The World's Redemption


Chapter 3 - 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.