“The Kingdom of Christ” The American Sentinel 6, 48, pp. 378, 379.

That the “one undying enthusiasm” of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and of the National Reformers generally, namely, “that Christ shall be this world’s king,” in the sense of ruling over the world, or any part of it, in its present condition, is opposed to the plain teaching of the Scriptures of truth, will appear from an examination of a few texts bearing upon the subject.

Christianity was not established as a national system. Its redeemed will be “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9), but no nation in the aggregate will ever be saved. Even Israel, a nation ruled directly by the Lord under inspired leaders and teachers, never developed a generation of sincere believers. In establishing the gospel, James said that God “did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name.” Acts 15:14. It was necessary to have a separate people, with its priesthood and genealogies, both to represent in types the work of Christ, and to identify him as the seed of Abraham and the son of David, in fulfillment of the promises and the prophecies. But that necessity no longer exists, and therefore Christ “hath broken down the middle wall of partition,” (Ephesians 2:14), putting no difference between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 15:9), ordaining that “in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:35. The gospel of Christ is a gospel of faith—of personal piety. And the work of faith is a work of preparation for admittance to the kingdom of Christ; as Peter says “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us,” that if they add to their faith the Christian graces, they shall never fall, “for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” See 2 Peter 1:1-11. It is a denial of every principle of the gospel to talk of “Christ coming into his kingdom in the United States” by means of a popular vote or a constitutional amendment.

But many seem to entirely misapprehend the present position and work of the Saviour, and the nature of the authority which he now possesses by the gift of the Father. It is a fact plainly taught in the Scriptures that the Father, at different times, confers authority of an entirely different nature upon his Son. Christ himself makes an announcement of this fact when he speaks of his occupying two thrones at different times, and for different objects. We refer to Revelation 3:21, where Jesus testifies thus to John: “to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” The differences of these thrones, and of the objects of Christ’s occupying them, we will notice.

Of the Father’s throne we say:—

1. It is the throne of the dominion of the whole universe. “God, the Judge of all,” sits upon it, and before it must come the actions of all the subjects of the Creator, and from it must go forth the decisions which concerns the eternal destinies of his creatures.

2. That throne is in Heaven above. It is not, and never was, upon this earth.

3. Upon that throne Christ sits as a priest—a mediator or intercessor for our race. In this he fulfills the type of Melchisedec, who was “king of Salem, and priest of the Most High God.” Hebrews 8:1 says: “We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the Heavens.” See Paul’s argument in chapters 5 to 9. Christ is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, because his priesthood is on a throne—the throne of his Father in Heaven. In this it differs from the priesthood of Aaron. And only in this sense is he a king at the present time—a priest-king. All his present rule and authority is in harmony with his office and character of a mediator or advocate. It is not the authority of an executive, or of one who punishes sinners. His authority in that respect is in the future.

4. His occupancy of that throne is limited in regard to time; his priestly kingdom he will deliver up; his advocacy or work of mediation will end. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

5. We have no genealogy of Melchisedec, and, accordingly, Christ has no [379] predecessor or successor in his priesthood. He sprang from a tribe which could have no priesthood in Israel, and he alone is priest on the throne of his Father.

6. While sitting upon the throne of his Father in Heaven, he is expecting and waiting for a gift of power and authority of another nature. “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110:1. “After he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Hebrews 10:12, 13. His Father puts his enemies under his feet, but not till his priestly reign on the throne of Heaven ends. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Of his own throne we may say:—

1. It is the throne—not of his Father in Heaven, but—of his father David. “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32. “God had sworn with an oath to him [David], that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” Acts 2:30.

2. The throne of David was not in Heaven. The first dominion or rule over Israel as a nation, was from Heaven, because their government was originally a theocracy. But the throne of David was in every respect distinct from the throne of universal power whereon Christ now sits.

3. It is counted Christ’s own throne, because he was born heir to it, and his genealogy from David had to be preserved in order that his claim to it might be recognized.

4. His reign upon this throne will never end. “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 1:32, 33.

5. Jehovah promised to establish the throne and seed of David forever. “Also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.” Psalm 89:3, 4, 27. The Revision says: “The highest of the kings of the earth.” Therefore it was prophesied of Christ, David’s son, that, when the kingdom is given to him, “all people, nations, and languages should serve him.” Daniel 7:14.

6. David had no priesthood, and his son and heir can have no priesthood on his throne. As has been proved, the priesthood of Christ is on the throne of his Father in Heaven. Hence his reign upon the throne of David is not a priestly reign. When he is given power over the nations, according to the promise of the Father, the fulfillment of which he has yet in expectation, he will no longer be a mediator or Saviour of sinners.

The points of difference between the two reigns of Christ, and of the two thrones upon which he reigns, are plainly brought to view in the Scriptures. It is only by confounding the circumstances of the two reigns, and misapplying the Scriptures in reference thereto, that the “National Reformers” make their positions appear somewhat plausible.

It must be remembered that “his enemies are put under his feet.” When the nations are subdued under him, they are his enemies still. And what will he do with them when they are given to him? The second psalm answers this question: “Ask of me, 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.” And with this agree all the prophecies. Thus in Daniel 2, the kingdom of Christ is represented—not as converting the nations and incorporating them into itself, but—as breaking in pieces and destroying them. They are not brought into subjection to a mild sway of gospel peace; for there is no gospel grace offered to sinners after Christ ends his priesthood and receives his power over the nations. The kingdoms of earth will be dashed in pieces, broken, destroyed; they become as the chaff of the summer threshing floors, driven away by the wind, so that “no place is found for them.” To represent all this as the conversion of the nations, and their adopting the gospel of the kingdom as their “national religion” is to greatly pervert the Scriptures. It is crying “peace and safety” when destruction is impending. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.

Jesus said the saints will be rewarded at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14. The resurrection of the just takes place when Christ himself returns to the earth. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. At the coming of Christ, the saints inherit, or enter into and possess, the kingdom. Matthew 25:31-34. And they can not inherit it before the resurrection; for Paul says “that flesh and blood [man in a mortal state] can not inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” 1 Corinthians 15:50. Christ’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which can not be inherited by dying people; they must first be immortalized by the resurrection or a translation. God hath “chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.” James 2:5. They who are rich in faith, and love God, are now heirs of the kingdom, and they will inherit it when Jesus comes and redeems them from the bondage of corruption. See Romans 8:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:4.

This brief view will suffice to show the errors of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and other National Reformers, in their application of the prophecies. They propose to set up the kingdom by a majority vote; but God will in his wrath destroy the majority and give the kingdom to a “little flock.”

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