Chapter 11 – The Establishment of the Kingdom of God upon the Earth – The Government of God
How will the kingdom of God be established? We have already shown very clearly, that none of the means which are now used among men are commensurate with the object designed, and that all the combined wisdom of man must, and will fail, in the accomplishment of this object; that the present forms of political and religious rule cannot effect it; that philosophy is quite as impotent; and that as these have all failed for ages, as a natural consequence they must continue to fail. We have portrayed the world broken, corrupted, fallen, degraded and ruined; and shown that nothing but a world’s God can put it right.
The question is, what course will God take for the accomplishment of this thing? and as this is a matter that requires more than human reason, and as we are left entirely to Revelation, either past, present, or to come, it is to this only that we can apply. We will enquire, therefore, what the Scriptures say on this subject. It is called the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven. If, therefore, it is the kingdom of heaven, it must receive its laws, organization, and government, from heaven; for if they were earthly, then would they be like those on the earth. The kingdom of heaven must therefore be the government, and laws of heaven, on the earth. If the government and laws of heaven are known and observed on the earth, they must be communicated, or revealed from the heavens to the earth. These things are plain and evident, if we are to have any kingdom of heaven, for it is very clear, that if it is not God’s rule, it cannot be his government, and it is as evident that if it is not revealed from heaven it cannot be the kingdom of heaven. That such a kingdom will be set up is evident from the following, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people.” (Dan. ii. 44); and again, “I saw in the night visions, 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 him 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.” (Dan. vii 13, 14.) From the above we learn two things: First—that God will set up a kingdom which shall be universal; and, that that kingdom shall not be given into the hands of other people; and secondly—that the Saints of God shall take possession of that kingdom. The Angel which announced to Mary the birth of Jesus said, “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.” (Luke i. 32, 33.)
It may not be improper here to notice an opinion that has very generally prevailed throughout the Christian world, that Christ’s kingdom was a spiritual kingdom; that it was set up at the time our Saviour was upon the earth; and that Christianity as it now exists, is that kingdom. After what I have already written on the subject of a literal reign and kingdom, this would seem superfluous; but as this opinion is almost universal in the Christian world, my readers must excuse me, if, in this instance, I digress a little. Several writers in the Catholic church, as well as the Rev. David Simpson, M. A., Bishop Burnett, the Rev. John Wesley, and many others among the Protestants, have advocated the above opinion. The substance of their ideas is as follows: that Daniel, by the figure of an image of gold, silver, brass, iron, clay, in chap. ii.—and by the figures of the four beasts, in chap, vii., represented a spiritual kingdom; that this kingdom was set up in the days of the Saviour, and his disciples; that Christianity, as it now exists, is that kingdom, and that it will become universal over all the earth. They state that the four great empires, the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman, are represented by the head, breast, belly, and legs of the Image, and by the four Beasts, in chapter vii; and that the kingdom of God was to be set up under the dominion of the fourth, which, as they correctly state, was the Roman. They state, moreover, that the declaration and prophecy of the Angel to Mary, above quoted, were also fulfilled in the first coming of the Messiah; in his preaching, in his gospel, and in the organizing of the church, etc. Many other passages are made to bear the same signification, which it would be foreign from my present purpose to notice. I have referred to the above, as some of the most prominent. Now, with all deference to the gentlemen who have written on this subject (and education, respectability, and talent, entitle their opinions to some respect) I must beg leave to differ from them, and consider, that in trying to support a favorite dogma, they have been led into error; for it seems to me that nothing can be more foreign to the meaning of these scriptures than the above interpretation. Now concerning the four great monarchies being represented as above, I consider it is perfectly correct; but to state that the kingdom was to be set up under the fourth monarchy, or under the dominion of the fourth beast, is stretching the thing too far; and putting a construction upon it which it evidently will not bear. The text reads, “in the days of those kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom.” The question is, What kings? I am answered, during the reign of one of the four; and that as Christ came during the reign, and dominion of the Roman empire, it evidently refers to that. But let me again ask a question, Under the reign of what kings was this kingdom to be set up? Under the reign of the fourth? Verily, No. Let Daniel speak for himself. After describing the fourth kingdom, which was the Roman, which is compared to iron, and which in the Image was represented by the legs, he then refers to other kingdoms and powers, as being compared to iron and clay. There were also feet and toes, as well as a body, which were compared to powers or kings. This is clearly exemplified in the seventh chapter of Daniel, for after speaking of the four kings, he describes ten horns, of which the ten toes in the Image above referred to, are typical. Those ten horns, he says, are ten kings. It was, then, in the days of those kings, or while those kingdoms should be in existence, that the God of Heaven should set up a kingdom; and not during the power of the fourth kingdom; to which, with any degree of truthfulness, the figure could not apply in either case. But again, it could not apply to the first coming of our Saviour for the following reasons:—
First.—The stone hewn out of the mountain without hands was to smite the Image on the toes; whereas, according to the interpretation of the divines before referred to, the toes were not yet in existence, for they state that this kingdom was set up during the fourth monarchy, which was the Roman, and which is represented in the legs of the Image. Now, as the powers composing the feet and toes were not yet formed, how could the little stone smite that which was not in existence? For it will be observed that after the whole Image was made, the stone was hewn out of the mountains without hands which smote it.
Secondly.—When this kingdom is set up, it is stated “it shall not be left to other people;” but we are told in Dan. vii. chap., that after the fourth monarchy which was the time, according to the aforesaid interpretation, for the setting up of the kingdom of God, a certain “horn,” or king, should make war with the Saints, and prevail against them; and that “he should think to change times and laws—and that they should be given into his hand.” Nothing can be more obvious than this; for this power, after the first coming of the Messiah, not only thinks to change times and laws, but “they” are actually “given into his hand,” which will not be the case, when the kingdom above referred to is set up.
Thirdly.—When the kingdom of God was to be set up, it was to be “given to the Saints of the Most High;” and all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues, were to obey the Lord, which has not taken place, and never can under the present state of things.
Fourthly.—There is no more similarity between Christianity, as it now exists, with all its superstitions, corruptions, jargons, contentions, divisions, weakness, and imbecility, and this KINGDOM OF GOD, as spoken of in the Scriptures, than there is between light and darkness; and it would no more compare with things to come, than an orange would compare with the earth, or a taper with the glorious luminary of day.
Fifthly.—The kingdom of God, as spoken of by Daniel, was to become universal, which Christianity has not, and cannot, as it now exists.
Sixthly.—The Angel’s testimony to Mary has not yet been fulfilled. It is stated, that “The Lord 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;” whereas he did not sit upon David’s throne, nor does he now; he did not reign over the house of Jacob, nor does he now, for the ten tribes are yet outcasts; “the house of Judah is scattered and without a king,” and Jesus himself, when asked to divide an inheritance, demanded, “Who made me a ruler or king.” He, indeed was a king; “but in his humiliation his judgement was taken away.”
From the whole of the above it is very evident that the kingdom, of which these divines speak, was not, and could not be the one referred to by Daniel, or by the angel to Mary; as we have before stated, it was a literal kingdom, and not a spiritual one only. I would further remark here, that a certain power was to “make war with the Saints, and to prevail against them until the Ancient of Days came;” and then, and not till then, was “judgement given to the Saints of the Most High.”
We will now return from our digression, and after stating that the kingdom of God is a literal kingdom; that it will be great, powerful, glorious, and universal, and that it will extend from sea to sea, and from the rivers unto the ends of the earth; that all kingdoms will be in subjection to it, and all powers obey it, we will proceed to examine how it will be established. It is compared to a small stone “hewn out of the mountain without hands,” and yet the God of Heaven is to set up this kingdom. Isaiah, in his eleventh chapter, to which I refer my readers, in speaking of the establishment of this kingdom, says, “In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (10-12.) From the above it would seem, that an ensign or standard is to be raised to the nations; that the Gentiles shall seek to it; and that the ten tribes return, as well as the Jews to their land; that the dispersed of Judah, and the outcasts of Israel are to return. Now, a standard, or ensign, is a nation’s colours, flag, or rallying point; it is one of those appendages to a kingdom that is always respected by its inhabitants. It is used in a variety of ways, and for different purposes; sometimes by the emperor, king, governor, or general, to signify his presence; sometimes by vessels to specify their nation; and sometimes by estates, cities, corporations, or clubs: and always by armies and navies, to represent whom they belong to. If a king had a proclamation to make, and wished to rally his subjects, or try their fidelity, he might send a flag, or standard, and all that rallied to it would be considered his liege subjects.
But here the God of Heaven sets up a standard. The world, as we have before stated, is his; it is his right to possess it. Satan has held the dominion for some time, and the Lord now comes to dispossess him, to take possession of his rightful inheritance, and to rule his own kingdom. In order to do this, he issues his mandate, makes a proclamation, lifts up a standard, and invites all to join it. Those who do may be considered as his servants, as the citizens of his kingdom; those who do not, as being in opposition to him, his government, and laws. As the Father of the human family, as the prince and king, he lifts up an ensign, and calls the world’s attention. Now the only rational way for the Lord to accomplish this, is to form a communication with man, and to make him acquainted with his laws. We cannot conceive of him thundering from the heavens and terrifying the inhabitants of the earth, nor yet sending angels with flaming swords to coerce obedience. This would be using physical power to control the mind; but as man is a free agent, he uses other means to act upon his mind, his judgement, and his will; and by the beauty and loveliness of virtue, purity, holiness, and the fear of God, to captivate his feelings, control his judgement, and influence him to render that obedience to God which is justly his due; not until these means fail, will others be exercised.
As the world are ignorant of God and his laws, not having had any communication with him for eighteen hundred years; and as all those great and important events must transpire, and as the Lord says he will “do nothing but what he reveals to his servants the Prophets,” it follows, that there must be revelations made from God; and if so, as a necessary consequence, there must be prophets to reveal them to. How did God ever reveal his will, and purposes to Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, Jesus, and his Disciples, and they to the people? God’s messengers made known his will, and the people obeyed, or rejected it. If they were punished by floods, fire, plagues, pestilence, dispersions, death, etc., it was in consequence of their disobedience. As God has dealt in former times, so will he in the latter, with this difference, that he will accomplish his purposes in the last days; he will set up his kingdom; he will protect the righteous, destroy Satan, and his works, purge the earth from wickedness, and bring in the restitution of all things. The above, while it is the only rational way, is evidently the only just, and scriptural way. Some people talk about the world being burned up, about plagues, pestilence, famine, sword, and ruin, and all these things being instantaneous. Now it would not be just for the Lord to punish the inhabitants of the earth without warning. For if the world are ignorant of God, they cannot altogether be blamed for it; if they are made the dupes of false systems, and false principles, they cannot help it; many of them are doing as well as they can while, as we have before stated, it would be unjust for the world to continue as it is. It would at the same time be as unjust to punish the inhabitants of the world for things that they are ignorant of, or for things over which they have no control. Before the Lord destroyed the inhabitants of the old world, he sent Enoch and Noah to warn them. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he sent Lot into their midst. Before the Children of Israel were carried captive to Babylon, they were warned of it by the Prophets; and before Jerusalem was destroyed, the inhabitants had the testimony of our Lord, and his Disciples. And so will it be in the last days; and as it is the world that is concerned, the world will have to be warned. We will therefore proceed to examine the scriptural testimony on this subject. John says in the Revelations, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them, that dwell on the earth; and to every nation, and kindred, tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgement is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon the great is fallen.” (xiv. 6-8.) Here, then, a light bursts forth from the heavens; a celestial messenger is deputed to convey to men tidings of salvation; the everlasting gospel is again to be proclaimed to the children of men; The proclamation is to be made to “every nation, kindred, people, and tongue.” Associated with this, was to be another declaration, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgement is come.” Thus, all were to have a fair warning, and afterwards Babylon falls—not before. From the above it is evident, that the everlasting gospel will be restored, accompanied with a warning to the world. Now, if the everlasting gospel is restored, there must be the same principles, laws, officers, or administrators, and ordinances. If, before, they had Apostles, they will again have them; the same laws and ordinances will be introduced, and the same method for receiving members into the kingdom. They will also have Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists. If they baptized by immersion for the remission of sins, and laid on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, they will again do the same things. If the gift of the Holy Ghost formerly brought things past to the saints’ remembrance, led them into all truth, and showed them things to come, it will do the same again, for it is the everlasting gospel. If formerly it caused men to dream dreams, and to see visions, it will do the same again; if to one was given the gift of tongues, to another the gift of healing, to another power to work miracles, to another the gift of wisdom, the same will exist in latter days, for it is the everlasting gospel which is to be restored. If it put men in possession of a knowledge of God, and of his purposes, and brought life and immortality to light in former days, it will do the same again. If it dispelled the clouds of darkness, unveiled the heavens, put men in possession of certainty, and gave them a hope that bloomed with immortality and eternal life, it will do the same again. If it caused men to know the object of their creation, their relationship to God, their position on the earth, and their final exaltation and glory, it will do the same again, for it is the everlasting Gospel. In short, it is the will of God to man, the government of God among men, and a portion of that light, glory and intelligence, which exist with God and angels, communicated to mortals, and obtained through obedience to his laws and ordinances. If the Gospel formerly was to be proclaimed to all nations, so it is now, with this difference associated with it, there is to be a cry, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of His judgement is come.” From this, then, we may expect a proclamation to be made to all people; messengers to go forth to every nation, and the same principles which once existed to be again restored in all their fulness, power, glory, and blessings. The above is the way pointed out in the Scriptures, and is the only just and rational way to deal with rational, intelligent beings; for intelligence must be appealed to by intelligence, and it would be unjust to punish the world indiscriminately, without first appealing to their reason, judgement, and intelligence. But not only will the everlasting Gospel be again restored, and be preached in its fulness as formerly, and go as a messenger to all the world; not only will there be a spiritual kingdom and organization; but there will also be a literal kingdom, a nation, or nations, a Zion, and the people will gather to that. We will here insert a prophecy of David on this subject: “But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve the Lord.” (Psalm cii. 12-22.) Here we find, First, that a literal Zion is to be built up; Secondly, that when that Zion is built up, the Lord will come—will appear in his glory; Thirdly, that it is something which concerns the nations of the earth, and the whole world, for there shall the people be gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve the Lord.
It may be proper here to remark, that there will be two places of gathering, or Zions; the one in Jerusalem, the other in another place; the one is a place where the Jews will gather to, and the other a mixed multitude of all nations. Concerning the house of Israel, Jeremiah says, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers,” (xvi. 14, 15.) According to this passage, and many others, there will evidently be a great display of the power of God manifested towards the house of Israel in their restitution to their former habitations. Another Scripture says, that “Jerusalem shall be inhabited in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” Here I would remark, that there was a Zion formerly in Jerusalem; but there is also another spoken of in the Scriptures. Hence, in the passage which we quoted from the Psalms, the Kingdoms are to be gathered together in Zion, and the people to serve the Lord; and not only the Jews, but the Heathens are to fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth his glory. The law is to issue from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Again—”The Lord God that gathereth the outcasts of Israel, says, yet will I gather others unto me besides these.” It is very evident from these passages that there are two places of gathering, as well as from many others that might be quoted. For example, Joel, in speaking of the troubles of the last days, says, There shall in the last days be deliverance in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem. Now, he never could say with propriety in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, if these were not two places. The ancient Zion was in Jerusalem. It would not be proper to say in London, and in London; but you could say in London and in Edinburgh, in New York and in Philadelphia, in Frankfort and in Brussels; and so you can say in Zion and in Jerusalem. But again, the Jews are to be gathered to Jerusalem in unbelief, as spoken of in Zechariah; and when the Messiah appears among them, being ignorant of Jesus, they shall ask, “What are these wounds in thy hands?” Then he shall answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (xiii. 6.) And then a fountain shall be opened for the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they will enter into the covenant by baptism, (xiii. 1.) But the people of Zion the Lord will take them one of a city, and two of a family, and bring them there, and give them pastors after his own heart, that shall feed them with knowledge and understanding. (Jer. iii. 14, 15.) The people there are to be all righteous. It is the last Zion that we wish more particularly to speak of at present, as associated with the kingdom of God; and, as we are now searching out the manner in which the kingdom of God will be established, it is to us a matter of great importance. There are very great judgements spoken of in the last days, as the consequence of man’s departure from God; these we have already referred to in part; but as we have mentioned, the Gospel must again be preached as a warning unto all nations, and accompanied with it is to be a proclamation, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgement is come.” (Rev. xiv. 7.) But the people would very reasonably be heard to enquire, what can we do? What hope have we? If war comes, we cannot either prevent or avoid it. If plague stalks through the earth, what guarantee have we of deliverance. You say you have come as messengers of mercy to us, and as the messengers of the nations. What shall we do? Let Isaiah answer: he has told the tale of war, and defined the remedy. This shall be the answer of the messenger of the nations, that “the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.” (xiv. 32.) Yes, says Joel, when this great and terrible day of the Lord comes, there shall be deliverance in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (ii. 32.) Yes, says Jeremiah, He will take them one of a city, and two of a family, and bring them to Zion, and give them pastors after his own heart, that shall feed them with knowledge and understanding, (iii. 14, 15.) The proclamation to the world will be the means of establishing this Zion, by gathering together multitudes of people from among all nations. For there are multitudes among all nations who are sincerely desirous to do the will of God, when they are made acquainted with it; but having been cajoled with priestcraft and abominations so long, they know not which course to steer, and are jealous of almost everything. As it was formerly, so will it be in the latter times. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and know me, and follow me, and a stranger they will not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers.” Those who love truth, and desire to be governed by it, will embrace it, and enter into the covenant which the Lord will make with his people in the last days, and be gathered with them; they will be taught of the Lord in Zion, will form his kingdom on the earth, and will be prepared for the Lord when he comes to take possession of his kingdom. For “when the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory,” and not before. But if Zion is never built up, the Lord never will come, for he must have a people, and a place to come to. The prophets hailed this day with pleasure, as the ushering in of those glorious times, which were to follow. Micah says, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (iv. 1, 2.) Isaiah with rapture gazed upon the scene, and in ecstacy cried out, “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee.” (lx. 8-10.) You will find by reading the 14th verse, that this place is to be called “The City of the Lord; the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Here then we find, that the Lord will have a house built; that it shall be upon the tops of the mountains, and be exalted above the hills; that many nations shall go there, to learn the will of the Lord, and that the law shall go forth from Zion. That the people shall come as clouds to it; that they shall take their silver and gold with them. That God’s worship will be known, and the religion of the Lord will lose its forbidding aspect. And God, and his religion, be popular among the nations of the earth.
This brings us to another means that will be made use of, for the establishment of the kingdom of God; for, before this, he will rebuke strong nations that are afar off. And before they “beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and nations shall have war no more.“[A] there will be a time of terrible trouble, and distress, of war and calamity, such as never has been before on the earth. Having noticed in the above that a standard will be raised to the nations, that the Gospel will be preached again to all people and a proclamation be made to all nations; that a literal Zion will be built; that the righteous will flock to that Zion, and be taught of the Lord, and be prepared for his coming; that great multitudes will flow to Zion, and the blessing of God dwell there; we now come to point out another way that the kingdom of God will be established, viz., by judgements, that the nations may be purified and prepared for an universal reign.
[Footnote A: If any one wish further information on this subject, I refer them to O. Pratt’s “New Jerusalem.”—Liverpool: S. W. Richards.]
Before the Lord destroyed the old world, he directed Noah to prepare an ark; before the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, he told Lot to “flee to the mountains;” before Jerusalem was destroyed, Jesus gave his disciples warning, and told them to “flee out of it;” and before the destruction of the world, a message is sent; after this, the nations will be judged, for God is now preparing his own kingdom for his own reign, and will not be thwarted by any conflicting influence, or opposing power. The testimony of God is first to be made known, the standard is to be raised; the Gospel of the kingdom is to be preached to all nations, the world is to be warned, and then come the troubles. The whole world is in confusion, morally, politically, and religiously; but a voice was to be heard, “Come out of her, my people, that you partake not of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” John saw an angel having the everlasting Gospel to preach to every nation, kindred, people, and tongue. And afterwards there was another cried, “Babylon is fallen.” Isaiah, after describing some of the most terrible calamities that should overtake that people, says, “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle …. Pangs shall take hold of them, and they shall be in pain, as a woman that travaileth.” That “the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it; for the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth; and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity, and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold.” (xiii. 4-12.) After enumerating many other things concerning Babylon and Assyria, as types of things to come, he says, “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.” (xiv. 26.) He says again, “Behold the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master…. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word… The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (xxiv. 1-5.) From the above, it would seem that terrible judgements await the inhabitants of the world; that there will be a general destruction; the world will be full of war, and confusion, the nations of the earth will be convulsed, and the wicked hurled out of it. Jesus said, when on the earth, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places; men’s hearts shall fail them for fear of those things that are coming on the earth.” Jesus came first as the babe of Bethlehem; he will come again, “and rule nations with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Isaiah says, “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked, and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” (xi. 1-5.) The first of this was fulfilled when our Saviour came on this earth before; the second will be when he comes again, “he will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay the wicked.” The spirit of the Lord will be withdrawn from the nations, and after rejecting the truth, they will be left in darkness, to grope their way, and being full of the spirit of wickedness, they will rage and war against each other, and finally, after dreadful struggles, plagues, pestilence, famine, etc., instigated by the powers of darkness, there will be a great gathering of the nations against Jerusalem, for they will be infuriated against its inhabitants, and mighty hosts will assemble, so that they will be like a cloud to cover the land, and the Lord will appear himself to the deliverance of his people and the destruction of the wicked. (Zech xiv.) Let any one compare this chapter with Ezekiel xxxviii. and xxxix., and he will find one of the most terrible destructions described, that is possible to conceive of; and then turn to the second Psalm, where David describes the kings of the earth taking counsel against the Lord, and against his anointed. He says, He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision…. That he will set his king upon his holy hill in Zion, that he will give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession…. That he will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel; and then he concludes by saying, Be wise, therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth, serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling; kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
In making a brief summary of what we have said before in relation to the means to be employed for the establishment of the Kingdom of God, we find the following:—
1st.—That it will be not only a spiritual kingdom, but a temporal and literal one also.
2nd.—That if it is the Kingdom of Heaven, it must be revealed from the heavens.
3rd.—That a standard is to be lifted up, by the Lord, to the nations.
4th.—That an Angel is to come with the everlasting Gospel, which is to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, people, and tongue; that it is to be the same as the ancient one, and that the same powers and blessings will attend it.
5th.—That not only will the Ancient Gospel be preached, but there will accompany it a declaration of judgement to the nations.
6th.—That there will be a literal Zion, or gathering of the Saints to Zion, as well as a gathering of the Jews to Jerusalem.
7th.—That when this has taken place, the Spirit of God will be withdrawn from the nations, and they will war with and destroy each other.
8th.—That judgements will also overtake them, from the Lord, plague, pestilence, famine, etc.
9th.—That the nations, having lost the Spirit of God, will assemble to fight against the Lord’s people, being full of the spirit of unrighteousness, and opposed to the rule and government of God.
10th.—That when they do, the Lord will come and fight against them himself; overthrow their armies, assert his own right, rule the nations with a rod of iron, root the wicked out of the earth, and take possession of his own kingdom. I might here further state, that when the Lord does come to exercise judgement upon the ungodly, to make an end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness, he will establish his own laws, demand universal obedience, and cause wickedness and misrule to cease. He will issue his commands, and they must be obeyed; and if the nations of the earth observe not his laws, “they will have no rain.” And they will be taught by more forcible means than moral suasion, that they are dependent upon God; for the Lord will demand obedience, and the Scriptures say, time and again, that the wicked shall be rooted out of the land, and the righteous and the meek shall inherit the earth. The Lord, after trying man’s rule for thousands of years, now takes the reins of government into his own hands, and makes use of the only possible means of asserting his rights. For if the wicked never were cut off, the righteous never could rule; and if the Devil was still suffered to bear rule, God could not, at the same time; consequently after long delay, he whose right it is, takes possession of the kingdom; and the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High God; and the world will assume that position for which it was made. A King shall rule in righteousness, and Princes shall decree judgement. The knowledge of the Lord will spread, and extend under the auspices of this government. Guided by his counsels, and under his direction, all those, purposes designed of Him, from the commencement, in relation to both living and dead, will be in a fair way for their accomplishment.
# # #
Source: Chapter 11 of the The Government of God, by John Taylor (1852)