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This immortalized body, consisting of the sons and daughters of the Almighty, with Jesus Christ as their Elder Brother, First-born, and Chief, will constitute a ruling power in the earth which will break all the kingdoms of the earth in pieces like a potter's vessel, and rule them with a rod of iron for a thousand years, during which time God's will will be done in the earth, as it is done in heaven.
To inherit and to enter into this kingdom of God when it comes, has been the hope of the truly righteous in all ages, although it was hid from the great body of mankind, both Jew and Gentile, during the past ages of the world, but was made known more generally in the times of Christ and his disciples and apostles. Even then Jesus spake to the masses in parables and dark sayings, and the apostles themselves did not make these things so clear as not to require a good deal of study and reflection to rightly comprehend and understand them. “The wise shall inherit glory, while shame shall be the promotion of fools." “The wise," says Daniel, “shall understand, but the wicked shall not understand.” The righteous, therefore, should not murmur at the afflictions and revilings of the children of the flesh in the present time, seeing they have the immortality, the glory, and the honor of the kingdom of God awaiting them, to be entered upon when they awake from the dust at the coming of Christ, for Paul has said, “Our light afflictions which are but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, while the things which are not seen are eternal." The eternal and invisible things of God come not at death, but at the resurrection of the dead. We must sleep in the dust of the earth till then.
THE THINGS CONCERNING THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST When Jesus first came into the world, he was made of the seed of Abraham and David, according to the flesh; that is, as this flesh was mortal and sinful flesh, so was his. This fact the apostles were very particular to enforce, as they knew that here the workers of iniquity would stumble; and so Paul said to Timothy, “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel.” “Many deceivers," says John to the Elect Lady, "are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; this is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Now Jesus stood related to two kinds of flesh, first the flesh of Abraham and his brethren; second, the flesh of angels, or the flesh of immortal men,
and Paul says most emphatically, “For verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” It behoved him to be made in all things like unto his brethren; as his brethren were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same.
But when Christ came into the world the second time by resurrection from the dead, then it must be carefully noted that he came, not in the nature of Abraham's earthy body, but in the nature of angels, in the spiritual, the immortal nature. He was then quickened into life and born from the dead by the Spirit, as Paul says in the preface to his letter to the Romans, "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness
by the resurrection from the dead, even as it is said also in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son; this day (the day of his resurrection) have I begotten thee.” Again when the Father bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, the second time by resurrection, he saith of him at that time, “ Let all the angels of God worship him.”
Now in reply to the question, How was Christ raised up from the dead, and with what body did he come? there are some who greatly err, and say he was raised mortal and came with the earthy body. This we should have to designate as the second antichrist, for if, when Christ came first in the earthy and mortal nature like his brethren (that is, came in sinful flesh), - if to deny that and say that he came in holy or angelic nature was antichrist, then when he died and rose again with holy and angelic nature, to deny that and say that he came again from the dead mortal and in the earthy body, is simply the doctrine of antichrist in its second form, and is an error as bad as the first.
A person, therefore, to be scripturally baptized manifestly must not hold errors which like a canker would in the end neutralize the truth. God looks upon the heart; it requires a good and honest heart, enlightened in the truth, to be accepted of him. The theory of the immortality of the soul, as it is commonly believed in the sectarian world, is wholly incompatible with the true Scripture doctrine of immortality, and like gangrene, it eats out the truth and neutralizes and destroys the hope set before us, and must therefore be ignored, and disbelieved by all those who wish to render obedience to the faith, and secure the true immortality, which is offered as a reward for welldoing and is to be obtained at the resurrection of the dead.
Again the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ comprehend also what Peter said to the thousands present on the day of Pentecost, namely, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” A man must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized intelligently into that name for remission of sins. This doctrine we have treated of quite at length elsewhere in these pages.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY The Apostle says to the Ephesians (3:8), “ Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." The "fellowship here referred to, is the union of Jews and Gentiles in one body in Christ, in the one hope of the calling. Therefore Paul says to the Ephesian converts to Christianity, “Remember that ye, being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands, that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometime were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ; for he is our peace who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in himself of twain, one new man, so making peace, and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby, and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that are nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit” (Eph. 2: 11-22).
Therefore the immortality, the salvation which God offers alike to Jew and Gentile, is called the common salvation, and so Jude says, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation.” It was common to men of all nations, therefore “whosoever wilļ, let him come and take of the water of life freely,” and when Paul wrote to Titus, he says, "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith.” It was free to people of all nations, for the door of faith was opened to all. Again he says to Titus (2: 11-13), “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
The Apostles' labors - Great conference at Jerusalem in regard to keeping of the law by Gentiles — Apostles' decrees — Relation of Jewish Christians to the law - The law superseded by new covenant as means of salvation Proof from — first, covenants — second, priesthood - third, sacrifices and offerings — fourth, circumcision - fifth, forms of heirship - What must we believe? — Sin of unbelief - Cutting off Jews — Cutting off Gentiles Latter times — So-called end of the world - God's righteousness -“ Doing by nature things contained in the law”—“ Earnest expectation of the creature.”
THE APOSTLES' LABORS
Paul and the other apostles who were commissioned and sent of God as ambassadors to the nations, commanding all nations to repent and do works meet for repentance, — these faithful men did their work well, looking not for their reward now, knowing and teaching their disciples that through much tribulation they must enter into the kingdom of God, and with their eyes fixed upon the coming of Christ as the time of reward, as they so often said; for instance, Paul says to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:7), “Come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ”; again (II Cor. 1:14),
We are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Again (Phil. 1:6), “ He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ "; again, "Be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.” Thus they encouraged the hearts of the disciples, and spread the glad tidings of the kingdom of God far and wide, and finished their work, and fell asleep,— mostly by the hand of the enemy and the avenger, as their Master had done before them, — but to sleep in the dust of the earth till the trump of God shall call them forth to glory, honor, and immortality, and ever after that to be with the Lord.
So well did the apostles accomplish the work that the Master gave them to do, that Paul says in writing to the Colossians (1:5-6), “The hope that is laid up for you in heaven whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel which is come unto you, as it is in all the world.” Again he speaks of the hope of the gospel in verse 23, "of which," he says, heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.”
But the apostles' work was not done when they had preached the mystery of the gospel to all nations, and established churches throughout the world. In enumerating the trials and tribulations that he encountered, Paul adds, “Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,
the care of all the churches.” This was a great care indeed, for the enemy was vigilant; false teachers began to multiply, and they sought theirs, not them, as Peter said, “Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.” And Paul, to justify himself in contrast with those who had made such headway against him in Corinth, writes in his second epistle to them (11: 18-20), “Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also, for ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man devour you, if he bring you into bondage, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.”
All these things they could endure at the hand of false apostles, for they were bold and impudent men and were not afraid to maintain their errors in the very face of the apostles of Christ; and to check their influence and put down their errors, required the constant care and attention of the apostles of Christ, and even then it could not be done, for Paul said to Timothy (II Tim. 3:13), “ But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." And again (4:2-4) he says to Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn them away from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.” And so far had this already become a fact, that he says in this same epistle (1:15), appealing to Timothy's own knowledge of these things, “This thou knowest, that all they which be of Asia, be turned away from me.” Ephesus was one of the cities of Asia, and the last time that Paul met the elders of the church which was established there by his labors, as it is recorded in the twentieth chapter of the Acts (20: 18-30), after recounting to them his diligent and faithful services, his disinterested and self-denying labors to build them up in the faith, he warns them to be diligent and follow his example, and to take heed to themselves and to the flock over the which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. “ For," he says, “I know that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock, Also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away men after them.”
These evil things Paul foreknew and warned the disciples of, but good sometimes comes out of such things also, for Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says (I Cor. 11:18-19), “ For first of all when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and I partly believe it; for there must be also heresies among you, that they that are approved, may be made manifest among you.” Now the approved of God would be manifest among them by resisting error, and by reproving the works of darkness, and having no fellowship with them.
Again, when evil men and deceivers arose in the churches and taught things subversive of the truth, the apostles wrote many letters disproving the errors of the wicked, and setting forth the truth in its stead so clearly, that by these we also may be instructed, and so avoid the rocks on which they split. The epistles of the apostles, and especially Paul's weighty and powerful letters, are to us invaluable in unfolding the hidden wisdom of God, as contained in Moses and the prophets, and in refuting the errors of false