The World's Redemption


Chapter 5 - 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.