might well say:

"I'll praise my Maker with my breath
And when my voice is lost in death
Praise shall my nobler powers employ."

But this would put a premium upon sin; for it was sin that brought death into the world. It makes death the "gate to endless joy" instead of the "wages of sin" (Rom. 6: 23). The cunningness of the serpent has taxed its most eloquent powers in the use of enticing words in both prose and poetry to persuade men that the death which its words of falsehood brought upon man is, after all, a good thing. Sometimes it even has the audacity to attempt the justification of its words, "Ye shall not surely die," by saying:

"There is no death;
What seems so is transition,
This life of mortal breath
Is but the suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death."

But Nature protests against this and cries out, "Death is a self-evident fact. I am stricken with the poisonous fangs of death. I am sick, I am pained, I am dying. Had I all that the world contains how willingly I would give it to save myself from death. 'All that a man hath will he give for his life.'" It persistently refuses to be silenced by the sanctimonious rebukes and frowns of the ministers of Satan feigning to be angels of light; and knowing from experience and observation apart from revelation that it is right, it confidently answers back, declaring, "Death is a fact."

If it is too glaringly false to say "there is no death," the serpent's subtlet