Its Redemption and Restoration
The Typical Kingdom of God
Two Phases of the Present Dominion
The Powers that be, Ordained of God
Nebuchadnezzar's View of Them
Daniel's View and Interpretation
The Kingdoms of this World viewed from another Standpoint
The Proper Relationship of the Church to Present Governments
The Divine Right of Kings Briefly Examined
Claims of Christendom False
A Better Hope in the Fifth Universal Empire
Man was created in God's image.
"Male and female created He them."
In the first chapter of the Divine Revelation, God declares his purpose concerning his
earthly creation and its government:
"And God said, Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
"So God created man in his
own image; in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.
"And God blessed them.
"And God said to them, Be
fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish
of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the
Dominion of Earth was given to Adam.
Thus the dominion of earth was placed in
the hands of the human race as represented in the first man Adam, who was perfect, and
therefore fully qualified to be the lord, ruler or king of earth. This commission to
multiply, and fill, and subdue, and have dominion over the earth was not to Adam alone,
but to all mankind: "Let them have dominion," etc. Had the human race
remained perfect and sinless, this dominion would never have passed out of its hands.
|God did not give man dominion over his fellow-men.
is not God's design
It will be noticed that in this commission no man is given dominion or authority over
fellowmen, but the whole race is given dominion over the earth, to cultivate and to make
use of its products for the common good. Not only its vegetable and mineral wealth is thus
placed at man's command, but also all its varieties of animal life are at his disposal and
for his service.
Had the race remained perfect and carried out this original design of the Creator, as it
grew in numbers it would have been necessary for men to consult together, and to
systematize their efforts, and to devise ways and means for the just and wise distribution
of the common blessings.
in the course of time, it would have been impossible, because of their vast numbers, to
meet and consult together, it would have been necessary for various classes of men to
elect certain of their number to represent them, to voice their common sentiments, and to
act for them. And if all men were perfect, mentally, physically and morally; if every man
loved God and his regulations supremely, and his neighbor as himself, there would have
been no friction in such an arrangement.
in which every man would be
a sovereign --
Thus seen, the original design of the Creator for earth's government was a Republic in
form, a government in which each individual would share; in which every man would be a
sovereign, amply qualified in every particular to exercise the duties of his office for
both his own and the general good.
|governed in harmony with the Supreme Ruler
of the universe, Whose law is love.
This dominion of earth conferred upon man had but one contingency upon which its
everlasting continuance depended; and that was that this divinely-conferred rulership be
always exercised in harmony with the Supreme Ruler of the universe, whose one law, briefly
stated, is Love.
"Love is the fulfilling of
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind;...and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Romans 13:10; Matthew 22:37-40
|Adams disobedience forfeited his life
Concerning this great favor conferred upon man, David, praising God, says:
"Thou madest him a little
lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor; thou madest him to have
dominion over the works of thy hands." Psalms 8:5,6
dominion given to mankind in the person of Adam was the first establishment of the Kingdom
of God on the earth. Man thus exercised dominion as God's representative. But man's
disobedience to the Supreme Ruler forfeited not only his life, but also all his rights and
privileges as God's representative ruler of earth.
thenceforth a rebel, dethroned and condemned to death. Then speedily the kingdom of God on
earth ceased, and has not since been established, except for a short time, in a typical
manner, in Israel. Although in Eden man lost his right to life and dominion, neither was
taken from him suddenly; and while the condemned life lasts man is permitted to exercise
the dominion of earth according to his own ideas and ability, until God's due time for him
whose right it is to take the dominion which he purchased.
|Our Lords death purchased man
and his dominion.
Our Lord's death redeemed or purchased not only man, but also all his original
inheritance, including the dominion of earth. Having purchased it, the title is now in
him: he is now the rightful heir, and in due time, and shortly, he will take possession of
his purchase. Ephesians 1:14
But as he bought man not for the sake of
holding him as his slave, but that he might restore him to his former estate, so with the
dominion of earth: he purchased it and all of man's original blessings for the purpose of
restoring them when man is again made capable of exercising them in harmony with the will
of God. Hence the reign of Messiah on earth will not be everlasting.
continue only until, by his strong iron rule, he will have put down all rebellion and
insubordination, and restored the fallen race to the original perfection, when they will
be fully capable of rightly exercising the dominion of earth as originally designed. When
thus restored, it will again be the Kingdom of God on earth, under man, God's appointed
Israel was typical
of the promised
During the Jewish age God organized the people of Israel as his kingdom, under Moses and
the Judges--a sort of Republic-- but it was typical only. And the more despotic rule
afterward established, especially under David and Solomon, was in some respects typical of
the kingdom promised, when Messiah should reign. Unlike the surrounding nations, Israel
had Jehovah for their King, and their rulers nominally served under him, as we learn from
This is quite definitely stated in 2 Chronicles 13:8 and
1 Chronicles 29:23, where Israel is called "the Kingdom of the Lord," and where
it is said that Solomon "sat on the THRONE OF THE LORD, instead of David his
father," who sat upon or exercised the rule of the same throne for the forty years
previous, following Saul, the first king.
|The typical kingdom
When the people of Israel transgressed against the Lord, he chastised them repeatedly,
until finally he took away their kingdom entirely. In the days of Zedekiah, the last who
reigned of the line of David, the scepter of royal power was removed. There the typical
kingdom of God was overthrown.
the rightful heir,
Since A.D. 70 Israel has
among all nations.
The kingdom of Israel is the only one, since the fall, which God ever recognized as in any
way representing his government, laws, etc. There had been many nations before theirs, but
no other could rightfully claim God as its founder, or that its rulers were God's
When the diadem was taken from Zedekiah and the kingdom of Israel was overturned, it was
decreed that it should remain overturned until Christ, the rightful heir of the world,
should come to claim it. Thus, inferentially, all other kingdoms in power until the
re-establishment of God's kingdom are branded "kingdoms of this world," under
the "prince of this world"; and hence any claims put forth by any of them to
being kingdoms of God are spurious.
this Kingdom of God "SET UP" at the first advent of Christ. Luke 19:12 Then and
since then God has been selecting from the world those who shall be accounted worthy to
reign with Christ as joint-heirs of that throne. Not until his second advent will Christ
take the kingdom, the power and the glory, and reign Lord of all.
The Arch of Titus, Rome, Italy
The Arch of Titus, on which the Jewish
menorah taken from the Temple in Jerusalem is depicted, commemorates Titus capture of
Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
|All other kingdoms are styled
of this World."
All other kingdoms than that of Israel are Scripturally called heathen or Gentile
kingdoms--"the kingdoms of this world," under the "prince of this
world"--Satan. The removal of God's kingdom in the days of Zedekiah left the world
without any government of which God could approve, or whose laws or affairs he specially
The Gentile governments God recognized indirectly, in that he publicly declares his decree
(Luke 21:24) that during the interregnum the control of Jerusalem and the world should be
exercised by Gentile governments.
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until
the times of
the Gentiles be fulfilled."
to govern himself.
This interregnum, or intervening period of time between the removal of God's scepter and
government and the restoration of the same in greater power and glory in Christ, is
Scripturally termed "The Times of the Gentiles." And these "times" or
years, during which the "kingdoms of this world" are permitted to rule, are
fixed and limited, and the time for the re-establishment of God's Kingdom under Messiah is
equally fixed and marked in Scripture.
Evil as these Gentile governments have been, they were permitted
or "ordained of God" for a wise purpose. Romans 13:1 Their imperfection and
misrule form a part of the general lesson on the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and prove
the inability of fallen man to govern himself, even to his own satisfaction.
them, in the main, to carry out their own purposes as they may be able, overruling them
only when they would interfere with his plans. He designs that eventually all shall work
for good, and that finally even the "wrath of man shall praise him." The
remainder, that would work no good, serve no purpose or teach no lesson, he restrains.
|Satan misrepresented Gods character
and blinded men
to the truth.
Man's inability to establish a perfect government is attributable to his own weaknesses in
his fallen, depraved condition. These weaknesses, which of themselves would thwart human
efforts to produce a perfect government, have also been taken advantage of by Satan, who
first tempted man to disloyalty to the Supreme Ruler.
continually taken advantage of man's weaknesses, made good to appear evil, and evil to
appear good; and he has misrepresented God's character and plans and blinded men to the
truth. Thus working in the hearts of the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2), he has
led them captive at his will and made himself what our Lord and the apostles call him--the
prince or ruler of this world. John 14:30; 12:31
He is not
the prince of this world by right, but by usurpation; through fraud and deception and
control of fallen men. It is because he is a usurper that he will be summarily deposed.
Had he a real title as prince of this world, he would not thus be dealt with.
|When the Gentile Times expire,
Satan will be bound and overthrown.
Thus it will be seen that the dominion of earth, as at present exercised, has both an
invisible and a visible phase. The former is the spiritual, the latter the human
phase--the visible earthly kingdoms measurably under the control of a spiritual prince,
It was because Satan possessed such control that he could offer to make our Lord the
supreme visible sovereign of the earth under his direction. Matthew 4:9 When the Times of
the Gentiles expire, both phases of the present dominion will terminate: Satan will be
bound and the kingdoms of this world will be overthrown.
The fallen, blinded, groaning creation has for centuries plodded along its weary way,
defeated at every step, even its best endeavors proving fruitless, yet ever hoping that
the golden age dreamed of by its philosophers was at hand. It knows not that a still
greater deliverance than that for which it hopes and groans is to come through the
despised Nazarene and his followers, who as the Sons of God will shortly be manifested in
kingdom power for its deliverance. Romans 8:22,19
In order that his
children should not be in darkness relative to his permission of present evil governments
and concerning his ultimate design to bring in a better government when these kingdoms,
under his overruling providence, shall have served the purpose for which they were
permitted, God has given us, through his prophets, several grand panoramic views of the
"kingdoms of this world," each time showing, for our encouragement, their
overthrow by the establishment of his own righteous and everlasting kingdom under the
Messiah, the Prince of Peace.
the world empires permission to rule.
That man's present effort to exercise dominion is not in successful defiance of Jehovah's
will and power, but by his permission, is shown by God's message to Nebuchadnezzar,
wherein God gives permission to rule, until the time for the setting up of Christ's
kingdom, to the four great empires, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Daniel
This shows where this lease of the dominion will end.
Daniel's Four Universal Kingdoms
As we now glance at these prophetic views, let us remember that
they begin with Babylon at the time of the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel, the typical
kingdom of the Lord.
of Earth's Governments
those things "written aforetime for our edification," that we, who are commanded
to be subject to the powers that be, might through patience and comfort of the Scriptures
have hope (Romans 15:4; 13:1), is the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and its divine
interpretation through the Prophet. Daniel 2:31-45
Daniel explained the dream, saying:
O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was
excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs
of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet
that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold broken to pieces together, and
became like the chaff
of the summer threshing- floors;
wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the
image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
the dream, and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and
strength, and glory.
[There the Gentile kingdoms, or powers that be, were ordained of God.]
wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven
hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head
after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee [silver], and another third
kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth
all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron, the kingdom
shall be mixed; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron: forasmuch as thou
sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay.
the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly
strong and partly brittle."
Four Universal Empires
Four Universal Empires
student of history can readily trace, among the many smaller empires of earth which have
arisen, the four above described by Daniel. These are termed UNIVERSAL EMPIRES--Babylon,
first, the head of gold (verse 38); Medo-Persia, conqueror of Babylon, second, the breast
of silver; Greece, conqueror of Medo-Persia, third, the belly of brass; and Rome, fourth,
the strong kingdom, the iron legs and clay-mixed feet.
these empires had passed away, and the fourth, the Roman, held universal sway, at the time
of our Lord's birth, as we read,
"There went out a decree from
Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." Luke 2:1
empire, Rome, was by far the strongest, and endured longer than its predecessors. In fact,
the Roman Empire still continues, as represented in the nations of Europe. This division
is represented in the ten toes of the image. The clay element blended with the iron in the
feet represents the mixture of church and state. This mixture is in the Scriptures termed
shall presently see, stone is the symbol of the true Kingdom of God, and Babylon
substituted an imitation of stone, clay which it has united with the fragmentary
remains of the [iron] Roman Empire. And this mixed system--church and state--the Church
nominal wedded to the kingdoms of this world, which the Lord calls Babylon, confusion,
presumes to call itself Christendom--Christ's Kingdom. Daniel explains:
"Whereas thou sawest iron
mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men [church and world
blend--Babylon], but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with
They cannot thoroughly amalgamate.
"And in the days of these
kings [the kingdoms represented by the toes, the so-called "Christian kingdoms"
or "Christendom"] 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." Daniel
does not here state the time for the end of these Gentile governments: that we find
elsewhere; but every foretold circumstance indicates that today the end is nigh, even at
the doors. The Papal system has long claimed that it is the kingdom which the God of
heaven here promised to set up, and that, in fulfillment of this prophecy, it did break in
pieces and consume all other kingdoms.
truth, however, is that the nominal Church merely united with earthly empires as the clay
with the iron, and that Papacy never was the true Kingdom of God, but merely a counterfeit
One of the best
evidences that Papacy did not destroy and consume these earthly kingdoms is that they
still exist. And now that the miry clay has become dry and "brittle," it is
losing its adhesive power, and the iron and clay show signs of dissolution, and will
quickly crumble when smitten by the "stone," the true Kingdom.
interpretation, Daniel states:
"Forasmuch as thou sawest
that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the
iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God hath made known to the
king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain and the interpretation
cut out of the mountain without hands, which smites and scatters the Gentile powers,
represents the true Church, the Kingdom of God. During the Gospel age this
"stone" kingdom is being formed, "cut out," carved and shaped for its
future position and greatness--not by human hands, but by the power or spirit of the
truth, the invisible power of Jehovah.
complete, when entirely cut out, it will smite and destroy the kingdoms of this world. Not
the people, but the governments, are symbolized by the image, and these are to be
destroyed that the people may be delivered. Our Lord Jesus came not to destroy men's
lives, but to save them. John 3:17
|The stone cut out of a mountain represents the kingdom of God...
The stone, during its preparation, while being cut out, might be called an embryo
mountain, in view of its future destiny; so, too, the Church could be, and sometimes is,
called the Kingdom of God. In fact, however, the stone does not become the mountain until
it has smitten the image; and so the Church, in the full sense, will become the Kingdom to
fill the whole earth when "the day of the Lord," the "day of wrath upon the
nations" or "time of trouble," will be over, and when it will be
established and all other dominions have become subservient to it.
Call to mind now
the promise made by our Lord to the overcomers of the Christian Church:
"To him that overcometh will
I grant to sit with me in my throne"--"and he that overcometh and keepeth my
works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with
a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as
I received of my Father." Revelation 3:21; 2:26,27; Psalms 2:8-12
that smote the governments will heal the people.
When the iron rod has accomplished the work of destruction, then will the hand that smote
be turned to heal, and the people will return to the Lord, and he shall heal them (Isaiah
19:22; Jeremiah 3:22,23; Hosea 6:1; 14:4; Isaiah 2:3), giving them beauty for ashes, the
oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
|Nebuchadnezzars dream represents the worlds viewpoint.
Daniel's Vision of Earthly Governments
Nebuchadnezzar's vision we see the empires of earth, as viewed from the world's
standpoint, to be an exhibition of human glory, grandeur, and power; though in it we also
see an intimation of their decay and final destruction, as expressed in the deterioration
from gold to iron and clay.
Emperor Diocletian (245-313 A.D.)
The stone class, the true Church, during its selection or taking out of the mountain, has
been esteemed by the world as of no value. It has been despised and rejected of men. They
see no beauty in it that they should desire it. The world loves, admires, praises and
defends the rulers and governments represented in this great image, though it has been
continually disappointed, deceived, wounded and oppressed by them.
The world extols,
in prose and verse, the great and successful agents of this image, its Alexanders,
Caesars, Bonapartes and others, whose greatness showed itself in the slaughter of their
fellowmen, and who, in their lust for power, made millions of widows and orphans. And such
is still the spirit which exists in the "ten toes" of the image, as we see it
exhibited today in their marshaled hosts of more than twelve millions of men armed with
every fiendish device of modern ingenuity, to slaughter one another at the command of
"the powers that be."
The proud are now called happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up in power.
Malachi 3:15 Can we not see, then, that the destruction of this great image by the smiting
of the stone, and the establishment of God's kingdom, mean the liberating of the oppressed
and the blessing of all? Though for a time the change will cause disaster and trouble, it
will finally yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness.
|Daniels dream represents
in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. And
four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
"The first was like
a lion and had eagle's wings;
...and behold another beast, a second, like a bear;.
..and lo another, like a leopard....
"After this I saw in
the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong
exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth.
"It devoured and brake
in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the
beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." Daniel 7:2-7
But now, calling to mind the difference of standpoint, let us look at the same four
universal empires of earth from the standpoint of God and those in harmony with him, as
portrayed in vision to the beloved prophet Daniel. As to us these kingdoms appear
inglorious and beastly, so to him these four universal empires were shown as four great
and ravenous wild beasts. And to his view the coming Kingdom of God (the stone) was
proportionally grander than as seen by Nebuchadnezzar.
| Lion =
| Leopard =
4th Beast =
The details relative to the first three beasts (Babylon the lion, Medo-Persia the bear,
and Greece the leopard), with their heads, feet, wings, etc., all of which are symbolic,
we pass by, as of less importance in our present examination than the details of the
fourth beast, Rome.
Dreadful and Terrible Shown
fourth beast, Rome, Daniel says:
The "Dreadful Beast"
"After this I saw in the
night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong
exceedingly;...and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up
among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up
by the roots; and, behold, in this horn were eyes, like the eyes of man, and a mouth
speaking great things." Daniel 7:7,8
The three horns of the Roman Empire
The "Little Horn"
Here the Roman Empire is shown; and the divisions of its power are shown in the ten horns,
a horn being a symbol of power. The little horn which arose among these, and which
appropriated the power of three of them to itself, and ruled among the others, represents
the small beginning and gradual rise to power of the Church of Rome, the Papal power or
As it rose in influence, three of the divisions, horns or powers of the Roman Empire (the
Heruli, the Eastern Exarchate and the Ostrogoths) were plucked out of the way to make room
for its establishment as a civil power or horn. This last specially notable horn, Papacy,
is remarkable for its eyes, representing intelligence, and for its mouth--its utterances,
its claims, etc.
To this fourth beast, representing Rome, Daniel gives no descriptive name. While the
others are described as lion-like, bear-like and leopard-like, the fourth was so ferocious
and hideous that none of the beasts of earth could be compared with it. John the
Revelator, seeing in vision the same symbolic beast (government), was also at a loss for a
name by which to describe it, and finally gives it several. Among others, he called it
"the Devil." Revelation 12:9
He certainly chose an appropriate name;
for Rome, when viewed in the light of its bloody persecutions, certainly has been the most
devilish of all earthly governments. Even in its change from Rome Pagan to Rome Papal it
illustrated one of Satan's chief characteristics; for he also transforms himself to appear
as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), as Rome transformed itself from heathenism and
claimed to be Christian --the Kingdom of Christ.*
|*The fact that Rome is called
"the Devil" by no means disproves a personal devil: rather the reverse. It is
because there are such beasts as lions, bears and leopards, with known characteristics,
that governments were likened to them: and so, it is because there is a Devil, with known
characteristics, that the fourth empire is likened to him.
The Beast and
the Little Horn
are gradually destroyed.
After giving some details regarding this last or Roman beast, and
especially of its peculiar or Papal horn, the Prophet states that judgment against this
horn would be rendered, and it would begin to lose its dominion, which would be consumed
by gradual process until the beast should be destroyed.
will be slain
by the rising
of the masses
in the Day
of the Lord.
This beast or Roman Empire in its horns or divisions still exists, and will be slain by
the rising of the masses of the people, and the overthrow of governments, in the "Day
of the Lord," preparatory to the recognition of the heavenly rulership. This is
clearly shown from other scriptures yet to be examined. However, the consuming of the
Papal horn comes first. Its power and influence began to consume when Napoleon took the
Pope prisoner to France.
Then, when neither the curses of the Popes nor their prayers delivered them from
Bonaparte's power, it became evident to the nations that the divine authority and power
claimed by the Papacy were without foundation. After that, the temporal power of the
Papacy waned rapidly until, in September, 1870, it lost the last vestige of its temporal
power at the hands of Victor Emmanuel.
Nevertheless, during all that time in which it was being "consumed," it kept
uttering its great swelling words of blasphemy, its last great utterance being in 1870,
when, but a few months before its overthrow, it made the declaration of the infallibility
of the Popes. All this is noted in the prophecy:
|Great swelling words of the
"I beheld then [i.e.,
after the decree against this 'horn,' after its consumption had begun] because of the
voice of the GREAT WORDS which the horn spake." Daniel 7:11
|The fourth empire
will go into
utter destruction symbolized by the lake of fire.
Thus we are brought down in history to our own day, and made to see that the thing to be
expected, so far as the empires of the earth are concerned, is their utter destruction.
The next thing in order is described by the words, "I beheld even till the beast was
slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame."
The slaying and
burning are symbols, as well as the beast itself, and signify the utter and hopeless
destruction of present organized government. In verse 12 the prophet notes a difference
between the end of this fourth beast and its predecessors. They three successively
(Babylon, Persia and Greece) had their dominion taken from them; they ceased to hold the
ruling power of earth; but their lives as nations did not cease immediately.
and Persia still have some life, though it is long centuries since universal dominion
passed from their grasp. Not so, however, with the Roman Empire, the fourth and last of
these beasts. It will lose dominion and life at once, and go into utter destruction; and
with it the others will pass away also.
|The Fifth Universal Empire (the Kingdom of God)
is to be
an everlasting dominion.
No matter what may be the means or instrumentality used, the cause of this fall will be
the establishment of the Fifth Universal Empire of earth, the Kingdom of God, under
Christ, whose right it is to take the dominion. The transfer of the kingdom from the
fourth beast, which for its appointed time was "ordained of God," to the fifth
kingdom, under the Messiah, when its appointed season has come, is described by the
Prophet in these words:
"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 unto him
[the Christ--head and body complete] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people,
nations and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which
shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
This the angel interpreted to mean
"The kingdom and dominion,
and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of
the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; and all dominions
shall serve and obey him."
|"For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his
I Corinthians 15:25
Thus seen, the dominion of earth is to be placed in the hands of Christ by Jehovah
("the Ancient of days"), who shall "put all things under his feet." 1
Corinthians 15:27 Thus enthroned over God's kingdom, he must reign until he shall have put
down all authority and power in conflict with the will and law of Jehovah.
To the accomplishment of
this great mission, the overthrow of these Gentile governments is first necessary; for the
"kingdoms of this world," like the "prince of this world," will not
surrender peaceably, but must be bound and restrained by force.
it is written,
"To bind their kings with
chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written;
this honor have all his saints." Psalms 149:8,9
|"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10
Thy Kingdom Come
As we thus view present governments from the standpoint of our Lord and of the Prophet
Daniel, and realize their ferocious, destructive, beastly and selfish character, our
hearts long for the end of Gentile governments and joyfully look forward to that blessed
time when the overcomers of the present age will be enthroned with their Head, to rule,
bless and restore the groaning creation. Surely all of God's children can heartily pray
with their Lord--
COME, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Gods kingdom is to
be inaugurated before the kingdoms of this world fall.
Each of these governments represented in the image and by the beasts existed before it
came into power as the universal empire. So, too, with the true Kingdom of God: it has
long existed separate from the world, not attempting rulership, but awaiting its time--the
time appointed by the Ancient of days. And, like the others, it must receive its
appointment and must come into authority or be "set up" before it can exercise
its power in the smiting and slaying of the beast or kingdom preceding it.
appropriateness of the statement,
"In the days of these kings
[while they still have power] shall the God of heaven set up [establish in power and
authority] a kingdom." And after it is set up, "it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Daniel 2:44
however we may look for it, we must expect God's Kingdom to be inaugurated before the fall
of the kingdoms of this world, and that its power and smiting will bring their overthrow.
has not been absolute.
from Another Standpoint
right and authority to rule the world are and ever will be vested in the Creator, Jehovah,
no matter whom he may permit or authorize to have subordinate control. Under the
imperfections and weaknesses resulting from his disloyalty to the King of kings, Adam soon
grew weak and helpless.
monarch he began to lose the power by which, at first, he commanded and held the obedience
of the lower animals by the strength of his will. He lost control of himself also, so that
when he would do good his weaknesses interfered and evil was present with him; and the
good he even would do he did not do, and the evil which he would not, he did.
while making no attempt to excuse our rebel race, we can sympathize with its vain efforts
to govern itself and to arrange for its own well-being. And something can be said of the
success of the world in this direction; for, while recognizing the real character of these
beastly governments, corrupt though they have been, they have been vastly superior to
none--much better than lawlessness and anarchy.
anarchy would probably have been quite acceptable to the "prince of this world,"
it was not so to his subjects, and his power is not absolute: it is limited to the extent
of his ability to operate through mankind; and his policy must conform in great measure to
the ideas, passions, and prejudices of men. Man's idea was self-government independent of
God; and when God permitted him to try the experiment, Satan embraced the opportunity to
extend his influence and dominion.
was by wishing to forget God (Romans 1:28) that man exposed himself to the influence of
this wily and powerful though unseen foe; and therefore he has ever since been obliged to
work against Satan's machinations, as well as his own personal weaknesses.
Mankinds governments try
to promote justice.
has been ignored, revolutions
This being the case, let us again glance at the kingdoms of this world, viewing them now
as the effort of fallen humanity to govern itself independent of God. Though individual
corruption and selfishness have turned aside the course of justice, so that full justice
has seldom been meted out to any under the kingdoms of this world, yet the ostensible
object of all governments ever organized among men has been to promote justice and the
well-being of all the people.
To what extent that object has been
attained is another question; but such has been the claim of all governments, and such the
object of the people governed in submitting to and supporting them. And where the ends of
justice have been greatly ignored, either the masses have been blinded and deceived with
reference to them, or wars, commotions and revolutions have been the result.
deeds of base tyrants, who gained positions of power in the governments of the world, did
not represent the laws and institutions of those governments, but in usurping authority
and turning it to base ends they gave to those governments their beastly character.
government has had a majority of wise, just and good laws--laws for the protection of life
and property, for the protection of domestic and commercial interests, for the punishment
of crime, etc. They have also had courts of appeal in matters of dispute, where justice is
meted out to some extent, at least; and however imperfect those in office may be, the
advantage and necessity for such institutions is apparent.
these governments have been, without them the baser element of society would, by force of
numbers, have overcome the juster, better element.
|Satan has operated through the weaknesses and depraved tastes
Governments Often Beastly
therefore, we recognize the beastly character of these governments, as rendered so by the
exaltation to power of a majority of unrighteous rulers, through the intrigues and
deceptions of Satan, operating through man's weaknesses and depraved tastes and ideas, yet
we recognize them as the best efforts of poor, fallen humanity at governing itself.
century God has allowed them to make the effort, and to see the results.
centuries of experiment, the results are as far from satisfactory today as at any period
of the world's history.
the dissatisfaction is more general and widespread than ever before; not because there is
more oppression and injustice than ever, but because, under God's arrangement, men's eyes
are being opened by the increase of knowledge.
and spirit of independence
are curtailing Satans influence.
The various governments which have been established from time to time have exhibited the
average ability of the people represented by them to govern themselves. Even where
despotic governments have existed, the fact that they have been tolerated by the masses
proved that as a people they were not capable of establishing and supporting a better
government, though many individuals were always, doubtless, far in advance of the average
for the time
of general public enlightenment.
As we compare the condition of the world today with its condition at any former period, we
find a marked difference in the sentiments of the masses. The spirit of independence is
now abroad, and men are not so easily blindfolded, deceived and led by rulers and
politicians, and therefore they will not submit to the yokes of former days.
This change of
public sentiment has not been a gradual one from the very beginning of man's effort to
govern himself, but clearly marked only as far back as the sixteenth century; and its
progress has been most rapid within the last fifty years. This change, therefore, is not
the result of the experience of past ages, but is the natural result of the recent
increase and general diffusion of knowledge among the masses of mankind.
preparation for this general diffusion of knowledge began with the invention of printing,
about 1440 A.D., and the consequent multiplication of books and news periodicals. The
influence of this invention in the general public enlightenment began to be felt about the
sixteenth century; and the progressive steps since that time all are acquainted with.
of self-respect and a realization of rights.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The general education of the masses has become popular, and inventions and discoveries are
becoming everyday occurrences. This increase of knowledge among men, which is of God's
appointment, and comes to pass in his own due time, is one of the mighty influences which
are now at work binding Satan--curtailing his influence and circumscribing his power in
this "Day of Preparation" for the setting up of God's kingdom in the earth.
The increase of
knowledge in every direction awakens a feeling of self-respect among men, and a
realization of their natural and inalienable rights, which they will not long permit to be
ignored or despised; rather, they will go to an opposite extreme.
back along the centuries and see how the nations have written the history of their
discontent in blood. And the prophets declare that because of the increase of knowledge a
still more general and widespread dissatisfaction will finally express itself in a
world-wide revolution, in the overthrow of all law and order; that anarchy and distress
upon all classes will be the result; but that in the midst of this confusion the God of
heaven will SET UP his Kingdom, which will satisfy the desires of all nations.
and disheartened with their own failures, and finding their last and greatest efforts
resulting in anarchy, men will gladly welcome and bow before the heavenly authority, and
recognize its strong and just government. Thus man's extremity will become God's
opportunity, and "the desire of all nations shall come"--the Kingdom of God, in
power and great glory. Haggai 2:7
|Mans extremity -- Gods opportunity.
Knowing this to be the purpose of God, neither Jesus nor the apostles interfered with
earthly rulers in any way. On the contrary, they taught the Church to submit to these
powers, even though they often suffered under their abuse of power.
They taught the Church
to obey the laws, and to respect those in authority because of their office, even if they
were not personally worthy of esteem; to pay their appointed taxes, and, except where they
conflicted with God's laws (Acts 4:19; 5:29), to offer no resistance to any established
law. Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21
The Lord Jesus and
the apostles and the early Church were all law-abiding, though they were separate from,
and took no share in, the governments of this world.
ye are no more strangers and foreigners,
but fellow citizens with the saints,
and of the household of God."
After the death
of the Apostles, preaching of the coming kingdom
of God was unpopular.
Though the powers that be, the governments of this world, were ordained or arranged for by
God, that mankind might gain a needed experience under them, yet the Church, the
consecrated ones who aspire to office in the coming Kingdom of God, should neither covet
the honors and the emoluments of office in the kingdoms of this world, nor should they
oppose these powers. They are fellow citizens and heirs of the heavenly kingdom (Ephesians
2:19), and as such should claim only such rights and privileges under the kingdoms of this
world as are accorded to aliens.
Their mission is not to help the world to
improve its present condition, nor to have anything to do with its affairs at present. To
attempt to do so would be but a waste of effort; for the world's course and its
termination are both clearly defined in the Scriptures and are fully under the control of
him who in his own time will give us the kingdom.
influence of the true Church is now and always has been small--so small as to count
practically nothing politically; but however great it might appear, we should follow the
example and teaching of our Lord and the apostles. Knowing that the purpose of God is to
let the world fully test its own ability to govern itself, the true Church should not,
while in it, be of the world.
saints may influence the world only by their separateness from it, by letting their light
shine; and thus through their lives the spirit of truth REPROVES the world. Thus--as
peaceable, orderly obeyers and commenders of every righteous law, reprovers of lawlessness
and sin, and pointers forward to the promised Kingdom of God and the blessings to be
expected under it, and not by the method commonly adopted of mingling in politics and
scheming with the world for power, and thus being drawn into wars and sins and the general
degradation --in glorious chastity should the prospective Bride of the Prince of Peace be
a power for good, as her Lord's representative in the world.
The Church of God should give its entire attention and effort to preaching the Kingdom of
God, and to the advancement of the interests of that Kingdom according to the plan laid
down in the Scriptures. If this is faithfully done, there will be no time nor disposition
to dabble in the politics of present governments. The Lord had no time for it; the
apostles had no time for it; nor have any of the saints who are following their example.
The Pope crowning Charlemagne
The early Church, shortly after the death of the apostles, fell a prey to this very
temptation. The preaching of the coming Kingdom of God, which would displace all earthly
kingdoms, and of the crucified Christ as the heir of that Kingdom, was unpopular, and
brought with it persecution, scorn and contempt.
But some thought
to improve on God's plan, and, instead of suffering, to get the Church into a position of
favor with the world. By a combination with earthly powers they succeeded. As a result
Papacy was developed, and in time became the mistress and queen of nations. Revelation
policy everything was changed: instead of suffering, came honor; instead of humility, came
pride; instead of truth, came error; and instead of being persecuted, she became the
persecutor of all who condemned her new and illegal honors.
began to invent new theories and sophistries to justify her course, first deceiving
herself, and then the nations, into the belief that the promised millennial reign of
Christ HAD COME, and that Christ the King was represented by her popes, who reigned over
the kings of the earth as his vicegerents. Her claims were successful in deceiving the
made all nations drunk" with her erroneous doctrines (Revelation 17:2),
intimidating them by teaching that eternal torment awaited all who resisted her claims.
Soon the kings of Europe were crowned or deposed by her edict, and under her supposed
|Next, the nominal church, uniting
with governments of earth, claimed that the reign of Christ had come.
Thus it comes that the kingdoms of Europe today claim to be Christian kingdoms, and
announce that sovereigns reign "by the grace of God," i.e., through appointment
of either Papacy or some of the Protestant sects. For though the Reformers abandoned many
of Papacy's claims to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, etc., they held to this honor which the
kings of earth had come to attach to Christianity.
And thus the
Reformers fell into the same error, and exercised the authority of monarchs in appointing
and sanctioning governments and kings, and denominating such "Christian
kingdoms," or kingdoms of Christ. So we hear much today of that strange enigma,
"The Christian World"--an enigma indeed, when viewed in the light of the true
principles of the Gospel.
said of his disciples, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world." And Paul exhorts us, saying, "Be not conformed to this world." John
17:16; Romans 12:2
approved of calling these kingdoms by the name of Christ. Deceived by the Church nominal,
these nations are sailing under false colors, claiming to be what they are not. Their only
title, aside from the vote of the people, is in God's limited grant, spoken to
Nebuchadnezzar--until he come whose right the dominion is.
that these imperfect kingdoms, with their imperfect laws and often selfish and vicious
rulers, are the "kingdoms of our Lord and his Anointed" is a gross libel upon
the true Kingdom of Christ, before which they must shortly fall, and upon its "Prince
of Peace" and righteous rulers. Isaiah 32:1
|Children of God were distracted from the promised heavenly
Improper Union of Church
serious injury resulting from that error is that the attention of the children of God has
thereby been attracted away from the promised heavenly kingdom; and they have been led to
an improper recognition of and intimacy with earthly kingdoms, and to almost fruitless
attempts to engraft upon these wild, worldly stocks the graces and morals of Christianity,
to the neglect of the gospel concerning the true Kingdom and the hopes centering in it.
this deception, some are at present very solicitous that the name of God should be
incorporated into the Constitution of the United States, that thereby this may become a
Christian nation. The Reformed Presbyterians have for years refused to vote or hold office
under this government, because it is not Christ's Kingdom.
recognize the impropriety of Christians sharing in any other. We have great sympathy with
this sentiment, but not with the conclusion, that if God's name were mentioned in the
Constitution, that fact would transform this government from a kingdom of this world to a
kingdom of Christ, and give them liberty to vote and to hold office under it. O, how
the deception by which the "Mother of harlots" has made all nations drunk
(Revelation 17:2); for in a similar manner it is claimed that the kingdoms of Europe were
transferred from Satan to Christ, and became "Christian nations."
Let it be
seen that the best and the worst of earth's nations are but "kingdoms of this
world," whose lease of power from God is now about expired, that they may give place
to their ordained successor, the Kingdom of Messiah, the Fifth Universal Empire of earth
(Daniel 2:44; 7:14,17,27) --this view will do much to establish truth and to overthrow
But as it
is, the actions of Papacy in this regard, sanctioned by the Protestant Reformers, go
unquestioned among Christian people. And since they should uphold the Kingdom of Christ,
they feel themselves bound to champion the present falling kingdoms of so-called
Christendom, whose time is fast expiring; and thus their sympathies are often forced to
the side of oppression, rather than to the side of right and freedom--to the side of the
kingdoms of this world, and the prince of this world, rather than to the side of the
coming true Kingdom of Christ. Revelation 17:14; 19:11-19
of this world
are not Christlike.
The world is fast coming to realize that the "kingdoms of this world" are not
Christlike, and that their claim to be of Christ's appointment is not unquestionable.
Men are beginning to use
their reasoning powers on this and similar questions; and they will act out their
convictions so much more violently, as they come to realize that a deception has been
practiced upon them in the name of the God of Justice and the Prince of Peace.
In fact, the
tendency with many is to conclude that Christianity itself is an imposition without
foundation, and that, leagued with civil rulers, its aim is merely to hold in check the
liberties of the masses.
O that men were wise, that they would apply their hearts to understand the work and plan
of the Lord! Then would the present kingdoms melt down gradually--reform would swiftly
follow reform, and liberty follow liberty, and justice and truth would prevail until
righteousness would be established in the earth.
But they will not
do this, nor can they in their present fallen state; and so, armed with selfishness, each
will strive for mastery, and the kingdoms of this world will pass away with a great time
of trouble, such as was not since there was a nation.
Of those who
will be vainly trying to hold to a dominion which has passed away, when the dominion is
given to him whose right it is, the Lord speaks, urging that they are fighting against
him--a conflict in which they are sure to fail. He says:
Kissing the Pope's toe -- an erroneous application of "kiss the Son"
[God's Anointed Son].
Rulers of earth are to repent to avoid God's anger.
"Why do the nations
tumultuously assemble, and the people meditate a vain thing? The kings of the earth set
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his
Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
"He that sitteth in the
heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them
in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure [saying], I have anointed my king
upon my holy hill of Zion....
"Be wise now, therefore, O ye
kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with
"Kiss [make friends with] the
Son [God's Anointed] lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way; for his wrath may soon be
kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him." Psalms 2:1-6,10-12
Watchman, tell us of the
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, o'er yon mountain's height,
See that glory-beaming star!
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Ought of hope or joy foretell?
Traveler, yes, it brings the day--
Promised day of Israel.
Watchman, tell us of the
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, its glory fills the earth.
Watchman, tell us, does
Of fair Zion's glory dawn?
Have the signs that mark its coming
Yet upon thy pathway shown?
Traveler, yes: arise! Look round thee!
Light is breaking in the skies!
Gird thy bridal robes around thee!
Morning dawns! Arise! Arise!
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