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this invitation: "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Heb. 10: 12.)
The time how long he sits upon his Heavenly Father's throne, is definitely marked and bounded by the word "until," and by the event following, which is the subjugation of all his enemies. We are not left by Holy Writ in any doubt, whether that time has come, our experience and observation alike agreeing with the word: "But now we see not yet all things put under him." (Heb. 2: 8.)
The word of God which he spake by the prophets to the fathers, mainly regards the future coming of the Lord in glory, with the angels, to take possession of his inheritance, and to rule over all nations of the quick and dead: as it is written of him after his ascension: "whom the heavens must receive (retain) 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.)
It is impossible for God to lie. He is more honorable than any king or potentate; and what he says, he plainly means: what he speaks by the mouth of his prophets, he will strictly verify and perform to the letter: not one jot nor tittle of his word shall fail. And when he declares, as above, that he has spoken by the mouth of all his prophets, concerning this restitution of all things, it plainly identifies this restitution with the kingdom of heaven, which is the same thing in fact, presented in divers aspects, whether it be called the restitution of all things, or the new heavens and new earth, or the resurrection of the dead, or eternal life, or the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven, or be called the kingdom of God, or of Messiah, or of heaven. By all these names, the mind is led to regard the same eternal state, as by the names Jesus, Immanuel, Savior, Christ, and Messiah, the mind is led to regard the same eternal king. The various names unfold various views; but they all belong, and many more with them, to the same heavenly king in his kingdom.
THE FAITH BY OUR LORD ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.
It is said that the word spoken to the fathers by the prophets, God hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things." (Heb. 1: 2.) Now, what hath God spoken to us by his Son, in common with all the prophets, unless it relates to that restitution and kingdom of all things, of which Jesus is "the appointed heir?" The word which Jesus began to preach and to say, and which, every where as he went, he continually preached, was this surely: "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 4: 17.) "And Jesus went about all Gallilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom.” (Mat. 4: 23.) “He departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities." (Mat. 11: 1.) "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom." (Mat. 9: 35.) "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, for therefore came I forth." (Mat. 1: 38.) "He went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." (Luke 8: 1.)
Plainly, the word which in these last days God hath spoken to us by his Son relates wholly to the kingdom of hea ven: "for to this end was I born, (said our Lord before Pilate) and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth :" (John 18: 37) that the kingdom of heaven draws near, of which the Son of Man is the appointed heir.
It was not only in person, but also by the apostles, that our Lord preached his heavenly kingdom. Having chosen them, he sent them forth with many directions for their own government, and with great power over diseases and demons; but with only one message to preach, which was this: "For the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" the reign of
the Messiah draws near. The seventy also he sent by two and two, with only the same word, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." And neither they, nor the twelve, had any other word given them to say, but only this, although men should scoff at the word, and reject the preachers: "Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you; notwithstanding, be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." (Luke 10: 11. Mat. 10: 14.) "And they went out, and preached that men should repent." (Mark 6: 12.) "He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." (Luke 9: 2.) "And they went through the towns, preaching the gospel every where." (Luke 9: 6.)
The word "repent" is omitted in the charge to the apostles; but it is added in the history of their preaching; so that the same words were used by our Lord, and by his disciples, to publish the glad tidings of his kingdom; diseases and devils being made subject to his ambassadors. The original words used by John Baptist are: Μετανοειτε ηγγικε γαρ η Βασιλεια των ουρανων: and they were used by our Lord. The charge to the disciples is to preach: Οτι ηγγικεν η Baoilɛia twv ovgavwv. (Mat. 10: 7.) Luke writes it: Ηγγικεν εφ υμας η Βασιλεια του Θεου. Mark says: Jesus came into Gallilee preaching the kingdom of God, and saying: the time is fulfilled and ηγγικεν η Βασιλεια του Θεου· μετανοειτε και πιστευετε εν τω ευαγγελιω.
Thus we are taught the use of the word Gospel, and the true nature of the repentance and faith, enjoined in the New Testament. To repentis to bethink one's self, in view ofthe fact that the kingdom of heaven draws near: and to believe in this fact, is the faith, which works by love and purifies the heart, and overcomes the world.
THE GOSPEL FIRST LIMITED TO THE JEWS, WHO WORSHIPPED AT JERUSALEM.
The original words, which are common to the Evangel. ists, relating the call and commission of the twelve Apostles, are these two: ηγγικε and Βασιλεια. All the others are
convertible terms, or words not essential to the main fact in the Gospel. By Baotleta, or kingdom, is meant regal sway, or royal administration; and it refers to Messiah's administration, according to the common sense of the people who heard the word from the lips of our Lord; and according to the common sense of succeeding ages to this present time. By ηγγικε is meant draws near, or has drawn near. It is translated in Matthew, "is at hand:" and in Luke," is come nigh." It is one and the same word in the original, and indicates a state of approach, in which the subject of action is already near, and is approaching nearer. Putting the two ideas together, we have the gospel message in this form: Messiah's administration has come near. Mark adds: "Repent, and believe in the glad tidings." "The regal sway of the Son of man has approached near :" that is the burden of the message, and the main fact stated in the words of the gospel.
In this form and sense it is admitted on all hands, that the Lord Jesus preached the word, and gave it to the twelve and to the seventy to preach. And one remarkable change in the manner of publishing it, is also by all admitted; viz. that the Lord limited the annunciation of this gospel to the Jews with great strictness, until after his resurrection. He did not preach to the Gentiles. With a severity wholly unlike himself, he refused at first and again, the gentile mother who besought his aid for her afflicted daughter; and he charged his apostles, not even to go in the way of the Gentiles; but to turn from a road in which it would be neces
sary to walk with them, and not to enter into any city of the Samaritans, although they might pass along their high ways; "but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mat. 10: 5, 6.)
All his preaching of his kingdom, all his parables illustrating the nature of that kingdom, and all the fearful array of the nations before his throne, in the day of his coming in his kingdom, when he will separate them as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats, the Lord put forth under the limi tation of the law of Moses, only to the people of Israel. So he spoke the word, so he charged the apostles to preach it, and so the people understood it, at his mouth: in proof of which it is written, that the multitude cried Hosanna! before him, and spread their garments with palm branches in the way and the disciples confessed with sore disappointment, "but we trusted that it had been he which should have re. deemed Israel." (Luke 24: 21.) They were perfectly right in their trust, only they had not understood two things; first, that it was necessary for Christ to suffer; second, that Israel is not reckoned according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.
Therefore, the promises were made only to Abraham and his seed; and the law was given only to the descendants of Jacob; and the Gospel was preached and limited to the Jews and proselytes only who worshipped at Jerusalem. For if any of the Samaritans hoped in the Messiah, it was through the prophets and the passing discourses of our Lord and his apostles. The Gospel was not sent to them at first. And in conformity with this strict limitation, the Gospel was preached in all the personal ministry of the Lord and of his apostles, to the Jews who worshipped at Jerusalem until several years after his ascension. It is true that he told his disciples, before his ascension, to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; (Mark 16: 15.) but they did not understand it. For eleven years after they