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    February 24, 1896

    The Kingdom of God; or The Great Controversy Between Good and Evil


    W. W. Prescott


    “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them, to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him to destroy him without cause?” One would think that that would settle the controversy, but you never can settle anything with the right argument with Satan. “And Satan answered the Lord and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse Thee to Thy face.” “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold he is in thy hand; but save his life.”BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.1


    And you remember the experience of Job after this, how his wife urged him to curse God and die. But still he would not yield. “Though He slay me,” he said, “yet will I trust in Him.” “As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty who hath vexed my soul; all the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you; till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” Job 27:2-5BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.2


    And what did it mean? Here was a demonstration,-not simply to the few that might know of Job’s case, nor to all those merely that should read of his experience, but before the whole universe,-that God’s power of love was sufficient to hold a man in his integrity. Though his possessions, his children, his all was gone, yet the love that God had to him, and the love that had sprung up in his heart to God, were sufficient to hold him, so that he said, “I will not give up my loyalty though I die.” Job was working out before the universe how much power there was in the love of God.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.3

    Many times we have experiences that we do not and cannot understand. Why this affliction? why this loss? why this trouble? Do you not see that Job was before the Universe as a man that could be trusted to reveal the power of God’s love to hold him firm in his confidence, demonstrating that there is a power in God’s love sufficient to stand against trial?BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.4

    Did you ever wonder why it was that such a man as John the Baptist should end his life is he did. A great prophet, and yet he ended his life shut up in a prison. His head was cut off and his headless trunk buried by his disciples, and “they went and told Jesus.” What did that mean to Jesus?-It meant to Him and to all the on-looking universe, There is a man faithful unto death. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” The pages of history are covered with examples such as this. The martyrs of all ages have testified to the power of God’s love. And remember that martyrs may be found in very humble homes. It is not always in the noblest palaces that the most heroic deeds are done. God and His universe look on and see these witnesses to His love, see that they are not turned away from their integrity by the sophistries and machinations of Satan, but are faithful unto death.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.5


    In the experience of Christ Himself on this earth we have an example of the working out of God’s plan of government. The charge Satan brought in the beginning was that God was arbitrary, determined to have His own way, that He did not love any one. And when Satan had turned man aside from the way of truth, and was holding him in slavery, yet “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And by the gift of His Son God proved that there was love in His government, and that by love He desired to have His will done. In the love He had toward His created beings He gave His only begotten Son to make it possible that His will should be done on the earth. Christ came to this earth to work out this plan, that man might be loyal to God if he chose.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.6

    Then you see that when Christ came, it wasBEST February 24, 1896, page 60.7


    between Him and Satan. If Satan shall be in any way able to turn Christ, the second Adam, the representative of the human race starting out again, aside; if he can by any means overcome Him, he will triumph and establish his kingdom here. So upon Christ was brought to bear every possible temptation, and all the power of malignity that had been working in Satan for thousands of years. And to effect his purpose he followed Christ every step of the way from the manger to the cross. He was determined that Christ should not remain loyal to God while in his dominion. When it came to the cross of Christ’s experience, Satan instigated on the part of man everything that his malignity could devise. He urged them on to overcome His human nature, that he might make Him swerve from the path of loyalty. He tried to bribe him. “Acknowledge my right to the kingdom of the earth,” he said, “and I will give you all these kingdoms.” But this Christ could not do; for it was the very point of the controversy.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.8

    We come to the climax of the struggle in the death of Christ. Satan’s charge had been that God’s government was arbitrary and hard, and that he would give his subjects a better government. The universe looked on to see it worked out. The curse of disobedience rested on the earth, but Christ came to redeem it, “being made a curse for us.” Satan had urged on the Jews till they took His life, and thus Satan became the murderer of the Son of God. By His gift to the world God showed that He did desire His will-the law of love and filial obedience-to be done on earth as it is done in heaven, and in order to make it possible He was willing to give His only begotten Son to die. Satan showed that he wanted his own way badly enough that he was willing to become the murderer of the Son of God. All this was enacted before the universe, and how did it effect it?BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.9


    “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast; the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew; and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.... Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me.” John 12:20-32. And Jesus Christ, lifted up between heaven and earth on the cross, did draw both heaven and earth to Him. Through death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. It is not often a king gains his kingdom by dying, but Jesus Christ won both His kingdom and His subjects by dying, and He destroyed His enemy by death.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.10


    “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me.” When He was lifted up on the cross, and when He said, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost, all heaven heard; and wherever throughout the universe there had still been in minds thoughts of rebellion and lingering sympathy for Satan, that scene on the cross showed them that Satan’s government meant that nothing should stand in his way, and that to effect his purpose he was even ready to murder the Son of God. Thus they were drawn to God by His great love. Then the fate of Satan was sealed; he was cast out, and it was demonstrated that God is love, that He was governing by the power of love.BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.11


    And think you that if Satan would not hesitate to take the life of the Son of God that he will hesitate to take your life? Think you that his plan of government is any better now? Do you not see that it is loyalty to God or to Satan? Do you not see that we have either to put ourselves under Satan’s leadership and fight against Christ, or to put ourselves under the leadership of Christ to fight against Satan? Which side are you on? Which side are you choosing to-night? “Ye are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.” Who has your name enrolled in his book. Are you enrolled as fighting under the blood-stained banner of the Lamb, as a loyal subject of God; or as fighting under the black banner of Satan, against the government of God?BEST February 24, 1896, page 60.12

    This question of the two kingdoms is going on till Christ shall come the second time to take His kingdom. We are very near that time now. All one has to do is to read the Scripture and the signs of the times to know that it is near. Little argument is needed to show any one who will read the Scripture and the signs of the times that the day of the Lord’s coming is near and hasteth greatly. The controversy is in its height. Tremendous power is being brought to bear to hold subjects in the kingdom of Satan. He is bringing upon people every devise to hold them in the bonds of sin; to take their minds away from the realisation of the near coming of Christ, and fill them with pleasure and self-seeking. But Christ is at work in the earth, and is to-day selecting those who will be loyal to Him. And what does it mean to be loyal to Him?-It means toBEST February 24, 1896, page 60.13


    Christ has proclaimed the conditions of membership into His kingdom. He has sent His servants throughout the world, saying, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20. To-day they are preaching that the coming of His kingdom is near; and they are gathering out those who will be loyal to God.BEST February 24, 1896, page 61.1

    It costs something to be loyal to God now. It cost Job something; but there is a power in the love of Jesus Christ to hold; there is something in His love that will satisfy every longing soul, and fill with fatness all who will come to Him. The call is now, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.”BEST February 24, 1896, page 61.2

    The two kingdoms cannot be joined together. And yet there has seemed to be a tendency to try to make them run together. You cannot do it. They are perfectly opposed to each other; light and darkness will not mix. Love and hate are opposite characteristics, and will not co-mingle. At the crucifixion the cross of Jesus Christ made a separation between the repentant and the unrepentant, and to-day it makes the same division. And God is now sending forthBEST February 24, 1896, page 61.3


    for loyalty to His law. He calls upon every one now who will, to yield himself to obey the laws of His realm; and more than that, He has set up in this last generation a wonderful sign of loyalty. There is a special call to that portion of His law which has been set aside. “Hallow My Sabbaths.” “They shall be a sign between Me and you that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. In this generation the Lord has set up His Sabbath as a special sign that He created the heavens and the earth through Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3.BEST February 24, 1896, page 61.4

    The Sabbath is set up as a special sign of loyalty to God, of obedience to His laws, and of our belief in the creating power and the divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord. Shall we choose Him as our Lord, and step from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light? He is coming soon, and when He comes, He whose right it is to reign will reign. He has redeemed the earth, and He will save when He comes every one who has been obedient to His laws and has identified himself with Christ as leader.BEST February 24, 1896, page 61.5

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations and He shall rule them with a rod of iron and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:11-16. Is He our King and our Lord? Those who recognise Him now as King of kings and Lord of lords, will be prepared, when He is revealed, to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.BEST February 24, 1896, page 61.6

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