“Forbidden by the Word of God” American Sentinel 8, 21, pp. 162, 163.

May 25, 1893

WE are asked to explain why it is that if a theocracy was a good thing for the children of Israel it would not be an equally good thing now. This is not for us to say. God has said that there shall be a theocracy no more until He come whose right it is; and then the dominion will be given to him. It follows that anything claiming to be a theocracy since the passing away of the Jewish theocracy, could be only man-made, and without divine authority. The government of Israel was a true theocracy. That was really a government of God. At the burning bush, God commissioned Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. By signs and wonders and mighty miracles multiplied, God delivered Israel from Egypt, led them through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness, and finally into the promised land. There he ruled them by judges, to whom “in diverse manners” he revealed his will, “until Samuel the prophet.”

In the days of Samuel, the people asked that they might have a king. Their request was granted, but only under earnest protest. “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”

God chose Saul, and Samuel anointed him king over Israel. But Saul failed to do the will of God, and as he rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord rejected him from being king, and sent Samuel to anoint David king over Israel; and David’s house, and David’s throne, God established for evermore.

When Solomon succeeded to the kingdom in the place of David his father, the record is: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father.” 1 Chronicles 29:23. David’s throne was the throne of the Lord, and Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king over the earthly kingdom of God. The succession to the throne descended in David’s line to Zedekiah, who was made subject to the king of Babylon, that perchance the kingship with the kingdom might stand. Zedekiah entered into a solemn covenant before God that he would remain a faithful subject of the king of Babylon. His name was Mattaniah at first, and when he entered into this covenant, the king of Babylon changed his name to Zedekiah, which means The Justice of Jehovah. Mattaniah gave his hand, and accepted this new name as the seal of the covenant with the king of Babylon, and in so doing pledged that if he should break that covenant, he would incur the judgment of the Lord.

Zedekiah did break this covenant, upon which the Lord said: “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die…. Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely my oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.” Ezekiel 17:16-19. And in recompensing this evil upon the head of Zedekiah, the word of Samuel to the people was fulfilled when he told them, “If ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.” For to Zedekiah, and to the kingdom forever after, God gave this testimony: “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.” Ezekiel 21:25-27.

The kingdom was then subject to Babylon. When Babylon fell, and Medo-Persia succeeded, it was overturned the first time. When Medo-Persia fell, and was succeeded by Grecia, it was overturned the second time. When the Greek empire gave way to Rome, it was overturned the third time. And then says the word, “It shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” And he whose right it is, is thus named: “Thou 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 forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33.

But that kingdom is not of this world, nor will he sit upon that throne in this world. While Christ was here as “that prophet,” a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, he refused to exercise any earthly authority or office whatever. When appealed to, to mediate in a dispute between two brothers in regard to their inheritance, he replied, “Man, who [163] made me a judge or a divider over you?” Luke 12:14. And when the people would have taken him and made him a king, he withdrew himself from them, and went to the mountain alone. John 6:15. The last night he spent on earth before his crucifixion, and in the last talk with Pilate before he went to the cross, he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36. Thus the throne of the Lord has been removed from this world, and will be no more in this world nor of this world, until, as King of kings and Lord of lords, he whose right it is shall come again. And that time is the end of this world and the beginning of the world to come. This is shown by many scriptures, some of which it will be in order here to quote.

To the twelve disciples the Saviour said: “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Luke 22:29, 30. As to when this shall be, we are informed by the Word in Matthew, thus: “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.” Matthew 19:23. And the time when he shall sit upon the throne of his glory, is stated by another passage in Matthew, thus: “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: and before him shall be gathered all nations.” Chap. 25:31, 32. By these scriptures and all others on the subject, it is evident that the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God, is not only not of this world, but is nevermore to be of this world. Therefore while this world stands, a theocracy can never be in it again. From the death of Christ until now, every theory of an earthly theocracy has been a false theory. And from now unto the end of the world, every such theory will be a false theory.

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