The World's Redemption


Chapter 8 - 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."