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    Chapter Four. The Setting Up Of The Kingdom

    In regard to the act of setting up the kingdom, we come in direct conflict with the teachers of the doctrine of the Age to Come. And as we have to meet their arguments and objections as well as to present what we consider the truth on the subject, it is but right that we should give their views in contrast with ours, that all may the more readily judge between them.RDAC 61.1

    According to their views, as we gather them from the most prominent authorities among them, the Saviour first comes, and then sets up his kingdom in Canaan or Palestine, and when it is established, the kingdom, by agencies which we have never known them to indicate or define, destroys all the enemies of Christ (see Age to Come, by J. Marsh, p. 90), all his adherents having been immortalized. And then those that are left, belonging to neither of these classes; not friends nor enemies-not condemned by the law nor justified by the gospel; of course, too good to be lost, and too bad to be saved-are put on a new probation, and they again populate the earth. To the Jews, a national pre-eminence is given (the middle wall is re-built), the apostles rule over them, and all the immortalized saints act as priests to offer sacrifices (types of Christ’s sacrifice in the past!) for the sins of the probationers. The gospel (by types) will then save the nations, even as it now saves individuals out of the nations. The devil (the evil principle) is bound; sickness and death are mostly done away; peace prevails throughout the world among the nations, while the saints, who are priests and advocates for mortals, “rule with a rod of iron,” having “the high praises of God in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people” (see Age to Come, by Marsh, p. 89), and by the double process of advocacy and punishment, being at once advocates and executioners, Christ and his saints will, in the course of 1000 years, subdue all their enemies and bring all the nations into subjection to him, and thus the kingdom symbolized by the stone fills the whole earth. Then, having restored the kingdom or world to a state of submission or loyalty, Christ delivers it up to the Father (see Atonement, by J. M. Stephenson). The devil is then let loose for a little season, and in that little season overthrows the work accomplished by Christ and his saints during the 1000 years. The nations are deceived by Satan, even a multitude as numerous as the sand of the sea (who had previously been saved by the Age-to-Come gospel!), and they of whom it was said that they should not learn war any more, arc gathered to battle; and so successful are they in this brief warfare that they retake the vast dominion which had been subdued to Christ, and by him rendered up as a loyal “province to the Father,” and drive the saints back to Jerusalem, their starting point, which they besiege; and they are then destroyed by fire from God out of Heaven.RDAC 61.2

    They who read the authors referred to above, and others, must acknowledge that we have done their views no injustice in the above sketch. Mr. Marsh had “Jerusalem rebuilt,” as the capital of the kingdom for the Age to Come, and the New Jerusalem come down from Heaven at the end of that age. But what becomes of the old city when the new one comes down he does not inform us. J. B. Cook took the position that the New Jerusalem will not come down from Heaven, but a causeway will be erected between the new and the old, from Heaven to earth, and thus a Jerusalem will be located at either end of Jacob’s ladder!!! How he obtained this interesting intelligence he did not deign to inform us. J. M. Stephenson quoted Dr. Thomas to show that there is not any New Jerusalem really in Heaven, but that “Jerusalem which is above,” is above only in the sense of being exalted, which denotes the position she will occupy in the Age to Come. But if the word above signifies her honor and glory, and not her location, then her “coming down,” Revelation 21:2, must denote her abasement, or deprivation of that glory! This criticism of Dr. Thomas is not correct. Greenfield says in his lexicon, “Ano, adv., above; up, upwards, that which is above, higher.” Robinson says, “Ano, adv., up, upwards, above: i. e., (1) of motion, up, upwards. John 11:41; Hebrews 12:15, (2) of place where, up, above, Acts 2:19.”RDAC 63.1

    We come now to an examination of the Scripture view of the subject.RDAC 64.1

    Daniel 2:44: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people’, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”RDAC 64.2

    Two points of inquiry are raised on this text.RDAC 64.3

    1. What is the act of setting up the kingdom?RDAC 64.4

    2. When will it break in pieces the kingdoms of earth?RDAC 64.5

    We omit any inquiry as to when it will be set up, for when the action is once scripturally defined there will be no controversy in regard to the time. The subject of the second point of inquiry is noticed at length elsewhere, but it needs to be noticed also in this connection, as it will aid in settling the question of setting up the kingdom.RDAC 64.6

    The “God of Heaven,” of whom it is said in the text, he shall set up a kingdom, is the Father and not the Son, In 1 Chronicles 17, there is a promise given to David concerning his seed, which evidently refers to Christ, wherein God said, “I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish Ms kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne forever.” “I will settle him in mine house, and in my kingdom. Verses 11, 12, 14.RDAC 64.7

    The word establish is evidently used here in the same sense that the expression set up is in Daniel 2. It may also be used to denote the confirmation of that which is set up, and is so used in Isaiah 9:7. “Of the increase of his [Christ’s] government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even forever.” Now we have in definite terms the establishing of the kingdom ascribed to both the Father and the Son; and we must look to other scriptures to ascertain the precise work of each. That their works are different is shown in these promises. The Father said he would settle David’s seed in his house and kingdom, and establish his kingdom and throne; and the Son shall order it and establish it with judgment and with justice. The Father sets it up, and settles the Son in it; the Son orders and rules what he has received of his Father. This view is abundantly sustained by the Scriptures.RDAC 65.1

    Daniel 7:13, 14: 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,” etc. Here is the act of the Father-conferring the kingdom on the Son of man; and the consequence-all people, nations, and languages, serve him, or he rules in the kingdom conferred upon him by the Father.RDAC 65.2

    Psalm 2:8, 9, expresses the same idea. “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.”RDAC 65.3

    Psalm 110:1, 2, is parallel to the foregoing: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.”RDAC 66.1

    Luke 1:32, 33, says the same thing. “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”RDAC 66.2

    It will be noticed in all these passages that the only work ascribed to the Father is that of giving the throne and kingdom to his Son, thereby putting his enemies under his feet. All else-the dashing, breaking, destroying (his enemies), ruling, ordering, and establishing it, is the work of the Son. See also Luke 19:12, 15, where the Saviour likens himself to a certain nobleman who “went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded,” etc. According to the Age-to-Come teachers he only received something of which to make a kingdom. And it is utterly impossible to harmonize their view with the Scriptures; for they assert that it cannot be called a kingdom until the materials are gathered in order and arranged and established, and the Son is ruling in their midst; but there is not a text in the Bible that goes to show that the Father gives the Son a kingdom in any such condition. He has received the kingdom when he returns from Heaven; the kingdom is given to him when he is brought before the Ancient of days. If there is in all the Bible a single passage which ascribes any work to the Father, in the setting up of the kingdom, but that of conferring it upon the Son, or of investing the Son with regal power, we ask to be cited to such passage. And that work is certainly accomplished in Heaven before the second advent.RDAC 66.3

    Against the view here presented, that the kingdom is set up, and Christ receives his kingly power before the second advent, it is objected that as Christ is David’s son it would be inconsistent to have him commence his reign in Heaven, where David never reigned.RDAC 67.1

    But it is not wisdom to assert what is and what is not consistent for God to do, when we have the means of knowing what he has done and what he will do. There are certain facts revealed concerning the reigns of David and of Christ of which we should not lose sight.RDAC 67.2

    1. The New Jerusalem is the capital of the kingdom of Christ; but that is in Heaven, and will there remain till after the second advent. And there is surely no inconsistency in commencing his reign at his capital.RDAC 67.3

    2. David reigned only part of his time in Jerusalem, and never in the New Jerusalem.RDAC 67.4

    3. Christ was born heir to David’s throne; but, partaking of our nature, he died, as had David and all his sons. And, of course, what he gained by birth he lost by death, and his being David’s son would have availed him nothing had he remained dead. Thus, though born heir, he receives the throne by the gift of God, through the resurrection.” The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32. Sec especially on this point Peter’s remarks, “Therefore [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Acts 2:30, 31.RDAC 67.5

    4. David had many sons, but Christ was superior to David; for he called him Lord. And David will also be raised from the dead, but Christ will supersede him in the throne. His special right arises from his being Son of God as well as son of David, and being raised from the dead without seeing corruption.RDAC 68.1

    5. As he is the Son of God, so his throne will be in the house and city of God. Notice 1 Chronicles 17:14: “I will settle him in mine house, and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forevermore.” Also verse 12, “He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne forever.”RDAC 68.2

    6. From all this it is evident that no plea can be raised of informality; it was God’s kingdom, and he first ruled over it. When the Israelites desired a king, he said, “They have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7. David’s was a secondary right, held by sufferance. Many talk as if David had the first right, and as if everything was illegal that differed from his reign.RDAC 68.3

    Now no one will deny that, before the selection of David or Saul, the rider of Israel reigned in Heaven. And there is no reason that can be given why he “whose right it is,” should not commence his reign in the same locality. On the contrary, there is abundant proof that he does take the kingdom while yet he is there. How long he will continue to reign there can only be determined by ascertaining when the New Jerusalem will come down to earth. As that is the capital of his kingdom, the seat of power is of course determined by its location.RDAC 68.4

    The foregoing view of the setting up of the kingdom, and the commencement of the reign of Christ, is further proved by the fact that his people, the subjects of the kingdom, are taken to Heaven when they are redeemed. We invite the careful attention of the reader to the proofs on this point.RDAC 69.1

    John, in prophetic vision, saw a Lamb on Mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty-four thousand. By comparing those texts quoted under the head of “The Coming Judgments,” it is seen that the voice of God, when it shakes Heaven and earth, is heard out of Zion, from Heaven. Therefore, Mount Zion and Jerusalem are in Heaven. Again, said John, “I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia.” Revelation 19:1. This is after the Lord has judged Babylon, and “hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” Verse 2. And it is after the resurrection; for they do not sing their song of triumph till after that event. 1 Corinthians 15:54, 55. In Revelation 15:2, John says he saw the triumphant company stand on a sea of glass, having the harps of God in their hands, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. In chapter 4:1-6, in which is given a view of the heavenly temple, the sea of glass is before the throne of God. By reference to the work of Solomon, we learn that a “molten sea” was made with the temple. The expression, “a molten sea” well accords with John’s description: As it were a sea of glass mingled with fire.” As the work of Solomon, as well as that of Moses, was according to the pattern given, 1 Chronicles 28:11, 12, the antitypical sea belongs in Heaven, before the throne of God, with all the other articles typified in that work. Hebrews 8:5. There is where the saints sing their song of triumph: on the sea of glass, before the throne of God, on Mount Zion, in Heaven. Here is a harmony between the type and the prophetic view, and it is fully sustained by the promise of the Saviour.RDAC 69.2

    Said Jesus to the Jews, “Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” John 7:34-36. The Jews did not understand him, and said among themselves, “What manner of saying is this?” They knew it contemplated a departure from their midst, and thought perhaps he intended to leave them, and go and teach the Gentiles. Many at this day are as blind over this passage as were the Jews; but if they had noted what Jesus said in verse 33, they need not have queried whether he was going to the Gentiles, or to some remote part of the earth; for he said plainly, “I go to him who sent me.” “Where I am,” was spoken prospectively, and signified the place to which he was going. It did not of course signify the place where he then was; for the Jews were there also. But the Jews would not be able to come where he was when he went away; as Campbell renders it, “Nor be able to get thither where I shall be.” As if he had said, Thither, or to that place where He is who sent me, ye cannot come.RDAC 70.1

    Again, in chapter 8:21, he said, “I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come.” But the blindness of the Jews was proverbial, and again they inquired, “Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.” If he had gone to the Gentiles, they could have gone also; or if he had killed himself and they had died, as they must, the difference implied in the text would have been overcome. But, if he returned to his Father in Heaven, and they died in their sins, they could never go there.RDAC 71.1

    In chapter 13:33-36, he spake the same words to the disciples, except that he did not tell them they should die in their sins. But he said, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and, as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say to you.” The suppositions of the Jews are also contradicted by facts in their cases. The disciples both went to the Gentiles, and they died. But whither he was going, he explained again to them in chapter 14:12, 28, and 17:16: “I go unto the Father.” That this is fulfilled, that he has ascended to his Father in Heaven, it is not necessary to offer proof; but there is a promise based on these facts which we will now consider.RDAC 71.2

    This promise is recorded in John 14:1-6. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Where he went, we have already seen-he went to the Father; to the Father’s house, to prepare a place for the saints. But their hearts were troubled; for he had said to them as he had said to the Jews, that they could not come to the place to which he went. Now he continued: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” We have seen that the expression, Where I am, denoted that place to which he was going; hence, the promise is that when he returned he would take them to the Father’s house, where he was going. It may be supposed that this promise conflicts with his words in chapter 13:33; but the harmony is shown in verse 36, where he said, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterward.” This is a very plain statement, and justifies Campbell’s rendering of chapter 14:3: “I will return and take you with me.”RDAC 71.3

    On this exposition of these texts, we invite the criticisms of our opponents, confident that it will stand the severest test. We cannot imagine how any one can pretend to find any other view taught in these scriptures, and therefore must wonder at the pertinacity of some who affirm that Christ will not reign in Heaven, and that the saints will not go there. But not till they show that Christ ascended in mid-air, or in the clouds, and then returned to Palestine, there to remain forever, can we believe that the saints will only be taken into the clouds, and then returned to earth, without going to the mansions prepared in the Father’s house, whither Jesus has gone.RDAC 72.1

    Proverbs 8:21, has been quoted to prove that the saints will not go to Heaven. It reads: “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance.”RDAC 72.2

    That is quoted on the supposition that Heaven is unsubstantial; and it would be in point, if God himself, his temple, and his throne, were nonentities, and Christ had gone nowhere. But Paul said to those who suffered loss for Christ’s sake, “Knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” Hebrews 10:34. The city for which Abraham looked, “which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” is there.RDAC 73.1

    It being so abundantly proved by Scripture that the kingdom is set up before the advent, but little is required on the second point, viz.: When it will break in pieces the kingdoms of earth. In the remarks on the Destruction of the Nations, it is shown that they will be overthrown at the second advent. But Daniel 2:44, says the kingdom which the God of Heaven will set up shall break in pieces the kingdoms of the earth. Therefore, the kingdom is shown to be an efficient power at the time of the second advent.RDAC 73.2

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