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    April 18, 1895

    “The Kingdom of Christ” The Signs of the Times, 21, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Christ was before Pilate, he said, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36. Christ did not refrain from fighting because his following was too small to cope with the Roman Government, because each one of his loyal disciples, together with himself, could have had a legion of angels at his back. Matthew 26:53. But his kingdom was not of this world, and could not use earthly power. The using of force would have been his ruin, for he himself said, “They that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.1

    There was a time when the disciples and all the people were going to take Jesus by force to make him king, and if he had consented, the whole Jewish nation would have flocked to his standard; but he would not listen to the proposition. Surely if the kingdom of Christ could be advanced by civil power, then was the time to make use of it. The fact that Christ would have nothing to do with it, shows what he expects of his followers. By allowing himself to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men, and suffering the cruel death of the cross, Christ showed how only his kingdom can be gained and advanced. Because of the suffering of death, he was crowned with glory and honor. Let none of the professed servants of Christ think to gain the kingdom in a different manner. To make such an attempt is to deny Christ and to make his sufferings of no account.SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.2

    Men have nothing to do with giving Christ his kingdom. All they are called upon to do is to yield themselves to the Holy Spirit, that they may be fashioned into fit subjects for the kingdom which the Lord God will give unto him. True, “the government shall be upon his shoulder,” but it is “the zeal of the Lord of hosts” that is to give it to him. Isaiah 9:6, 7. The Father has sworn to give unto him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession (Psalm 2:7, 8); but when he receives them it is that he may dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. But he will do it in person, and not by deputy.SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.3

    Christ himself showed how and when he was to receive his kingdom. He spoke a parable for the benefit of those who thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He likened himself to a 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,” etc. Luke 19:1-27. Christ has now gone to that far country to receive the kingdom. The receiving of it is described in Daniel 7:13, 14. When he comes the second time, he will come in his kingdom. Then he will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance upon them that know not the God. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Then will these that would not have him to rule over them be slain before him,—“punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” And when he shall have destroyed all the wicked, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:43. “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.4

    Christ is now sitting upon his Father’s throne (Revelation 3:21), reigning as a priest, and devising peace for his people (Zechariah 6:12, 13). He is the “one Mediator between God and men.” 1 Timothy 2:5. He is Mediator between God and men, not between God and nations. Moreover, his authority as Mediator is not that of compulsion, but that of love and entreaty. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20.SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.5

    Christ’s ministers are ambassadors, not judges nor officers in earthly kingdoms. The ambassador who should presume to interfere in the affairs of the country to which he is sent, or who should even express his opinion about the politics of that country, would at once lose his position. Christ’s ministers are sent as ambassadors to the whole world. They are to know nothing of nations as nations, but only to deal with individuals. Whether those individuals be in a palace or a hovel, makes no difference. Princes and peasants are all the same to them, so far as their mission is concerned, only they acknowledge constituted authority wherever they are. Of the affairs of nations, they have no opinion to express, for they are not sent to judge the world, but to save the world.SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.6

    The sum of the whole matter, therefore, is that, while Christ is supreme over everybody, and everything, he is to be left to exercise his supremacy in his own way and time. No men, not even his own followers, are to presume to exercise authority in his stead. He is indeed “the Prince of the kings of the earth,” but no man nor body of men is authorized to be his deputy in exercising dominion. Only divinity can exercise divine power. Christ himself uses no force, neither over men as individuals, nor over nations and therefore none of his followers can do so. He judges no man now, although all judgment has been committed to him, because there is a day appointed when all shall stand before his judgment seat. Therefore his followers are to “judge nothing before the time until the Lord come.” Until that time they are to be content to be in this world even as he was,—despised and rejected, pilgrims and strangers.SITI April 18, 1895, page 244.7

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