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    SERMON SEVEN

    THE KINGDOM

    TEXT: And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Daniel 2:44.OFH1 67.1

    THE second chapter of Daniel introduces five universal kingdoms which were to succeed each other. The first four kingdoms are earthly and perishable. The fifth is immortal, and will stand forever. The first four kingdoms are represented by the great metallic image, the several parts of which are composed of gold, silver, brass, and iron mixed with clay. When these shall be broken in pieces, and entirely removed, then will the immortal kingdom fill the whole earth. We will now call attention to Daniel 2:31-45.OFH1 67.2

    Verses 31-36: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.”OFH1 67.3

    But first let us notice some important points mentioned in this dream:OFH1 68.1

    1. The stone smote the image upon his feet.OFH1 68.2

    2. Then was the iron and clay, the brass, the silver and gold, broken in pieces.OFH1 68.3

    3. The wind carried them away, like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, so that no place was found for them. No language can describe destruction more complete.OFH1 68.4

    4. Then, and not till then, the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.OFH1 68.5

    Verses 37, 38: “Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art [or thy kingdom is] this head of gold.” Babylon was the first kingdom of universal empire. It was founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. See Genesis 10:8-10. It lasted nearly seventeen hundred years, though under different names; sometimes called Babylon, sometimes Assyria, and sometimes Chaldea. It continued from the time of Nimrod to that of Belshazzar, who was its last king.OFH1 68.6

    Verse 39 (first part): “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee.” The Medo-Persian kingdom succeeded Babylon. See chap. 5:28: “Thy kingdom [Babylon] is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” The Medo-Persian was the second universal kingdom, represented by the breast and arms of silver.OFH1 68.7

    Verse 39 (last part): “And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” In chap. 8:5-7, 21, we learn that Grecia conquered the Medo-Persian kingdom, and became a kingdom of universal empire. This took place under Alexander. Here, then, we have the third kingdom, which is represented by the brass of the image.OFH1 69.1

    Verse 40: “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” The fourth kingdom is generally admitted to be Rome. It is a universal kingdom that is to break in pieces all that went before it. Rome alone answers the description. That did have universal empire. See Luke 2:1: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Caesar Augustus was a Roman emperor. Here we have the fourth kingdom, represented by the legs of iron.OFH1 69.2

    Verse 41 (first part): “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided.” The Western Empire of Rome, between the years A.D. 356 and 483, was divided into ten divisions, or kingdoms: 1. The Huns, in Hungary, A. D.356; 2. The Ostrogoths, in Mysia, 377; 3. The Visigoths, in Pannonia, 378; 4. The Franks, in France, 407; 5. The Vandals, in Africa, 407; 6. The Sueves and Alans, in Gascoigne and Spain, 407; 7. The Burgundians, in Burgundy, 407; 8. The Heruli and Rugii, in Italy, 476; 9. The Saxons and Angles, in Britain, 476; 10. The Lombards, in Germany, 483. Thus the kingdom was divided, as designated by the ten toes.OFH1 69.3

    Verses 41-43 (beginning with last part of verse 41): “But there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”OFH1 70.1

    This language is descriptive of the state of the kingdoms into which the fourth kingdom should be broken. Some of them should be strong as iron, and some feeble as clay. Yet as iron cannot be permanently united to clay, so the stronger kingdoms shall not be able to annex the weaker to themselves in a permanent union. Nor shall the intermarriage of the reigning families succeed in causing these kingdoms to cleave together. Next come the words of the text, which distinctly point to the period of the setting up of God’s imperishable kingdom:OFH1 70.2

    Verse 44: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” The kings mentioned in the text are most certainly the ten kings, or ten kingdoms, of the divided fourth kingdom; for they are the subject of discourse. The phrase, “In the days of these kings,” does not refer to the days of the kingdom of Babylon, of Media and Persia, of Greece, nor to the days of Rome before it was divided into ten kingdoms. But it does refer to Rome after it had been divided into ten kingdoms, represented by the ten toes of the image. Therefore the kingdom was not set up at the time of the first advent of Christ. Neither could it be set up, according to the text, until the Roman kingdom should be divided into the ten kingdoms, which division took place between the years A. D. 356 and 483. The setting up of this kingdom is evidently a future event.OFH1 70.3

    The stone did not smite the image on the head, Babylon; nor on the breast, Media and Persia; nor on the sides of Grecia; nor yet on the legs, Rome Pagan. The stone did smite the image on his feet. But it could not smite the feet before they existed, and they were not in being till several hundred years after the first advent of Jesus Christ. We still wait for the dashing of the image, or the destruction of all earthly governments, before the stone shall become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, or the immortal kingdom be fully established in the earth.OFH1 71.1

    The stone has nothing in common with the image. Mark well the events here stated. The stone breaks the image, and it becomes like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carries it away so that no place is found for it. All earthly kingdoms are first broken, and cease to exist; then, and not till then, does the stone fill the whole earth.OFH1 71.2

    The kingdom here mentioned is not a spiritual kingdom established in the minds and hearts of mortal men. In no sense of the word whatever can it be said that the kingdom was set up about the time of the first advent of Christ. If it be said that the kingdom of grace was set up by our Lord Jesus Christ at his first advent, then we inquire, Had God no kingdom of grace before that time? If not, then Enoch, Noah, Lot, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets, have perished without hope; for certainly no man can be saved without grace.OFH1 71.3

    It is true that the phrase, “It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,” gives the idea that the kingdom of God, for a time, is contemporary with perishable kingdoms. And in view of this fact, many adopt the popular view of the spiritual reign of Christ, the conversion of the world, commonly called the temporal millennium. Some others, who reject the spiritual reign, suppose they have a strong-hold in this phrase for the mixed millennium, the literal reign of Christ on the earth with the immortal righteous of all ages, among the mortal nations. But we reject both these views as being opposed to the plainest declarations of the sacred Scriptures, and invite attention to one which we regard as scriptural and harmonious.OFH1 72.1

    The establishment of the eternal kingdom is by a succession of events, the first of which occurs prior to the destruction of earthly governments.OFH1 72.2

    1. The Son of God, at the close of his ministration for sinners, and before his second appearing, will receive the kingdom from the Father. In the seventh chapter of this prophetic book we read these words: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13, 14. This language describes a grand transaction in Heaven between the Father and the Son. The Son, at his second advent to this world, does not approach the Father. So far from this, that the apostle represents the Father as remaining in Heaven, and sending his Son. “And he [the Father] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” Acts 3:20.OFH1 72.3

    The words of the Psalmist are to the point: “Ask of me [says the Father to the Son], and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:8, 9. Before the Son makes his second advent to this world, he receives from the Father “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” The heathen are his, and the uttermost parts of the earth are his possession. Thus the God of Heaven sets up the kingdom by investing his Son with royal authority before sending him to manifest it in the earth among his enemies.OFH1 73.1

    2. After the coronation of the King of kings, the opening heavens will reveal him coming in grandeur and in glory, leading on the armies of Heaven to the last great conflict with the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth. See Revelation 19. “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.” His mission then will be to “judge and make war.” On one side will be the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies; and on the other side will be the King of kings, followed by all the holy angels. The armies of Heaven achieve a glorious victory. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth.”OFH1 73.2

    In Revelation 19 we see the complete destruction of all wicked men, or the dashing of the nations in pieces as a potter’s vessel, or the image broken by the stone, and utterly destroyed and removed like the chaff before the wind. The destruction of the enemies of the Lord, represented by the several names of “man of sin,” “mystery of iniquity,” and “that wicked,” is thus described by the apostle - “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8.OFH1 74.1

    3. At the second advent of Christ, the righteous dead will be raised, the living righteous will be changed, and thus the subject of the eternal kingdom will be made immortal. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. This is the first resurrection at the commencement of the millennium.OFH1 74.2

    4. The immortal subjects of the kingdom will ascend with their Lord to the eternal city, and reign with him in the judgment of the wicked a thousand years, during which time the earth will be desolate. We have seen from New Testament testimony that all wicked men will be destroyed at the second advent. See 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2:7, 8; Matthew 13:26-30, 37-43; 3:12; Luke 17:26-30. The prophets of the Old Testament clearly describe the desolation of the earth during the millennium. See Isaiah 6:8-11; 13:9; 24:1-3; 34:1-15; 28:21, 22; Jeremiah 4:20, 27; 50:32-38; Zephaniah 1:2, 3; 3:6-8.OFH1 74.3

    5. At the close of the millennium, the wicked will be raised from the dead. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5. They will then be destroyed. “And fire came down from God out of Heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9. Satan, and all the fallen angels, and all wicked men, will then be consumed by the fire of Jehovah’s wrath. Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. In the general conflagration of that time, the old earth and atmospheric heaven will pass away from the face of Him that sitteth on the great white throne. Revelation 20:11. “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also; and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10.OFH1 75.1

    6. From the old earth, melted and cleansed from sin and sinners, will come forth, molded by the hand of the great Restorer, the new earth, free from all the marks of the curse. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelation 21:1. Then will be fulfilled the words of David: For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be, yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:10, 11. And Christ refers to the same in his sermon on the mount. “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.OFH1 75.2

    It is at the close of the one thousand years of Revelation 20, after the final destruction of all God’s enemies, that “the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” “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.” Daniel 7:18, 27. Then will the kingdom in all its parts - the King, the subjects, the territory, the holy city being the metropolis - be complete. Then the stone will have become a great mountain, so as to fill the whole earth.OFH1 76.1

    We have seen that the establishment of the immortal kingdom will be by a succession of events. The kingdom in its first stage, when set up in Heaven, by the God of Heaven, is represented by a stone cut out of the mountain. When complete and fully established in the earth, it is represented by a mountain filling the whole earth. The kingdom, in its stone condition, is contemporary for a while with the perishable kingdoms of this world. Hence it is said that “it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.” Daniel 2:44. This accomplished, and the earth restored to its Eden glory, the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, will be the eternal inheritance of the redeemed.OFH1 76.2

    Contrast with this harmonious series of events in the establishment of the kingdom, that view which has the kingdom established on the earth when Christ comes, and the one-thousand-years’ reign of Christ with his people on the new earth. That view necessarily has Satan let loose on the new earth, after the saints, with Christ in their midst, have enjoyed its glories for as thousand years! Then Satan’s vast army, “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea,” is raised from the dead out of the new earth! and, with Satan at their head, come tramping up over the fields of living green on the breadth of the new earth! to surround the city of the saints. And to crown the absurdity of this position, fire comes down from Heaven and consumes the vast multitude of the wicked of all ages upon the new earth! In our opinion, the inconsistencies of this view have led many to adopt the mixed millennium, and follow on in the almost endless fancies of what is called the Age-to-Come.OFH1 76.3

    If it be objected that our view of the subject has the city of the redeemed resting upon the old earth before it shall be regenerated by fire, we reply: This may be in the plan of God, that all sinners may see what they have lost, that the redeemed may witness the terrors of that death from which they are saved, and that the assembled intelligences of the universe that have not sinned, may also be impressed with the holiness and dignity of the divine law, the penalty of which is death.OFH1 77.1

    Tremendous execution! Satan, and all the angels that revolted with him, and all men who have died in their sins, from the murderer Cain, down to the last sinner that shall refuse salvation, perish in the lake of fire poured upon them as they gather around the city of the redeemed to take it. How fitting a place will the old world be - the marks of the curse now doubly visible - for this terrible execution.OFH1 77.2

    “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley.” Zechariah 14:4. At the close of the millennium, the Lord will stand upon the mount of his ascension; and, after his voice shall call forth the wicked dead, the mount will cleave asunder, leaving a plain sufficiently extensive to receive the New Jerusalem. Around this city, Satan and his vast forces will gather to take it. And at the very moment of attack, fire from Heaven will come down upon them to that extent that the vast scene, necessarily covering a large portion of the old earth’s surface, is represented as a lake of fire and brimstone. Then “the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also.” But whether that portion of the earth where the city shall rest, having been prepared by a miracle of divine power for the reception of the beloved city, will remain unaffected by the fires of that day; or whether the melting earth and heaven, fleeing from the face of Him that shall be seated on the great white throne, Revelation 20:11. shall be removed from the city during their regeneration by fire, may not be important to the present discussion of the subject. Either of these can be done by the power of Him who will do greater things in the great work of the restitution.OFH1 78.1

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