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has something instead, of a higher nature. It is a heaven, which is over and above other heavens, and is therefore in the one hundred and forty-eighth Psalm called, first, “The Heaven of heavens," and second, “The waters which be above the heavens.”
When Christ put on immortality by resurrection from the lower parts of the earth, Paul says, “ He ascended up far above all heavens ” (Eph. 4: 10), or as he says in plain words in the first chapter, “ far above all principality and power, might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and hath put all things under his feet.” Peter confirms this and says (1 Pet. 3: 22) of Christ, who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God, “ Angels and authorities and powers, being made subject unto him.” Paul also adds (Heb. 8: 26), “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
When all the members of the body of Christ are raised from the dead immortal, as Christ was raised, they will ascend up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so will be ever with the Lord, so that wherever he is, they will be also; when he comes to reign upon the earth, they come with him.
The Waters Which Be Above the Heavens (Ps. 148:4) This figure is taken from the original creation of the heavens and the earth in the day when God separated the waters from the waters (Gen. 1: 6-10). It is written, “ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters; and God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament and it was so. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters, called he seas." These waters therefore beneath the heavens which consist of oceans, seas and rivers, are employed to represent things in the earth among mortal men. The waters above the heavens are employed to represent things as they obtain among immortal men, and the sound of these waters which be above the heavens is discerned in Ezekiel's visions of the cherubims which represent the body of Christ in the resurrection, for he says, “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host ” (Ezek. 1: 24). Again, in his visions of the new temple which, in the age to come, is to be the house of prayer for all nations,when that house is dedicated, he says, " And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was like the noise of many waters."
RELATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO EARTHLY AUTHORITY The kingdom of God, or third heaven, will constitute a ruling power over all heavens (or kingdoms) in the earth among mortal men, including first, the new heavens or new kingdom of Israel under the new covenant, and after that all the kingdoms of the earth; for it is written, " The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all” (Ps. 103: 19). The kingdom of God therefore will be a ruling power in the earth, even as it is testified in the vision of Daniel, saying (when the Son of man is brought before the Ancient of days), “There was given him dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him”; and as the saints come to reign with him, it is said in the interpretation, “ But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever,”— that is to say, for a cycle of a thousand years.
Now the manner of the kingdom of God and the manner of the reign of Christ in the earth may be illustrated also as follows: in the second Psalm it is said, “I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (which refers to the day of his resurrection, as we have already fully explained). And now upon his resurrection, his Father says, “ Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” This power which the Father gives to Christ his son, when he makes his foes his footstool, Christ again shares with his brethren; consequently, Jesus says to his brethren who are to reign with him and share his power and glory, “But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come; and he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I have received of my Father.” This power, therefore, Christ shares with his brethren, and they as an angelic, invisible body, are clothed with power from God to subdue and rule the nations.
But we now descend again to the visible things as they appear and are manifested among mortal men. The “Manchild ” which the woman brings forth, as is testified in the twelfth chapter of the Revelation, is a mortal man of the house of David, who will appear in the latter days, and who will first accede to power and to the throne of David in Israel, somewhat after the manner that David supplanted and succeeded Saul; and of this Manchild it is said, “And she brought forth a Manchild, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up unto God and to his throne.”
Now the point that I wish to note here and particularly point out at this time as we shall treat more fully of this matter later — is this: first, the Father gives to Christ power over all nations "to rule them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel "; second, this power Christ shares with his brethren ; and third, this same power is conferred upon a mortal king of the house of David, - a man who is caught up to God and his throne, or in plain language who is anointed king over the remnant of Israel while the wicked are being plucked away, and who ascends the throne of David, which is the throne of the Lord, as it is said, " Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, as king instead of David, and all Israel obeyed him."
And as David for a time, and the people that sustained him and who went with him, Aed from before the face of Saul and were in hiding, so will it be
with the woman and her Child. They flee into the wilderness where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days; and as David and the people that had espoused his cause and who went with him, were under divine protection, so will the one hundred and forty and four thousand and their king, who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, be protected and hid in the day of the Lord's anger, when they flee before the face of the serpent, over whom they will triumph in the end.
After all enemies among his own people are swept away in the judgment, and when he reigns over the remnant, the hundred forty and four thousand who are sealed of all the tribes of Israel, this king in Israel will then go forth in battle against all his enemies round about, and the Lord will do with him as he did with David, of whom it is written in the words of the Lord by the hand of Nathan to David, as follows, "Now therefore, thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel, and I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the great men that are in the earth” (1 Chron. 17:7-8).
It is of this Manchild and his people that the Lord says, “ Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war, for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms, and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider, and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider, with thee will I break in pieces man and woman, and with thee will I break in pieces old and young, and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock, and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen, and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers ” (Jer. 51: 19-23).
Again it is testified of this Manchild and the remnant of Israel over whom he is made ruler, by the Prophet Micah (5: 7-9) saying, " The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.”
It is also said of this same remnant who are the true Israel, the seed of Abraham the friend of God, by the hand of Isaiah, in referring to the time of trouble (Isa. 41: 8-16), “ Fear not thou worm Jacob, and ye (margin) few men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy redeemer, the Holy one of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth ; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff; thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
These remarkable words are not spoken in vain; this is one of the instrumentalities that God the Father will employ by the hand of Jesus Christ the Lord and his body, the saints, to subdue mankind and to bring the proud and haughty nations and kingdoms of the earth into subjection and obedience. They will be compelled to submit themselves and pay tribute to this Manchild, this Prince of the house of David, who will reign literally and visibly and personally on David's throne, as the visible agent and representative of Christ the Lord. This Prince will go with the armies of Israel against the nations to battle, as David did in times of old, and Christ the Lord will go with him and beat down his foes before his face, as the God of Israel went with David and subdued all his enemies before him. But the God of Israel who went with David was not seen, nor will Christ be seen when he goes with the David of the latter days.
These things have I written to draw the line of distinction between the third heaven — or kingdom of God, immortal, invisible, composed of Christ and his brethren, the great congregation, and the second, or new heaven, under the new covenant, or the visible kingdom of God among mortal men, comprising first, the kingdom of Israel, and after that all the kingdoms of the world.
Therefore in view of the above, it must not be understood that Abraham and all the heirs of promise with him are to inherit the land of promise in a literal and visible sense, like the men of the earth, nor will he dwell in tents as aforetime; but this ownership will be like that referred to by Melchisedec when he appeared to Abraham, and also like the ownership that Abraham himself referred to when he spake to the king of Sodom. Melchisedec said, “Blessed be Abraham of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.” And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth.”
Now the Lord who appeared to Abraham is the possessor of the earth according to these testimonies, yet no man ever saw him driving a yoke of oxen, or a span of horses, breaking up the clods of the field to make plain the face thereof, and to scatter abroad the wheat, the barley, and rye, in their place; nor has he ever been seen as a shepherd taking care of his flocks, or as a herdsman, whose business was about cattle, although he says, “The cattle upon a thousand hills are mine, and I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the fields are mine." The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. It is this kind of ownership and possession that Abraham and his seed were promised, and which they will enter upon at the coming of Christ in his kingdom and glory. That it is not the literal possession of the earth such as mortal men have and enjoy that Abraham and his seed looked for, is plain to be seen from Paul's words to the Hebrews, when he said, “Therefore sprang there of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky for multitude, and the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Paul comments and says, “Now they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country, and truly if they had
been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned; but now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.”
Now what is this heavenly country, and this city that God hath prepared for this innumerable company of Abraham's seed, consisting of Jews and Gentiles who have become Abraham's seed and associate heirs with him of the inheritance?
A Heavenly Country
The land of promise, so called because it was promised to Abraham and his seed, to be inherited by them subsequent to their resurrection from the dead, under God's blessing is called “The glory of all lands." It is called God's sanctuary in the song that Moses and the children of Israel sang after they had passed through the Red Sea, which the Egyptians assaying to do, were drowned, as follows: “ Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established." This land is the place which the Lord himself selected to dwell in from all the lands upon the face of the whole earth; and because the Lord dwelt there, and because his holy house wherein his name was recorded was there, and because his people dwelt there, it is called the Holy Land.
But his people polluted the Holy Land with their inventions and their idolatries until the Lord cast them out, first the ten tribes, and afterwards the two, Judah and Benjamin, for their wickedness and gave the glory of all lands into the hands of the worst of the heathen, whose abominations now stand where God's holy temple once stood. But this is not to remain so forever; after the judgments of the latter days are passed a righteous people from among the tribes of Israel will be brought forth to dwell there, of whom it is said by the hand of Ezekiel (14:21-23), “For thus saith the Lord God, How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beasts, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast. Yet behold there shall be left therein a remnant that shall see their way and their doings, and ye shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters; behold they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way, and their doings, and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it, and they shall comfort you when ye see their ways and their doings, and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God.” In these days “the righteous will flourish, and there will be abundance of peace as long as the moon endureth "; and it is of these joyful times that it is written (Amos 9:13), “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes, him that soweth seed. And the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt, and I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them, and I will plant them upon their land, and they