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sign was not manifested for more than seven hundred years after the days of Ahaz. The miraculous conception and birth of Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, and son of God, is the sign that the Lord said he would give, and this wonderful sign signifies that all conspiracies against the throne and house of David will eventually utterly fail, for the Lord said he would build up his throne to all generations and that it should be as the sun before him, as is testified in the eighty-ninth Psalm: referring to David, the Lord says (verse 30), “ If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun
It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.”
But David's seed were not steadfast with God. Solomon did evil in God's sight and went after strange gods, as we have already shown, because of which God broke up the kingdom, and gave ten tribes to his servant Jeroboam, but reserved one tribe, the tribe of Judah and little Benjamin to the house of David. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, did evil in the sight of the Lord, and God brought up Sheshak King of Egypt against him, and an host like the sand of the sea shore, and when Rehoboam saw his danger, he repented and humbled himself, and the Lord said to him by the hand of the prophet that he would not destroy him by the hand of Sheshak, but would show him his service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries (II Chron. 12). So Sheshak plundered the temple and carried away the three hundred shields of gold which Solomon made, and other things which pleased him, and returned. Afterwards, other kings also arose, and provoked the Lord to anger with their abominations until there was no remedy, and so it is said further in this remarkable Psalm (89: 38-45). “But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant; thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought all his strongholds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him; he is a reproach to his neighbors. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries ; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword and hast not made him to stand in the battle. Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground; the days of his vouth hast thou shortened; thou hast covered him with shame. Selah." Then the question is asked, “How long, Lord? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?” God's answer to this is found in the sign which he has given as referred to above, which is that eventually all these misfortunes to David's house shall cease, and cease forever, for he says, “I will build up thy throne to all generations."
In the times of restitution in the latter days among the things which will be restored are the throne and kingdom of David, as it is testified by the prophet Amos (9:11) where it is written, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof: and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name; saith the Lord that doeth this."
Concerning this sign and concerning this child which was miraculously given to Israel, the Lord says by the prophet Isaiah (9:6-7), “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment, and with justice; from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
Christ's name may well be called “Wonderful," considering what has already transpired in connection with him in the day of his humiliation and resurrection from the dead. And in the fullness of the time he will come again when his wonders will be increased and multiplied before the eyes of all nations, when he will be manifested as the mighty God. He is also called the Everlasting Father, because all power is given him in heaven and earth by his Father, to execute his mighty works in the earth.
DURATION OF Christ's REIGN The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “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 for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
The period of time that Christ will reign upon the throne of David is here said to be forever." If this term forever " is to be understood in the sense in which it is commonly employed in the sectarian world of to-day, as referring to a period absolutely without end, it would render void many other Scriptures. The terms, “ forever” and “ everlasting ” do not of themselves represent periods of endless duration, but their lengths are measured by the lengths of the times, or things, to which they apply. Christ's reign is to continue for a thousand years, therefore “forever” in this instance is necessarily bounded by that time and ends there. Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, and the time that he was there was fixed, as it was to represent another event of equal duration, when the Son of man was to be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth; and Jonah in his prayer says he was there “forever.” This is a very short “forever," nevertheless three days and three nights is the term of its continuance, and the Scriptures must be allowed to interpret themselves. These terms, therefore, may apply to short or long periods of time, and thus immortality, or life that never ends, is properly called everlasting life.
Again Gabriel said, “Of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Here again a man may do violence to other Scriptures if he construes these words to mean a period entirely endless. Any man entirely familiar with the history of the kingdom of David in the past should have no difficulty in understanding this expression,
During the reign of the second king after David, and in the early part of his reign, ten tribes fell away from the house and kingdom of David. After that they suffered many evils and calamities because of the wickedness of many of their kings and people, until the king himself and his people were carried captive to Babylon for a term of seventy years and their beautiful Temple destroyed. After seventy years they were brought back, rebuilt the temple, and remained in the land until after Shiloh came, when the kingdom was utterly subverted by Titus the son of Vespasian. But the reign of Christ on David's throne will not be so, for in the covenant made with David the Lord said, “I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place; and they shall be moved no more, neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more as at the beginning, and since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel ” (1 Chron. 17:9-10). The reign of Christ will not be interrupted from internal discords nor from invasion. The enemy will not exact upon him, nor the children of wickedness afflict him, but his reign will be a reign of peace and righteousness. And while David's kingdom was broken up and prematurely ended because of the evil of their doings, Christ's kingdom will fully complete the term appointed of the Father for its continuance; and will fully mature like ripe fruit, and it is in that sense that Gabriel said, “And of his kingdom there shall be no end.” “For he must reign (says Paul) till he hath put all enemies under his feet his work will be complete and finished, for it is contained in the eighth Psalm,“ Thou hast put all things under his feet.” Explaining this oracle Paul says (I Cor. 15:24-26), “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." And so Christ's reign terminates when his work is done.
The knowledge of the reign of Christ upon the earth subsequent to the resurrection of his brethren of past ages who are to reign with him has almost faded away from the minds of men and has been buried under a mountain of clerical rubbish, notwithstanding the abundance of the revelations on this all-important matter. By assuming that they are immortal, men next arrogate to themselves that at death they will be received up into paradise to enter upon a blissful immortality, and so their eyes are directed to the day of their death, instead of solely and only to the second coming of Christ as the time of reward, even as the Saviour of men himself taught his disciples to do. He said, "When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind, and thou shalt be blest, for they cannot recompense thee; and thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” That is the time of reward, and they who teach that men are recompensed at death, are liars and deceivers, no matter how numerous, or how honorable they may be before men. And there appears to be about the same amount of ignorance concerning the kingdom and reign of Christ and the saints upon the earth, as there is concerning his prophecy and priesthood. Is it not well said by Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus (4:18) that Gentiles are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts ?
The manner of the reign of Christ on David's throne, and the manner of the Kingdom of God, and the reign of the saints in the earth, we will treat of particularly when we come to speak of Jesus Christ as Lord.
THE TWO COVENANTS: THE OLD COVENANT AND THE
NEW COVENANT, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE OLD COVENANT, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE NEW COVENANT
First, or old covenant - Its history, meaning, inheritance offered, terms of salvation, and purpose New covenant — Why called “New ”— Making and confirmation of covenant — Importance to us — Barren period Children of promise — The Allegory — Covenant brought into force -Time of reward The inheritance Resurrection of dead, as taught in corenant Covenant of Circumcision Kingdom of God under each covenant — Body of Christ a kingdom - Two manifestations under second Cote nant.
No man can properly understand the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ so as to believe them and be saved by them so long as he is ignorant of the covenants of promise, as Paul properly calls them. And therefore he says in his letter to the Ephesians, "Remember that — in times past — ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (2:11-12). If that is the condition of all people who are strangers to the covenants of promise which God has made with his people, - that they are without God in the world and destitute of any hope of salvation, then it becomes those who have a desire to be saved to carefully study these covenants in all their parts, that thereby they may find the way of life, and make their calling and election sure. And what we shall now present on these important matters is intended to aid honest inquiry in these things.
THE FIRST OR OLD COVENANT When the seed of Abraham, the friend of God, had, as God promised him, become a great nation in the land of Egypt where they sojourned, then the Lord sent Moses, who brought them out under the direction and guidance of the angel. And Moses said to them in the wilderness, “The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and behold ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude” (Deut. 1: 10). And so the Lord brought them out of the house of bondage, and the iron furnace of Egypt, to Mount Sinai.
At Mount Sinai the Lord adopted them as his people and nation, as it is written in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Exodus, when they became his kingdom, and the Lord their God became their king, for he said, "Ye