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1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Flow of people...like a winding river...such will be the procession of all the nations once the kingdom fills the earth [AMP says 'And peoples shall flow [like a river] to it.'
Such is the revealed purpose of the Most High. But a consummation like this requires preparation, and that, too, a very long one, especially as it is to be developed on certain moral as well as political, principles. When the time shall come for the kingdom to be possessed, it will be said to the heirs of it,
"Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
From this it appears that the work of preparing the kingdom takes from the foundation of the world to the resurrection of the dead. All this time the kingdom is preparing; but when the King descends and rebukes the nations, and wastes the land of Nimrod with the sword, and makes Israel a strong nation, it will then be said that the kingdom is prepared.
The reader will probably inquire, what does this work of preparation consist in that it should take so long a time? This is an important question, and, in reply, I remark that if physical force only were employed in preparing the kingdom, it need not take so long. A kingdom may be set up in a few days, and abolished as speedily, as we have witnessed in our own time. But it is not so with the kingdom of God.
The physical is subordinated to the intellectual and moral; and, as men, among whom it is being prepared, are so earthly and sensual, the mental progresses much more slowly than the physical, and, therefore, a kingdom founded upon moral principles requires longer to prepare, but is more enduring when completed...
A kingdom is the dominion of a king. An empire is also the dominion of a king, but with this difference; the kingdom proper or " the first dominion," is restricted to regally constituted territory; while the empire, or secondary dominion, though belonging to the same king, extends over other peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues, than those of the royal domain. This is illustrated in the case of the British kingdoms and empire. The kingdoms are restricted to England and Scotland, which are by constitution regal territories; but the empire is a secondary dominion of the same united crowns, extending over Canada, Hindustan, and other parts of the globe, with all the nations, languages, and people, they contain.
There are various elements necessary to the constitution of a well-organised kingdom. In the first place, a kingdom must have a territory. To maintain the opposite would be to contend that somewhere is nowhere. A kingdom is not located in a feeling, or in heart ; though a belief of its future existence, a comprehension of its nature, or an attachment to it may exist there. It must have a place, a locality, as well as a name. It would be highly absurd to say, that the kingdom of England and the throne of Victoria were in Spain ; yet this would be as reasonable as to say, that the kingdom and throne of David are beyond the skies! An orthodox dogma contained in the fiction that Jesus is now sitting upon the throne of His father David! What conceit after this is too ridiculous for creed-makers and systematisers to promulgate!
In addition to a territory, a kingdom requires subjects, which compose the nation over whom there is a king. But, simply to set up a man and call him "king" would be unwise. It would be consonant only with the barbarism of savage tribes. A well-regulated monarchy requires gradation of ranks, and orders of the best men, with whom the king may divide his power and glory, and administer the laws of the kingdom.
These laws should be in conformity with the provisions and spirit of the constitution, which defines the principles, and creates and combines the elements of the state. Now, it is worthy of remark, that the subjects of a kingdom do not possess the kingdom. They are simply the inhabitants of the territory, who are defended against external aggression, and protected as civilians by the power and law ot the state. The possessors of the kingdom are the king and those with whom he is pleased to share his authority. This is an important distinction, and must not be forgotten in studying "the things of the kingdom of God."
The subjects of the kingdom and empire are a totally different class from the heirs or possessors of the dominion. From this brief view, then, of the nature and constitution of a kingdom, its elements may be stated as consisting of,
1. A territory;
3 A king;
4. A constitution;
5. Laws, civil and ecclesiastical;
7. Attributes, or, prerogatives, rights, privileges, &c.
Now, "the kingdom of God and His Christ" will consist of all these things; and will be as material an institution -- as real and terrestrial a monarchy as those of Great Britain, Belgium, or Spain. It is not now an existent reality; for, though it once existed under a constitution, which hath waxed old and vanished away, its elements are dissolved from their previous combination and remain dispersed.
Their restitution is, however, a matter of promise, attested by two immutable things, by the oath and existence of the living God. His kingdom and empire on earth are a great truth, but not an existing fact; they are visible only to the eye of faith, and are required by their Founder to be received in the "full assurance of hope," with rejoicing and confidence to the end (Heb. 3:6,14 ; 6:11,18, 19).
Elpis Israel 2.2.
8 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.
The nations being prepared by coercion, the formula of political adoption is promulgated to them. This is contained in the law which goes forth from Zion. The details of this law are not all specified. In the general, it establishes the power of the Lord, then becomes "a great mountain filling the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35), above all other powers; and constitutes the newly erected Temple in Jerusalem "the house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7).
This law gives the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem which is Zion; where the Lord reigns over them henceforth for ever. The nations accept the law which saves them from extermination. This is evinced by the effects which follow its promulgation.
They all flow to Jerusalem as the centre of the world, and fountain of all blessings; for "My springs," saith the Lord, "are in thee."
They go thither for instruction in the ways of the Lord, and return to walk in His paths, to live at peace among themselves, to abandon the study of war, and to devote themselves to agriculture commerce, and the arts (Isaiah 2:2-4) This is the millennial future state.
Abraham and Jesus are, then, the greatest personages upon the earth; the former being the spiritual father of Jesus and the saints, and the political father of a multitude of nations, over whom Christ and His brethren rule until "the end" (1 Cor. 15:24).
Such is "the world" of which Abraham and his Seed are the heirs.
Elpis Israel 2.2