A Declaration of the Truth Revealed in the Bible
A Declaration Of The Truth Revealed In The Bible
FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXHIBITING THE
FAITH PROMULGATED BY THE APOSTLES IN
THE FIRST CENTURY IN CONTRAST WITH
THE FABLES Of CHRISTENDOM.
Truth Revealed in the Bible
AS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE
Theology of Christendom
"If any man preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL
unto you than that ye have received, let him be
accursed." (Galatians 1:9).
"To the law and to the testimony: if they
speak not according to this WORD, IT IS BECAUSE
THERE IS NO LIGHT IN THEM." (Isaiah 8:20).
The Things Concerning the Kingdom of God
- It is clearly revealed in the Bible, that Jesus Christ will set up the Kingdom of God upon the earth (Daniel 2:44), and that it will last forever (Luke 1:32-33). Its administration will be in the hands of the Lord Jesus himself (Revelation 11:15), and his resurrected followers then granted immortality (Revelation 5:9-10; 20:4). Its government will be absolute and divine, ruling to the glory of God and the well-being of the people (Luke 2:14; Revelation 2:27). A glorified Jerusalem will be its metropolis (Isaiah 24:23), and from that centre divine laws and decrees will issue forth for the guidance and obedience of mankind (Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:16). All nations will be brought into subjection to the King (Psalm 72:11, 2:8-12; Isaiah 60:12), including Israel then completely restored, disciplined and purified (Zechariah 12:10; Amos 9:11; Romans 11:25-28). The establishment of God's righteous rule in the earth will result in one King, one empire and one religion replacing the antagonism of today. It shall ensure world peace and prosperity: "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14). Christ taught his disciples to pray for the setting up of that kingdom in these words:
"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Its extent, position and scope is summarised by the words of Daniel the prophet thus: "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." (Daniel 7:27).
1 - The Gospel of the Kingdom preached by Jesus
The Gospel preached by Jesus Christ when upon the earth had reference to the Kingdom of God.1
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14).
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:17, 23).
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. (Luke 4:43).
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him (Luke 8:1).
Additional Testimonies (Matthew 9:35; 6:33; 13:19; Luke 9:11; 13:28)
1 In several instances, the form of this proclamation is in the words, The kingdom of God is at hand," or to be critically correct, "has approached." We never find that the apostles made use of this form of proclamation after Christ's ascension. In what sense had the kingdom come nigh, or approached when Christ appeared? In two senses. He brought near the kingdom for offer as an inheritance. The kingdom had never before been preached. "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached "(Luke 16:16). Secondly, Jesus himself was the kingdom in the germ - see Mark 11:10: "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord." The original word basileia, translated kingdom, has this comprehensive significance in its secondary sense: royal power, majesty, kingly dignity. Jesus, the manifestation of God's power, which was afterwards to bloom into a universal political administration, was among the people, had approached, and brought the offer of the kingdom with him.
2 - The same Gospel preached by the Apostles
The gospel preached by the Apostles HAD REFERENCE TO THE SAME THING - that is The Kingdom of God
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12,25).
And he (Paul) went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 19:8).
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I (Paul) have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:25).
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house... preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30,31).
3 - What is the Kingdom?
What is the Kingdom? The following testimonies will show that it is a Divine Political Dominion to be established on the earth, on the ruins of all existing governments, for the purpose of blessing, and bringing the world into submission to God.1
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, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44; see also Daniel 7:13, 18, 22, 27).
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen (Heb. nations) - (Haggai 2:22).
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15).
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.(Zechariah 14:9).
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (i.e. nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalm 2:8-9).
And 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. (Daniel 7:27).
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war... out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11,13,15-16).
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (1 Corinthians 15:25).
1 The following passage is supposed to discountenance this doctrine. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.(Luke 17:21). This is supposed to teach that the kingdom of God is a state of spiritual enlightenment in the heart. This cannot be the meaning; for the words were addressed to the Pharisees of whom Jesus says (Matthew 23:28), "within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." What is the meaning of it? The margin (A.V.) "among," or "in the midst" (R.V.), puts a very different complexion upon it.
- Further Comment: The Diaglott renders the statement: "God's royal majesty is among you." The Pharisees were told to "behold" that fact, which could not relate to a "spiritual" reign in the hearts of men. Christ's true followers were "waiting" for the kingdom (Luke 23:51), and he, himself, disclaimed that it would be then set up (Luke 19:11). Certainly it was not found "within" the Pharisees. What was "in their midst" was "God's royal majesty" in the person of His Son, earth's future monarch. Peter declared that they saw his majesty (2 Peter 1:16), and the people witnessed his power (Luke 11:20). Christ taught the apostles that the kingdom would be restored at the time appointed of God (Acts 1:6-7) - Editor
Another reference frequently advanced to prove that the Kingdom of God has been established in the hearts of believers is the statement of Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: But the word into is the Greek preposition eis translated "unto" some 208 times in the N.T. and "for" some 92 times. The Diaglott renders the phrase, in strict accordance with the Greek: "changed us for the kingdom." Every Scripture relating to the kingdom when properly considered in context is consistent with the principle set forth in this statement of this section. The kingdom is yet to be set up on the earth. - Editor
- - The Kingdom of God once existed, and will be re-established
This purpose of God to establish a universal kingdom on earth, with Christ as it's head, has a connection with God's past dealings with the nation of the Jews. This connection must be perceived before the bearing of God's purpose can be clearly understood. To assist in the attainment of this understanding, consider the following facts:
(a) - The Kingdom of Israel, as divinely constituted under the hand of Moses, and existent in the land of Palestine 3,000 years ago, was the Kingdom of God.
And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (1 Chronicles 28:5; see also 29:23).
Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on His throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: ( 2 Chronicles 9:8).
And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; (2 Chronicles 13:8).
(b) - It was divinely overturned and scattered to the winds on account of iniquity.
Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. (Isaiah 63:17-19).
And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.1 (Ezekiel 21:25-27).
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4-5).
They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24; Matthew 23:36-39).
- c) - It is to be re-established.
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. (Psalm 102:13).
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4;33:20-21).
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: (Amos 9:11).
Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6).
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 1:32-33).
To this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:15-16).
And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. (Zechariah 2:12).
Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1:16-17).
1 This prediction was uttered in the reign of Zedekiah, the last Israelitish king in the line of David, BC 593; ever since that time, the kingdom has been overturned. It was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar in the days of Zedekiah, and was afterwards successively trampled down by Greece and Rome. Since the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the kingdom of David (i.e. the kingdom of God) has had no existence.
- Further comment. Scripture shows that the kings of Judah sat upon the throne of David in Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 22:2), and this is elsewhere styled "the throne of the Lord" (1 Chronicles 29:23). This is the throne promised to the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:30-31), which it is the purpose of God to restore (Acts 15:16). When that is accomplished, Jerusalem again will be known as "the throne of the Lord" (Jeremiah 3:17). It will be the centre of Christ's administration over all the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4) - Editor.
5 - The Jews become the Subjects of the Kingdom of Israel restored
The Kingdom of God to be set up on the earth will be the ancient Kingdom of Israel restored.
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions... And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's. (Obadiah 17, 20-21).
In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. (Micah 4:6-8).
6 - The Jews will become the Subjects of the Kingdom
The establishment of the Kingdom of God by the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, will involve the gathering of the Jews from their present dispersion among the nations of the earth.
He shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12).
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. (Jeremiah 31:10; Psalm 107:3)
Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. (Zechariah 8:7-8).
And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: (Ezekiel 37:21-22).
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:27-28).
For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. (Jeremiah 32:42).
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. (Jeremiah 33:14-16).
I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:22-24).
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:7-8).
And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. (Micah 4:7).
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. (Zechariah 8:23).
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:12).
- And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Zion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:1-2,12,25-26).
- - Jerusalem the future Queen-City of the World
The city of Jerusalem will then become the residence of the Lord Jesus, the head-quarters and metropolis of the Kingdom of God, whose dominion will stretch to the utmost bounds of the earth.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17).
The LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion... the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. (Micah 4:7-8).
So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. (Joel 3:17).
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. (Isaiah 24:23).
And they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14).
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16).
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness. (Jeremiah 31:23).
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Isaiah 52:1).
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:1 and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (Isaiah 65:17-18).
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (Psalm 48:2).
The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (Ezekiel 48:35).
But I say unto you, Swear not at all... neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (Matthew 5:34-35).
- It is evident, from Peter's allusion to this promise, that the phrase, "new heavens and a new earth," is metaphorically employed to designate the polity or order of things to be established in the Kingdom of God. Peter says, "Nevertheless, we according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." The old heavens, and earth of the Jewish constitution of things were dissolved according to the prediction of Isaiah (24:20). Peter, alluding to this dissolution, which had not become an accomplished fact in his day, said, "The heavens and the earth, which are now by the same word, are kept in store, reserved unto fie against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men" (2Peter 3:7). They were not long reserved, after those words of Peter were written, for a few years afterwards, the Romans entered the country and destroyed the Jewish commonwealth to its very foundation. The literal earth will not be destroyed, "for the earth endureth for ever" (Ecclesiastes 1:4). the perpetual stability of the ordinances of heaven and earth physical is divinely guaranteed - (see Psalm 72:17; Jeremiah 31:37). Heavens and earth in the political sense are destined to pass away - (see Isaiah 13:13;24:19-20;24:4). It is necessary to recognise these principles; otherwise a literal principle of interpretation will in many cases mar the results of scriptural study. The writings of the prophets are in many cases highly metaphorical, and it is necessary carefully to discriminate between the literal and figurative.
In A Summary View and Explanation of the Writings of the Prophets, by John Smith, of Camleton, quoted by Adam Clark in his introduction to Isaiah, there occur the following remarks:
"By images borrowed from the world natural, the prophets frequently understand something analogous in the world politic. Thus, the sun, moon, stars and heavenly bodies denote kings, queens, rulers and persons in great power: their increase of splendour denotes increase of prosperity: their darkening, setting, or falling, denotes a reverse of fortune: or the entire ceasing of that power of kingdom to which they refer. Great earthquakes and the shaking of heaven and earth, denote the commotion and overthrow of kingdoms: and the beginning or end of the world, their rise or ruin.
"The cedars of Lebanon, oaks of Bashan, fir trees, and other stately trees of the forest denote kings, princes, potentates, and persons of the highest rank: briars and thorns, like common people, of those of the meanest order. High mountains and lofty hills, in like manner, denote kingdoms, republics, states, and cities: towns and fortresses signify defenders and protectors: ships of Tarshish, merchants or commercial people: and the daughter of any capital or mother city, the lesser cities, or suburbs around it. Cities never conquered are further styled virgins."
Isaac Newton remarks that in attempting to understand the prophecies, we are in the first place to acquaint ourselves with the figurative language of the prophets. This language is taken from the analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom as a world politic. Accordingly, the whole world natural, consisting of heavens and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in the prophecy. Great earthquakes and the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract or over throw them; creating a new heaven and earth, and the passing away of an old one, or the beginning and end of the world, for the rise and the wane of the body politic signified thereby. In the heaven, the sun and moon are, by interpreters of dreams, put for the persons of kings and queens; but in sacred prophecy, which regards not single persons, the sun is put for the whole series and race of kings in the kingdoms of the world politic shining with regal power and glory; the moon considered as the king's wife (i.e., ecclesiastical body), the stars for subordinate princes and great men... Light for glory, darkness for error, blindness and ignorance; darkening, smiting, or setting of sun, moon, and stars, for the ceasing of the kingdoms, or for the desolation thereof, proportioned to the darkness; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, falling of the stars for the same. - The Prophecies of Daniel, chapter 2.
8 - Her King as appointed in the Covenant made with David
The Supreme Ruler in this glorious order of things will be Jesus of Nazareth, as is evident from the testimonies already quoted. But it is important to put this proposition in a more specific form, by calling attention to THE COVENANT MADE WITH DAVID, in which God promised him a Son, under whom His Kingdom should be established for ever.
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:1 (2 Samuel 7:12-14).
The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.( Psalm 132:11).
Now these be the last words of David...Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow... He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:1, 3-5).
1 Adam Clarke renders: "Even in his suffering for iniquity, I will chasten him." etc.
Additional comment: John Thomas renders: "In his being caused to bow down, I will chasten..." The Hebrew avah here is rendered commit iniquity," signifies in the active voice to do amiss, to bow down, to commit iniquity; but when the Niphil or the passive voice, as here, it indicates something done to one; thus to cause to bow down, to suffer iniquity, etc. The verse speaks not of the Lord committing iniquity but of being the object of it from the hands of others. - Editor.
9 - Jesus Christ to sit on the restored Throne of David
The son promised to David is Jesus Christ, who will sit on David's throne, when it is restored in the era of his re-appearing on the earth.
Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; (Acts 2:30).
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33).
Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. (Mark 15:2).
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28).
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. (Isaiah 9:7).
In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:15).
Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
10 - The Saints will inherit the Kingdom
The reward in store for those whom Christ shall acknowledge in the day of his glory, is a participation in the "glory, honour, and power" of the kingdom in the sense of being his associates and coadjudicators (as kings and priests) in the work of ruling the world in righteousness.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10).
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:11).
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. (Isaiah 32:1).
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21).
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (2 Timothy 2:12).
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10).
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 2:26,27).
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever 1 and ever... And 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. (Daniel 7:18, 27).
To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 149:7-9).
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom... And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (Luke 12:32, 36).
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1).
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8).
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29-30).
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.(Luke 13:28-29).
Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:25).
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today 2 shalt thou be with me in paradise.3 (Luke 23:42-43).
Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you (Scribes and Pharisees) and given to a nation Christ's true followers. See 1 Peter 2:9) bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43).
- "For ever, even for ever and ever," fails to give the meaning conveyed by the original words. Dr. Thomas says, "The Hebrew and the Chaldee nouns are derived from the verb olaham, to hide, to conceal; hence an olaham, in relation to time is a period hidden of concealed." The literal rendering in Daniel is an olaham, even an olaham of olahams," or hidden period or age of hidden periods, referring to that period of 1,000 years as revealed in the Apocalypse, and which corresponds to the Greek tous aionas ton aionon "for the age of ages" (Revelation 22:5). He further remarks that the Mosaic dispensation (a period of 1,695 years) was an "olaham of olahams, one long period containing many lesser ones." - (Eureka: An Exposition of the Apocalypse. Vol. 1, pp. 125-131).
2 What "today" is this? The clue is found in the fact that the thief's question, to which Christ's words were an answer, introduced a particular day to attention. He asked: "Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." The word "today" contained in the Lord's answer is given as semeron in the Greek, elsewhere rendered this day, and so rendered by Rotherham, Parkhurst and other authorities. Such a rendition would align this word with the day of the Lord's coming. However, many Greek scholars believe that the punctuation mark has been wrongly placed in the Authorized Version of the Bible, and that the answer should read: "Verily I say unto thee today (i.e. in the day of my humiliation), thou shalt be with me in paradise." Punctuation, as we have it today, is entirely absent from the Greek text of the N.T., and therefore rests entirely upon human authority. The Companion Bible declares that "in the absence of hoti (that), the relation of the word 'today' must be determined by the context" and thus should be related to the day of Christ's coming.- Editor.
3 The word "paradise" is of Persian origin, and signifies an enclosed garden, a park etc. In the Septuagint (The Greek Old Testament) it is found in Nehemiah 2:8; Jeremiah 29:5; Ecclesiastes 2:5; Song of Solomon 4:13. It is also used therein for the garden of Eden; and, prophetically, of Israel as restored in the future (Isaiah 51:3). In this place it is aligned with the restoration of the Kingdom of the future, a belief to which the thief had made reference (Luke 23:42). It is obvious, therefore, that the Lord had the restored nation of Israel in mind when he delivered his answer. The Lord did not "go to paradise" on the day of his death, but was interred in the sepulchre, the "hell" or grave of Acts 2:31. - Editor.
11 - The Covenant made with Abraham
The state of Blessedness developed among the nations of the earth when they are thus ruled by Jesus and his brethren, has been the subject of promise from the earliest dealings of God with mankind, and will only be the realization of the purpose enunciated from the beginning. The reader will perceive this in the consideration of the covenant made with Abraham, and its bearing upon the future development of the divine purpose, This covenant guaranteed,
First - The ultimate blessing of all nations through him and his seed.
The LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3).
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (Galatians 3:8).
Second - The everlasting, personal possession of the territory lying between the Euphrates and the Nile, known in the terms of modern geography as Syria and the Holy Land, and biblically as Palestine and Canaan.
- The LORD said unto Abraham, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. (Genesis 13:14-17; see also 12:7, 15:8-18; 17:8).
12 - The Promises therefore renewed to Isaac and Jacob
The Promises made were renewed to Isaac and Jacob.
And the LORD appeared unto him (Isaac) and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father (Genesis 26:2-4).
And God Almighty bless thee (Jacob) and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. (Genesis 28:3-4).
I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed, and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 28:13-14).
13 - The Promises not yet fulfilled
These Promises were not fulfilled in the experience of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, nor have they been fulfilled at any time since.
And he (God) gave him (Abraham) none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession (Acts 7:5).
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (Hebrews 11:8-9).
- hese all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13-35, 39-40).
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:16,29).
Now I (Paul) say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: (Romans 15:8).
- lessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us (that is, Jesus - see context) in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham (Luke 1:68-73).
14 - These Promise fulfilled in the Setting up of the Kingdom
These Promises will be fulfilled in the establishment of the Kingdom of David under Christ (that is, in the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth) as the centre of universal empire.
First - As to the blessing of all nations:
The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9).
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4).
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor...His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.(Psalm 72:4,17).
The nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. (Jeremiah 4:2).
And 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. (Isaiah 11:9-10).
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. (Isaiah 32:1-6; Jeremiah 3:17).
The battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:10).
The LORD is exalted...and wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation (Isaiah 33:5-6).
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. (Psalm 67:4).
Second - As to the inheritance of the Land of Promise:
Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. (Leviticus 26:42).
Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people... Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. (Joel 2:18,21).
A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12).
And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezekiel 36:34-36).
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. (Isaiah 51:3).
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. (Isaiah 62:4).
Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. (Isaiah 60:15).
Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:28).
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11).
Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old. (Micah 7:20).
But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (Numbers 14:21).
15 - The Second Coming of Christ indispensable
Jesus Christ will return from heaven, and visibly appear and take up his residence on earth a second time, for the purpose of bringing about the accomplishment of all these things. The second coming of Christ is therefore the true hope of the believer.
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11).
Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1).
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27).
When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory... To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; (Psalm 102:16,21).
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:20-21).
Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28).
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13).
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Philippians 3:20).
So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Corinthians 1:7).
That when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28).
16 - The Kingdom of God the only object of Hope
The Kingdom of God 1 is the inheritance to which men are called by the gospel, and the thing presented as the object of hope. A proposition which destroys the popular gospel of "kingdoms beyond the skies."
That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32).
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5).
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34).
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:11).
They shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:29).
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5).
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:50).
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Corinthians 6:9).
- The Kingdom of God is sometimes called "the kingdom of heaven" because it will witness heaven's rule extended over the earth, on the same principle as the kingdom of England extended over its colonies. Thus in the context with a promise that their's shall be "the kingdom of heaven," the meek are instructed that "they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:3, 5). Christ's approved followers will "reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10) with the Lord "for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4), subduing every enemy, until, finally, death itself shall be eradicated "that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:25-28). Meanwhile, Christ is at present in heaven; and because the kingdom of the future is hidden there with him as the divine purpose, to labour to enter that kingdom is styled "laying up treasure in heaven." The inheritance promised to the righteous thus is described as being "reserved in heaven" (1 Peter 1:4), awaiting that time when "the Lord shall be revealed from heaven" (2 Thessalonians 1:7). He, himself, taught his disciples that they would be "recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14), and called upon them to pray: "Thy kingdom come that Thy will may be done in earth as it is in heaven." - Editor.
17 - The Duration of the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God will last a thousand years, during which Christ and his brethren shall rule the mortal nations of the earth; sin and death continuing among mankind, but in a milder degree than now. At the end of that period, an entire change will take place. Christ will surrender his position of supremacy and become subject to the Father, who will then manifest Himself as the Father, Strength, Governor and Friend of all. As a preparation for this sublime manifestation, sin and death will be abolished, but not before an extensive revolt of nations at the close of the millennium. This revolt will succeed to the last point and will be suppressed by a summary outburst of judgement; after which shall occur a resurrection and judgement of those who shall have died during the thousand years, and judging of those who are alive at the end of that period;1 resulting in the immortalization of the approved, and the consignment of the rejected to destruction. None will then remain but a generation of righteous, redeemed, immortal persons, who shall inhabit the earth for ever. Christ's work will be finished, and the Father will reveal Himself without mediation.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan 2 and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them... And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 3
- And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:1-9, 12-15)
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. (Daniel 7:14).
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. (Isaiah 65:20).
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. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
- Excluding the approved at Christ's coming who will already have been granted eternal life (Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 4:1,8) and who will have reigned with Christ in the kingdom. There shall be a resurrection of believers, both just and unjust at Christ's coming (2 Timothy 4:1; Acts 24:150), prior to the establishment of his thousand years' reign on earth. They, together with living believers will be brought before the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). The righteous will be granted immortality, and shall become the associates of Christ in the rule he will set up on earth (Revelation 5:9-10; 20:4); the unjust will be given over to the "second death" (Revelation 2:11) - Editor.
2 It must be noticed that the Apocalypse, from which this is a quotation, is a setting forth of prophetic truth in the form of symbol. The most casual reading will show this. Candlesticks are put for communities of believers, stars for angels, hidden manna for eternal life, four beasts full of eyes for the totality of the redeemed, a slain lamb with seven horns for a polity of nations, a woman for an imperial city, an ocean for peoples, and tongues, etc. The dragon of the passage quoted above is symbolical of the political and ecclesiastical powers of Europe gathered under one head to oppose Christ at his coming. The descending angel is a symbol of the power that will be revealed from heaven in Jesus and the saints, and the chaining of the dragon, the universal triumph of Christ, and the riddance of the world of human pests for a thousand years (cp. Revelation 12:3 with Revelation 17:9-10, 18).
3 The lake of fire is not literal, but a symbol representing the second visitation of death, by which the wicked, after judgement, are to be for ever destroyed from the earth, There is no countenance in this for the popular idea of hell, which undoubtedly, is a pure fiction, originating in the speculation of heathen philosophers.
18 - There is but ONE God
There is but ONE God, by whom and out of whom all things have been created, and in whose immensity-filling Spirit all things subsist; that He who is thus the Father of all dwells in unapproachable light, styled in the Scriptures, "heaven, His dwelling place." He and the Spirit are one, but only in the sense in which the sun in the heavens and the light of the day are one. Jesus is His manifestation by the Spirit (this proposition strikes at the root of the popular doctrine of the trinity,1 which confuses the revealed relations of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit).
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4).
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me(Isaiah 45:5).
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is One Lord: (Mark 12:29).
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3).
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6)
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5).
The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto (1 Timothy 6:16).
Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place (1 Kings 8:30).
Our Father which art in heaven (Matthew 6:9).
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. (Psalm 123:1).
1 The only passage in the Bible that "affirms" the doctrine of the trinity is the following: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7). This text is well known to be spurious and is omitted in the Revised Version of 1881 without note or comment.
19 - That the Spirit is not a Personal God
That the Spirit is not a Personal God distinct from the Father, but the radiant invisible power or energy of the Father, filling universal space and forming the medium of His omniscient perceptions, and the instrument of His omnipotent behests, whether in creation or inspiration; the distinction between the Father and the Spirit being, not that they are two persons, but that the Father is Spirit in focus, so intense as to be glowing substance inconceivable; and the Spirit, the Father's power, in space-filling diffusion, forming with the Father, a unity in the stupendous scheme of creation, which is a revolution around the Supreme Source of all power.
The Spirit of God 1 moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2).
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell ( sheol the grave) behold, thou art there... The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psalm 139:2-12).
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4).
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens (Job 26:13).
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:30).
The Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him (the loin) as he would have rent a kid (Judges 14:6).
The LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; (Numbers 27:18).
Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets (Nehemiah 9:30).
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.2 (2 Peter 1:21).
- "Spirit" - ruach in Hebrew, and pneuma in Greek - is one of those plastic words which depend for their significance upon the context. It cannot be kept in the groove of a precise definition. This may appear a little confounding at first sight, but in reality it is the inevitable state of the case with regard to a word of such primitive origin. All its meanings are cognate. Both original words translated "Spirit" have the same radical significance. Ruach (Heb.) is from the verb ruach, to breathe or blow; pneuma (Greek) from pneo, to breathe or blow. Every use of the word "Spirit" must therefore be traceable in some way to this primitive idea of breathing or blowing. And we find this is so. It is used for breath in such passages as "All flesh wherein is the breath (ruach) of life" (Genesis 6:17). "In whose hand is every living thing and the breath (ruach) of all mankind" (Job 12:10); "Thou takest away their breath (ruacham) (Psalm 104:29). Pneuma is translated "life" in Revelation 13:15. But of course the most common translation of the word is "Spirit." In considering the meaning of this form of the word it is well observed that "Spirit" itself comes from a Latin verb of precisely the same derivation as ruach and pneo, viz., spiro, to breathe: "Spirit" is therefore etymologically the correct equivalent of pneuma. But theology has spoiled the etymology of the word by fixing upon it a meaning not etymologically derived. This has created all the difficulty. The only certain way to determine the significance of "Spirit" is to collate its applications. When we read that the Israelites "hearkened not to Moses for anguish of spirit" (Exodus 6:9), we naturally understand the word differently from what we do in 1 Samuel 30:12; And when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him." In the one case it refers to a state of mind, and in another to the life energy of the body. In Daniel was found an excellent "spirit" (Daniel 5:12). This refers to intelligence and disposition, but when we read "No man hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit...in the day of death" (Ecclesiastes 8:8) we naturally understand it as in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; but the spirit (that is, the life) return to God who gave it;: in both of which the word has a very different meaning from what it has in Joshua 5:1 "It came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites... heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel... their heart melted, neither was there any spirit (i.e. courage or heart) in them any more."
Further Comment. It is peculiarity of the Greek language that inanimate objects are sometimes found in the masculine or feminine gender. This is the case with "Spirit," but not invariably so, for it is also rendered in the neuter gender as in Romans 8:19, The Spirit itself beareth witness..." In the Greek, as in the English, this is found in the neuter gender which would not be the case if the Spirit were a person; for though, in that language, inanimate objects can be personified as male or female, persons are inevitably supplied with their proper gender. - Editor.
2 "Ghost" ought in every case, to be substituted by the word spirit. "Ghost" is no translation of the original word. It is a mere paraphrase, and mystifies the idea expressed. It may not do so to critical minds, but it certainly has that effect with the common run of English readers who recognise in :ghost" the third person of the trinity, when no such idea is contained in the original word. Pneuma, the original word, is spirit, breath or wind, and when affirmed of God, relates to that universal effluence of Deity which is the basis of all organic law, and the means of that unity which pervades the universe - the medium through which the will and consciousness of corporealised Deity centrally located in the "heaven," are made coextensive with infinite space. "Ghost" is an obsolete Saxon term, flavouring of exploded superstitions. As the antique form of "guest," it may have been adopted as the representative of pneuma, to denote the idea of the spirit's indwelling; but it must be admitted that such a method of translation is both dangerous and unscholarly.
19A - The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God in official manifestation. This is a mode of description almost peculiar to the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit mentioned in the testimonies quoted from the Old Testament, but styled Holy Spirit by way of distinction from the Spirit in it's free, spontaneous, universal form in nature. It is the same Spirit, gathered up, as it were, under the focalizing power of the divine will, for the bestowal of divine gifts and the accomplishment of divine results.
The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35).
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38).
The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things 1 and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26).
He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: (Matthew 3:11).
John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence... ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you (Acts 1:5-8).
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4).
And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 11:15,16).
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power (Acts 8:17-19).
The foregoing testimonies make plain the New Testament meaning of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, which is a very different meaning from that attached to it by professors of popular theology. It means an immersion or enswathement in spirit power, conferring miraculous gifts. No baptism of the Holy Spirit now takes place. All that can now be done is to preach the Word, and this having been given through the agency of the Spirit, working in ancient prophets and apostles, is the Spirit's instrument - the Spirit's word, by which the Spirit makes war on the natural mind, and hews it into the similitude of the mind of the Spirit.
- Here the Spirit is personified, and some people deduce from this the personality of the Holy Spirit as distinct from the Father, whose messenger the Spirit is here represented to be. Such forget that it was the custom of Jesus to personify great principles, such as Manna - a master, Sin - a master; also the Prince of this world. Wisdom is spoken of in Proverbs as a woman (Proverbs 8:12) - the Spirit here as a man, but the literal fact in both cases excludes the idea of personality.
20 - Jesus Christ the Son of God
- esus Christ, the Son of God, is not the "second person" of an eternal trinity, but the manifestation of the One Eternal Creator, who is "above all and through all" (Ephesians 4:6), and "out of whom are all things" (Romans 11:36). This Creator is Spirit, dwelling corporeally and personally in heaven, yet, in His Spirit effluence filling immensity. By this Spirit-effluence, He begot Jesus, who was therefore His Son; by the same power He anointed him and dwelt in him, and spoke to Israel through him (Hebrews 1:1). Jesus Christ, therefore, in the days of his weakness, had two sides, one Deity, the other, man; but not as construed by trinitarianism, which makes Jesus the Son incarnate. The man was the Son, whose existence dates from the birth of Jesus; the Deity dwelling in him was the Father, who, without beginning of days, is eternally pre-existent. There were not two or three eternal persons before "the man Jesus Christ", but only One, God the Father, whose relation to the Son was afterwards exemplified in the event related (Luke 1:35), by which was established what Paul styles the "mystery of godliness:" "God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (I Timothy 3:16).
And the angel answered and said unto her (Mary), The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35).
The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:20).
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. (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16,17).
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18).
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hands. (John 3:34,35).
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30).
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:16).
I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10).
He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God (Matthew 19:17).
I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28).
Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34).
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22).
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38).
21 - Jesus as the Second Adam
That Jesus was of our nature, notwithstanding the mode of his conception and his anointing with the Holy Spirit. He was raised up as the second Adam (constituted of flesh and blood as we are, and tempted in all points like unto us, yet without sin), to remove (by his obedience, death and resurrection) the evil consequences resulting from the disobedience of the first Adam.
The man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh 1, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:3).
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; (Hebrews 2:14).
God sent forth his Son, made of a woman (Galatians 4:4).
He was made sin for us, who knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead...the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:21,45).
The gift by grace (or favour), which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many... For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:15,19).
He was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Hebrews 5:7-8).
In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God...He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 2:17,; 4:15).
- his is construed to mean that Jesus existed before he was sent forth in the flesh; but this is a straining of a form of speech which is precluded by the nature of the subject. If it means pre-existence in the case of Jesus, it must be allowed the same force in the following statement in reference to John the Baptist: "There was a man sent from God whose name was John" (John 1:6). You are compelled in such a case to speak as if there was a pre-existence: e.g. ,Have you built your house? Have you printed your circulars? Have you engaged your apprentices? These questions, wrongly construed, would prove the existence of the house, circulars and apprentices before the acts had been put forth which call them into existence.
22 - The object of His Death
The Death of Christ was not to appease the wrath of offended Deity, but to express the love of the Father in a necessary sacrifice for sin that the law of sin and death which came into force by the first Adam might be nullified in the second in a full discharge of its claims through a temporary surrender to its power; after which immortality by resurrection might be acquired, in harmony with the law of obedience. Thus sin is taken away, and righteousness established.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29).
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43).
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25).
He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26).
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Galatians 1:4).
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14).
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
22A - His Resurrection
God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him to a glorified, incorruptible, immortal (because spiritual) state of existence, in which he at the present time acts as priestly mediator between the Father and those who come unto God by him.
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:24).
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. (Acts 5:30).
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.(Acts 10:40-41).
God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:31).
Jesus Christ our Lord, was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:3,4).
Though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. (2 Corinthians 13:4).
Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (Romans 6:9).
God hath glorified his Son Jesus (Acts 3:13).
God hath raised him from the dead and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:(Ephesians 1:20,21).
The Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrews 3:1).
We have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14,15).
We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (Hebrews 8:1).
23 - The Devil of the Bible
The Devil 1
- - Who is he? It is of great importance to understand this question, because the Son of God was manifested expressly for the purpose of destroying the devil and his works (I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14). The mission of Christ is, therefore, imperfectly understood when the nature of the Bible devil is not comprehended. It will be found upon examination that the devil is not (as commonly supposed) a personal, supernatural agent of evil, and that in fact, there is no such BEING in existence. The devil is a scriptural personification of sin in the flesh,
- in its several phases of manifestation - subjective, individual, aggregate, social and political, in history, current experience, and prophecy; after the style of metaphor which speaks of wisdom as a woman, riches as MAMMON and the god of this world, sin as master, etc.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (Christ) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (diabolos) (Hebrews 2:14).
For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26).
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7).
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:4).
The devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot (John 13:2).
The betrayal of Christ was the result of Judas' thievish propensities; therefore, says Jesus, "it were good for that man that he had not been born." Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you (Judas) is a devil? (John 6:70).
Why hath Satan 3 filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit...How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? (Acts 5:3-9).
Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14,15).
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).
Give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:14,15).
Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:20).
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8).
Satan hindered us (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
To the angel of the church (ecclesia) in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (Revelation 2:12,13).
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8).
The devil shall cast some of you into prison 4 (Revelation 2:10).
The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. (Romans 16:20).
I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15).
But God shall wound the head of His enemies (Psalm 68:21).
Thou (Israel) art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms (Jeremiah 51:20).
There appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads...And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:3, 17).
He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years (Revelation 20:2).
He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. (Psalm 110:6).
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44).
1 The original word translated "devil" is diabolos. The literal meaning of this is slanderer or false accuser, as illustrated in the following passages, where the word has been translated, instead of being, as in most cases, transferred to the English in a modified form without translation: - "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers (diaboloi), sober, faithful in all things." (1 Timothy 3:11). The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers (diaboloi), not given to much wine, teachers of good things" (Titus 2:3). "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers (diaboloi), incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good" (2 Timothy 3:3). Sin is the great accuser both of God and man. It slanders the former in virtually denying His supremacy and goodness, and accuses the latter unto death. The personification of this principle is natural and effective.
2 The following table of parallel passages presents this fact to the mind more strikingly than any line of reasoning: -
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same: ...
"God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.
... that through death ...
and for sin (in the margin, by a sacrifice for sin)
... he might destroy him ...
condemned sin in the flesh" "put away sin" (Hebrews 9:26).
... that had the power of death ...
Sin hath reigned unto death (Romans 5:21)
Sin bringeth forth death (James 1:15).
The sting of death is sin (1 Corinthians 15:56).
Death by sin (Romans 5:12).
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
...that is, the devil" ( diabolos, accuser)
"The carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God, neither can be" (Romans 8:7).
"By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world" (Romans 5:12)
"The Lamb of God taketh away sin of the world" (John 1:29).
"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."(diabolos) (1 John 3:8).
"He (Jesus) was manifested to take away our sins" (1 John 3:5).
"So sin hath reigned unto death" (Romans 5:21)
"So might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:21).
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like" (Galatians 5:19-21)
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (no superhuman devil, mortal or immortal) is of the world." (1 John 2:16)
"He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting" (Galatians 6:8).
"Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed" (James 1:14).
- This, like the word "devil." is an untranslated word. Originally Hebrew. it was adopted into the Greek language and finally transferred to the English, as the traditional symbol of the great pagan myth of an INFERNAL GOD, whose business is represented as to thwart God and damn mankind. Its simple meaning is adversary. This will be apparent from the following passages: - "And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary (sathan) against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him."(Numbers 22:22). Make this fellow return, lest in the battle he be an adversary (sathan) to us (1 Samuel 29:3-4). OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS: 1 Kings 11:14; Psalm 109:20; Job 1:6-9; Ezra 4:1. If this, the simple meaning of the word, be kept in view, the Bible doctrine of satanism will be understood. Sin is the great adversary personified. See the texts quoted above.
4 Sin, incorporated in the authorities of the Roman state, incarcerated the believers of the gospel. This was the adversary, careering through the earth in search of prey "seeking whom he might devour."
23A - Demons, Devils and Evil Spirits
- emons, Devils or so-called Evil Spirits were the fanciful creation of the pagan mind.
- They were supposed to be a kind of demi-god, inhabiting the air, and producing disease in human beings by taking possession of them. The following passages show that in the Bible, the word is not used to express this idea.
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37).
And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. (2 Chronicles 11:15; Leviticus 17:7).
The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God (1 Corinthians 10:20).
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him... And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. (Matthew 17:15-18).
(From this, the identity of lunacy with supposed diabolical possession is apparent. The expulsion of the evil which deranged the child's faculties is the casting out of the demon).
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. (Matthew 12:22).
One of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (Mark 9:17).
- The word "devils" occurs but four times in the Old Testament; in two places the original word is sheedim, signifying breasts and teats. Parkhurst says "As a noun masculine plural, it was the name given by the Hebrews to the idols worshipped by the inhabitants of Cannan." The Egyptian Isis was one of these sheedim, and was called multimammia, or many-breasted, because clustered over with breasts. They worshipped the prolific principles in nature. Segeerim, twice out of fifty instances, is rendered devils. It represents something hairy; it came to signify a goat, a hairy one. The Egyptians, and all other nations at that day, worshipped it as an emblem of fecundity. Parkhurst says, "It is not, however, improbable that the Christians borrowed their goat-like pictures of the devil, with a tail, horns and cloven feet, from the heathenish representations of Pan the Terrible." - Hebrew Lexicon. In the New Testament, the word is of frequent occurrence. The translators, however, make little or no distinction between the Greek words diabolos and daimon, rendering both, frequently and incorrectly, "devils." Demon, devil-god, or evil genius, expressed to the Greek mind the idea of human departed spirits, raised to the rank of gods or deities. The Jews imbibed in a great measure the traditions of the Greeks and Latins, supposing that diseases and afflictions, whether mental or physical, were the result of having demons or possessions. This tradition had impressed itself on the general language of the time, without being committed to the theory in which that language had its origin; just as many exploded theories in our time have left their mark in such phrases as "bewitched," "moonstruck," "St. Vitus' dance," " St. Anthony's fire," etc. These phrases are freely used, without subjecting the person using them to the imputation of believing the original fiction. Christ's conformity to popular language did not commit him to popular delusions. In one case, he apparently recognizes the god of the Philistines; "Ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub, if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? " (Matthew 12:27). Now, Beelzebub signifies god of flies, a god of the Philistines of Ekron (2 Kings 1:6). Parkhurst remarks "However strange the worship of such a deity may appear to us, yet a most reasonable instance of a similar idolatry is said to be in practice among the Hottentots, even to our day. The Jews in our Saviour's time had changed the name into Beelzebub, i.e., the lord of dung." He also says, "There is no reason to doubt but it was applied in the same sense by the Jews, with whom our Lord conversed." Lightfoot remarks, "And among the Jews it was almost reckoned a duty of religion to reproach idols and idolatry, and call them contemptuous names;" and Christ in using the name takes no pain to dwell on the fact that Beelzebub was a reality. This might, with as much reason, be taken as proof of his belief in Beelzebub, as his accommodation to popular speech on the subject of devils is taken to prove his belief in the popular idea.
- 4 - Human Nature - popular views
- uman Nature - What is it? Philosophy and "orthodox" religion say it is a thing made up of two parts - body and soul (and some add, spirit); that the soul is the real, conscious, thinking part of man, in its nature indestructible and immortal; that when the body is destroyed in death, the soul is liberated and departs to another sphere of existence, there to undergo, endless happiness or misery, according to the life developed in the body.
1 This doctrine is known in theology as THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL. This is a PAGAN FICTION subversive of every principle of eternal truth, as will be discovered by a consideration of the evidence, which proves:
• A • - That Man is a Creature of Dust Formation, whose individuality and faculties are the attributes of his bodily organization.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul2 (Heb. nephesh chaiyah, living creature) - (Genesis 2:7).
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Genesis 5:2).
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:19).
The LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Genesis 3:23).
He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm 103:14).
Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: (Genesis 18:27).
Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? (Job 10:9).
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (1 Peter 1:24; James 1:10-11).
For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19,20).
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (ruach spirit or breath, which in Ecclesiastes 3:19, above quoted, Solomon says the beasts have as well as man) shall return unto God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (Psalm 104:29).
Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? (Isaiah 45:9).
We are the clay, and thou our potter (Isaiah 64:8).
He that is of the earth is earthly (John 3:31).
That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6).
The first man is of the earth, earthly...as is the earthy, such are they also who are earthy...we have borne the image of the earthly (1 Cor 15:47-49).
1 Strangely enough, this belief is allied with the doctrine that after the soul has gone to heaven or hell, it will return at a certain time, called the day of judgement, to be re-united with the body and judged as to whether heaven or hell is to be its everlasting portion. Where is the consistency of sending a man to hell first, and then bringing him to judgement? Let the orthodox believer answer.
- Kitto renders this passage as follows: " God formed man - (Heb. Adam) - dust from the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living animal." He also says, "We should be acting unfaithfully if we were to affirm that an immortal spirit is contained or implied in this passage" (Cyclopedia Bib. Lit., vol.1, page 659). Kitto's translation is borne out by Paul's quotation of the very verse in 1 Corinthians 15. Having affirmed that "there is a natural (or animal) body, and there is a spiritual body," he says, by way of proof," And so it is written, the first man Adam, was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."
• B •
- - That Man is mortal (that is, subject to death or dissolution of being) in consequence of the disobedience of Adam, which brought death as the penalty of sin. For in the day that thou (Adam) eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (see margin, Heb. dying thou shalt die) - (Genesis 2:17).
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19).
Now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever (Genesis 3:22,23).
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12).
In Adam all die (1 Corinthians 15:22).
What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? (Psalm 89:48; 30:3; 86:13; Job 33:22).
All (cattle, beast and creeping thing, and every man) in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died (at the flood). (Genesis 7:22).
Cease ye from man, whose breath (n'shamah) is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22).
The Blessed and only Potentate... only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16).
• C • - That in the Death State, a man, instead of having "gone to another world," is simply a body deprived of life, and as utterly unconscious as if he had never existed. Corruption will destroy his dead body, and he will pass away like a dream. Hence, the necessity for "resurrection."
In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? Psalm 6:5).
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10).1
The grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day (Isaiah 38:18-19).
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (Psalm 146:3,4).
- hy died I not from the womb?... For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, with kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves... There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. Job 3:11-17; 14:10-12).
- ear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry... O spare me (David) that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more. (Psalm 39:12-13).
- or David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption : but he whom God raised up again saw no corruption (Acts 13:36, also 2:29-34).
Then Abraham gave up the spirit (gava, expired) and died in a good old age... and was gathered to his people.2 (Genesis 25:8).
1 Martin Luther, commenting upon this passage, says, "Another proof that the dead are insensible: Solomon thinks that the dead are altogether asleep, and think of nothing. They lie, not reckoning days and years, but, when awakened, will seem to themselves to have slept scarcely a moment" (Debt of Grace, page 258).
2 The phrase "gathered to his fathers," has been contended by some to express the idea that Abraham, in a disembodied state, joined his ancestors in heaven. This view is excluded by the fact that Abraham's fathers were idolaters: "Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor, and they served other gods" (Joshua 24:2), Abraham's "fathers" served other gods: they would be, even on the orthodox theory, excluded from heaven, and therefore Abraham would not be gathered to them there. Abraham joined them in the grave, for all "go unto one place" (Ecclesiastes 3:20).
• D • - "Soul" in the Bible means creature in its primary use, but is also employed to express the variety of aspects in which a living creature can be contemplated, such as person, body, life, individuality, mind, disposition, breath, etc. It never expresses idea of immortality.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature1 (the same original word translated "soul" as applied to Adam) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. (Genesis 1:24).
God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life (in the margin "soul" - Heb. nephesh2 ) and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. (Genesis 1:20).
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:10).
He stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul [nephesh] come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul [nephesh] of the child came into him again, and he revived. (1 Kings 17:21,22).
It came to pass, as her soul [nephesh, life] was in departing, (for she died) - (Genesis 35:18).
It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. (Isaiah 29:8; Exodus 12:16; see margin)
Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;(Proverbs 6:30; cp. Leviticus 17:10-12).
Levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep: Numbers 31:28).
But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.(Leviticus 22:11).
They smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. (Joshua 11:11; 10:32; Jeremiah 4:10; Job 36:14; see margin)
- lso in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents (Jeremiah 2:34; Ezekiel 13:18-19; 22:25-27).
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. (Job 7:15; Psalm 105:1: see margin).
Samson said, Let me [ in the margin, Heb. my soul] die with the Philistines. (Judges 16:30).
It shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:23).
Thou hast in love to my soul [that is, to me] delivered it from the pit of corruption (Isaiah 38:17).
Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4,20).
For whosoever will save his life [psuche] shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [psuche], (same word translated "life" in the previous verse) or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [psuche]?3(Matthew 16:25-26).
And I will say to my soul [psuche], Soul [psuche], thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul [psuche] shall be required of thee (Luke 12:19,20).
Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul [psuche]: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul [psuche] and body in hell [gehenna].(Matthew 10:28).
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. [psuche] ( Matthew 2:20).
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life [psuche] among you, but of the ship. (Acts 27:22).
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul [psuche] died in the sea. (Revelation 16:3).
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar4 the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:9,10).
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied... because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:11,12).
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul [psuche] was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:31; Psalm 16:10).
1 Adam Clark, remarking on the text, says, "nephesh chayiah is a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations."
2 In the 754 places where the Hebrew word nephesh (soul) occurs in the Old Testament Scripture, it is said in 326 places to be subject to death...The soul is said 203 places to be in danger of death, and in 123 places to be delivered from death, implying its liability to death.
"In 106 places where the Greek word psuche occurs in the New Testament Scriptures, it is said in 45 places to be subject to death... The soul is said in 29 places to be in danger of death, and in 16 places to be delivered from death, implying its liability to death." - Waller's Concordance on the Soul.
3 Adam Clark says of this passage, "On what authority many have translated the word psuche in the 25th verse 'life', and in this 26th verse 'soul', i know not, but am certain it means life in both places, "The revisers have since adopted this translation.
4 Adam Clark says of this passage, "The altar is upon earth, not in heaven." We quote his opinion, because he was of identical faith with those who use this passage to prove their belief in disembodied existence in heaven. In reference to the "souls under the alter," he says, "Their blood, like that of Abel, cried for vengeance, "The Lord said to Cain, the voice of thy brother crieth unto Me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10). It is said of Christ, that his blood..."speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24). It is evident the apostle beheld in vision those of the Lord's disciples who should suffer martyrdom upon the earth, symbolically styled "the altar," during the papal persecutions. In Revelation 20:4, John again, in vision, sees "the souls" (i.e. persons), of them that are beheaded for the witness of Jesus, "as having come out of their graves through the resurrection, and lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." This will be when "he shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom."
• E • - "Spirit" in the Scriptures, as applied to man, is no more expressive of the philosophical conception of an immortal soul than "soul," but signifies breath, life, vital energy, mind, disposition, etc., as attributes of human nature while alive.
Behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath [ruach]1 of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. (Genesis 6:17).
For as the body without the spirit1 [pneuma, in the margin, breath] is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26).
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit [pneuma].2 (Matthew 27:50).
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit [pneuma] - (Acts 7:59)
Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit [ruach] (1 Samuel 1:15).
Who knoweth the spirit [ruach] of man that goeth upward, and the spirit [ruach] of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:21).
And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit [ruach] in them any more, because of the children of Israel. (Joshua 5:1).
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [ruach, in the margin, "wind"] of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8).
God made a wind [ruach] to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged (Genesis 8:1).
There is no man that hath power over the spirit [ruach] to retain the spirit [ruach]; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (Ecclesiastes 8:8).
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits 3 of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23).
Are they not all ministering spirits 4, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14).
Beloved, believe not every spirit [pneuma], but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (1 John 4:1-2).
But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit [in the original, phantasma], and cried out (Mark 6:49).
- Ruach primarily signifies "air in motion, breath, or wind," from the verb ruach, to breathe; also "intelligence, courage, mind, disposition," etc - Parkhurst. "Neshamah from the verb nesham, to breath, occurs twenty-four times in the Old Testament, invariably rendered pneuma (Greek) from the verb pneo, to blow, breathe, rendered wind, air, the breath of life, the spirit, a living spirit, i.e., feeling." - Liddell and Scott. Mr. McCullough says, "There is no word in the Hebrew language that signifies either soul or spirit, in the technical sense in which we use the term, as signifying something distinct from the body." - Credibility of the Scriptures, vol II. page 471. Parkhurst also translates ruach "a puff of breath."
2 Wakefield and others render this "He expired."
3 That is, to perfected men at the coming of Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing (2 Timothy 4:1). "Just men" and those whose names are written in the "book of life" then shall be made perfect" (Hebrews 11:40). That Jesus, in the days of his flesh, was not made perfect, is gathered from the following testimony, "Go ye, and tell that fox...I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected" (Luke 13:32). "The Son who is consecrated (in the margin, perfected) for evermore" (Hebrews 7:28). "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).
- The angels are called spirits, not because they are immaterial or unseen, for on several occasions they appeared and gave evidence of being tangible beings. Abraham entertained them, and they ate and drank; see Genesis 18:2-3. They are called spirits because they are of spirit nature. Christ likened the resurrected immortalised bodies of approved believers to those of the angels (Luke 20:36), for they will possess "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). Paul taught that the approved will have "spiritual bodies" (1 Corinthians 15:44), that is, bodies energized by the Spirit of God, and not by blood as at present (1 Corinthians 15:50). The glorified, resurrected Christ had a tangible, visible body of "flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39), though not of blood, and the approved will be made "like him" (1 John 3:2) - Editor
25 - Origin of the Doctrine of Immortality of the Soul
The doctrine of immortality of the soul, not being in the Bible, the question is, Where has it come from? For an answer to this question, we direct attention to the following facts which reveal that it has been derived from paganism, and falsely superimposed upon the teaching of the Bible:
Herodotus, the oldest historian, writes as follows: "The Egyptians say that Ceres (the goddess of corn), and Bacchus (the god of wine), hold the chief sway in the infernal regions; and the Egyptians also were the first who asserted the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal" (Herod. Book 2;Sec123).
Mosheim says, "Its first promoters argued from that known doctrine of the Platonic School, which was also adopted by Origen and his disciples, that the divine nature was diffused through all human souls; or in other words, that the faculty of reason, from which proceed the health and vigour of the mind, was an emanation from God into the human soul, and comprehended it in the principles and elements of all truth, human and divine" (Ecclesiastical History, vol 1, page 86; Plato page 169).
Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) said, "For if you have conversed with some that are indeed called Christians, and do not maintain these opinions, but even dare to blaspheme the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that the souls, as soon as they leave the body are received up into heaven, take care that you do not look upon these. But I, and all those Christians that are really orthodox in every respect, do know that there will be a resurrection of the body and a thousand years in Jerusalem, when it is built again, and adorned, as Ezekiel, and Esaias, and the rest of the prophets declare (Dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, section 80).
An extract from the canon which was passed under Leo X, by the Council of Lateran, shows that the doctrine of an "immortal soul" that lives when the man is dead was supported in those days, as it generally has been since, by the authority of creeds, rather than the Word of God: "Some have dared to assert, concerning the nature of the reasonable soul, that it is mortal; we, with the approbation of the sacred council, do condemn and reprobate all such, seeing according to the canon of Pope Clement the Fifth, the soul is immortal; and we strictly inhibit all from dogmatising otherwise; and we decree that all who adhere to the like erroneous assertions, shall be shunned and punished as heretics" (Caranza, page 412, 1681).
- artin Luther ironically responded to the decrees of the Council of the Lateran held during the pontificate of Pope Leo: "I permit the Pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful - such as the soul is the substantial form of the human body - the soul is immortal - with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dunghill of decretals; that such as his faith is, such may be his gospel, such his disciples, and such his church, that the mouth may have meat suitable for it, and the dish a cover worthy of it" (Luther's Works, vol. II, Folio 107, Wittemburg, 1562).
In an old work printed in 1772, entitled Historical View of the Intermediate State, on page 348, when speaking of Martin Luther's belief in the relation to the state of the dead between death and resurrection, it is said to be held "that they lie in a profound sleep, in which opinion he followed many of the fathers of the ancient church."
- illiam Tyndale declares that "In putting departed souls in heaven, hell, and purgatory, you destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection. What God doth with them, that we shall know when we come to them. The true faith putteth the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers denying that, did put that the souls did ever live. And the Pope joineth the spiritual doctrine of Christ, and the fleshly doctrine of philosophers together - things so contrary that they cannot agree... And because the flesh-minded Pope consenteth unto the heathen doctrine, therefore he corrupteth the Scriptures to establish it... If the souls be in heaven, tell me why they be not in as good case as the angels be? And then what cause is there of the resurrection?" This translator of the Scriptures into English suffered martyrdom in 1536.
Gibbon declares that "The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is omitted in the Law of Moses" (Gibbon, chapter 15).
Richard Watson remarks, "That the soul is naturally immortal, is contradicted by Scripture, which makes our immortality a gift, dependent on the will of the Giver" (Institutes, vol ii, page 250).
George Combe says, "No idea can be more erroneous, than to suppose that man is an immortal being, on account of the substance of which he is composed" (System of Phrenology, pp. 595-7).
The Hebrew word "nephesh" is found in the original about 750 times, but in the common version, nephesh is translated in 45 different ways; soul 475 times; life, lives, living 120 times; persons 3 times; fish 1 time; and applied indiscriminately to man and beast 9 times, etc, etc.
Parkhurst says, "As a noun, nephesh hath been supposed to signify the spiritual part of a man, or, what we commonly call his soul; I must, for myself, confess that I can find no passage where it hath undoubtedly this meaning." (Hebrew Lexicon).
The Greek work "psuche," synonymous with nephesh, used in the New Testament, has 7 different renderings, soul, life, lives, mind, heart, you, etc., etc.
The word "soul" though frequently occurring in the Bible, is not found in one instance as indicating it being immortal, immaterial, indestructible, or "never-dying."
The word "immortal" is found but once in the Scriptures (See 1 Timothy 1:17).
26 - The Doctrine of Immortality
The Doctrine of Immortality, There is a doctrine of immortality in the Bible: but it differs from the popular doctrine in every particular.
First - Instead of immortality being inherent and natural, the Bible teaches it is a quality brought within reach by Christ in the gospel, and will only be attained on condition of believing the gospel and obeying the divine commandments.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).
This is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25).
Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (2 Timothy 1:10).
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (that is, by resurrection: see foregoing context) (John 6:40; John 11:25).
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1).
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2).
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7).
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Romans 8:24,25).
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1).
He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8).
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath1 life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:11-12).
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life (Revelation 22:14).
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36).
He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:25).
He shall receive... in the world (Greek aion, age) to come eternal life. (Mark 10:30).
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality (God will render: see verse 6) , eternal life ( Romans 2:7).
They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:35,36).
I give unto them (my sheep) eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28).
As Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given him. (John 17:2).
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12).
The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:17).
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:.. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:54, 55).
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4).
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.... To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:11, 7).
- In reference to this and similar passages, in which the present tense is used in reference to the possession of eternal life, it is necessary to observe that a mistake would be made if it were supposed they taught the actual present attainment of it. This will be evident from the facts and testimony already before the reader. The present tense, in reference to future events, is a peculiarity of speech dictated by inspiration. Paul, in Romans 4:17, defines this peculiarity as a "calling of those things which be not as though they were." This is illustrated in many parts of the Scripture. Mary, by the Holy Spirit, before Jesus was born, declared that "The Lord hath shewed strength with His arm...He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree; He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away" (Luke 1:51-53). So far were these things from being accomplished, during his sojourn in the flesh in Judea, that when "he was opposed, and he was afflicted, he opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). Not until he shall appear a second time, as the Lion of Judah, will these things written of him have their fulfilment (Psalm 2:8-9). Hundreds of years even before Mary spoke these things Isaiah had written, by the Spirit's guidance, "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." (Isaiah 9:6). So with regard to the statement, "hath eternal life." It points to the certainty of future possession. Only those who believe the Gospel of the Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, as the Life-Giver, have the promise of eternal life given them (1 John 2:25; Titus 1:2). They lay hold of it by faith, and when Christ, their life, shall appear (Col. 3:4), then they will receive the gift, and "die no more" (Luke 20:36).
Second - The immortality of the Bible, unlike the inherent immortality of the popular belief which blooms at death, is to be manifested in connection with, and as the result of the resurrection or change of the body. (The reason is evident: immortality is life manifested through an undecaying body). This proposition is established in many of the testimonies cited under the last heading; it obtains further support from the following:
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2).
(They) shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of (resulting in) life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of (resulting in) damnation. (John 5:29).
Thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:14).
This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (John 6:39-41).
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. (John 11:24).
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (Isaiah 26:19).
There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Acts 24:15).
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we (the awakened dead and those who do not sleep) shall all be changed (after judgement)... for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible1 and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
(1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:13,14).
I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:25-27).
What advantageth it me (Paul), if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. (1 Corinthians 15:32).
... I (Paul) have suffered the loss of all things... If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11).
Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. (Luke 20:37,38).
1 Tertullian (about AD 185), in writing upon the resurrection, says, "He who raises the dead to life will raise the body in its perfect integrity. This is part of the change which the body will undergo at the resurrection; for though the dead will be raised in the flesh, yet they who attain to the resurrection of happiness will pass into the angelic state, and put on the vesture of immortality, according to the declaration of the apostle Paul, that this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, and again, that our vile bodies will be changed, that they may be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ." - Anastasis, page 39.
Third - The immortality of the Bible, in addition to depending upon "the resurrection of the body," is a thing to be manifested and enjoyed on the earth, instead of something to which a man ascends in starry regions after death.
Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.( Proverbs 11:31).
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5).
The earth which he hath established for ever. (Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastes 1:4).).
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9).
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.( Psalm 37:11).
For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. (Psalm 37:22).
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. (Psalm 37:29).
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. (Psalm 37:34).
The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. (Proverbs 10:30).
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13).
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place (the land of Canaan - Acts 7:4) which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed (Hebrews 11:8).
They sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10).
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. (Daniel 7:27).
27 - The Earth the Inheritance of the Saints
The Earth the Inheritance of the Righteous - It follows that the earth, and not "heaven above the skies," is the inheritance of the saints, and the scene of God's work with the human race.
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18).
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. (Psalm 115:16).
And no man hath ascended up to heaven (John 3:13).
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day... For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand (Acts 2:29-34).
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. (John 13:33).
In my Father's house1 are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2,3).
The Father's "house" constitutes the organized polity of the glorified redeemed:
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6).
Ye (Ephesian believers)... are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (Ephesians 2:20,21).
The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15).
Christ has ascended into heaven to appear before God as an advocate for believers on earth:
Christ has entered... into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Hebrews 9:24).
If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 John 2:1).
Christ will return to bring to consummation the purpose of God initiated at his first appearance:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21).
If I go... I will come again (John 14:3).
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11).
The redeemed will be with Christ when he sets up his reign on earth:
They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4).
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4).
1 This passage is generally quoted in the opposition to the doctrine affirmed in Propositions 26 and 27; but the comparison of textual terms below will show that it is but a parabolic expression of the Truth, in perfect harmony with all we are seeking to maintain. It will be seen from this that Christ was alluding to the symbolical temple, or "house of many mansions" (composed of living believers), to be manifested in full glory when his kingdom shall be established on the earth.
28 - The Hell of the Bible
Hell: It follows also, of necessity, that the popular theory of hell and "eternal torments" is a fiction. The word "hell" occurs in the English Bible, but a comparison of the texts quoted below will show that its significance is totally different from that which ignorance and superstition have come to attach to it; that, in fact, it, almost without exception, means the grave.
O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave (sheol), that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! (Job 14:13).
And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell (sheol, grave), with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. (Ezekiel 32:27, compare with Ezekiel 31:14-17).
The wicked shall be turned into hell (sheol, grave), and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17).
Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave (sheol). (Psalm 31:17).
- or Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol, grave: See Peter's application of this to the resurrection of Christ - Acts 2:27; 2:30-32) neither wilt Thou suffer (allow) Thine Holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:10).
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell (sheol, grave) gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. (Psalm 116:3).
Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell (margin, the grave), cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (Jonah 2:1-3).
And in hell (hades)2 he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23).
- or great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell (sheol - see margin - grave) (Psalm 86:13).
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth (grave). (Psalm 63:9).
Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell3 (hades, grave): for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.( Matthew 11:23).
I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell1 (hades, grave) shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18).
He (David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (hades, grave), neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:31).
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (hades, grave) and of death. (Revelation 1:18).
O death, where is thy sting? O grave (hades), where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55; see Hosea 13:14).
And death and hell (hades, grave) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (hades, grave) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:13-14).
1 The original word for hell in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word sheol. The following remarks from "The Bible Verses Tradition," p. 188, will throw light on the subject:
"The Hebrew word for sheol is translated hell, properly, as a general thing, if intended to mean the same as the old Saxon word hell, the covered receptacle of all the dead, where the good and bad repose together in a state of unconsciousness: but very improperly and very shamefully, if intended to be a symbol of 'orthodox' and traditionary hell, as a place of conscious torment for the wicked only. But we, without the slightest reservation, condemn the translators: for they have evidently endeavoured to obscure the true sense of the word sheol, and to uphold the traditionary meaning of hell at the expense of truth and uniformity. Had sheol been uniformly translated pit, or grave, or the state of the dead, or even the mansions of the dead, no such absurd idea as that of a place of conscious torment could ever have been associated with it."
As to the word "hell" in the New Testament, we quote the following remarks on the original term "hades," by Dr. Campbell, a Presbyterian commentator (see On the Gospel, Diss, 6): "As to the word hades, in my judgement it ought never to be rendered hell, at least in the sense wherein that word is now universally understood by Christians. In the Old Testament, the corresponding word is sheol, which signifies the state of the dead in general, without regard to goodness or badness of the persons."
- r Kitto, in his Cyclopaedia of the Bible, says, "Hades means literally that which is in darkness." Job in describing the state of man in death, calls it "a land of darkness, as darkness itself" (Job 10:18-22). A careful examination will lead to the conclusion that no sanction to an intermediate state is afforded by these passages where hades correctly rendered hell, occurs eleven times: see Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31: 1 Corinthians 15:55 (in the margin, hell); Revelation 2:18; 6:8; 20:13-14. Gehenna, also incorrectly rendered hell, occurs twelve times: see Matthew 5:22, 29-30; 18:9; 23:15,33: Mark 9:43, 45, 47: Luke 12:5; James 3:6.
- This passage, occurring in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, is invariably brought forward as proof of the existence of the hell of popular theory. It can only afford such proof on the supposition that it is a literal description and not a parable. But even then it involves the orthodox believer in endless inconsistencies, for it represents heaven and hell ad divided by a gulf over which the wicked and good can exchange thoughts and hold conversations. It is generally admitted that the account is a parable because Christ spoke to the rulers in parables: "That seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." (Luke 8:10). Josephus mentions a tradition current among the superstitious Jews, which seems to correspond with the narrative given by Christ; in fact, Christ appears to have founded his narrative on the tradition in question. Be that as it may, it is evident that he intended to convey some important truth, as seen in verses 29-31. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." In addressing the Pharisees on another occasion the Lord said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me... for had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." (John 5:39-46). All rewards and punishments are reserved until Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1). Christ plainly taught that the righteous will be "recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14). At the same time the wicked will likewise receive the fruits of their folly (Romans 2:7-9, 16).
- Adam Clark, commenting on this passage, has the following remarks; "Perhaps not meaning here the place of torment, but rather of desolation. The original word is hades, from a, not and idein, to see - the invisible receptacle, or mansion of the dead, answering to sheol in Hebrew. The word hell, used in the common translation, conveys now an improper meaning of the original word, because hell is only used to signify the place of the damned. But, as the word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon helan, to cover of hide, hence the tilling or slating of a house in some parts of England (particularly Cornwall) heling, to this day; and the covers of books (in Lancashire) by the same name; so the literal import of the original word hades was formerly well expressed by it. Here it means a state of the utmost woe, and ruin, and desolation, to which those impenitent cities should be reduced. This prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled: for in the wars between the Romans and the Jews these cities were totally destroyed so that no traces are now found of Bethsaida, Chorazin, or Capernaum." - Commentary
28A - Gehenna
Gehenna: There is another class of texts in which the word "hell" occurs, which have to be differently understood from those quoted in the foregoing section: in this the original is Gehenna.1 A reference to the passages and notes below will, however, show that they give as little countenance to the hell of popular theology as those in which the word "hell" simply means grave. They refer to the locality in the land of Israel, which was, in past times, the scene of judicial inflictions, and which is again to become so on a larger scale.
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell2 (Gehenna, valley of Hinnom), into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:43-44).
Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (psuche, life), but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul (psuche, life) and body in hell3 (Gehenna). (Matthew 10:28).
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.4 (Jude 1:7).
- t is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. (Isaiah 34:8-10; see Jeremiah 7:17-20, 27; 2 Chronicles 34:25).
(His) fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12).
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (Isaiah 33:14).
Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).
Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall, and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3).
The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8).
(Those), knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:32).
1 Parkhurst says, "Gehenna is used by the Septuagint for the Hebrew word Gaihenna (Joshua 18:16). So Gehenna in the New Testament is in like manner a corruption of the two Hebrew words gai, a valley, and Hinnom, the name of a person who was once the possessor of it. This valley of Hinnom lay near Jerusalem, and had been the place of those abominable sacrifices in which the idolatrous Jews burned their children alive to Molech, Baal, or the sun. A particular place in this valley was called Tophet, and the valley itself the valley of Tophet, from the fiery stove in which they burned their children to Molech (2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3). - Greek Lexicon.
- n this Gehenna Sennacherib's army was destroyed (2 Kings 19:35). It is written also of this valley, termed also the valley of slaughter, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives" (Jeremiah 19:5-7; 7:30-34). In this valley of Hinnom (i.e. Gehenna) judgement came upon the armies of Assyria for oppressing Israel (see Isaiah 30:31-33; 10:5, 24-25). And when the Lord shall be revealed from heaven, the valley of Hinnom will become again the scene of judgements; first upon His unfaithful servants (Matthew 25:32-41), and finally on those nations who came up against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3; Joel 3:2, 12).
2 Parkhurst remarks on this verse, "Our Lord seems to allude to the worms which continually preyed on the dead carcasses that were cast into the valley of Hinnom (i.e. Gehenna) and to the perpetual fire kept to consume them; a place of abominable filthiness and pollution." - Greek Lexicon. Thus Gehenna came to be used as a synonym for total destruction.
- Matthew, who wrote in the Hebrew idiom, used the term soul and body as comprehending the whole being, which only God could kill so as never to be raised to life again. But Luke 12:4-5, who wrote purer Greek, in relating the same discourse, omits the term soul. W.G. Moncriff, Edinburgh, observes that "The only legitimate mode of interpreting the text is, in our opinion, to understand it as affirming that God only can destroy a soul, a life, a human being's existence for ever; and that this will be the doom of all apostates, and of all the ungodly. Persecutions may destroy a Christian's life now, and for a little, but, at the 'last day' he will be raised to glory, honour, and immortality." When God destroys a man, a soul, a life, or a living being in Gehenna, he is quenched for ever; the second death is to be followed by no resurrection. - Bible verses Tradition.
4 Van der Palm, a learned and orthodox translator of the Bible, says, on Jude, "As this, according to the Greek text, is said of the cities, we must here take the words 'eternal fire' in the sense of a fire which cannot be extinguished until it has consumed everything, and reduced it to ashes."
29 - The Destiny of the Wicked
The Destiny of the Wicked. If the hell of popular belief is a mere figment of the imagination it will be asked, what then is the destiny of the wicked according to the Scriptures? The answer, justified by the foregoing and subjoined testimonies is, that they will be put out of existence by divine judgement, with attendant circumstances of shame and suffering.
The wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. (Psalm 37:20).
The day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. (Obadiah 1:15,16).
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. (Psalm 37:10).
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it... But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. (Psalm 37:34,38).
(They) shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (2 Thessalonians 1:9,10).
The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. (Psalm 145:20).
Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. (Psalm 104:35).
The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction: they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. (Job 21:30).
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. (2 Corinthians 2:15,16).
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13).
These shall go away into everlasting punishment:1 but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46).
- The literal rendering of the passage is, "And these shall go (eis kolasin aionion) to the cutting off age-lasting; but the righteous (eis zoen aionion) to life everlasting" (Matthew 25:46). The Hebrew word "olahm" corresponds to the Greek words "aion," age, and "aionos," pertaining to the age. Parkhurst says, "It (aion) denotes duration or continuance of time with great variety." - Greek Lexicon. Liddell and Scott render the word aion thus: "A space or period of time, especially a life time: also one's time of life, age, generation, definite period, a long space of time, eternity," etc.: not once rendered "world" in their Greek Lexicon. In the Common Version, "everlasting, eternal, evermore, and for ever," are usually given as the equivalent of aion. While in most cases this translation is practically correct, it has to be observed, even these words do not always represent the idea of unlimited duration. Their scope is purely by the subject with which they are connected. A few examples will suffice to show this:
1 - Unlimited Duration:
The everlasting God (Romans 16:26).
The King eternal: the only wise God (1 Timothy 1:17).
Thou, Lord, art most high for evermore (Psalm 92:8).
The Lord shall endure for ever (Psalm 9:7)
2 - Limited Duration:
For their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. Exodus 40:15;Numbers 25:13).
The priesthood being changed (Hebrews 7:12).
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:7).
Ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. (2 Kings 17:37).
His master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (Exodus 21:6).
Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. (Daniel 6:21).
Perhaps he (Onesimus) therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever (Philemon 1:15).
3 - With Beginning, but without End:
And every one that hath forsaken houses... shall inherit everlasting life. (Matthew 19:29).
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25).
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen (Revelation 1:18).
In the following texts, the phrase "end of the world" is literally "end of the aion, i.e., age" (referring to the Jewish dispensation in most cases). See Matthew 13:39; 24:3; 28:20; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Corinthians 10:11. Unto Him be glory in the ecclesia by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world (aion) without end (Ephesians 3:21). The earth which He hath established for ever (Psalm 78:69).
30 - The irresponsible of mankind
The irresponsible of mankind: is a class, forming by far the largest part of mankind, who have never heard the gospel, and are in the darkness of complete barbarism. What is to be done with them? Popular theology says (sometimes), they go to hell; and at other times, they will be admitted to heaven. The first assumption outrages justice; the second violates every divine principle. We submit, on the strength of the following passages, that they are exempted from responsibility, and will pass away in death, as though they had never existed. They will never see the light of resurrection.
O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us...They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. (Isaiah 26:13,14).
In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 51:39).
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverbs 21:16; Jeremiah 51:57).
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12).
That ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (Ephesians 4:17,18).
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (2 Corinthians 4:3).
Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. (Psalm 49:20).
There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (at Christ's coming) - (Acts 24:15).
The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1).
We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10).
We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ... So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:10-12).
31 - The Judgement Seat of Christ
- he Judgement Seat of Christ: That at the return of Jesus Christ from heaven, to establish his kingdom on earth, he will, first of all, summon before him for judgement, those who are responsible to his judgement, Those that are dead he will cause to come forth from the dust, and assemble them with the living to his presence. Faithful and unfaithful will be mustered together before his judgement-seat, for the purpose of having it declared, after account rendered, who is worthy of being invested with immortality and promoted to the kingdom, and who is deserving of rejection, and re-consignment to corruption after punishment. (This precludes, the idea created by a superficial reading of the apostolic testimony, that there is no judgement for the saints, and that the resurrection at the coming of Christ will be confined to the accepted, who, according to this theory, awake to instantaneous incorruption and immortality).
Every idle (evil) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:36,37).
All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of (to receive) life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of (to receive) damnation. (John 5:28,29).
He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap (after judgement) corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap (after judgement) life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8).
Little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28).
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. (Matthew 24:46).
If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming... The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him... And shall cut him asunder (Matthew 24:48-51).
Of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38).
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27).
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. (Matthew 13:45-49).
He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed... into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into (shall have) life eternal. (Matthew 25:31-46).
It came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. (Luke 19:15).
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:25-30).
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this (that is, when the death state ends in resurrection) the judgement (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 22:11-12).
Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge both the quick and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; 1:17; 1 Corinthians 3:13; Revelation 11:18; John 12:48).
That we may have boldness in the day of judgement (1 John 4:17)
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart (1 Corinthians 4:5).
- It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body, and there is a spiritual body... The dead shall be raised incorruptible. On this, Dr. Thomas says in Anastasis, "This is not the form of sound words delivered by Paul. He says, The dead ones (oi-nekroi) shall be rebuilt (egerthesontai) incorruptible. This I believe and teach. He does not say oi nekroi anastesontai - the dead ones shall stand up incorruptible: he does not teach such an anastasis or standing up as this; for both the just and the unjust will stand up; but they will not stand up incorruptible; it will only those of them who so stand up that will become incorruptible when their rebuilding is completed in their putting on incorruptibility and life, or in being clothed upon with their house which is from heaven, when they are quickened by the spirit, because their account rendered is well pleasing to the Judge."
32 - Baptism
Baptism is an act of obedience required of all who believe the gospel. It is a bodily immersion in, and not a face-sprinkling or head pouring, with water. Its administration to infants, in any form, is unauthorized and useless;1 it is only enjoined on those who have intelligence enough to believe the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God and the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ. To such it is a means of that present union with Christ which is preparatory to perfect assimilation at the resurrection, It is, therefore, necessary to salvation.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized2 shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.(Mark 16:15-16).
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5).
Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ...Then they that gladly received his word were baptized (Acts 2:38-41).
When they believed (people of Samaria) Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12).
He commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (Acts 8:38).
Paul (after his conversion) arose, and was baptized. (Acts 9:18).
Lydia was baptized, and her household (Acts 16:15).
The keeper of the prison (at Philippi)... was baptized, he and all his, straightway...believing in God with all his house (Acts 16:27, 33-34).
When they (twelve men at Ephesus) heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5).
The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE US (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 3:21).
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:3-5).
As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29).
1 The claims of children to a religious standing irrespective of intelligence and faith are generally founded on Matthew 19:14: Jesus says, "Suffer (allow) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." This saying of Christ's. however, can mean nothing more than his other sayings: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3); "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." (Mark 10:15). Paul expresses the same idea: "In malice, be ye children" (1 Corinthians 14:20). If Christ's words in Matthew 19 are to be construed literally, they would amount to this: that the kingdom of God is to be made up of babies and children, and that, therefore, men and women would find no place. His real meaning is that the kingdom is reserved for those of childlike disposition. These, in the language of Scripture, are "babes and children." Hence, Jesus, speaking of his disciples, says, "I thank thee, O Father, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Luke 10:21). Again speaking to them, he says, "Little children, yet for a little while I am with you" (John 13:33).
2 Baptizo is used in both Testaments in the sense of immersion, but never in the sense of sprinkling or pouring. The word baptize is not an English word, but is really an English form of the Greek word baptizo: which is not translated, but transferred into our language by the word baptize. Had baptizo been translated, as it could and should have been, there would at this time be no controversy on this subject - Malcolm's Bible Dictionary.
Prof. Stewart says, baptizo means dip, plunge, or immerse in any liquid. It may be added, "especially in the dyeing art, with a view to produce a change of colour."
33 - How can so many be wrong?
How can so many be wrong? It is usual to rely on numbers in deciding questions of religious belief. This disposition takes the form of the question: "Can so many hundreds of thousands of people, including clergymen and ministers, be in the wrong?" As a general answer to this, attention is invited to the following testimonies, which declare the fewness of those who receive the Truth.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (Matthew 7:13).
Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14).
For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14).
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5).
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (1 Corinthians 1:26,27).
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (1 Corinthians 3:19).
God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (1 Corinthians 1:27,28).
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (John 17:9,20).
As concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. (Acts 28:22).
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (Luke 6:22).
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye...Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:14-16).
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14).
34 - Popular Error and Divine Truth in tabulated contrast
Popular Error and Divine Truth in contrast: The true test to apply in the determination of religious truth is one given by Isaiah (8:20): "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." This principle is extensively applied in the classification of scripture testimony contained in this pamphlet as a whole. To bring the matter to a focus, the following tabularised contrast of popular tradition with the Word of God is here presented:
The Word of God
"I can imagine that when a man dies suddenly, one of the first things in the next world will be a surprise.. He looks about him, 'Oh, that glory, how resplendent beyond yon throne!' He listens to the harps of gold, and he can scarce believe it is true. I, the chief of sinners, and yet in heaven; and then, when he is conscious that he is really in heaven, 'Oh! What everlasting joy'" C.H. Spurgeon, Sermon No. 349, p.311;
- I'll praise my Maker with my breath, And when my voice is lost in death, Praise shall my nobler powers employ." - Dr. Watts
- The souls of believers at death do immediately pass into glory." - Methodist & Presbyterian Catechism.
- Beyond the bounds of time and space,The saints' secure abode." - Dr. Watts
- never-dying soul to save,And fit it for the sky." - Chas. Wesley
- Up to the courts where angels dwellIt mounts triumphant there;Or devils plunge it down to hell,In infinite despair." - Dr. Watts
- When the poor soul shall find itself in the hands of angry fiends, it shall seem in that first moment as though it had been a thousand years. What will be his surprise. 'And am I,' he will say, 'really here? I was in the streets of London but a moment ago; I was singing a song but an instant ago, and here am I in hell'" - Chas. H Spurgeon.
- ermon No. 369, page 312."God is therefore Himself present in hell to see the punishment of these rebels against His government, that it may be adequate to the infinity of their guilt; His fiery indignation kindles, and His incensed fury feeds the flame of their torment, while His powerful presence and operation maintain their being, and render all their powers most acutely sensible, thus setting the keenest edge upon their pain, and making it cut most intolerably deep. He will exert all His divine attributes to make them as wretched through eternity as the capacity of their nature will admit." - Benson, the Methodist Commentator.
- O miserable state of the damned! In it they utter as many blasphemies against God as the happy souls in heaven shout hallelujahs to His praise" - American Tract. Society, No. 277.
"With Thee we'll reign, With Thee we'll rise, And kingdoms gain, Beyond the skies."
- And no man hath ascended up to heaven (John 3:13)
- or the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they anymore portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).
- nd this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day (John 6:39; 11:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16).
- or, behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch... and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts (Malachi 4:1-3)
For David is not ascended into the heavens (Acts 2:34) As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness (Psalm 17:15) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish (Psalm 146:4) The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence (Psalm 115:17) For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave, who shall give thee thanks? (Psalm 6:5) God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave (Psalm 49:15)But go thou (Daniel) thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot, at the end of the days (Daniel 12:13; Job 19:25) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5) Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10) And 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 (Daniel 7:27)The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) He casteth the wicked down to the ground (Psalm 147:6)The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction; they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath (Job 21:30) As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God (Psalm 68:2)But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; into smoke they shall consume away (Psalm 37:20)
In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9)
If any man speak, let him speak the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)
35 - Departure from the Truth foretold
Departure from the Truth foretold: The thoughtful man, on which the testimony cited in the foregoing thirty-four sections may have made an impression, will enquire, how comes the religious world, with the Bible circulated so freely, and honoured so universally, to be so much astray? Without attempting in this limited work to indicate the process by which the result has been arrived at, we call attention to the fact apparent in the face of subjoined scriptural quotations, that the truth of apostolic prophecy requires that the world at the present time should be in a state of complete and universal apostasy.
There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3, 4).
The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4).
When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith (ten pistin, the faith)1 on the earth? (Luke 18:8).
The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith (tes pistios), giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the Truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3).
I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:29,30).
For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
The mystery of iniquity doth already work: (in Paul's day) only he who now letteth (that is hindereth) will let (or hinder), until he (paganism) be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked (the papacy) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8).
And upon her forehead (the forehead of the woman representing papal Rome - see Revelation 17:18) was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT (papacy), THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (that is, of state religions), AND ABOMINATIONS (the innumerable sects) OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5).
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people (Isaiah 60:2).
As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37-39).
1 The literal translation of the Greek words ten pistin is, the faith. When Christ comes he will find faith in the abstract in great abundance (for there are many false faiths, religions, and creeds in the world), but he suggests by his question, that he will scarcely find the faith, viz., that to which the apostle alludes as the "one faith" (Ephesians 4:5); "the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3); "the word of the truth of the gospel" (Colossians 1:5); "one hope of your calling" (Ephesians 4:4); "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20); "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew 24:14; Daniel 7:27); in other words, the faith comprehended in the "things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12: 19:8; 28:23, 31), and confidence in God to establish His purpose in the earth.
36 - Coming Deliverance
Coming Deliverance: It is a common belief that the world's deliverance from the state of things portrayed in the foregoing testimonies is to be effected by the preaching of the gospel.1The erroneousness of this view will be apparent from the following testimonies, which teach that it is to result from divine intervention:
Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit...Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know Mine hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is The LORD. (Jeremiah 16:19-21).
For when thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9).
In this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things... And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. (Isaiah 25:6,7).
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. (Zechariah 8:23, 22; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 2:3).
It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16).
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14).
1 This idea exists from a misconception of the objects for which the preaching of the gospel was instituted. The apostle James defines the object to be to "take out from the Gentiles a people for His name" (Acts 15:14). Christ's language on the subject is substantially identical: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14). Chrysostom, writing in the third century, has the following remark on this passage: "Attend with care to what is read. He said not when it hath been believed by all men, but when it hath been preached to all. For this cause he also said, for a witness to all nations, to show that he doth not wait for men to believe, and then for him to come, since that phrase, for a witness, hath this meaning - for accusation, for reproof, for condemnation of those that have not believed..
In conclusion, the time is near for the occurrence of the great events outlined in the Scriptures of Truth, and set forth in this booklet. The reader is invited to write to the address below for further literature upon Bible Truth, and for evidence that we are now on the eye of the Lord's advent. May the reader be induced to accept the Truth herein defined, and be found worthy of the inheritance shortly to be manifested.
"Prove all things: Hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21)
� END �
From The Herald of the Kingdom and Age to come 1851 P54
WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE AT THIS CRISIS.
I. A FEW FIRST PRINCIPLES.
1. "The just shall live by Faith." Habakkuk 2: 4; Romans 1: 16-17.
2. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11: 6.
3. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God." Romans 10: 17.
4. "Faith works by love, and purifies the heart." Acts 15: 9; Galatians 5: 6.
5. "The One Faith," is "the assured expectation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11: 1; Ephesians 4: 5.
6. These things are "the things concerning the KINGDOM of God, and the NAME of Jesus Christ." Acts 8: 12.
7. "All are the Children of God in Christ Jesus through the faith. FOR as many as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ; and IF Christ's, then Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3: 26-27, 29.
8. Such "will be presented holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight, IF they continue in the faith grounded and settled, and not moved away from the HOPE of the GOSPEL which was preached (by the Apostles) to every creature which is under heaven; Colossians 1: 22-23: and"patiently continuing in well-doing" and so "seeking for glory, honor, and immortality." Romans 2: 7.
9. "Behold what great love the Father hath bestowed upon" such "that they should be called the Sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what they shall be: but we know that, when Christ shall appear, THEY SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for they shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as Christ is pure."
1 John 3: 1, 3. Hence,
II. A BIBLE CHRISTIAN
is one, who understandingly believes "the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ," with the humble, affectionate and obedient disposition of a little child; is "immersed into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;" and henceforth walks in "denial of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, in hope of the gift to be brought to him at the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ in his kingdom."
III. OF AN ASSOCIATION OF BIBLE CHRISTIANS.
The duty and privilege of an association of such Christians is,
1. "To observe all things whatsoever Jesus hath commanded his Apostles to teach." Matthew 28: 20.
2. To advance from the principles of the doctrine of Christ and go on to perfection. Hebrews 6: 1. "Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 14. "And so making itself ready for the festival of its union with the Lord." Revelation 19: 7-8.
3. To "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints."-Jude 3; and to "make known unto the principalities and powers in high places the manifold wisdom of God." Ephesians 3: 10.
To fulfil the first indication, such an association of Christians must "continue steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2: 41-42.
1. "In the Apostles' doctrine," by diligent investigation of the Scriptures, that all its members may qualify themselves to speak unto men to conviction; also to the edification, and exhortation, and comfort of believers. 1 Corinthians 14: 3, 24, 31; Acts 8: 1, 4.
2. By doing what they command, or by following the example of the faithful, who were taught of them, and whose practices are recorded in the New Testament. "He that heareth you, my apostles, heareth me;" says Jesus. "We," saith one of the Apostles, "are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us. Hereby we know the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error." 1 John 4: 6.
IV. HOW THE SCRIPTURES MAY BE SUCCESSFULLY
SEARCHED AND WITH FACILITY.
The following course of reading will very much conduce to a systematic comprehension of the Apostles' doctrine.
I. Read attentively the family history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, taking especial note of the promises made to these fathers; such as,
a. The making A GREAT NATION of their descendants through whom all the Nations of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12: 2-3; 17: 4-7; 18: 18; 222: 17-18; 26: 4; 28: 14.
b. The manifestation of A GREAT RULER in the midst of said nation, who, with it and them, should possess the land in which these fathers tended their flocks and herds. Genesis 12: 7; 13: 14-17; 17: 8; 26: 3; 28: 13-15; 35: 12.
c. The Confirmation of this EVERLASTING COVENANT, by which the promises were ratified to Abraham's satisfaction, 430 years before his descendants arrived at Mount Horeb under Moses. Genesis 15: 7-21.
d. Observe that Isaac becomes the allegorical representative of the Shiloh of Israel in the substitutionary sacrifice, and figurative resurrection detailed in Genesis 22. Jacob refers to Shiloh's death by Levi, Genesis 49: 6. In verse 10, he foretells his dominion over the world.
Hence the Faith of Abraham's Family consisted in these particulars.
1. That his descendants in the line of Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons, would become a great and mighty nation;
2. That when this should be accomplished in the full sense of the promise, they, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would be living witnesses of it;
3. That at the time indicated in No. 2, they and their nation would be in actual possession of the land of Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile;
4. That there should be a great and powerful ruler, or king, arise out of the nation, whom they styled SHILOH, or the giver of peace;
5. That he should be "Heir of all things," of the nation, the land, and the dominion of the world;
6. That He would descend in the line of Judah;
7. That He would be slain; but, on the third day (Genesis 22: 4,) from the sentence passed upon him, be raised from the dead in the land of Moreh, as prefigured in the case of Isaac;
8. That He would be slain by the descendants of Levi; therefore, exclaimed Jacob, "O my soul come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor be not thou united!" and,
9. That Faith, or a full persuasion, that what God had thus promised he would perform, would be counted for righteousness to all to whom Abraham became the father; and that to realise the hope of righteousness, the righteous must rise from the dead.
Such was the faith and hope of the Gospel believed from Abraham to Moses, Galatians 3: 8; but which that generation of the Israelites did not believe whose carcases fell in the wilderness of the land of Egypt; and on account of which faithlessness, "Jehovah has sworn in his wrath, that they shall not enter into his rest." These things appeared so improbable, that those who believed them were esteemed by their contemporaries as worthy of reproach. This was styled "THE REPROACH CONCERNING THE CHRIST," to which was, and is attached, "the recompense of the reward:" on account of "the Christ," Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and cast in his lot with a nation of slaves. Let us therefore also go forth unto him bearing his reproach.
II. Having acquired an understanding of the promises made to the fathers, become acquainted with the history of their descendants.
1. In their deliverance from Egypt: Exodus 1 to 14.
2. In their organization as a body politic during the forty years in the wilderness. Exodus 15 to Deuteronomy 34.
3. In their conquest and settlement of Canaan; Joshua 1 to 24.
4. Under judges for life: Judges to I Samuel 10.
5. As an united nation under kings. 1 Samuel 11 to 1 Kings 12: 15
6. As two separate nations and kingdoms-the one under the house of David: the other under Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. 1 Kings 12: 16, to 2 Chronicles 36.
7. As to the overthrow of the kingdom of the Ten Tribes by the Assyrian, 300 years after their revolt from the house of David, and in the sixth year of Hezekiah. 2 Kings 17: 5, to 18: 12. Here it should be noted, that the Ten Tribes have been in dispersion ever since. Hence, all prophecies relating to their restoration and future glory remain to be fulfilled.
8. As to the subversion of the kingdom of the Two Tribes under the house of David. 2 Kings 24: 10, and 25; Jeremiah 39.
a. In relation to the captivity of Jehoiachin, &c., in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
b. In regard to the destruction of Jerusalem, &c., in the 19th of his reign.
The history of these two kingdoms should be well understood, or great mistakes will be made in the interpretation of the prophets.
It should also be remarked that David's kingdom and throne have never been restored since the overthrow by the Chaldeans: but numerous prophecies declare that they shall be in more than their former glory when Solomon occupied them. Therefore, this remarkable event remains to be fulfilled.
9. The history of Israel should also be studied as to the 70 years captivity.
a. From Jehoiachin's captivity to the destruction of the city. Ezekiel 1 to 24.
b. From the same to the overthrow of Babylon. Daniel.
10. As to the restoration from Babylon; especially concerning the decrees of the Persian kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
The Commonwealth of Israel continued in vassalage to Babylon, Persia, Grecia, till B.C. 165, being 430 years from the desolation of the city, B.C. 595. It then became independent under the Asmonean dynasty during 129 years, when it became subject to the Romans, who set up the Idumean, or Herodian race of kings. Under these the Shiloh was born. Afterwards, Judea was converted into a procuratorship. The sceptre had departed from Judea and been transferred to the Romans. The Levitical authorities arraigned the Christ before Pilate, and extorted the sentence of death against him. He was crucified, and in about 37 years after, the Romans took away the daily; cast down the place of its sanctuary; destroyed the city; cast down the truth to the ground; destroyed the mighty and the holy people; and carried them captive into all nations; where they still remain, waiting for "the restitution of all things" belonging to their nation. Daniel 8: 11, 22, 24; 9: 26; Luke 21: 24.
In studying the records of Israel, that passage in the biography of David inscribed in 2 Samuel 7: 12-17, is of great importance, and essential to the right understanding of the truth. The promises contained in it are styled "THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID" in Isaiah 55: 3; Acts 13: 34. i.e. The gracious promises made to David. These are offered to Shiloh and the saints. They are the nucleus of "the joy set before him" and them, on account of which "he endured the cross and despised the shame." They promise-
a. A seed to David, who should be the sovereign of a kingdom;
b. That He should build a temple for Jehovah; Zechariah 6: 12-13, 15.
c. That His throne should be everlasting;
d. That he should be Son of God as well as Son of David;
e. That he should suffer for the iniquity of men, but mercy should not forsake him:
f. That David's house, throne, and kingdom should be established for ever before him, i.e. he should be a living witness of its perpetuity:
g. That therefore he should rise from his sleep with his fathers, and live forever.
David styled this "THE LAW OF THE ADAM," which related to his house for a great while to come. In his last words-2 Samuel 23: 3, -he informs us that God spake to him about this personage, laying down this general principle in relation to the kingdom he had promised, namely, that "HE THAT RULETH OVER MEN MUST BE JUST, RULING IN THE FEAR OF GOD."
But, that the members of his house were not of this character, yet, that "God had made with him an EVERLASTING COVENANT, ordered in all things and sure," and that such a character would arise out of his family to "rule the world in righteousness." Therefore, said he, this Covenant "is all my salvation, all my desire" although appearances at present do not indicate its accomplishment. Read Psalm 89; 132: 2-18; Acts 2: 25-31.
"THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD SHALL BECOME OUR LORD'S AND HIS CHRIST'S: AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. -
Revelation 11: 15.
"And the Lord shall be King OVER ALL THE EARTH, in that day shall there be one Lord, and his Name one. -Zechariah 14: 9.
Where then will be the thrones, principalities, and dominions which now oppress the world, sitting as a night-mare upon the nations, and binding them in the fetters of ignorance, superstition, and political chicanery. A resounding joyous shout, as the roar of a multitude of waters, will reverberate through the heavens, saying"destroyed, abolished, gone for ever, to be found no more at all." Then will come a reign of peace and righteousness and wisdom and knowledge will become the stability of the times, when the nations will glory in their King, in whom they will be blessed and free. The glorified Saints will possess the dominion of the world. Daniel 7: 14, 18, 27; Revelation 5: 9-10.
III. To advance still further in the Apostles' doctrine, such an association as that before us must proceed to the investigation of the plain and unsymbolic prophecies. Such as the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Their contents may be arranged as to generals under the following heads; namely:
1. The calamities predetermined upon the two nations of Israel.
2. The restoration of the house of Judah from the Chaldean captivity-Haggai;
3. The restoration from its present dispersion:
4. The bringing back of the ten tribes and re-union of all Israelites into one kingdom and nation in the land of Israel;
5. The glory, power and blessedness of the Israelitish nation during one thousand years, during which all other nations will rejoice in Israel's King;
6. The birth, life, sufferings, moral, sacrificial and pontifical character, &c., of the King of Israel;
7. His resurrection and ascension to heaven, there to remain a limited time;
8. His return and subsequent glorious and triumphant reign on the throne of his father David, from the time of the restoration of God's kingdom again to Israel until "there shall be no more death"-"he shall be a priest upon his throne," "after the order of Melchizedec,"-Zechariah 6; Psalm 90: 4;
IV. These things being understood, the personal testimony of the Apostles, evidential of the rightful claims of Jesus to the Messiahship, or regal, imperial, and pontifical sovereignty over Israel and the world, may be next proceeded with.
This testimony is contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John's writings. They were written that men "might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they might have Life through his Name." They show-
1. That Jesus is the hereditary descendant of David, in whom is vested the sole right to his kingdom and crown;
2. That He is the acknowledged Son of God by paternity of first birth; and by being born again of his spirit from the dead;
3. That He possessed two natures; first, that of mortal flesh; secondly, that of his present one, which is holy, spiritual flesh, -"the Lord, the Spirit;"
4. That without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins, -Hebrews 9: 22;
5. That the blood of animals cannot take away sins, -Hebrews 10: 4;
6. That for a sin-offering to be an efficient atonement it must not only be slain, but made alive again; which constitutes it a living sacrifice;
7. That Jesus was such a sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, and without blemish-that is, "without sin,"-Hebrews 4: 15.
8. That the blood of Jesus is "the blood of the New Institution, shed for many, for the remission of sins,"-Matthew 26: 28:
9. That He rose from the dead: and ascended to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens and that he will return in like manner as he departed, and to the same place,
10. The attributes of Jesus constitute his NAME.
11. That through this name, repentance, remission of sins, and eternal life, are offered to all intelligent believers of child-like disposition.
12. That if men would receive the benefits of the Name, they must believe in it, and put it on.
13. That this Name is inseparably connected with the institution of immersion-so that if a believer of the Gospel would put it on, he must be immersedinto the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, -Acts 2: 38; 10: 44, 48.
14. That the Gospel is the glad tidings of the kingdom in the name of Jesus, if therefore a man would be saved, he must believe this gospel and obey it, -Mark 16: 15-16.
15. That if an angel preach any other gospel than this he is cursed, -Galatians 1: 8-9.
16. That all who obey not this gospel shall be punished, -2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10.
17. That it is the law by which man shall be judged, -Romans 2: 12-16.
18. That the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, -1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.
This outline of the Apostles' Doctrine may be still further condensed into these four propositions-
1. That when the Christ should make his first appearance in the world he should appear as an afflicted man;
2. That having drank the cup of bitterness to the dregs, He should rise from the dead;
3. That Jesus of Nazareth was He: and-
4. That there is no other name given among men whereby they can be saved. -Acts 17: 3; 4: 12.
V. To understand what genuine Christianity is, in its associational and individual relations, men must make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the Acts of the Apostles. It contains an illustration of the manner and order in which they executed the commands of Jesus. A Christianity in doctrine, spirit, and practice will be found in this little tract written by Luke, such as the present generation of the human family hath no conception of. It narrates also the concise history of the establishment of the religion of Christ in the Roman Empire.
VI. The next step in the course may be the study of the apostolic epistles. From these and the Acts may be learned the origin of that GREAT APOSTACY from primitive Christianity which constitutes the superstition of Europe and America; and styled by the Apostle "a Strong Delusion." Its elements are termed by Paul "The Mystery of Iniquity," which were secretly at work in his time; but openly from that of Constantine until they brought Europe to what we find it in all its mischievous and debasing forms of impiety and spiritual absurdity. In its beginning, this mystery of iniquity was concocted out of-
1. A combination of Judaism with Christianity. Acts 15: 1-5.
a. Teaching that the immersed believers must be also circumcised;
b. Thereby showing that 'baptism in the room of circumcision' was not thought of in the apostolic age.
2. A further combination of Gentilism with this Judaized Christianity; from which resulted a compound of the three-a fourth something unlike either of its constituents.
VII. Lastly, we may proceed to the investigation of the symbolic prophecies, such as those of Daniel and the Apocalypse. To master these, the inquirer must acquaint himself with,
1. The scriptural and symbolic speech;
2. The things revealed in it;
3. The history of Assyria, Persia, Macedon, Rome, and Modern Europe, from the extinction of the Western Empire to the date of this document;
4. The right interpretation of these prophecies by persons versed in items 1, 2, and 3, depends-
a. Upon their freedom from all dogmatic-theological bias;
b. Upon their having their senses exercised by reason of use-
Hebrews 4: 14.
c. Upon their skilfulness in the word of righteousness:
V. THE APOSTLES' FELLOWSHIP.
To have fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, men must have fellowship with the Apostles. This is accomplished only by believing and doing the truth promulgated by them. This is styled "walking in the light as God is in the light by which we have fellowship one with another"-1 John 1: 3, 6-7. A man might be in approved fellowship with all 'Christendom,' papal and protestant, church and dissenters, and yet have no fellowship with God; "for if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness (ignorance,) we lie, and do not the truth." Hence Papalism, and Protestantism are a great lie; mere antagonist evils, claiming fellowship with God, while they are mantled in the darkness of human tradition, and pervert and persecute the truth. It is the duty, therefore, of all who would embrace the christianity of the Bible, to lay hold of the things we have already indicated, to separate themselves from all papal and protestant sects, [for they are but the aggregations of all worldliness, and fast asleep] and either to maintain their own individuality, or, if sufficiently numerous, associate themselves together as A COMMUNITY OF WITNESSES "who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,"-Revelation 12: 11-17. Such an association would be entitled to the scriptural appellation of
"THE LAMB'S WIFE,
Which is called upon to prepare herself for the approaching consummation. -Revelation 16: 15; 19: 7-8. She must be "sanctified and cleansed in the laver of the water by the word;" that she may be "holy and without blemish." Such a body must "edify itself in love;"-Ephesians 4: 16; and meet every Lord's day to commemorate his death and resurrection, to show forth the praises of God, to make their united requests known to him through Jesus Christ, to proclaim his goodness to the children of men, and to convince them of the judgment which has come upon the world at last. All which is benevolently submitted to the public, by the-EDITOR.
The word kingdom, in the Greek Basileia, is of very common occurrence in the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles. In the English tongue it is derived from the two words king and dominion, which when joined together, with the syllables inion cut off, make kingdom. The radical idea of the word is therefore king's dominion, or dominion of a king. Kingdom has a plurality of significations in our language, and is not restricted to the idea of authority, or jurisdiction. It is sometimes used to signify the territory or country subject to a king, undivided by the interposition of other countries. This is the kingdom proper or "the first dominion." At other times, it is used to signify the inhabitants of the country, or population subject to a king. This diversity of signification comes from the word dominion, which imports "territory under a government; region; country; district governed, or within the limits of authority of a prince or state. Government; right of governing. Persons governed."
There may be many countries under the jurisdiction of one and the same king. The plural is then used, and they are styled the king's dominions, of which all that are situated beyond the kingdom proper constitute the empire or second dominion. This distinction is observed in the prophets as appears from the testimony-
"I will make Israel that was cast off a strong nation; and THE LORD SHALL REIGN OVER THEM IN MOUNT ZION from henceforth even for ever. And then, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even THE FIRST DOMINION; the KINGDOM shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem"-(Micah 4: 7-8).
The first dominion, then, and the kingdom are the same; but that there is dominion beyond "the first" is also apparent from another testimony which speaks both of kingdom and dominion. Thus the prophet says-
"There was given to one like the Son of Man DOMINION, and glory, and A KINGDOM, that all people, and nations, and languages should serve him"-(Daniel 7: 13-14).
Queen Victoria has a first and secondary dominion. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is the first dominion; while India, British America, the West Indies, etc., constitute the second. So it will be when the Kingdom comes to Jerusalem; the Kingdom of Israel then existing on the land of Israel will be the King of Israel's first dominion; while all other nations and countries will be his secondary possession-
"For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, O Zion, shall perish; yea those nations shall be utterly wasted"-(Isaiah 60: 12).
The word kingdom is not a full translation of Basileia; for while it signifies a kingdom, realm, that is, the region or the country governed by a king; kingly power, authority, dominion, reign; it also signifies, royal dignity, majesty and the title and honour of a king. In short Basileia imports basileos ta, the things of a basileus or king. It is in this way it is used in the scriptures.
A king's personalia are all expressed by basileia. Hence it stands for the king's majesty in which he shall appear, when he comes in power and great glory, as expressed in these words-
"Verily, there be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his KINGDOM"-(basileia)-
(Matthew 16: 28).
This majesty in the preceding verse is called "the glory of the Father," in which the Son of Man shall come accompanied "with the angels," and at which time"he will reward every man according to his works." The passage might be more intelligibly, and quite as correctly rendered, "who shall not taste of death until that they shall behold the Son of Man making his appearance (erchomenon) in his majesty."
In some MSS. basileia is displaced by the word doxe, that is, visible glory, splendour, brightness, dazzling light, or majesty. The persons to be thus favoured were Peter, James, and John, who six days after Jesus spoke the words, became eye-witnesses of the basileia or doxa with which he will be invested when he confounds the moon, and puts the sun to shame "at the appearing in his kingdom" (Isaiah 24: 23; 2 Timothy 4: 1). In bearing testimony to this Peter says for himself and his brethren-
"We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the POWER and COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his MAJESTY. For he received from God the Father HONOUR and GLORY, when there came such a voice to him from the magnificent glory, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came out of heaven we heard when we were with him in the Holy Mount"-(2 Peter 1: 16-18).
The word "coming" in this place is parousia in the Greek, from pareimi, a verb which signifies to be present, to have come. Parousia, therefore, imports actual presence; which accords with our rendering of erchomenon in the text of Matthew "making his appearance." What the three apostles saw on the Mount of Transfiguration was the majesty of the Son of God. This majesty consisted of "honour and glory" received from the Father; and therefore styled "the glory of the Father." When Jesus is actually present on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, it is no cunningly devised fable to affirm, that he will be seen there as he was seen by three mortal men on the Mount of Transfiguration. This is his parousia en te basileia auloa and the erchomenos tou vhiou tou anthrapou-his manifestation in his kingdom.
The word basileia is used in the proclamation of John the Baptiser, Jesus, and the Apostles, before the crucifixion. They preached, saying, "the basileia, or kingdom, of the heavens is at hand." In this instance kingdom means neither territory, population, dominion, reign nor power. Dr. George Campbell supposes that John and Jesus announced the approach of the reign of heaven, that is, of the Messiah, which after his resurrection was actually established. But this is contrary to fact. Jesus is king of Israel of right; but instead of his reign being acknowledged by his people, they refused to submit to him, and put him to death. And after his resurrection the national will was still supposed to be his. The apostles spent their lives in urging his claims to the throne and kingdom of David, which was nevertheless rejected, and brought ruin upon the nation. What sort of reign is this? The reign of a king over rebels, which is no reign at all.
John did not certainly proclaim the reign of heaven at hand in preaching repentance, because the basileia approached. He was too well instructed in the prophets to do this. What he cried was,
"Repent, because the kingdom of the heavens has approached."
The kingdom here was not something to appear seven years after; but a something that was actually present. Eggike is the perfect of eggizo, and imports what has already come to pass. It does not signify at hand to come, but has come to hand-it is present, in your midst. What is it that is present? The basileia-THE LORD whose way I call upon you to prepare. "He standeth among you;" and "that he should be manifested to Israel, I am come, as his precursor, baptising in water, and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Matthew 3: 2; Mark 1: 3-4; John 1: 26, 31).
Thus spake John, when in the spirit and power of Elijah he lifted up his voice in the wilderness in the performance of his mission to announce the presence, and approaching manifestation of the King of Israel, and to prepare a people to receive him (Luke 1: 17). Hence his proclamation was,
"Repent, because the Majesty of the heavens has arrived;" or, "because His Majesty, the King of Israel, and of the nations, is about to appear before you." "I know not who he is; but He that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he who baptiseth with the Holy Spirit:" and when John saw this he bear record that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1: 33-34).
That basileia is sometimes put for king, and the contrary, in the scriptures, appears from these words-
"Blessed is HE THAT COMETH in the name of the Lord; blessed be THE KINGDOM of our father David THAT COMETH in the name of the Lord"-(Mark 11: 9-10).
According to another they said-
"Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord"-(Matthew 21: 5, 9).
This he regards as a fulfilment of the saying-
"Behold, thy KING, O Zion, cometh unto thee, meek and sitting upon an ass"-(Zechariah 9: 9).
A third records it in the words-
"Blessed be THE KING that cometh in the name of the Lord"-(Luke 19: 38).
In the prophet Daniel also kings and kingdoms are used synonymously (Daniel 2: 44); so that it is according to the analogy of scripture to render basileia or kingdom by king, if the scope and context of the place demand it.