The Reign of Christ

  Present or Future?

 

Lessons from Psalms on the Reign of Christ

 

“He shall reign from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth”(Psa. 72:8)   “For He shall reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet; the last enemy to be destroyed is death.”(1Cor. 15:24,25)   “Come and let us reason together.” (Isa. 1:18) “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matt.4:2, New KJV)

 

       THIS IS A SUBJECT upon which there are many opinions. It is prophetic and not, therefore, one that could be put in the area of dogma to include or exclude any of the Lord's people. It is not a matter of who has the latest article on the subject. It can be easily established that there are articles pro and con throughout the writings. (See Notes at the end of study) That is not our object here. We wish to present the Scriptures and to reason on them. Unfortunately, free expression has been stifled in public areas. (Gal. 6:6) It is an area where understanding of the brotherhood should prevail. In this spirit we approach this subject.

     Several talks have been recently given on the Reign of Christ begun. Thirty-two years ago, we shared such a view and published a booklet to that effect. We no longer accept that view! The booklet had about 300 references pro and con from our Pastor. We were aware that there was a “future” view on the subject, but because we did not have for ourselves sufficient evidence to enhance our understanding, we “adopted” the prevailing “reign begun” view of the day. As you know, the Dawn published the booklet called “O the Blessedness” in the year 1966. That booklet contained many article references of Pastor Russell expressing his views on the other (or future) side of the Reign question.

      Introduction  We are Bible Students, Watchers and SEEKERS of Truth. Jesus said, “What I say unto you, I say unto all Watch.” We are called "Truth People.” As such, we desire to be “seekers of truth” and as Br. Russell put it, “Do not accept what I say, except you have first proven it by the Word of God.” That Word is our primary “standard.” (“lift up a standard”  Isa. 59:19) We do not intend to pit one article against another saying, “I am right and you are wrong.” Our intention was to examine all those articles of the Harvest Message and exercise our responsibility to prove and confirm the message of those teachings against the Word of God.

     That Servant, Servants, Present Truth We believe that Charles Russell is“that wise and faithful servant” (Matt 24:44-46) to the church Laodicia. His was a message so encompassing, so great in scope, a summary message like no other ever given in the Gospel Age to the present. That message continues to the end of the age harvest of wheat. Because of present construction placed on Matthew 24:45,(KJV—BSL/CD99), Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household, to give them their food in due season?” it is necessary to explain some things generally misunderstood.

     (1) That servant was not an organization or group but an individual. (2) Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and shall come and serve them.” There were other servants not of “that servant” category. (3) The meanings of  “ruler,” “household,” “goods,” “meat in due season,” and “stewards.” We shall endeavor to explain these generally confused misunderstandings making the following extensive quotes from a study of Matthew 24: 

     Ruler Over His Household vs. Localized or National Stewardship  “In principle, others during the Harvest period may do something like this [as a servant] but in localized areas. That "faithful and wise servant" [Charles Russell] was a steward over the "household," which is a larger ministry. The Lord has used remarkable servants besides the seven messengers -‑for example, Tyndale in Luther's day. However, the Lord particularly used Luther, and Luther's ministry had a more widespread effect worldwide while Tyndale's ministry pertained especially to England. Pastor Russell had a general stewardship, not a localized, one‑nation stewardship. Thus individuals other than the seven special ones were used down through the Gospel Age but not as rule in a stewardship arrangement that was more widespread in influence. In principle, an elder is responsible to the ones he exercises an influence with.”

 

We Shall Reign

 

When the Lord from heav'n appears,  When are banished all our fears,

When the sleepers from the tomb, With the watchers reach their home.

CHORUS

Then enthroned, our Lord, with thee, We shall reign eternally.

Then enthroned, our Lord, with thee, We shall reign eternally.

  ----  Hymns of Dawn 327

 

“Matt. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”

 

     Ruler Over “All His Goods” Not To Be Construed As Over ALL Truth  "He [the Lord] shall make him ruler over all his goods." This Scripture has been grossly misunderstood. Many brethren use as a cliché the statement that Pastor Russell was not only the seventh messenger and a steward with a worldwide ministry, but that nothing is due to be understood except what he said, that we should not search any further or have any other ideas, for he was ruler over all of the Lord's goods. The "goods" are considered to be all the truth. This very subtle error has bound many to close their minds to any reasoning on multiple subjects. Moreover, experience shows that many do not even know the Pastor's thoughts, as in the Reprints, for example, or even the Volumes.

        Light Still “Shines More and More” – Not Padlocked  "Stewardship" means a responsibility for publishing truths abroad, but not the whole Bible. Several arguments support this statement:

     “1. We are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and the Pastor did not write on every Scripture (Matt. 4:4).

     “2. The Pastor was not an apostle. Although he had the honor of being the special seventh messenger, we cannot equate his words with those of the Apostle Paul or any of the other apostles. Therefore, in order for us to accept his writings, they must be verified by a "Thus saith the Lord."

     “3. In the second foreword to the Fourth Volume, he said that the Book of Revelation would become meat in due season. Originally he intended to write on Revelation, but he realized that the book had not sufficiently opened to him as a whole and thus stopped with the Sixth Volume. He firmly believed from the Scriptures that Revelation would become meat in due season, yet some brethren have ridiculed a study on Revelation because the Pastor did not write on it. They think the six Volumes are all that we need. Others say the Pastor wrote on Revelation piecemeal and we have to put all of the fragments together. Yet the Pastor even made the statement that someone else would have to write on the Book of Revelation.

     “Pastor Russell did not have a monopoly on the light of truth. Proverbs 4:18 tells us that "the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." The light continues to increase. However, the type of ministry the Pastor introduced is unique in that he literally furnished the keys to open up Scripture. His suggestions opened so many topics. He did not explain all the details, but he supplied clues to enlarge the concepts previously fettered by sectarianism.

     A Search For Understanding NOT To Be Denominated Pride   “Sometimes the Lord blesses an individual who is yearning to understand a particular Scripture and has been applying himself diligently -‑even for years‑- by opening that Scripture to him. The understanding is a reward, yet others tend to regard it as pride. Such an attitude is foolish, for the Lord does reward various individuals by opening their minds on certain points of truth, doctrine, etc. A systemized teaching is one thing (where many Scriptures are taken and woven into a pattern), but the clarification of individual Scriptures is another matter. Nourishing, succulent tidbits are available to those who hunger and thirst for understanding.

      Collated and encouraged thoughts of others  “The Pastor often collated or put forth thoughts from other individuals. For instance, one chapter in the First Volume is not his, and in the "Man of Sin" chapter in the Second Volume, he freely took the thoughts of [H.]Gratton Guiness. He said this himself, and he encouraged brethren to send thoughts and comments to him, many of which were published in the Reprints. Pastor Russell introduced the Great Pyramid as a Biblical subject, but John Edgar, coming along a little later, used these keys and had far more knowledge of the subject. The Pastor wrote that the Pyramid was a confirmation of the Bible and that it proved many, points of the chronology already advocated. He was the pioneer even though the Edgar brothers corrected him on some points. The pioneer in any great endeavor should be respected, be it Russell, Sir Isaac Newton, or whoever.”

     “Goods” The Thing Existing  “In Young's Analytical Concordance the word "goods" means "the thing existing." In other words, the Pastor was ruler over the truths existing in his time, that is, concurrent with his ministry. In his day, the Pastor was the most dominant personality in connection with the Truth movement ‑-and properly so.” -- The Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 24,25, 1984, Frank Shallieu

   

LIBERTY IN CHRIST

John 8:36 “If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

 

    Our dear Pastor laid down strong groundwork principles of freedom in determination of truth. He writes that the Great enemy “attempted to insist on a oneness very different from what our Lord and the Apostles taught. This attempt was to have every recognized member of the Church think exactly alike on every minutia of Christian doctrine. This attempt finally developed into Papacy, where every matter of doctrine was decided by the popes and councils; and every man who desired to be considered a Church member was obliged to accept such decisions fully and to profess that such were his faith.” Speaking of St. Paul, he continues, “He urged a oneness such as naturally results from the proper exercise of the liberty which we have in Christ – to search and believe the Scriptures, and to grow in grace and knowledge, every man being thus fully persuaded in his own mind, and firmly rooted and grounded in the one faith, as set forth in the Scriptures.”  (Zion’s Watch Tower, The Church of the Living God, September 1 and 15, 1893, Reprint Page 1571) This is one of two most marvelous and outstanding and fundamental articles on freedom in Christ written by “that servant.” They set aside any or all organizational control and dominance of the Lord’s people. The other article is “Protestants Awake” (Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1889, Reprint Page 1134) which was my first publication in 1951. We feel very strongly concerning them as foundation articles and presently publish both.

     In the course of our previous reign study, made in 1968, we showed from the Pastor’s writings, that there were views projected by him of the reign of Christ from past, present, and future standpoints. The current prevailing view is NOT AT ALL the exclusive view that Christ “was present in 1874 and THERE began his reign.” That would be a convenient explanation as to the 1000 years establishing a “sort of reignyet WITHOUT the remaining members, still here on the earth, unmarried, and WITHOUT being “glorified together” as “The Christ,” as is our hope. (Rom. 8:17) We have searched hard!

     Time. Timewise, we will be126 years (October), within the seventh millennium, beyond the date of 1874. We see that the kingdoms of this world are STILL here and that the nominal church is becoming INCREASINGLY powerful -- especially Papacy (Great Babylon, the Mother). (Rev. 18:4) The Pope declares (in the year 2000), “Unity is very near!” Papacy has grown to over a billion-plus constituents – and has ended its conflicts in many areas – such as Poland and Russia -- through action with Gorbachev within the last decade. Presently the Catholic Church is gaining ground in the United States, financially through “Church-State recognition.” Babylon did not literally fall in 1881, 1914, or 1918 with its destructive demise, as suggested in the late ZWT Reprint article “The Harvest not Yet Ended” and the Foreword to Studies In The Scriptures, The Time is at Hand, Volume 2. It is here with a vengeance! Since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, Papacy has begun its rise as the millstone and as the beast of Revelation 17:8-17, 18:21,24. The church system or Babylon is not playing dead. It is alive and well and is still that beast of Daniel 7:11,19,21,22,27. It must yet be slain and burned in the flames of anarchy. -- a later statement than Studies in the Scriptures, Thy Kingdom Come, Vol. 3. (The Overland Monthly, pp.  83, 84)

     The Nations  We look about the nations and note that, while there were two terrible wars (WW1 and WW2), largely in and by Europe, they had to do with shares of the world market. Germany was severely punished at Versailles, beyond the wisdom of President Wilson. The results of that austerity led to National Socialism and the rise of a Catholic Hitler. (See “Hitler’s Pope – The Secret History of Pius XII,” 1999, by John Cornwell). But the nations are still here and doing very well. Again, the wars had to do with financial resources. Some of the nations have them. Some do not. That led to the formation of the European Common Market in the year 1994 -- the brainchild of staunch French Catholic ruler DeGaulle. It is now called the European UNION. Its design is to financially overpower America to the glory of Papacy. It is the civil or clay (now emerging 10 toes) UNION of governments having the blessings of Papacy.

 

 

 

CHRIST’S PRESENCE

THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION

 

     Christ's 1874 Presence, we believe, began that year. We believe that Jesus Christ our Lord returned in October, 1874 at the onset of the 7th Millennium or “day of the Lord”and will last the entire thousand years. And, while he returned as a king, he was not a reigning king. His reign did not begin there! Also, that there are various stages of that presence (Greek - parousia) such as epiphania and apokalupsis at which time he would be revealed before the world when “every eye shall see (discern) him.” (Rev. 1:7)

     What, then, of the Presence of Christ to bring about the destruction of the nations? Does 1914 mean the nations have been laid low and that both the great time of trouble and Armageddon have already begun? Does it mean that the image of Daniel 2 has perished forever or is now in process of being broken to pieces by a partly established Christ and his Church in heaven? By no means!      What could be the answer to the dilemma? We will show in the succeeding message why this did not take place, why the reign of Christ could not take place then and when it will take place. (See, also. The Great Image of Daniel 2 later on in this study). There is, however, a relationship to the Second Presence of Christ and the Times of Restitution relative to 1874 forward. This we will now consider.

The Times of Restitution In Matthew 16:2 it says, “His face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light.” And, of course, we do not think that our Lord was reigning back when that appearance took place. But, when we look at what was transpiring on the Mount of Transfiguration, there, we see that that in this vision of Moses representing the Old Testament Saints and Elijah the New Testament Saints. But in its fullest sense, the Elijah class must first be complete. Hence, our Lord’s charge to those special few disciples, Peter, James and John which were permitted to come along further with him. That they should tell the vision to no man until the Son of Man be risen from the dead.

 In Reprint 5973, Brother Russell says, “And that Elias would truly come (that is come in the future) and restore all things. An event that has not occurred because the Elias class is not complete.”

 

 

      TIMES OF RESTITUTION RELATIVE TO

                           THE  PRESENCE

  NO EVIDENCE THAT CHRIST NOW REIGNS

 

 Some associate the fact, that because we are in the “times of restitution,” IS an evidence that the Great Restorer is now reigning. Not so! We think that this is an erroneous thought. First of all we observe that the Scripture says, that it is times plural. Therefore it suggests to us that we are not to expect all features of restitution right away just because, chronologically, we have entered into that period.

Acts 3:19-24 reads:“(19) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD (Jehovah); (20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (21) 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. (22) For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (23) And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (24) Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

While preliminary times of restitution blessings have indeed occurred since seasons of refreshing were sent from out of the face (Greek, Prosopon) of Jehovah and since He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be present in earth’s atmosphere, those blessings are not the realized blessings demonstrated by Jesus at his first advent. (Luke 8:1) Being in the times of restitution chronologically is one thing. It is quite another to suggest that we have seen signs of [actual] restitution.

     Reprint 5973 again, the question is posed to Brother Russell, “Would it be proper for us to suppose that the world might begin to receive its share of restitution while some members of the Church are still in the flesh? Answer, No. This would be an impossible thought. The whole merit of Christ is mortgaged by the imputation, which Christ has made of his merit to the company consecrating during this age. This mortgage must be released fully, completely, before the New Law Covenant can be sealed and put into operation giving restitution blessings to Adam and his race. Hence, we are not to expect any restitution, either of the Ancient Worthies or others until the little flock shall have passed beyond the veil. And, the Great Company class shall have passed through its tribulation.”

     And this would tie into this sin offering experience which must first be complete before the blood can be applied and before the [High] Priest put on the garments of Glory and Beauty. See Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices.

     You will note, too, in this particular citation, that Brother Russell identifies restitution directly with resurrection, i.e., the waking of the Ancient Worthies. Not that we have some modern conveniences at our disposal or time savers and that would be the only indications of restitution. He ties actual restitution blessings in directly with resurrection.

     This idea or concept of plural times is similarly illustrated, as we see it, in connection with our Lord’s Second Advent. There are different things that transpire. There are also seasons of refreshing. Just because we are in the time of his Parousia or “secret presence,” does not of necessity mean that the epiphania has occurred nor the apokalupsis, which are both Greek words which have direct bearing on this subject of the reign.

 

THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

THE SOUNDING OF THE JUBILEE TRUMPET

 

     “(2) When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD (Jehovah).”  “(8) And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. 9Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.  10And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. 12For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. 13In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.” (Lev.25:2,8-13)

     In considering this subject, it is important to make a distinction between the blowing of the Jubilee trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. The point here is that the Bible teaches that the trumpet was blown on the first day of each month. “In the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets.” (Num, 10:10) What this is saying is that through month one through month six there were six trumpets blown. In the seventh month at its beginning, the last of seven trumpet blowings took place. “It is sometimes called the Feast of Trumpets, a shabbathon of rest and trumpet blowing commemoration.” (The Keys of Revelation, (1993), page 276, by Brother Frank Shallieu). To Israel, who entered the land of Canaan, the Feast of Trumpets was significant in that it marked the seventh month Tishri, when the Day of atonement was to be observed. Yom Kippur (Hebrew yom hakippurim, “day of atonement”), in Judaism, holiday falling on the tenth day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year. (Yom Kippur - Microsoft Encarta 98 Encylopedia)

     It was also significant since in that same month of Tishri, but later than the first day, the Trumpet of Jubilee was to be blown every fiftieth year on the tenth day of the seventh month. There is a very important distinction between the seventh trumpet blown at the beginning of the seventh month and the Jubilee trumpet blown on the tenth day of that same seventh month in the fiftieth year. The seven trumpets have special significance and correlation to the seven trumpets of Revelation, 8 to11. They, each, would represent the message from God as given to the Seven Messengers. The one, therefore blown in the seventh month would represent message of the Laodicean Messenger. It is important to realize that the trumpet message of the messenger is limited to the message of each messenger and the church under consideration. When the work concerning that church is completed, the message of that messenger is at an end. It has accomplished its work. Currently the message from Pastor Russell, “that wise and faithful servant” (Matt 24:44-46) to the church Laodicia has progressed for, now, 122 years, this October, since 1878. The blowing of the Jubilee trumpet would be an eighth trumpet message suggesting that at the end of which message would come a cleansed humanity. The blowing of the Jubilee Trumpet was a universal message and proclamation of liberty throughout the land of Canaan – to all the people thereof. The Jubilee message is a message specially adapted for the world of mankind in that kingdom age. It is a separate message. That trumpet has not yet sounded and does not overlap the message of the seventh trumpet as it did not in the type. “It would be unmistakably heard, understood, enforced and appreciated by all the inhabitants of the earth.” (The Keys of Revelation, 1998, by Frank Shallieu, page 276:2)

     The Sabbath Day is here and it is the seventh day. It is called a day of rest. It is on this same seventh thousand-year-day that the true church is to be taken home to its Canaan of rest in heaven. Yet, while here, the remnant church endures affliction. However, the true Church will have come out of Babylon before the winter time of the Sabbath (or seventh) Day. “Then shall be great tribulation.”

      Likewise, 2,499 years have past and we have entered upon the great 50x50 years corresponding to the 2,500th year, which according to Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 2, would extend itself into the 1,000 years called “Earth’s great Jubilee.” Like unto the preliminary restitution blessings, we share in some of the preliminary Jubilee blessings preparatory to the time when mankind will be in the land when the kingdom reign begins. The atonement was for the sins of the people and the partially willful sins. When the sacrifices were completed, the Great High priest came out and blessed the people. “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. 24And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” (Lev.(23,24) Jubilee!

      It should be remembered that restitution is mainly not for the Church but for the world. Brother Russell clearly states, “From the outline of God’s revealed plan, as thus far sketched, it is evident that His plan for mankind is restitution or restoration to the perfection and glory lost in Eden.” “Is restitution Practicable?” He answers, “There is an abundance of room (in earth) for the ‘restitution of all’ as ‘God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets.’” (Acts 3:21) Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pages, 149,159,160. Restitution is primarily for the world. This is also shown in the last seventh of the passage leading to the “Queen’s Chamber” of the Great Pyramid, Volume 3. The people were able to stand up.  The prophet has not yet spoken. (Rev. 22:17) Further Jesus said, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (Matt 17:11} Who is Elijah? The Gospel age Church in the flesh, whom when complete, together with Christ, will “restore all things.” Whoever will not hear that prophet will be cut off from the people.  “That prophet” (complete) has not yet spoken to the world.

      According to the description, the Jubilee trumpet, that sounded on the tenth day, is later than the trumpet that sounded on the first day of the seventh month. The Sabbath or the 7th thousand- year had its beginning earlier as shown by the first day of the 7th month. Therefore, the later sounding indicates that the actual application of the Jubilee on behalf of the world would be when they had entered the land and the kingdom reign begins. We share in some of those blessings incident to that of the world. The Jubilee message is the Kingdom age message when the reign begins for the World of mankind and is not the present or 7th trumpet message to the Laodicean Church.  The one message ends and the other begins.  

 

RAISING OF SLEEPING SAINTS NO PROOF OF REIGN BEGUN

 

    Now as we have said, we agree that our Lord returned in 1874. We also agree with the thought of the of the sleeping Saints being raised in 1878. The receiving of a Kingdom, i.e., the first portion of the kingdom (the resurrected Saints), no more implies reigning then does being called the king imply reigning. As you know, God considered Jesus to be a king, the moment he was delivered here upon earth. Mankind on the other hand either has no interest or knowledge of Christ. And these two groups presently constitute over seventy percent and, if our numbers are correct, that is certainly an overwhelming majority of earth’s populace. And of those remaining which bear the name Christian there are a large number which are nominal, i.e., in name only and still more with extremely distorted views about the nature of Christ. We might well say that even among Christians there are many who know him not, simply by virtue of their ignorance of the Scriptures, which they profess to believe in. So we have the vast majority of mankind either in total ignorance, believing in the false nature of Christ or atheistic.

     Now continuing with this line of reasoning, neither can we say that being in the throne is conclusive or that having power is a final determining factor. You will recall how that our Lord at his ascension declared, “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” That is Matthew 28:18. And of course I do not think that any of us would suggest that he was reigning back then because he was given power back then. Even exercising power of it self is not sufficient to claim the reign of Christ has begun.

     Reprint 532, September 1883. “While Christ has all power in heaven and earth for wise purposes, he has not heretofore made use of it permitting evil to reign and measurably to control the world and the Devil to be the prince of the world or order of things. But the time is promised when he shall take to himself his great power and reign exalting his Church and giving her power over the nations so that instead of as now being subject to the powers that be, she shall rule the nations.

     So, where does this leave us? We answer, it is one thing to be called king and even to receive a Kingdom and quite another to exercise the prerogatives that one has received. We think Brother Russell’s suggestion in the Third Volume that the raising of the sleeping Saints was his first “executive act” has led many to draw an incorrect conclusion. And, although the Forewords were revised in 1916 suggesting that if he were to write them today, he would not change them, i.e., the Volumes. We would not think this to mean that he would not change any thoughts contained therein. We believe that he was suggesting in a general manner that the Volumes were worthwhile and as such were good for reading.

     If one reads the Reprints or other writings, it is quite easy to find variations of thinking from that which is expressed in the volumes. Brother Russell was sharing his analysis and views on the various subjects that he was studying as he was maturing. He never intended that we should accept his views as gospel; but rather we might suggest that they might be used as a baseline for comparison and careful study. It is also important to realize that, in the Reprints, he typically goes into more depth on individual subjects and points that he does not do so in the Volumes which are in a sense written in a very broad way. There are very few that can make that claim among the Bible Students that they have read all of his writings. It behooves us to be careful what we say Brother Russell taught. It can be helpful certainly to cite quotations in the interest in trying to make a point. But it shows that there is a lot of room for making a false statement if we are not acquainted with all his writings.

 

THE NATIONS

ARMAGEDDON, THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY

 

     What is happening to the nations? I think that this is very easily answered by the expectations of the Pastor, whose belief was stated in Studies in the Scriptures, The Divine Plan of the Ages, Volume 1, The Day of Jehovah.  Jesus is the general of Jehovah, however, ONLY as related to the matter of Armageddon or the complete destruction of the nations -- future. It must be remembered that Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 4, was originally called, The Day of (Jehovah's) Vengeance. The entire outline of that book, based on the Scriptures, leads to the destruction of the nations IN Armageddon and to the final establishment of the Kingdom of God. All of the elements stated in it were showing the reasons for the coming judgments of Babylon, both civil and ecclesiastical. (Rev. 6:10) Further, it shows that the elements, national and ecclesiastical, were being prepared for their destruction or end. And, that the FINAL end would come through anarchy, in the use of dissidents rising up and overthrowing all established government, law, and order through the use of what the Scriptures call “Jehovah's” “great army” -- anarchists. (Joel 2:11, ASV) Sporadic incidents, which have been going on for some time, are neither anarchy nor Armageddon. The Pastor, Charles Russell, pointed out the finality of that which should be called "the great time of trouble" which (in his words}“in the full sense of the word, is anarchy.” 

     Armageddon As to “Armageddon,” the composite elements of a Protestant and Catholic coalition and a working together with the state are clearly described in Revelation 13 and 16. The Pastor’s declaration was clear: Armageddon, “not yet, but soon.”  (Ibid., 1912 Foreword, xv) To date, we know of no Armageddon. Even the view of certain Protestants is the expectation of a coming Armageddon. The Bible clearly shows it to be a future event, so cataclysmic in nature as to completely erupt, overthrowing all nations in an earthquake of revolution. Such will cause total dissolution of law and order, consummating the end of this system of things. The Pastor pointed out in, Volume 4, now (since 1997) 100 years old, that the final conclusion of Armageddon or the Day of Vengeance would be in “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, affecting Israel. (Jer. 30:7) It is the final preparatory step toward the establishment of that “Kingdom reign” of which reign we hope to be a part. See the end of Volume 4.

 

 

 

 

 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN

THE REIGN OF CHRIST AND THE REIGN OF JEHOVAH

 

     Next, the point we think that needs to be carefully considered is the difference that needs to be expressed between the reign of Christ and the reign of Jehovah both of which we believe are described by Scripture. Now many brethren or at least some Brethren that we have talked to do not make any such distinction. Even when it is brought to their attention they will not separate the thought of the reign of Christ from the thought of the reign of Jehovah. But we think that this is certainly in the Scriptures and it is important to make this distinction as it is important to make any distinctions that are suggested by the way the Scriptures are written on any subject.

     One very well known Scripture along these lines is found in Revelation 11:15. And this is where it reads, “And the seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven saying the Kingdom of this world are become the Kingdom of our LORD and of his Christ and he shall reign forever and ever.”

     There are some corrections that are expressed elsewhere in the Siniatic MS but the point we are interested in discussing in the King James is satisfactory. Now among the Bible Students, there is general agreement that the sixth angel or messenger was Martin Luther and the seventh was Charles Russell. Both notable individuals in the history of the Gospel Church, which brought forth, needed admonitions and observations and truth for the era in which they lived or even subsequent to their day. The general assumption is that if the seventh angel sounded then the reign of Christ must have begun because that is how one might quickly read this passage. And at first look, it might seem quite reasonable to make such a claim or such a statement. But we have a number of instances in Scriptures, which show that the obvious is not always the correct understanding. Of course among the Bible Students we are always very careful to point out in connection with the study of hell that the parable of the rich man and Lazarus [is not literal], I mean you cannot take everything by what the wording is but rather you have to look at the context and see what the message is that is being conveyed in the context of Scripture – not to take everything in a very literalized sense.

     And since we think there are definite problems associated with taking this text quite literally as many do, we think it is prudent to look a little closer and see if there may be and alternate understanding to the well accepted majority viewpoint. When we identify the remaining personages that are described in this verse, Revelation 11:15, we make an interesting observation. LORD as it appears in this verse unquestionably applies to Jehovah. This is easily proved from verse 17, which is a little further down. His Christ or His anointed must then either refer to Christ alone or “The Christ,” i.e., Jesus united with the glorified Church. We think both thoughts can be correct, i.e., Jesus is to be thought of as the anointed in the primary sense and the Church included in a secondary sense. The point, in our discussion here, to emphasize is that the reign spoken of here is not described as being a thousand years long. Nor is it even being described as Christ’s reign. Verse seventeen clearly indicates that it is Jehovah’s reign.

 

GLORY OF THE LORD SEEN BY ENTIRE NATION OF ISRAEL

SHAKING AND FIRE ON MOUNTAIN – ARMAGEDDON

 

       Consider Hebrews 12:18-27.  “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, (19) And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (20) For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: (21) And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) (22) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (23) 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 of just men made perfect,  (24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  (25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (27)And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

    The Glory Aspect   Colossians 3:4 reads,  "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Or Isaiah 40:5: "And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." It is also of interest to note that this phrase, "the glory of the LORD" in most cases is used in connection with events that were witnesses by the whole nation of Israel - in regard to the Tabernacle and later on the dedication of the Temple. The Day of Atonement, which antitypically, is associated with the Kingdom work of bringing man back into at-one-ment with God. And, particularly in connection with the burnt and sin offerings. And, in Leviticus 9:6, it says,

    "This is the thing which the LORD (Jehovah) commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you." Of special interest to us is that it was not until after the sin offering was completed. And that would include both the sacrifice of the LORD's [Jehovah's] goat which we see as picturing the Little Flock, the Church and the sending out of the [E]scape goat out into the wilderness, picturing the experience of the Great Company. They are reluctant to sacrifice, so as it were, they are forced into a situation of decision. It wasn't until after these two events in the type were fulfilled that the High Priest removed his garments of sacrifice and then put on the garments of Glory and Beauty. And that is cited in Leviticus 16:22,32. In other words, not until the Great Company has had its flesh forced into sacrifice at the hands of the fit man, which we believe would be the Adversary, would we expect for our Lord to antitypically put on the garments of Glory and Beauty and begin his reign with the Church in glory.

     Reprint 5873, March 1916   “The sin offering will all be completed before the glorious reign of Christ begins – his Church then being with him in glory.”

     Inauguration of the New Law Covenant  Now another type that is given us is that of Moses when he returned to the people with the tables of the Law. In Exodus 34:29,30 it tells how that the skin of his face shown and they were afraid to come neigh unto him. This, in the antitype, would apply to the time when the New (Law) Covenant would be administered to the people. Again an event which we believe cannot take place until after the sacrifice is complete when the merit of that sacrifice can be applied to the people.

     Reprint 4366  “The inauguration of the Law Covenant was accomplished in a typical time of trouble. A shaking of the mountain. The fearing and quaking of the people. The antitype of what occurred at Mt. Sinai will take place at Mt. Zion, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, as soon as soon as the election closes and the new age opens. The Great Mediator, Head and Body, veiled, hiding the glory of the spirit condition will set forth the Law and sprinkle it with his blood of the New Law Covenant as Moses took the blood and sprinkled the Old Law Covenant in the type.”

     Then in Reprint 5878, which is dated April 1916. Brother Russell again discusses this thought of the sprinkling of the Law and subsequently all the people. And, further identifys that this will be accomplished by the Millennial reign of The Christ, Head and Body.

     In Jude verses 14 and 15 it says,

  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all.”

 Now this reminds us of another Scripture back in Deuteronomy 33:1,2  “And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. (2)And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”

 

                        THE SABBATH DAY

 

Jehovah of Sabaoth Jesus is called the Lord (even or also) of the Sabbath. (Luke 6:5;Mark 2:28; Matt:12:28) He did miracles and healed on the Sabbath day. However, being Lord of the Sabbath is one thing and being called the LORD Sabaoth is quite another. They are two different words. In the case of  Romans 5:29, we use the New World Translation because it states God’s name correctly as in the Old Testament reference. (Isa. 1:9) “Unless Jehovah of hosts (armies) had left a seed to us, we should have become as Sodom and we should have been made just like Gomorrah.” And James 5:4, “The cries for help on the part of the reapers have entered into the ears of  Jehovah of Hosts.” The word Sabbath as defined by the Apostle is rest – God’s rest. God’s rest day. However the word used in the Old Testament for hosts means armies. This is generally applied to God and armies of other nations. He has legions of angels some of whom (12 legions) could have come to Jesus’ rescue.

     While we are Christian soldiers down here, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” We fight the world, the flesh and the Devil. We are not, while in this world, a part of the armies “which were (with him) in heaven.”  When it says in heaven, it means in heavennot one on one side and one on another. This is quite different from the “sabaoths” of the past who were used of God to defeat his enemies. The Sabbath is the Sabbath of rest. The armies of Jehovah are his armies. We do not equate the armies of God or the use of the term Sabaoth with Revelation 19: 14  (14) “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

     The King Of Kings And His Armies  The term “armies,” like as with the U.S. or any other nation and that of Israel would indicate divisions. We are familiar with this as with Israel’s tribes. (19) “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army (singular).” Christ’s army is one but with several divisions as indicated here by the term armies. It is Christ who is doing Battle as king of kings. This is parallel with Revelation 17:14 which reads, “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” You see, in this battle the Lamb is there with his glorified Church. They are the “called, and chosen, and faithful” unto death. (Rev 2:10) While it is “Onward Christian soldiers” down here as we fight to be overcomers, “more than conquerors,” if faithful unto death we will be privileged to be with him in heaven in the dissolution of this system of things. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (27) 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.” Rev. 2:26,27

      We believe that we are in the Sabbath day, the day of rest, the 7th 1,000 year day. Referring to Psalm 90:3,4 we read, (3) “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. (4) For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”  God’s number is 1,000. It has been expressed that this is an indication of the reign of Christ begun. But, we still see men being destroyed in death! We do not see “and sayest, return, ye children of men” as far as the world is concerned. The study of Chronology is very extensive and accurate as we have mentioned. We believe the Chronology correct when it shows 4126 BC as the entrance of sin and 1874 AD correct in showing the beginning of the seventh millennium. We have entered the Sabbath or 7th thousand-year day since 1874. We have been in it for 126 years as of October, 2000. The Church is not yet glorified. The world is still under the dominion of Satan. We have not yet seen the resurrection of the world, which would begin the kingdom of God. They still wait for the hour when the Son of Man shall say, “Come Forth!” What we have seen by faith is the resurrection of the sleeping saints; but members of the Elijah class are still here in the flesh. According to Psalm 90:14,15,16 we are “glad” and God’s “work appears” to us.

     The Thousand Years Is Not An Indicator Of The Reign Of Christ  because the “Body” is not yet complete and awaits the remnant church to be “cut of from the fold.” Concerning the Sabbath, Jesus said, (20) “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:20-22) We are able to see then, that while we are in the Sabbath day, we are not in the “winter” of the great time of trouble. If we were here and in that great tribulation as believed, how could we be of the elect that would cut it short from human annihilation?

 

THE GREAT IMAGE OF DANIEL 2

 

     The Image of Daniel 2  We believe a number of statements, which can be found in our study, The Smiting of the Image, that the image of Daniel 2, while having its beginning in 606 BC, is without a specific ending date insofar as its dissolution is concerned. Nubuchadnezzar’s image pictured in Daniel 2 was not smitten in 1914 or 1918 as is generally believed. There is no proper connection between Daniel 2 and Daniel 4. The two chapters are entirely separate!

     The seven times mentioned in Daniel 4 are not 2520 years but apply only to the 7,000 years of sin’s entrance and end with man’s full recovery from sin. Brother Russell correctly applies the tree scene (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, pps. 93-98) to the 6,000 year period from the fall of Adam (4126 BC). However he does not take Daniel 4 to its full conclusion at the end of the seven times there which would be 2874 AD or “Seven Times” or 7,000 years complete. “And at THE END OF THE DAYS (i.e., those 7 literal years – each year then representing 1,000 years) I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation” (Dan. 4:34) The kingdom will be turned back to God at the immediate beginning of the 8th thousand ear day.

     The image of Daniel 2 illustrates Gentile powers. The Gentile powers are still here and Satan is still called the god of this world. The last power pictured in the image is Rome. Rome in its development became Rome Papal. As such Rome exists among us today. It is identified in Revelation 17:18 as “that Great City” (“Babylon the Great” – even now in size) where the woman sits upon seven hills or “mountains” which Rome has. The ruler or king of Rome is Satan. His representative on earth is the Pope who is a modern day “false Christ” and king of Rome – the Roman Pontiff. (See historical documents) Babylon has not yet fallen in destruction! (Rev. 18:16-21) “The ten toes” relative to the “ten horns” in Revelation 17:12-14 are not yet fully developed as it ascends from the pit of the “beast” -- 1929 to the present time. (Rev. 17:8)

     There are several contingent factors in Daniel 2: The “stone,” representing God’s true Church, must be fully cut out and raised to glory as shown on the Chart of the ages. It was not completed in 1881. It is still here. (1) "The God of heaven" (Jehovah) must set up a kingdom in its entirety. The emphasis is NOT on the setting up of the kingdom but upon being set up. “When complete, when entirely cut out, it will smite and destroy the kingdoms of this world.” The entire image, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome will be crushed at once by the stone in “the Armageddon crash”– by the church in glory. (Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 1, 254-256; ZWT Reprints, page 5854) Recommended reading (since there is no room here for elaboration), for further details on Daniel 2, 4 and 7 see our booklet study, The Smiting of the Image, (1958), Zion’s Tower of the Morning. That study along with this one shall, in the near future, be published on our web site either through Homestead or Geocities. Our present site is:

http:/homestead.juno.com/zions.tower.ofthemorning/zionstowerindex.html

 

THE GREAT IMAGE OF DANIEL AND THE REIGN

 

     Brother Russell also discusses the vision of the "great image" that Nebuchadnezzar saw. And that particular account is found in our Bible in the second chapter of Daniel, verses 29-45. And you will recall that the image was one of the four earthly kingdoms of Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome. And each of them is pictured by different portions of this great image that Nebuchadnezzar saw. According to this same article that we had started with The Overland Monthly, (1910) on pages 82,83 (BSL CD, pages 88,89), it says:

     "During the period of their domination, i.e., these Gentile powers were represented in this great image. Under Divine guidance, a stone has been cut out of the mountain without hands - without human authority or power. That stone is the Church of whom Jesus is the head and Apostle, and all the Saints of this age of every denomination are members. This cutting out of it will soon be completed. Not until the Church shall have been completed. Not until the last member shall have been changed from earthly to heavenly conditions. Not until the glorified Christ shall have taken unto himself his great power to reign, will this heavenly power be hurled against the image. It will smite the image upon its feet - its present development - Christendom, so called. That impact is prominently noted throughout Scriptures as a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Such is the graphic description given us of the end of Gentile governments. But these also, be it remembered, were recognized and authorized by God to occupy the seat of government and hold in check human affairs, "until he comes, whose right the kingdom is" and whom it will be given - the Christ, the head and the elect Church, his members."

     God’s Kingdom Rulership Begins With Christ And The Church Shown in Daniel 7  The article continues on to tie in Daniel 7:14 as a closing argument for this line of reasoning [Page 83, last seven lines]. We will read a few verses from that account in the Book of Daniel. (Daniel 7:13,14,18)

     "(13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came... (14)And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (18)But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."

     And repeated a little further on in this same chapter in Daniel 7, we find it goes on to say that:

     "Until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was given to the Saints of the Most High. And the time came that the Saints possessed the Kingdom. And the Kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the Saints of the Most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him." (Verses 22,27)

     Now in reading these texts, I think that one must acknowledge that the Saints are described every bit as much as recipients of that Kingdom and dominion as our Lord is. Of course, we understand that it would be in a similar sense as a queen sitting beside her king. And that he, i.e., the Lord, the King would be in a position of greater authority and responsibility.

     Once again, another quote from Reprint 5575 and this is dated November 1914.

     "This stone Kingdom is quarried out of the earth by the Lord. It is at first insignificant in size and it seems to the world as powerless. But, as soon as set up in power, this Kingdom will smite the great image of earthly rulership and grind it to powder* in the coming time of trouble and the wind shall carry it away. Nothing shall be permitted to do violence or to work injury throughout all God's holy Kingdom after it shall have been established."

 

 

    * It should be clearly noted that the expression “grind it to powder”** is nowhere to be found in the Daniel 2 text and, therefore, does not present a proper understanding of this Scripture. It is correctly described in the following: “It will smite the image on its feet -- its present development [in our view, the finally developed or formed toes or the future Church union with the state] -- "Christendom" so-called. That impact is prominently noted throughout the Scriptures as "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Overland Monthly, 1910, Page 83) “It is upon the feet of this Image that the Armageddon crash of God's Kingdom is pictured as falling --grinding the entire image to powder.”** (Zion’s Watch Tower, R. 5854, February 15,1916)

____________________________________________________

    

     Has the Kingdom been set up in power? Of course one making any observations of current events would be hard pressed to answer that one affirmatively. Unfortunately, we haven't the time to study the subject in depth. But we believe that the Scriptures clearly identify the Lord with his 'Little Flock" as the Kingdom. You remember, our Lord taught the disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done." Again, we think that this is an association with the completed Church coming in power and glory.

          Now again, with this article that we just quoted from, we note two other premises that have been given us. Again, we won't even be covering these in any depth. But namely that the image will not be smitten and that the time of trouble will not occur UNTIL the Church is glorified. There are other citations for this subject, but we will don't have time to reference them.

     King David and King Saul An Illustration Of When The Reign Begins  David was selected by Samuel as Jehovah’s choice to succeed King Saul as King. He was quietly anointed by Samuel, the Judge of Israel, seven years before he assumed the office as king. King Saul’s fall from Divine favor was when he who was meek and submissive in the beginning became proud and lifted up. He was also jealous of David whom he considered a competitor in his accomplishments and a favorite of the people – “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.” (1 Samuel 18:7,8) He sought to put David to death by the javelin attempt on his life and finally in his last dogged pursuit. (1Samuel 18:11) “And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against Jehovah’s anointed, and be guiltless? 10And David said, As Jehovah liveth, Jehovah will smite him; or his day shall come to die.” (1Samuel 26:9-11 ASV) That as long as Saul’s  reign as King would be, he could not bring it to an end before the time. God had permitted that reign to be. As the Pastor put it, “To have made an assault upon him would have been to attack the Almighty’s arrangements.” (R.3239:3)

     What might we think of this relative to the pending Reign of Jesus Christ? Saul might represent the position of Lucifer who was at that time in favor with Jehovah God, his Creator and to whom he was a Son in the likeness of much beauty and glory. He is described in Ezekiel 28:14 ad “the anointed cherub that covereth.” He, in the beginning, possessed the Holy Spirit of God. Lucifer fell from the favor of Jehovah God becoming proud of heart as described in 1Samuel 28:6. King Saul would then represent Satan a King of his Kingdom by usurpation. David would represent Jesus Christ, who “humbled himself and was obedient unto death even to the death of the cross.” (Philp. 2:8) The Pastor describes Jonathan whose soul (be-ing) “was knit with the soul (be-ing)David” as representing the Ancient ones. (1Samuel 18:1) Christ is spoken of as David, sitting upon his throne and being king over the whole earth in that day.

     The seven years of as Jehovah’s anointed waiting to be the “King of the whole earth” might well represent the entire Gospel age and the “seven” stages of the Christian Church as mentioned in Rev. 2 and 3. During this time, he was recognized by his close associates and by Jehovah who anointed him at Jordan. He was exalted as king during the ten days before Pentecost – set on Jehovah’s “holy hill of Zion. (Psalm 2:6; Rev. 5:11,12) It was at the end of those seven years that Saul’s career as King of Israel (representing Satan, the Prince or King of this world) was brought to an end. Satan is cast into the pit as fully bound not gradually – but at once. He is not chased about as a dog. It has been suggested by some that this would be a good proof that Christ began his reign in 1874. We do not believe that to be the case. Quite to the contrary; the seven years of anointing as king would be the Gospel age rather than the beginning of a Millennial reign over earth in 1874. The Gospel age has not ended. The Gospel is still being preached. The collective church has not yet been exalted to kingly power nor are they now reigning with him.

     The evidence is this: that both Christ and his completed and then married Church will begin their reign when Satan is bound in the future and cast into the pit. Revelation shows quite clearly that the “kingdom of this world,” and not “kingdoms” (as some seem to prefer because of 1914) as in the Greek, singular (Satan’s Kingdom), will become the Kingdom of Jehovah and of His the Christ. David, who represented the Church in the flesh, will be the David class in glory. They will begin their future reign together with the greater King David, The Lord Jesus Christ. Together and completed, they shall reign over Israel – the whole world of mankind. The illustration is: Two Kings may not reign over the world at the same time. The one must be completely removed before the other begins to reign. Br. Russell correctly stated the matter when he said, “The full number of the Elect must be found and be glorified by the resurrection "change"--because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 15:50) Then the dominion of the world will be assumed. The glorified One will ask of the Father, and He will give Him the heathen [nations]for His inheritance and the uttermost parts [farthest reaches] of the earth for His possession. "He will rule them with a rod of iron. As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken into shivers." (Psa. 2; Rev. 2:27)”  Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 3,Thy Kingdom Come,  1916, Foreword, P. iv   

     Ruling Houses Gone with the Wind  In reality, God’s kingdom is NOT YET set up in heaven or empowered until ALL the saints are exalted in the divine nature with Christ. While the sleeping saints were raised, we believe in 1878, they neither were in any sense divinely empowered nor were they “glorified together.” (Rom. 8:17) The “set up” or completed time element of the saints is well beyond all those European ruling houses – though some still exist. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, ’98)  The toes or last vestige of that image are not yet fully formed. The image is not yet completed. The completed toes of the image will be finalized in Church Union with the state. (Rev. 16:13-16; Rev. 17:11-14) Since the toes are not yet fully formed, this would reject those so-called ruling houses of Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Savoy and etc., as believed by some to be fulfillment as toes -- of “in the days of these (pre 1914) kings.” They had their part in dissolution with the “wind” phase of 1Kings 19:11,12 – as an ongoing event until the War, phase 1, is completed leading next to phase 2, the earthquake (Armageddon upheaval or revolution) mentioned later.

     (2) It has to do with the breaking or destruction factor both in the IMMEDIACY and the removal of ALL those kingdoms at that time. The image will be destroyed when completed. (3) It relates to the kingdom class, which, by the Holy Spirit, are cut out of the earth (in death) as a COMPLETED, organized group of both Christ AND the Church -- as a “stone” cut or chiseled out, RAISED to glory. When glorified in the divine nature, it will thereby be “BACKED by divine power.” (R.5716)  This is what the Pastor referred to when he said that the “smiting of the image is near at hand.” (R.5673)

     It should be remembered that the Second Chapter of Daniel was dealt with contextually and with great detail in Studies in the Scriptures, The Divine Plan of the Ages, Volume 1, in pages 254-256, and in the 1916 Zion’s Watch Tower commentary. (R.5854) The defining groundwork was clearly laid out in Volume 1, pages 254-256. The Pastor’s final statement on the matter of the “image” (which some like to refer to as “for public consumption),” truly declare the PRINCIPLES of interpretation of that Scripture (Daniel 2). Those principles cannot be mitigated because of such denials, as to its TRUE application. In that February 1916 Zion’s Watch Tower, our Pastor made the statement that it would be this same "ARMAGEDDON CRASH" that, while falling upon the feet of that image (now in the process of forming), would completely and at once, destroy it. “A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and none hath escaped them.” (Joel 2:3) Daniel puts the results of that impact as this: “And became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them.” – nothing left! (Dan. 2:35)

     Four Kingdoms   Note that in all of these four kingdoms, each as Babylon, had its own king or representative. There are only four kingdoms and not five. The clay-iron factor is an extension of the iron; both are Rome. It should be remembered that Rome has but one principal head today.  That it is none other than the Pope. He as Princeps (L.) heads the Roman Empire as King of Kings and, in Rome, he wears the crown to prove it. There are but four principal imperial kings in this scene – not 14 or 15. The destruction includes its entire four principal member Kingdoms and their kings still in existence, viz., Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The ten toes as kings or rulers in the future would be subservient to the Princeps or King of Kings, the Pope. (Rev. 17:12) America would be included as part of Rome with its dual constituency of the iron (civil ten toes) and the clay (of Papacy). It is clearly stated “the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, (were) broken to pieces together” (Dan. 2:35) and that “it shall break in pieces and consume ALL these KINGDOMS.” (Dan. 2:44) Therefore, it included all four empires and their kings. “In the days of these kings (while they still exist) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom.”(Verse 44)

     Not Yet But Soon  The dissolution of those kingdoms or empires has not yet taken place, as is widely touted; though two of four names have changed. In our day, Rome and its coalescent European UNION and Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe member nations under Papal domination, have become yet STRONGER. The Pope demands the "rich and POWERFUL." (Mexico, spring 1999) There are about nine events of this past year that give evidence to Papacy’s rise in power, not only in America but also in Europe, Ireland, Mexico, and the Americas; their numbers grow. Catholic laws violate the U.S. Constitution regarding separate church and state. The toes are in formation. The image is not yet complete. Papacy is being raised to power. (Rev. 17:8,11,12-14; Rev. 18:21)

     This subject is relevant to the “time of the reign” factor; Armageddon has not yet come. The kingdom of God has not come. The stone has NOT become “the mountain” and is NOT, in any sense, “beginning to grow,” as the Society and some others have taught. The reign OVER that kingdom has not yet begun. (Psa. 72:8) In the Pastor's day, the original rendering of Hymn 171 was: “The Gentile Times are ending for their kings have had their day, and with them sin and sorrow will forever pass away." In editions published after his death, this was changed to "the Gentile times HAVE ended." The “Divine right of kings” is a theory at best!

     Gentile Times Not Related To The End Of The Nations  First, let us keep in mind, the Gentile times are related not to the end of the nations but to the dominion OVER ISRAEL! That “national” 2520-year (Lev. 26:18,21,24,28) domination and trampling over Israel ended in 1914. Statehood recognition began from that date! Such hymnbook theology would seem to be supportive of  "their kings HAVE had their day" then. Not so! "Sin and sorrow" have not yet passed. And the kings, potentates, presidents, etc. (or whatever you would call them) are very real and VERY present with ALL their powers -- especially when the "KINGS of the earth" join in with "the beast and the false prophet." (Rev. 16:13-16)  The Dark Ages revisited! Later on, civil kings will "stand afar off," after the religious systems’ destruction.

 

THREE OVERTURNINGS AND

“HIM WHOSE RIGHT IT IS”

 

    Ezekiel 21. The Overturnings and “Him whose right it is.” We now speak of the Scripture so commonly referred to that is found in Ezekiel 21:26,27.  "Remove the diadem, take off the crown. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it.  It shall be no more the same, until he come whose right it is and I will give it him." We know who lost the crown or diadem. It was the Nation of Israel.  This was because they were unfaithful, as a people, to their committed COVENANT with Jehovah God. (Exo. 19:5,6)

    The question is: What ARE the overturnings? We believe that the overturnings are stated in "three" and not four times, as some would suppose. There are only three. To illustrate this, we refer to the "three wars" of Nebuchadnezzar and the final conflict or third war ended in the destruction of that typical kingdom of God that existed for almost 1000 years from its inception. In conjunction with their rejection of Christ, in AD 33, there were also three major wars of Rome. The third war ended in AD 135, marking the beginning of the Diaspora.

     God's decree against Zedekiah is pronounced. Ezekiel 21:25-27: The application is given that God overturned these Universal Empires and that when our Lord returned in 1874, the crown and diadem were given to him at that time. And, the re-gathering of Israel of Israel commenced. This re-gathering is then tied to Ezekiel 20:33.

     Fury Toward Israel Not A Kingdom Reign Over Israel  Ezekiel 20:33,34 says that, "(33) As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: (34) And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out will I rule over you."

     At first glance, this might seem to be a fairly conclusive argument, that from, we'll say from 1878 plus or minus onward, the reign began. Because many of us do appreciate our Lord's invisible second presence as of 1874, if one were to take this argument on the surface, it would be very easy to conclude that the reign had begun. However, if we turn to the Book of Jeremiah chapter 21:3-5. We have very similar language used in connection with Zedekiah's overthrow. We will quote that Scripture, It says,

     "Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah: (4)Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon... (5)And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath."

    The gathering out spoken of in Ezekiel 20, we believe is that of the Holy Remnant which is an event also to take place in the future. There is another problem that arises when one applies the overturning to the Gentile Kingdoms. That there are four Gentile kingdoms and three overturns. We think it is hard to make a direct correlation when there is a miscalculation there. Four and three do not equal one another. The alternate, of course, which we would suggest is that the overturns relate to the destruction of Jerusalem and the three dates that would seem to fit well with this particular prophecy are: (1) 606 BC when Zedekiah had this experience and was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. (2) And then later on in 70 AD you recall there is Titus' siege of Jerusalem and (3) finally in 135 AD where Hadrian had a conquest of Jerusalem. Then, in that same overturn, overturn, overturn account in Ezekiel 21:25, here is a phrase which says, "It shall be no more." That, we believe would apply to the great Diaspora that occurred subsequently. 

     When trying to understand where Brother Russell was coming from, we find in the first two of these particular articles, i.e., The Overland Monthly pages 82 and 83 and elsewhere, that he thought 1914, 1915 there about would see all these events fulfilled. Of course also, the WW1 had broken out so he would be looking at all these various signs around him and trying to analyze them and put them in proper perspective. But, obviously, we have a great advantage of hindsight and see that it clearly did not happen as expected. If the Church had been set up in power and the time of trouble had come, then we’ve missed it.

     The Three Wars That Are Related To Our Day  Simply put, the relevance to us, in our day, is in this wise: Under the same rulership Rome (the iron), of the “great image” picture, conjoined with Papacy (the clay), has already experienced two wars (WW1 and WW2). We believe this is the way it was with those two incidents of three wars pertaining to nominal fleshly Israel. So it shall be with nominal spiritual Israel. Interestingly, it was in the third year of Adam’s life that disobedience entered and swift judgment followed. God speaks once, twice; but the third time comes destruction. (Job 33:14,17; Psa. 62:11,12; IKings 18:34; especially Ezek. 21:14) This is the Scriptural premise used over and over again. The Third World War will begin or be lapped upon with the battle of Armageddon.

     1Kings 19. Wind, Earthquake, Fire, and Still Small Voice. Here is the relationship of the wars called a wind, singular. Consider the futuristic preview of 1Kings 19 relevant to the Elijah class. There will be a WW3, so often talked about in today's news. This, too, would harmonize with the Pastor's remarks that (1) Wind (singular) War 1, 1Kings 19:11,12 (since distended to two and a potential third) would be literally LAPPED UPON by (2) (the earthquake) revolution. This refers to the “great earthquake,” which will cause the rifting upheaval of nations. Thus it will lead to their consumption, as the Pastor tells us concerning Revelation 16:18.  That, in turn, he says, would be lapped upon by (3) the fire of anarchy“the great time of trouble” in its true sense. (Dan. 12:1) The expression lapped upon means to immediately follow the thing preceding. His definition harmonizes with these Scriptural accounts. Sometimes it is necessary to sort through difficult areas to arrive at a good understanding of the Bible -- our last or final RESOURCE. This Revolution, (Rev. 16:18) is not governmental change from one form to another form (such as Communism, etc.), or back again, but a violent upheaval towards its COMPLETE destruction the sense of Volume 4, The Battle of Armageddon, which describes preparing the elements and the finality of Armageddon.

    2Peter 3:7-11  Seeing All These Things Shall Be Dissolved  What does this mean? Should we understand this to mean “seeing that all these things are being dissolved?” We do not think so for these reasons: While St. Peter refers to the thousand years as related to the day of the Lord, this does not prove that the fire as described therein as a cataclysm would transpire immediately in 1874. To the contrary, in numerous references Br. Russell says the “heavens and the earth which are now by the same word are reserved unto fire.” (2Pet. 3:7) He further comments: “A great cataclysm of trouble, anarchy, called fire, will mark the termination of the present dispensation.” (Expanded Biblical Comments, p. 739)  “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” (2Pet. 3:10) Other comments are: “The melting down will begin in the overthrow of the religious systems.” (R5735) The word is shall melt. “With fervent heat. The earth also…” He continues: “Shall take fire.” (SM422:3) “After the heavens are on fire.” (SM423:3; 5863:3; 5349:1) “It will be after the fall of Babylon – the great distress of the nations shall come.” (R5348:6; 5864:1) “Shall be burned up” “Overthrowing all law and order in anarchy.” (R5349:1)

     Finally we come to “shall be dissolved.” It has been said that the Greek translation should read “are being dissolved.” The Pastor’s comments are this: “Will soon give place to the better order.” (B168) “Shall all go down.” (R3215:6) “Shall so shortly be dissolved.” (R1914:5) “We see their passing away is just at hand in this our day.” (R5735:5; 3215:6)

     We must then conclude the following: The fire is the fire of anarchy. Though the day of the Lord, is a thousand years which has already begun in 1874, it does by not by any  means indicate that world-wide anarchy took place back then but is to take place after the “great earthquake” of  Rev. 16 when Babylon falls. That has not happened yet. World-wide anarchy, which is the fire mentioned, is not a sporadic fire but is world-wide conflagration. The fire will begin when Babylon falls. That will be when all the saints have come out. The call yet goes on, “Come out of her my people.” (Rev. 18:4) Also, after Babylon’s fall the Kings of the earth or earthly governments will be next to be consumed by fire.

     We would also conclude that “shall be dissolved” would be the more correct application in view of the context in which St. Peter speaks. 1). The question is, “What manner of persons aught we to be in all holy conduct?” Our behavior will determine, as Jesus said, our being “accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the earth.” The escape is literal. The true Church will not be here when anarchy reigns. 2). These things are not now dissolved in the sense of the fire upon the heavens and the earth. They are not dissolved or destroyed. We live very well in the present law and order society. 3). The fire is the fire of what Br. Russell referred to as “world-wide anarchy.This has not happened. If it had, we would all be in process of consumption. 4). If this should read, “are being dissolved,” according to the Greek, the application would be by St. Peter to his day and not to ours down here at the end of the age. Or, the dissolution would have to be from his day down throughout the entire Gospel age. We do not think that “are being dissolved” is the correct intent of 2Peter 3:11.   

    Back to Ezek. 21. Who is He, “whose right it is”? And, When is it given Him? If we believed Judge Rutherford, we would say it was the year 1914. He had the image completely smitten. the “new nation born,” was (the modern day Watchtower society) born or exalted, and he said Christ, there, began to reign. Deliverance, 1925. This he reiterated in 1922 at a Cedar Point, Ohio, Convention. He shouted, We must Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! The King and the Kingdom! -- since 1914. Some Bible Students, later active, were there in 1922 and heard him. It should be remembered that it was a period of more than 30 years, before the remainder of the 75% who were with the Society left, some taking excess baggage views with them. Br. Russell stated, “Errors and superstitions die hard.”

    The King And The Kingdom  In an early and in a late Reprint, the following statements were made:

    “Nevertheless, both the King and the Kingdom--for which the King taught his Church to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven"--are coming. In fact, they are here; and present troubles in church and state are the results of influences emanating from that King and Kingdom.” R.1691

    “Nevertheless, both the King and the Kingdom are not only coming, but are here; and the present troubles and shakings in church and state, and the general awakening of the people are the results of influences emanating from that King and Kingdom.” R.5916

    Obviously the Pastor’s expectations were that the war would distend to social revolution (Rev. 16 great earthquake) and finally be lapped upon by anarchy. He believed that these things would wind up by 1918, the system of things would go down and that God’s kingdom would thus proceed in earth. It was an excellent analogy; but it did not happen that way. However, his analysis of 1Kings 19:11,12 was helpful to understand prophetic events today. (See above) Eighty-six years have passed since 1916.

    While it is true, as already mentioned, that the King has come at his presence in 1874, yet it is not true that the Kingdom for which we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth,” has as yet come to earth. The kingdom of heaven is still being set up. It is not yet complete. When complete (all the saints there) it will impact these kingdoms and they shall be blown away with the wind like fine dust and found no more. Note references to Revelation 20 – “the” thousand years (name of the age) and “a” thousand years. It is little later during the thousand years that the King along with that kingdom of heaven composed of all the saints – not one lacking – is completely set up that it shall both rule and uplift the world of mankind. Revelation 11:15 has not yet transpired. That verse 15 should be more correctly rendered, “ ‘The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our LORD, and of His Christ’ (Sinaitic MS). The statement ‘our Lord’ refers not to Jesus, but to Jehovah; and the following designation ‘of his Christ’ [Diaglott.Gk. “of his the Christ” Ed.] applies primarily to Jesus (the head) and secondarily to the Church (his body). A paraphrase would be: “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of Jehovah, and of Jehovah’s Christ [head and body].” Peter’s testimony substantiates this conclusion: The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ (Anointed). (Acts 4:26,27; Psa. 2:2)”  (The Keys of Revelation, 1993, Page 276, Frank Shallieu)

    We deal with the Scripture Ezekiel 21, under consideration, because of its imminent relation to the time of the “reign of Christ” and his “glorified” Church. We would not have a problem with this Scripture if the "he whose right it is" were ONLY Christ at his presence. Not to be misunderstood, we again state that Christ's presence TOOK PLACE in 1874 at the beginning of the 7th millennium in that year and that chronology is without fault. (See our Charles Redeker’s detailed studies on True Bible Chronology, 1971, The Biblical Prophetic Year, 1983 and The Biblical 70 Years [of Desolation], 1993).

    Again, Pastor Russell also defined this Scripture "Until he come whose right it [the kingdom] is, and I will give it him" to refer to Christ, THE PRINCIPAL and head, AND the COMPLETED Church, his Body, which is his bride – the antitypical King David. (Overland Monthly, p.52, 1910) They, when married, will constitute "THE CHRIST" -- as ONE unit TOGETHER similar to "Mediator," the "Seed," the "Prophet." The kingdom reign, when it begins, will be, as one unit, “given to [the entire “the Christ”] the people of the saints of the most high.” “The saints possessed the kingdom” after the burning of the “terrible” beast of Daniel 7:7,11. (Dan. 7:13,14,18,22,28) There is no possession now, either of Christ or his church. It will be a multitudinous class -- Christ, the head, and the Church, his body. An appropriate understanding is: the Scripture refers to the time when the Father turns the kingdom over to Christ "in his own right." When that happens, (which has NOT yet happened), no longer will Israel be WITHOUT a kingdom under God. Jehovah's kingdom will begin with Israel.  Christ shall be “David's Lord” and king replacement. (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 5, The Atonement Between God and Man)

 

THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN

 IN HEAVEN – WHEN?

 

     Another familiar text is one quoted in connection with the subject of the reign. That is found in Matthew 24:30:

     "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Now, this verse as we have heard it discussed is generally given a fulfillment of 1874. In Pastor Russell’s Sermons book page 420, we find that this verse is given a future application - contrary to some of Brother Russell's earlier writings. The reign here, as we believe is associated with all these Scriptures that we read and others that we will cite later on is associated with the epiphania. That being one of the Greek words, bright shining that is used in connection with our Lord's return. That is when the whole world will recognize that there is a heavenly power in operation. We now quote from the Sermon page 420:

     "We cannot say that the sign of the Son of Man in heaven will be his Parousia or secret presence. On the contrary, the Parousia will not be known to the tribes or families of earth in general; but will be known only to the most Saintly ones of the Church of Christ. Consequently, the sign of the Son of Man must in some sense stand related to his epiphania or shining forth in the flaming fire of judgment which the whole world of mankind will recognize. So when we read of the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, the thought might properly be that something will occur indicative of the presence of the Son of Man that he has taken to himself his great power and has begun his reign. This sign must be some sign of righteous indignation against wrong. It will be noted that St. Peter, in speaking of that time of trouble mentions that the heavens, Ecclesiasticism, will be on fire first. And that later, the earth will be involved also.”

     The question would be, Have we observed any, let alone all the tribes of the earth mourn related to seeing the sign of the Son of Man coming in heaven? Of course, we would answer, No! Also, the thought here, which you might keep in mind with your personal study is that Ecclesiasticism, Christendom must be set on fire FIRST before the world of mankind at large would have its experience in that great time of trouble. So what we see now, where there may be nations struggling against each another and wars and rumors of wars merely gives us a good indicator that we are in the harvest still.

     2 Thessalonians 1:8-10  (8) "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  (9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (10) When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ... in that day."

     Also cited from that Sermon book article is Isaiah 59:17-19 (18)"According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense. (19) So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun." Have we seen His fury? Have we seen any recompense to His enemies? We would answer, hardly!

 

NOW TO THE PSALMS

 

     PSALM 110.  We would like to next consider the Scripture of the Prophet David, Verse 1  Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (ASV)  Jesus quoted this very Scripture in Matthew 22:44. He was "Adonai," Lord. The work he had to do was before him. Enemies of God must be removed. Peter also quotes this Psalm. (Acts 2:22-36)

    Raised as King and Exalted to Zion’s Hill, AD 33. (Psa. 110:7) “Yet I have set my king Upon my holy hill of Zion. I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee.” (Psa.2:6,7 ASV, Logos Library, CD) The Prophet David said God would "raise up Christ to sit on his throne." (Acts 2:30)  "He (David) seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ." (Acts 2:31) He was raised, honored and exalted to "the RIGHT HAND OF God" back then. (Acts 2:33) And he (as king) REMAINS exalted at the right hand of God -- "until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psa. 110:1) “But to which of the angels said He [Jehovah] at ANY time, Sit on [at] my right hand [in that chiefly favored position], until I make thine enemies thy footstool [crushed as the footstool of your feet]”? (Heb. 1:13, KJV)  CHRIST WAS MADE LORD! "And God has  made him both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36)

USEAGE OF THE TITLE KING.

  WHEN WAS JESUS MADE KING?

 

    The use of the title King. There are many who would associate the use of King with reigning and we find that this is clearly not true. When this article was published in 1909, Brother Russell obviously did not make such a connection and neither do we. If the designation King were the only factor to be considered, then why not believe that he was reigning at his birth when the wise men had queried, “where is he that is born King of the Jews?” And that citation is from Matthew 2:2. Or perhaps, his arrival in Jerusalem, “Tell ye the daughter of Zion, behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and riding upon an ass, the colt, the foal of an ass.” Matthew 21:5. Or his appearance before Pilate. And Pilate asked him saying, “Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, ‘Thou sayest it.’” Luke 23:3 Or when he was in the Praetorium and “they clothed him with purple and plated a crown of thorns and put it about his head and began to salute him ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’” Mark 15:17,18 Or, still further at his crucifixion, “Yet have I set my king upon my Holy Hill of Zion.” Psalm 2:6. Or the superscription of his accusation, “The King of the Jews” found in Mark 15:26. So obviously there have to be certain qualifications that are associated with the use of the title King.

     The Parable of the Nobleman   Some will refer to the parable recorded in Luke 19:12,15 where it speaks of a noblemen who “went into a far country to receive for himself a Kingdom and to return.” And it came to pass that when he was returned having received the Kingdom that he dealt with his servants and you know the story goes on. The argument given is that the nobleman, which we all know is Jesus, went away at his first advent and subsequently returns at his second advent as a reigning King because he received the Kingdom. The argument then proceeds that his first act was to raise the sleeping saints. (See above mentioned)

Christ Does Not Reign alone   We believe that, when the time of Revelation 3:21 would come, the invitation of overcomers to “sit with him in HIS throne” would be fulfilled. The Scriptures do not indicate Christ reigns alone! Jesus is now seated on a throne next to Jehovah but is not yet exercising authority or dominion over the world“until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” See Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. 3, Thy Kingdom Come, Foreword. The Reign is also not in various stages of inauguration.  He waits for the signal to exercise that power. That would, of course, mean that the “remnant” Church would ALL be brought forth from death and the "marriage of the Lamb would have come." (Rev. 12:17; 19:7)  What does that mean to us? It means that the oneness of Christ and his body would be completed and the reign is ready to take place.

Now concerning this thought of reigning more directly with the Church, we find this article of interest. First, from page 420 (Bible Students Library CD, page 1094) of the Convention Reports Sermon, we quote but a very brief remark. It says:

"The presence of God in the Church will be that toward which mankind will be drawn during Christ's reign, and all approach to Him will be through this temple, the church.

Who are the enemies of Jehovah? David said, earlier, “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: Depart from me therefore, ye bloodthirsty men. 20For they speak against thee wickedly, And thine enemies take thy name in vain. 21Do not I hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22I hate them with perfect [complete] hatred: They are become mine enemies.” (Psa. 139:19-22, ASV)  Who makes war against the lamb? It is Satan's theoretical finest hour. It is Satan’s system empowered -- Protestant and Catholic -- particularly Papacy and their civil military might (“the kings of the earth”). (Rev. 16:14) But Satan’s power does not end with Christendom’s destruction. He will be at “Gog’s” attack on Israel -- once more attempting universal genocide of that people. (Ezek. Chapters 38, 39)

    Rod of His Strength Is out of Zion.  If, therefore, Christ cannot reign in his own right, he must wait until allowed to “assume position as king of the world.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 3 Thy Kingdom Come, Foreword)   Psalm 110, Verse 2, tells us that the rod of his strength shall be SENT “OUT OF ZION.” Who is the rod of strength? Jesus Christ. Zion is his Church, which would be then glorified and the lamb exercises his "power” and “strength.”  (Rev. 5:12,13) “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: FOR he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: AND they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” The “faithful” ones, i.e., unto death are the entire Church (Rev. 17:14) -- including the last remnant or raptured Church, meaning, as a class, put to death -- NO last member.

     Enemies  “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Who are the enemies? Again, Romans 5:19. "We were enemies." "We were reconciled to God." "Thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. (The judgment of the nations will begin with the great time of trouble – Armageddon. Matt. 24:21,22 CR164:2; SM57:1). Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies, whereby the people fall under thee." (Psa. 45:4,5, KJV) Under Christ, mankind will fall down and acknowledge God. They will either obey or be destroyed – there is no other alternative. The enemies over which he will rule ARE NOT the nominal systems BUT the whole world of mankind. The command to rule is not yet given! If he were ruling now, it is quite clear that his enemies have the upper hand and are becoming increasingly victorious. Pretty poor rule, don’t you think?

    The Scepter The wooden scepter was a symbol of kingly authority. The rod Christ will now use in the Kingdom age, is a rod of iron. It is like a flagellum or a baton stick. The lesson is subjection. 1Corinthians 15:25 (New KJV) "He must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet." The lesson, again, is like the kings conquered by Joshua who were the enemies of both God and Israel -- "put your feet upon the necks." (Josh. 10:24-26; Acts 3:19-21)  Romans 16:20 refers to “the great enemy” of God, Satan. The "footstool" shows recognition of God’s control and authority and, in this case, removal of the incorrigible. In the end this is how he will leave them before Jehovah God. There will be no enemies left. God's new day, the 8th millennium, showing circumcision, will BEGIN sharply at once -- NO overlapping between seventh and eighth thousand-year day. There are no two “1,000 years.”

     “The Lord (Jehovah) at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.” (Verse 5) This text is also translated Jehovah. (One of 134 places where the Sopherim changed Jehovah to Adonai. See Appx. 32. Companion Bible, Joseph Bullinger, 1969) Who are the kings? They are those down here in earth, in prominent positions of rulership of one kind or another. They will first feel the brunt of his wrath.

    A Sword of Judgment  When is the day of vengeance? Armageddon. This means that the sword is sword of judgment. Next, “He shall judge among the heathen [nations], he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many [great] countries.”   (Verse 6) “In the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall (-- the great ones).” (Isa. 30:25)  The day of plenty will follow Jacob's trouble. Jehovah will “plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD (Jehovah) shall be many.  (Isa. 66:16) “I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Jer. 25:29, ASV)  And the slain (with the sword of judgment) of Jehovah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.” (Jer. 25:33, ASV)  Jehovah hath a controversy with the nations.” (Jer. 25:31) This has not yet happened to all the nations. This will not happen until the Church is completed and glorified – “out of Zion.”

   

PSALM  2

 

     Jehovah’s Holy Hill  “Thou shalt dash them to pieces as a potter's vessel” (Psa. 2:9)  -- one resounding “atomic-like” blast -- suddenly, “travail,” like as “giving birth to a child” -- in the Greek, singular, odin “a,” or one birth pang -- commonly misapplied as plural. (1Thes. 5:3, Diaglott) Continuing, Psalm 2:6,7, Jehovah says, “Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion.” When was this? “I will declare the decree: the LORD (Jehovah) hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.” Jesus had “the right of inheritance” of the Melchizedek or king-priest order. (Heb. 7:21)  He was “highly exalted.” (Phil. 2:9) The head was lifted up (Psa. 110:7) in the resurrection when Jesus was made king and EXALTED back then. The answer is, we believe, at the time of HIS exaltation and glorification, when he was invested and honored with the divine nature, during the 10 days preceding Pentecost. He was not made a king in 1874! He came AS king, but he awaits the signal of the Father to take control. "Ask of me and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance" – as king of the world. (Psa. 2:8, ASV) (Psa. 110:8) He earned the right. It was a matter of when it (the signal) would be given! Not yet!

   

PSALM  149

 

     Psalm 149 The 149th Psalm (Verse1) tells us of singing a new song of victory and salvation, praising Jehovah in the congregation of the saints when they are all there in glory. (Verse 2) Israel is to later rejoice and Zion (Israel in the flesh) is joyful in their King.  (Verse 3) It is the time of their victory and a joyous occasion celebrated with music and dance.  (Verse 4) Jehovah takes pleasure in His people and beautifies the meek ones (the Holy Remant of Israel) with salvation.

    (Verse 5) What follows next is, the saints in glory, who have all been raised from the dead -- not just some of the saints nor some on this side and some on the other. This Scripture does not allow for that! First, it should be remembered, Pastor Russell was not dogmatic as some are on this text. He used expressions like "suggesting," "we are not sure," "we do not know," "a bare possibility," "not dogmatic." (R5451)

    As to glory, we shall be “glorified together." (Rom. 8:17) "The glory that shall be [then] revealed in us." “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels (Greek: aggelos, messengers -- the 144,000) with Him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” (Matt. 25:31) "We shall be like Him." (1John 3:2)

      Beds. A Bed of Faith or a Bed in the Rest of Glory?   Isaiah 57:1,2 tells of "the righteous being taken from the evil to come" -- "perishing," being put to death "THEY SHALL REST IN THEIR BEDS" -- IN GLORY. No sleep now! The conflict will soon be over! We shall have "entered into” the “rest for the people of God." (Heb. 4:6-11, New KJV) of the promised Canaan. It is the entry into the Canaan of peace or “rest” promised of God. We shall rest from our labors or “works” in glory and “our works follow with” us beyond the veil. (Rev. 14:13)  In Song of Solomon 3:7, Solomon comes to take the church to his bed -- his rest. (Verses 5-7)

     What works are being done beyond the veil?  The interests and concerns there would be many and varied. The harvest draws to a close (Rev. 14:15,16) and scape goat must be dealt with – things pertaining to the High Priest yet in sacrificial garments. (Lev. 16:22,23) Jesus yet sits as Chief Reaper. (Revelation 14:14) Babylon is yet to fall with final judgment responsibilities belonging to Christ and the Church. (Rev. 2:26, 27; Rev. 18:6) Michael stands forth causing cessation of the raging waves – anarchistic masses, etc., etc. (A 171:1; Luke 18:24; Matt. 24:22 -- Greek dia, through the elect.)  In large, the works of the church in heaven would be the main works of the Kingdom age – prepping for the future work in the judgment of mankind. “Greater works than these shall he [ye] do.” (John 14:12) Certainly “the high praises of Jehovah God shall be in their mouth” -- praises that shall eternally endure. (Psa.149:6)

   The two-edged sword  This sword will be in their hand. In Revelation 19:14, Christ, the King of Kings, leads the Armageddon assault and commands the nations in a loud voice to “Get OUT!!” See Isaiah 11:4. It is a sword of truth and by its symbol is also judgment in the day of Judgment! In Verse 6, this is a two-edged sword in the hand. Isa. 34:5,6 speak of the day of Jehovah's vengeance and the sword against Bozrah. Verse 7 states the purpose: “To execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the people.” It should be kept in mind that the judgments of Christ and his Church do NOT end with Armageddon, which has not occurred as yet. We have learned that the Day of Judgment is 1,000 years long and is neither just 24 hours nor 124 years. (1Pet. 4:17; 1Cor. 6:2)  For mankind, it constitutes the remainder of the Kingdom age. (Verse 8) The kings or rulers shall come forth to judgment as well -- from the grave. And their underlings or nobles shall likewise be dealt with as well in chains of restraint and fettered from continuing wrong against the people. (Verse 9) “To execute upon them the judgments written.” There will be no more Milosovich’s. We know that: (1) A “smiting of Jordan message” will be given (2Kings 2:8,9) and the nations with their religious institutions shall be subsequently judged. (Rev. 18:5,6)  (2) We also know that the saints shall judge the world in or by “righteous” standards. (1Cor. 6:2,3)  (3) There were thrones seen “and judgment was given unto them.” (Rev. 20:4) We believe one of the keys to understanding this Scripture is Verse 9, “this honor have ALL the saints.” It will not be some here and some there. It will be to all the Saints, who will have been glorified after their demise by Christendom by the “cutting off in death,” “fiery furnace,” “lions’ den” or “beheading” experience as with John.

 

WHO TAKES THEIR GREAT POWER TO REIGN?

 

     Reading that verse, Revelation 11:17, “We give thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, which art and wast because thou hast taken to thee thy great power and hast reigned.”  This we think is an important distinction.

     Another text which frequently is used to prove that the reign has begun (which will be discussed later) is found in Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

     Several questions come to our mind immediately. The most obvious one is how can it be possible that Jehovah is reigning; but Satan is still called the God of this world? It is interesting that when we look at the study of the god of this world, it happens to be ho theos, which is very peculiar. We always think of making the distinction between our Lord and Jehovah as being Jesus -- theos; Jehovah -- ho theos. But in reference to Satan, Satan is even being described with this same Greek word that is used for Jehovah that is ho theos.

     The world of course is rampant with sin. And for us to think that He is reigning and 99.9 per cent of earth’s populace doesn’t know it seems quite unreasonable.

     “The nations were angry” -- in 1914? Revelation 11:18 reads, that “the nations were angry”, we think that the word “were” is quite important because it is included there to indicate that “the nations were angry” before, i.e., past tense, before Jehovah reigns. And when that reign does eventually begin, the world will see very quickly that “His wrath is come.” So based on a closer observation of these texts, we sometimes get clichés or very familiar phrases and they stick with us over the years and we feel comfortable with them. But when we look at them closely we find that there certainly are a lot of other possibilities. And to hold such a view dogmatically would be, in our estimation, very difficult.

     Were the nations angry in 1914 as expressed from the platform today? No indeed! David said, “Why do the nations rage, And the peoples meditate a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against Jehovah, and against HIS anointed [ones]?” (Psa.2:1,2 ASV; Isa. 8:10) Their anger, (Satan’s anger) will be placated against the church and they will “kill” the saints of God in that “dark night.” (John 9:4; Rev. 13:15) “And thy wrath [Armageddon] is come.” Not yet! But in Armageddon! (Rev. 16:1, 16-21) “This honor” have some saints? NO! This honor have ALL the saints both then and into the Kingdom age.

 

 

 

PSALM 45

 

     Psalm 45.  Psalm 45:1 speaks of the King. Who is that king? Brother Russell comments on this as being the Lord Jesus “after being invested with kingdom authority.” (SM55:1; Rev. 11:17) “My heart is indicting a good matter: I speak of the things, which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (2)Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Commenting on this Brother Russell says further, “He had proven purity of heart and absolute loyalty to the Father.” “The grace of our Lord’s lips is manifest in the message that he left.” “Jesus exaltation is perpetual: far above angels and powers and every name.” (SM55,56)

     Gird thy sword upon thy thigh  (3) Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. (4) And in thy majesty ride prosperously.” With reference to the girding of the sword on the thigh, he also makes this comment: “Make ready for the day of vengeance.” Studies in the Scripture, Vol. 4, The Battle of Armageddon, page 549. Because of the faithfulness of our Lord and his high exaltation, he may “ride prosperously” and will be very successful in all of his endeavors. (4) Because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

    Thine Arrows Are Sharp In The Heart Of The King’s Enemies (5) Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies, whereby the people fall under thee." Under Christ, mankind will fall down and acknowledge God. They will either obey or be destroyed – there is no other alternative. The enemies over which he will rule ARE NOT the nominal systems BUT the whole world of mankind. The command to rule is not yet given! If he were ruling now, it is quite clear that his enemies have the upper hand and are becoming increasingly victorious. (6) Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. The Revised Standard footnote says, “Your throne is a throne of God. The Hebrew for “O God” (and not “the God) is Elohim – a mighty one and for this reason it was translated in Hebrews 1:8, “O God” in the King James Version New Testament, even though the Greek interliniary reads “ho theos.” To have done otherwise would have forced the Hebrew incorrectly, making Jesus, God. The Scepter is a symbol of kingly authority.

     The Scepter of Kingly Authority  While the throne is a throne of God, the scepter is that rod that would be used to put down the enemies of Jehovah God as the “rod of iron.” He “rules in righteousness” and “in righteousness doth he judge and make war.” He is the Lord, the righteous Judge. The question is asked, “Doesn’t Christ’s kingdom continue forever? Our answer is, Christ’s kingdom of earth is a temporary kingdom and is not forever and ever. The kingdom begins when the Christ is complete and ends “when his work on earth is done.” (1Cor. 15:25-28). (See Studies in the Scriptures, The Atonement Between God and Man, Volume 5, Jehovah) (See “Scepter under Psa. 110, Rod of his strength, above.) (7) Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Because of his faithfulness to God and righteousness, he became the head of the Church and the first anointed – God’s anointed, the Messiah.

 

PSALM  46

 

     Psalm 46. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  (Verse 1) There are those who believe that “this is evidence that the Church will be here in the “great time of trouble” and that the "great time of trouble" is already occurring in the world. Without question, it is true that the Great Company will experience THAT trouble.

     (Verse 2) “Therefore WE will not fear though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the deep." Thus is shown the calm of the Christian for any trouble that may arise throughout the Gospel age, let alone now. We always have the full Scriptural assurance that the mountains or kingdoms of this world shall be replaced by the new heavens and new earth mentioned in 2Peter 3:13. The thought, correctly, is that the mountains or kingdoms shall be carried into the midst of the raging anarchistic masses; the mountains will flatten in Armageddon -- the kingdoms – “the powers that be.” (Rom. 13:1)   (Verse 3, ASV) “Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains tremble with the swelling thereof.” The swelling waters are the raging masses of mankind coming nearer and nearer to the conditions spoken of here -- the forerunner to Armageddon. The tremors or shakings of the mountains are not the “great earthquake” of Revelation 16:18 in which society will then break apart. It is the premonitory click as of a clock of that which is to surely come.

     (Verse 4) “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of [Jehovah] God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” What could this be? It refers to the Temple to be built in the future when its symbolical waters of life shall be available to mankind. In the reality, “the waters of life” shall flow from the completed church when glorified together - the completed city or temple of Jehovah God. (Ezek. 41:1-26; 43:18; 47:1-8 -- the river) The streams are composed of individual Christians. “Out of his belly [of the one exalted to divine glory] shall flow living waters” “springing up into everlasting life.” (John 7:38; John 4:14) Presently, they are “rivulets.” In glory, they will be combined in a wonderful stream of life-giving waters! The completed Church IS the city of government of Jehovah. (Rev. 21:2)  (Verse 5) “God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved.” When God is in the midst of her, she shall NOT be moved -- forever and forever. God is our refuge and strength. They, the Church, have attained their position on high by their change to glory and are inured to harm.

    “God shall help her right early in the dawning of HER morning.” It is the morning of resurrection before the world's. Help her? How so? God will help her in the coming hard experiences and sufferings when assailed by those in control -- with great grace and strength when bruised in death -- as were Stephen and Christ.  (Verse 6, ASV) “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted.”  The world has tried to establish and maintain a kingdom of their own. Their efforts, against either Jehovah or his anointed ones HERE both are and will be, futile. Jehovah God does this by “breaking them in pieces” and establishing His “eternal” kingdom in earth. (Dan. 2:44) The melting of the earth or society, as it now exists, will be in the REAL “great time of trouble” -- in the words of the Pastor, “in the full sense of the word is anarchy.” The fire that melts. We haven't seen that kind of trouble, yet! (Verse  7)  God is not only our refuge, but also that of Jacob, Israel, or the "Holy Remnant" in “the time of [their] Jacob's trouble.” (Jer. 30:7) 

     Verses 8,9  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. (9) He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.” In a most wonderful discourse, reference was made to 2Chronicles 20:22-29 and the battle of Jehoshaphat. Judah looked down from the "watch tower" heights, from the “valley of Blessing” where the praises to Jehovah were sung. (Hymn 107) They, the Church, in antitype, were in no sense within the conflict of Jacob’s Trouble. They looked down from on high and saw a multitude of dead bodies -- the defeat of Gog and of Magog -- the destruction that God had wrought.  (Verse 10) “Be still! Know that I am God!  I will be exalted in the earth! The God of Jacob or Israel is our refuge.” The kingdom reign has taken hold in the earth! The reign has then begun! Christ is successful and the only rightful King! His reign is not over the kingdoms of “the god of this world.”  Satan’s kingdoms of the present were given in the hands of that false Christ, who accepted them, the Pope who, sits in Satan’s seat -- Rome. (2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 4:8; Rev. 2:13; Rev. 16:10) His reign is not over the Church. Christ and his Church begin their reign TOGETHER (Greek, epi) over earth. (Rev. 5:10) Gog has met with defeat against Israel. Ezek. 39:21,22. At that point, Satan is then bound, not piece-meal but AT ONCE, and by Christ.   No longer is Satan a king. (Rev 20:1-3)

 

ISAIAH 52   THY GOD REIGNETH!

 

     Isaiah 52 Thy God Reigneth! The early part of this chapter tells of Israel, and, like Psalm 102:13,16, refers to Israel as Zion. It further mentions her as Jerusalem, the holy city.  (Verses 1,2) This shows a condition where those, who will then begin God’s kingdom, will NOT then bring forth the uncircumcised of heart NOR the unclean.  (1) They are "holy unto Jehovah." (Isa. 4:2-4) They come from “of the dust,” of being down trodden. The bands of servitude will have been completely struck off --  “O captive daughter of Zion.”  (2) (Verse 3) Spiritual Israel has never sold themselves. (3) Natural Israel shall be redeemed "without money," through Christ’s ransom merit, from under the Law and brought into a New (Law) Covenant.  (Heb. 9:15; Jer. 31:31; Rom. 11:26,27)   (Verse 4) The Lord Jehovah declares that Natural Israel went down to Egypt on a “temporary journey,” they were “made slaves,” and “the Assyrian oppressed them.” Jehovah God asks the question, “Why has Israel been taken away for no good reason?” (Verse 5) “They who ruled over them made them howl,” in the many scenes of the 2520 years. The “trampling down” of Israel’s national polity ended in 1914on time. They were persecuted by the Catholic Church, Spanish Inquisitions and Crusaders, Russians in Kiev and Kishenev, and by the Germans, the Poles and Hungarians, etc., in the European Holocaust under Catholic Hitler. And they will likewise be persecuted in the future holocaust of Jacob’s trouble, by many of those same Europeans and Russians, etc.   He continues,  (Verse6):   “My people shall know my name [Jehovah]:” therefore they shall know in that day that I am He” that shall both speak and act. “Behold, it is I.”

    Then comes the very exhilarating text (Verse 7), “How beautiful upon the mountains [the kingdom established] are the feet of him [Jehovah].” The feet here are God's representatives, His authorized Ancient Worthies, in the earth -- those kingdoms (nations) will THEN be under God's control and the time when His name BEGINS to be made known. We do not! -- repeat do NOT! believe the remnant Church to be the "feet members"! They are Jehovah's feet (NOT those of Jesus)  -- God’s authority in the earth, “His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives.” Zech. 14:4 “Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.” The earth is His footstool. (Isa. 66:1, ASV)  (Verse 7, New KJV) “Who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings good tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ” It is His Ancient Ones who bring the “good news” -- that issue proclamations of peace. The word is “proclaim!”  Proclamations are made about something that has happened. They bring "good news of good" of this established kingdom. They proclaim salvation. They say unto Zion or Israel, “Your God [NOW] reigns” in earth!  “Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold thy God.” (Isa. 40:9,10; Isa. 24:23; Psa. 93:1)

     The Lord's people are watchmen; Israel also has watchmen.  (Verse 8) “Your watchman shall lift up their voices; with their voices together shall they sing together [praises to Jehovah], for they shall see eye to eye, WHEN the LORD [Jehovah] shall bring back Zion.” Note: Zion is brought again! When shall the Lord’s watchmen “see eye to eye”? -- not until they, as the Church, shall together sing, also, beyond the veil. Now we know partly and see partly, through a glass darkly (not too clear); but then, together and complete, we “shall know even as” we are “known.” (1Cor. 13:12) In Israel, there are those who love God’s Law – “Covenant keeping Israelites,” as the Pastor called them, or a Holy Remnant who are looking for prophetic fulfillments to natural Israel and for the Messiah. Israel’s “blindness” shall also be removed. (Rom. 11:25)  (Studies in the Scriptures, Thy Kingdom Come, p. 293)

     Continuing in the same context, we are told of the “redemption” and “restoration” of Israel. It reads (Verses. 9,10, ASV), “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah hath comforted His people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” We as watchmen -- as watchers of God’s Word have a message, now (Isa. 40:1,2), to comfort. That which is spoken of in this text, (Verse 9), is the millennium; THIS describes the kingdom reign to come.  (Verse 10, ASV) “Jehovah hath made bare his holy arm [strength] in the eyes of all the nations” by his miraculous power and through Christ and the Church in the demise of the kingdoms of this world and the destruction of that horrible image. The Chapter ends with (Verse 10,) “all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” The world will have seen Israel’s miraculous deliverance and they will come to know the real salvation to be made known through His Son, Jesus Christ. (See Verse 15)

     Note: See Supplement at the end of this study: “Christ’s Reign – Preaching and Proclaiming. A Comparison Between Romans 10:15 and Isaiah 52:7” regarding the meaning of the “Feet of Him.”

 

PSALM   97   JEHOVAH REIGNETH

 

     Psalm 97,  “Jehovah Reigneth;  Let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.” (Verse 1)   Does Jehovah God reign? It is important to recognize that it is God here and that it is His kingdom as well as Christ’s. Does the earth rejoice? Are the many isles or lesser kingdoms glad? Not yet!  Not yet are all things under God’s control; nor are “his feet” planted in the earth as at the Mount of Olivet.  (Verse 2) “Clouds and darkness are round about Him. Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne.”   (Verse 3) “A fire goeth before him and burneth up his enemies in every place.”  (Verse 4, ASV) “His lightnings lightened the world: the earth saw and trembled.” (Verse 5, ASV) “The mountains melted like wax at the presence of Jehovah, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”

     Psalms 93:1, 96:10, Psalm 97, Psalm 98:9 and 99:1, all speak of the reign of Jehovah and that the intent of the reign is to judge the earth – “the world with righteousness and the people with His truth.” (Psa. 96:12) That judgment of God begins with the Armageddon downfall of the nations and the reign over those nations with the establishment of His “stone” kingdom with the debris cleared out of the way, becoming the mountain from which that judgment emanates to all nations. For this reason “the floods clap their hands” and the “hills” will “be joyful together” in that kingdom age.

     We see “both the goodness and the severity of God.” (Rom. 11:22) God is the judge of all. (Heb. 12:23) Vengeance belongs to Him. (Heb. 10:30) This is the reason Volume 4 was originally called, The Day of [Jehovah's] Vengeance. (Isa. 34:8) It was later changed to the more explicit terminology The Battle of Armageddon. The Armageddon of Revelation 16:16 did not happen in 1874, 1914, or any other date of the past. It is a future event.  From the 1912 Foreword it has now been 88 years. Armageddon yet awaits the “church-union prophesied.” The present work is still the preparation of the elements toward that “strange act.” (Joel 3:10; Isa. 28:21) The consummation of the nations will follow the final cryptic fall of nominal “Christiandom”“or churchianity. Babylon will come into judgment and will have its one and only final fall -- the “judgment of the great whore” “who made the nations intoxicated.” (Rev. 17:1,2)  The judgment of the nations is next and is manifest in anarchy or fire.  (Verse 3) A like judgment will continue to burn until neither root nor branch are left. Mal. 4:1.  There is no 1914 factor here.  The wind (singular)  -- on going from then -- does not destroy “Chistiandom” or the nations but prepares for their overthrow.  (Verse 5) To the nations: “they melted like wax” UNDER THE FIERY HEAT. Combined “Christiandom” and Roman and all the four “image” nations (Including USA) must be entirely impacted upon by the stone in ONE annihilating blow. (Dan. 2:34,44) It is “his strange act,” (Isa. 28:21) in which Christ and his glorified saints will participate. In the “Day of Jehovah” Chapter in Volume 1, p. 307, Christ is properly called “the General of Jehovah.” Since the hearts of the people were not turned back to Jehovah by the Elijah class, the earth will be smitten with the coming “great time of trouble.” (Mal. 4:6)

     It can readily be seen that the more important aspect of the judgment (Verse 2) has to do with mankind in the Kingdom age as well. That is the aspect of life and death. The fire (Verse 3) of destruction has two parts. The primary focus is on enemies in this end of the age; but enemies will also be destroyed during and at the conclusion of the Kingdom age. (Verse 4) The lightnings. “The earth [people then] saw [the lightnings] and trembled.” There have been seen natural acts in the past which God saw fit to allow on behalf of natural Israel in the time of the Law Covenant (see Heb. 12:18-21) and when Jesus died (Matt. 27:45, 51) And so they will continue, future, on behalf of fleshly Israel, as the prophecies declare. The Holy Remnant of Israel will yet be told what to do in the midst of trouble, when the earthquake comes which created the valley into which they, like the early Church, were saved as they fled -- as instructed. (Zech. 14:5) We “see his coming judgments” and the nations WILL tremble -- especially at Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:6-8) when God is manifest. (Ezek. 38, 39:21-29) "The demons believe and tremble" concerning judgment. (James 2:19)  Mankind will witness the judgments of those refusing to hear. See Heb. 12:25  (Verse 6) "The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see His glory.” The heavens have ALWAYS declared His righteousness and the true spiritual heavens as well. But all the people DO NOT YET see his glory. We read that “the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isa. 40:5, ASV) We further read that the Son of man will also “come in his glory” (Matt. 25:31) and will be “glorified in his saints." (2Thes. 1:10)  (Verse 7) “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols; worship him all ye gods [elohim -- mighty ones].” We already know the history of Israel and how they failed to serve the great Jehovah, their God. Instead, they worshipped idols and false gods. (Christendom and heathendom, likewise, still so worship today) It is also God's judgment over Israel. (Ezek. 20:33)

     The reign will follow at the end of Jacob's trouble, which is the end of Armageddon. See Volume 4, p. 552, “The Time of Jacob's Trouble.” Israel, without the Holy Spirit, is not reigned over NOW. (Ezek. 37:14; Joel 2:28)  In the figurative wilderness (as of Sinai), a holy tenth or remnant of the survivors of Israel will be determined. (Ezek. 20:33-38) The rebels shall be completely purged out and will NOT be among the survivors -- They “shall not enter into the land” -- even though in Israel. (Ezek. 20:38) The point of interest here is: (Ezek. 20:39) “Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy NAME no more with your gifts, and with your idols.” Concerning Israel in the restorative processes of the kingdom, God says, "You shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evils that you have committed” (-- deep contrition for transgression) (Ezek 20:43 New KJV)

     (Verses 8,9)“Zion, [the Holy Remnant by reason of context and deliverance following (Verse 10)], heard and was glad, And the DAUGHTERS OF JUDAH rejoiced, Because of thy judgments [past], O Jehovah. 9For thou, Jehovah, art most high above all the earth: Thou art exalted far above all gods [mighty ones]. He preserveth the souls of his saints [His holy ones]; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” Israel's deliverance, as mentioned in Studies in the Scriptures, The Battle of Armageddon, Volume 4, Jacob’s Trouble (subtitle), will be accomplished. With blindness removed, they will be an enlightened, purged, saved, and delivered holy people. (Rom. 11:25-27; Isa. 4:3,4)

 

 

THE BINDING OF SATAN

 

      Binding of Satan  The binding of Satan is described in two places in particular. The main emphasis, which has been fostered over the years, was that Satan is being gradually bound by light. Their reasoning is as follows: The binding of Satan is directly connected with the reign because Christ was present in 1874. And therefore, because the text of the King James or other translation reads, “and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2),” say those, Satan must be bound exactly one thousand years.  Further, say they, because the church according to the view of this text (Verse 4), “lived and reigned with him a thousand years.”  But is this theory so? The Siniatic MS, the manuscript most trusted by the Pastor, does not so say. The Siniatic MS, for Revelation 20:2, simply reads this way: “and bound him in the abyss.” No mention of a thousand years! The angel coming down was Jesus. He had the key to lock the bottomless pit, and he also had the great chain of restraint in his hand. He is not binding and binding and binding! Christ, at a particular point during his presence is to physically lay hold upon the Devil and bind him in the figurative bottomless pit, etc.  He is to take Satan out of action “THAT HE SHOULD DECEIVE THE NATIONS NO MORE till the thousand years should be fulfilled” (Rev. 20:1-3) – nearing the end of the “little season.” Are the nations being deceived? ABSOLUTELY! Satan's presence, as usurping king, continues even to the demise of Jacob’s trouble and those nations who come against her. (Verse 7) from the Siniatic MS text reads, “Nearing [Gk. telesthese), approaching] the end (Gk. telos) [of] the thousand years, will be loosed the Satan out of the prison of him.” (See The Keys of Revelation, Revelation 20:7) The 7,000 years end exactly on time when sin shall end and all the wicked are completely destroyed. No sin on the eighth thousand-year day! God then begins his new work with “the circumcised of the flesh.” Bible Students should recognize the fact that the Siniatic does NOT say for “a thousand years.” It just isn't there! (Verse 2) Satan is not bound by light. “Lord, the powers of evil are increasing every day.” (Verse four of Appx. C) He will personally and physically be laid hold of and bound -- future. How active is Satan? Very active. (It is not "a" thousand years but "the" thousand years -- the age's name. See The Keys of Revelation, for manuscript detail on the use of “a” and “the” in Revelation, Chapter 20, Siniatic MS, etc.) Satan is even more active than before! So much so, that he “would deceive, if he could, the very elect.” (Matt. 24:24) He comes “with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness” – “strong delusion” (Gk. energia) “in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth [or the truth in the love of it], that they might be saved.” (2Thes. 2:9,10) (See Volume 2, -- The Man of Sin)

 

 

 

LITTLE SEASON, SATAN’S AND WICKED’S DESTRUCTION

WITHIN THE SEVENTH MILLENNIUM

EIGHTH DAY BEGINS WITH RIGHTEOUS ONLY

 

     Now, since it is convenient to mention it, and since it is shown here on our chart (of course, we have no direct Scriptures to prove this and it is supposition but) we think it is quite reasonable. Just as there was a two-year season of testing in the Garden of Eden before man sinned, we think that there would be a comparable two-year little season at this end of the age in which man will be tested to see if they pass the test of righteousness to live into the ages to come.

     Also to mention it, not that it is part of the remarks on this subject per se’, but that we believe Satan will be bound within the thousand year period before he is loosed at the end of this period of time (still within the thousand years) for the little season of testing upon the world of mankind. Then, of course, being cut off in final destruction before 2874 AD, which marks interestingly, the end of the 49,000 years of the Creative week that we understand to be correct. Of course many brethren will suggest (and you can not argue it too deeply) if the Seventh day is clearly shown to be seven thousand years by Scripture, then we assume that the previous six days would have been seven thousand years in duration. This called deductive reasoning as found in algebraic equations.  There is no Scripture to prove that point but it is a logical conclusion to draw.

     Of course, too, we find that the last thousand-year period in the Seventh Creative Day, which we understand to be the Millennium, concludes at 2874. We think that this is a very critical date and applies to the time which is expressed in I Corinthians 15:28. That the Kingdom would be then handed over to the Father and that He would be All in all. That is, Satan would be destroyed. All of the evil host [would be destroyed]. (Ezek 28:18,19) Though the possibility of death would always exist and the “lake of fire” would continue (representing second death), there would no longer be a need for death as a form of punishment. It is just death as a concept. It is no longer necessary because all that are able to pass into the “ages to come” will have been thoroughly tested even as the Ancient Worthies, the Little Flock and the Great Company will have had their testing of faithfulness. However God’s prerogative remains. “What do ye devise against Jehovah? He will make a full end; affliction (because of sin) shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9) This is the principle with Jehovah God. His tolerance of sin was for the instruction of man in the permission of evil now reigning -- the knowledge of good and evil. The thought is, that once the testing of men and angels is thus accomplished, there will no longer be tolerance for sin on God’s part. It  shall forever and always shall forever remain, “Jehovah preserveth all them that love him; But all the wicked will he destroy.” (Psa. 45:20 KJV) It is God’s retentive prerogative.

     Binding of the Strong Man  “How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” (Matt. 12:29) Who is the strong man? Satan. Are the goods his institutions and agencies? Does Babylon's fall indicate Satan is fully bound? We think not. What, then, are his goods? His goods are his subjects, the people. They are the children of the Wicked One. His house is the world whose kingdoms of this world he controls. “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace: his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor [defenses, systems of control] wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” {Luke 11:21, 22} Again, the “strong man” is Satan or Beelzebub. The goods are the people or children of the Wicked One. His palace or house is the world. It is his kingdom. He is the god of this world, the prince of this world. He is armed through those who serve him -- great has been his slaughter in the Dark Ages and Holocaust. The stronger than he is Christ Jesus. He is the same one of Revelation 20:1,2. His personal defenses that he thought were impregnable were not able to prevent his complete restraint by immovable chains. The spoils are the goods or people over whom Christ shall be king when his reign shall thus begin

 

 

 

 

CHRIST’S KINGDOM STILL FUTURE

 

    We conclude with 1Corinthians 4:8. From What Pastor Russell Said, Question Book, pages 117,118: “Is it scriptural to say the glorified members of the Church have reigned at any time up to the present? Answer NO! They have NOT reigned at any time…. the reign of Christ did NOT in ANY sense begin in the past. Our Catholic friends claim that Christ began His reign some time ago; and that for over a thousand years the Pope has been the representative of Christ AS KING OF EARTH; THAT IT IS NOT Christ Himself who is to reign, but His vicegerent, a title which they give to the Pope, meaning the one who rules instead of Christ.”

    “We think our Catholic friends are laboring under a misapprehension. They do not get the proper thought. You remember the Apostle says of some, Ye have reigned as kings in the earth; you are getting along very prosperously; you have had no trouble or persecution at all. Then after making fun of them a little, he says, I would to God that ye did reign; for if you did, we would reign with you! ” 1Cor. 4:8.

    “We hold that this is still true. When the REIGN OF CHRIST BEGINS, you will find it such a thorough reign that all the members of HIS BODY will have some part in it. So we assume that when OUR LORD'S [CHRIST'S] KINGDOM shall begin its reign, conditions for the whole world will be very much changed. IF the REIGN OF CHRIST should begin today, [1] the SAINTS WOULD BE WITH HIM; for HE IS TO BE THE GREAT JUDGE, THE SAINTS THE UNDER-JUDGES; [2] HE IS TO BE THE GREAT KING, THE SAINTS THE UNDER-KINGS: (3) HE IS TO BE THE GREAT PRIEST, THE SAINTS THE UNDER-PRIESTS – ‘A Royal Priesthood,’ ‘Kings and priests unto God,’ who ‘shall reign with Christ a [or we would say the] thousand years.’ We add that Christ and the Church will be that GREAT PROPHET. (Acts 3:19-23) Additionally, Rev. 20:4 clearly states (1) They were reigning together upon thrones. (2) They were seated in Judgment of the world. (3) They were beheaded for the witness of God’s Word. “Ye have not resisted unto blood.” (Heb. 12:4) And, importantly, THEY DID NOT WORSHIP the “hour of power” beast or image – neither did they accept their mark. They reigned in the future Kingdom age with Christ.

     We inject the simple remark from the Pastor here: "Our Lord yet wears his sacrificial garments, thus offering us up. He has yet to put on his glorious garments -- the high priest typified the entire priesthood.” We add the thought, Jesus was king since his honoring and investiture with the divine nature after his resurrection and at his honoring! Revelation 14:14 thus shows he already was a divine king. He came not as reigning king over the nations but as Chief Reaper of Harvest wheat. Continuing: “The High Priest going forth in glory typifies...the glory of the church joined with her Head [Christ]...”We shall be like Him.” John 3:2  “Another Scripture declares that we shall be His GLORIOUS BODY, OR HIS BODY OF GLORY, and that "We shall be GLORIFIED TOGETHER" with him. (Rom. 8:17; What Pastor Russell Said, Question Book, 285, 286) The suffering still goes on. “If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him.” The Great Company escape goat is not yet finished! Lev. 16:20-23.]

    Continuing the quote from Question Book, 117,118: "With His reign will begin the reign of righteousness, for the Scriptures intimate that sin will be suppressed promptly."

    

 

 

 

“THE” THOUSAND YEARS THE NAME OF THE AGE

AND WITHIN THE THOUSAND YEARS

 

     In brief, we know the Greek allows for this period of Christ’s reign to be described by the title, “the” thousand years, instead of by duration as “a” thousand years. Written Greek does not have vowels. So much is determined by context. If this period of reigning is correctly referred to by what we believe to be a general title, “the” thousand years, then it would not have to be a full one thousand years in duration.

     Just to demonstrate this, the first observation or comparison, we would like to bring to your attention is that we can consider Adam as being lord of the earth for a thousand-year day. You recall Adam was created, based on our Chronology, 4128 BC. And he lived to be 930 years old before he died. “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Heb. Dying, thou shalt die).” (Gen. 2:17)  If we reckon him to be lord of the earth for a thousand-year day, but he only lived 930 years, we think the same kind of illustration, is intended by Scripture at this end of the age. The Second Adam will be Lord of the earth for a thousand-year day or “the” thousand-year day. But not that it has to be a full thousand years in duration, just as Adam’s was not a full thousand years in duration.

     Also, the concept, that as a consequence of sin, Adam began his fall during the course of his lifetime (928 years of the dying process) and that has its counterpart in the Second Adam. That restitution would be a part of the reign of Christ as the Second Adam.

     In Romans 5:17, it says, “For if by one man’s offense, death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

     Again the general illustration is that each can be described as being lord of the earth. But, when we look at it, it does not necessarily mean that it has to be a full thousand years in duration.

     Now if one believes that the reign is a full thousand years, then they would have to believe that the Church is reigning now, based on the Scripture in Revelation 20:6 and other verses that was cited earlier. Let us read the citation from Revelation 20:6.

     “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 (or as we would prefer [by M.S. choice] “the”) thousand years. But if they take it to be a literal thousand years, they would have to believe that Christ is reigning with the Church and some are still here in the flesh. Or, as another thought, that has been presented in more recent years, that there are two separate thousand-year periods. And we think that neither of these harmonize as well as giving consideration to the thought that the thousand years need not be a full thousand years in duration.

     We note here, in conjunction with the computer Bible Students Library CD examination, the consistent theme of the Pastor was that the "reign of sin" of the present is in contrast with Christ's reign, which is concurrent with "the reign of righteousness." We make NO metaphorical distinctions such as “Glorious” or “Mediatorial,” etc., with the term "reign." The Reign of Christ IS the reign of Christ. To do otherwise would be supportive of adjunctive, dogmatic, divisive, theoretical applications successive to the Pastor's death. May God help us all in the study of His Word to the blessing and edification of His people. May we be of those who hear “Well done, good and faithful servant: enter now into they joy of thy Lord.” (Matt. 25:21) We have been greatly blessed beyond measure in this Harvest time. We want to give special thanks to all those who have helped us along the way – fellow servants. “The hosts of sin are pressing hard to keep thee from the prize.” “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31-39)

     Our prayer is, for that glorious Kingdom to come, O glorious God, our Father. Let thy will pervade the earth. As your will is done in heaven, so let it be done on earth and end earth's “weary night.” Amen. Amen.       Hymn 327

 

n      Charles L. Thornton,

n      In Part from the 

n      Rockland Convention, New York, February 27, 2000

Extensive additional study notes from various sources were added. Concluded October 1, 2000 

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        HELPFUL WORDS OF DISCERNMENT AND UNDERSTANDING.  We have no authority from the Divine Word to castigate someone who is earnestly searching the Scriptures as did the Bereans of old and to place such or others in the Great Company or as a goat class, just because things are seen differently than they do. This would be in the spirit and practice of Babylon and that of the modern day Watchtower Society. Of such spirit we must have no part.

       Also, we may not establish a “creedo” (I believe) and say we must take action to prevent others who may not agree on certain non-basic teachings of a prophetic nature and say, We will take certain concerted action against them, defame them and/or cast them from our midst. The Pastor well stated the matter in the Photo Drama, “Creation.” Let us not be of those whom the LORD styles,  “wicked.” “The wicked shoot out bitter words against the righteous – brethren.” We are to “speak often one with another” – to communicate and commune on His Word and with his Spirit to His people and in the way that Jesus taught – love. “Love one another even as I have loved you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES 

 

     We would like to address certain references of the Pastor.

 

     SITS, Volume 3, 1916 Foreword, iii, iv   This reference shows the reign over earth future with the entire Church with him.  We quote as follows: His [Christ’s] members must be completed before He will officially take His position as the King of the world. The inspired Word gives assurance of this fact: "When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory." (Col. 3:4) …. The full number of the Elect must be found and be glorified by the resurrection "change"--because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 15:50) Then the dominion of the world will be assumed. The glorified One will ask of the Father, and He will give Him the heathen [nations] for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. "He will rule them with a rod of iron. As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken into shivers." (Psa. 2: [8,9] ; Rev. 2:27) …. The Messiah, the Elect of God, will take the control and speak peace to the tumultuous peoples and bring order out of confusion, joy out of tears, praise out of despair. Thus the Kingdom of Messiah will be born in a terrible travail; but the glorious results will more than compensate for the "Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Thus we are told, "The desire of all nations shall come." (Haggai 2:7)

 

     ZWT Reprints, Pages  6011 to 6016, December 1, 1916

    While we would agree with a number of things said in this article, as emphasized below, it should be kept in mind that this sermon was delivered on November 12, 1916 by none other than the Judge. He was an ambitious brother who was dismissed by the Pastor 6 months prior to the Pastor’s death. He rushed back and took control, illegally dismissed the Board of Directors and centralized all power in himself. The Pastor’s will, over which the Judge had presided, was missing. See Light After Darkness, 1917. In short, he was a man of no integrity and who changed basic teachings of Truth. What he may have done with both the discourse of November 12 and the Watch Tower article of November 15, 1916 (even though the name of the Pastor still appeared as Editor on that issue) is suspect.   For this very reason, articles through 1918 are not reprinted.

 

     The Morning Cometh and A Night Also  (ZWT, November 15, 1916 CTR Sermon delivered after the Pastor’s death by Jos. Rutherford.)  Some use this article to prove the reign of Christ began in 1874. Though we recognize the article as suspect, contrary expressions to a reign begun are used like: “under a reign of Sin and Death, not under a Reign of Righteousness and Life” and also, “that Messiah, in the Father's appointed time, will take to Himself His great power and reign King of kings and Lord of lords--putting down sin and every evil thing, uplifting humanity and granting a Divine blessing where…there has been a Divine curse.” Finally, the statement is made,  “Then the third phase of the calamity--the darkest of all--will be the symbolic fire of anarchy, which will utterly destroy our present civilization. Then, in the midst of that most awful Time of Trouble, Messiah, the great King, will take His great power and will exercise it, with the result that the raging waves of the sea of human passion will all be quieted, the fires of anarchy will all be extinguished, and the Reign of Righteousness and Peace will begin.”  Seeing that there are differing articles and in order to come to a proper conclusion concerning the reign, the Bible Student must prove these things or “search the Scriptures” just like, as did those Bereans of old. (John 5:39; Acts 17:10,11)

     ZWT Reprint, Page5989, November 15, 1916, The Earth Trembled and Fell  

     Note:   We were familiar with this article in the previous study on the Reign of Christ, in 1968, and were of the realization that, in reality, we could not be sure of its authentication. A careful examination of the 97th Psalm would show that it would be in serious conflict other statements. It also conflicts with the contextual reality of the Psalm to say that we were living under the reign of Jehovah God. As Brother Russell, himself said, it would be “a poor reign.” (What Pastor Russell Said, Question Book, 117)  See our comments in this lesson on Psalm 97.

 

 

Foundation Roots

 

     In the study of truth literature, early or late, our primary interest should be coming as closely as possible to truth that is backed by the Word of God.  We emphasize again, that we are Bible Students. We should want to communicate with one another in the interest of understanding. Without this attitude, we would be no better than the Society who curtailed the right to speak, excommunicated God’s people, categorizing and classifying them as heretical goats. Back then the judge informed his “Bible Students” to shun other Bible Students, turn their backs away from them, not to speak to them, and to sing them down in testimony meetings – all things similar to deeds done in the dark ages. Anyone, who is not free to speak, is not free to understand. He is in the “bondage” that he was told to leave and is not “free indeed.”

 

    Many additional references. Following this study, we may present the various article references as given in the former study on the reign of Christ in order to show varied viewpoints of the reign contained in the harvest message. In the end, determination is an individual matter. We can only hope that this study is beneficial in the direction of a more accurate understanding of that message and its relationship to God’s Word. Much help that we have received has come from the message of “that servant” and seventh messenger of “present truth” and those “sign men,” “those servants” of God, along the way who have enriched our faith. God has not left us as orphans in our time. His help is there to this day for those willing to look for it.

n      CLT, October 1, 2000

 

 

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HEAVENLY TRUTH

 

“Praise to Him by whose kind favor

Heavenly truth has reached our ears;

May its sweet, reviving savor

Fill our hearts and calm our fears.

 

Truth how sacred is the treasure!

Teach us, Lord, its worth to know,

Vain the hope, and short the pleasure,

Which from other sources flow.”

 

 

 -- Hymns of Millennial Dawn 238

 

 

Christ’s Reign -- Preaching and Proclaiming

(A comparison between Romans 10:15 and Isaiah 52:7)

Supplement to page 25, Paragraph 4

     “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14,15 (KJV)

 

       How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 (New KJV)

 

      This is a quotation from the Old Testament. We believe that the Apostle Paul is properly applying it in principle or abstract. But when you go back to the Old Testament, the setting there is quite different. There it is showing a Kingdom setting. This is a popular Scripture on which many are convinced that they have the correct understanding because Paul is quoting it. But, he is indicating that God’s method is to inform those who are hungering and thirsting for an understanding of God and His Word. The Scripture being considered refers not to Jesus’ feet but to those of Jehovah who in Isaiah 52:7 is described in the singular. In Isaiah it is described there as “him” and not “them.” The “feet” are plural but the “him” is Jehovah (singular).

     The feet, described in Isaiah 52 are a class in the Kingdom age. These, as we said, are the feet that are going to be on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives splits. This is the deliverance scene of the Holy Remnant. This primarily inaugurates the Kingdom. The events of that day will seem like a twenty-four hour event; but they shall be one event after another event, after another event. It will be a very short period of time and the message will be proclaimed. Then there will be a class that go back to their country from which they came and say, “We have seen with our own eyes and we have heard with our own ears.” And so, they can give personal testimony to the remarkable events in connection with the deliverance of the Holy Remnant of Israel from utter destruction. Then, in rescuing His people, Jehovah shall intervene as He did in the days of old. The Ancient Worthies will also appear.

     In Romans 10:15 Paul is giving the current application in his day. It should be remembered that he is making application in principle of this Scripture applied back then when he was on the scene. He did not apply that Scripture (Isa. 52:7) in the sense that it would take effect when Jesus returned as king and that the feet there [thought to be the Saints on earth], at that time (1874), would have to do with the “publishing” of the “good news.” By extension it would therefore, in the principle, apply down throughout the entire Gospel age in that Paul did not include the remaining phrase, “That saith unto Zion, Thy God reigns.” If he did it would contradict 1Cor. 4:8. He did not say that and we may not, therefore, make the “them” (Rom.10:15) as now, since 1874, the proclaimers that God’s Kingdom has indeed come!

     God is the artist and paints the pictures as He does. And so now, as this Scripture of Isaiah 52 is to be fulfilled to make manifest to ALL the inauguration of the Kingdom. They are not then all believers. Let us take an example. When Jesus cast out the money changers and overturned the tables, he quotes the Scripture, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matt. 21:13) He quotes a Scripture in the Old Testament that has not an application at the first advent of his time but has to do with a future prophecy yet to be fulfilled of which speaks concerning the House of the future that is to be built – the Third Temple.

     What he is saying is, God has honored the Moses Tabernacle. He honored Solomon’s Temple. The Temple was used by Him and, therefore, it should be a house of prayer for all people. But the Scripture that Jesus quotes actually has a time setting of when this thing has been in operation for some time and all nations are aware that it is available for prayer.

     Concerning Isaiah 52, when we are reading this, the tendency is to spiritualize everything. But there are a few component parts that show that the pertinent application is to natural Israel. And that it speaks of “the waste places of Jerusalem” and “for He has comforted His people.” It is repeated enough so that you could say all this has not been fulfilled. Verse four of Isaiah 52 says, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.” Obviously, that is not spiritual and neither are those before it.

      The tenth verse, “The LORD (Jehovah) has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all nations.” Well that hasn’t happened. And when he makes bear His arm in the eyes of all nations, it means what? It means that He is manifesting His anger and He is going to do something about it. (From a natural standpoint, it would be like the rolling up the sleeve is that you are disturbed and is a symbol of anger). Jehovah has not yet made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all nations. So this is a prophecy of the future.

     Yet, the first part of this Scripture is definitely used by the Apostle Paul. This has been used as a very prominent Scripture in connection with the present truth movement or harvest work. We think properly so, IF it is understood that you are taking it AS a principle and not as a reality that what you are doing now is THE fulfillment. You are being moved to proclaim a message that has blessed you. You would like others to know what God has done for you in the forgiveness of your sins. And also the knowledge that there is a God and that He has a purpose and that it is a benevolent one and that it is very real. This Scripture, with the principle there, is very, very good. It is a message of salvation. It is a message that says that God, not only exists, but that He inherently has not lost control at all, no matter what we see of the permission of evil.

     But that is not what this Scripture is specifically talking about in the context where it is found. That is future. It should also be pointed out that this Scripture is quoted in Nahum 1:15. “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows. for the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.”  This is a little more succinct, in that it is only a few verses. It likewise applies to the time when the enemies of Israel shall be put down and God’s Kingdom rules. Thus, we do not agree just because the Scripture term “them” is used by the Apostle Paul in Romans, therefore we must adjust our thinking about Isaiah 52:7 so that both may be brought into agreement of application. We think that Scripture of Isaiah has a beautiful harmony within the context of the Old Testament and displays the deliverance of Israel and their declaration of the good news and salvation both to them and all mankind because Jehovah then reigns. ■

 

Excerpted from a Study in New York on Romans 9 and 10, December 28, 1998

zions.tower.ofthemorning@juno.com, Printed April 1, 2000