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The Glory and Power of the Kingdom


PLAN OF THE AGES KINGDOM OF GOD PRAISE & WORSHIP HISTORY MISCELLANEOUS


THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM

By George R. Hawtin 

"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen." - Matt. 6:13.

  The prayer which for centuries has been known as the Lord's prayer is a pattern prayer. Jesus introduced it to His people with these significant words: "But thou when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou Last shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be ye not therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye:"

For centuries men have practiced their vain repetitions before the Lord, thinking they would be heard for their much speaking, hoping that by often repeating their requests God would at last take heed to their supplication and grant them the answer they desired, all the time forgetting that our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of before we ask. It is not our intention here to give an exposition on the subject of prayer, but let it be forever known that faith can never operate until first you are sure of the will of God. Therefore our quest should never be an effort to coax God to do a thousand things we think should be done, but rather to wait before Him until He fills our being with the prayer that is born of His own will. Once the heart has become one with the will of God, there need be no striving to exercise faith, for the will of God about any matter is the supreme element of faith. Study the lives of the great heroes of faith as Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and a host of others and you will find that the secret of their mighty works lay in one thing and in one thing alone. They did what God told them to do. Therefore all the faith they needed was to obey His will.

  You may be shocked at first by the following statement, but consider it well and you will find it true: Any man on earth could do the works of Moses or Elijah providing God Almighty commanded him to do them, or any man could do the works of Noah, Abraham, or Samson providing God ordained they should be done. The secret of faith is the will of God, not some exploding gift of power within you that can demand from God anything imaginable and see it accomplished. Certainly faith can remove a mountain, but Father must first say that He wants the mountain moved. Outside of the will of God there is no such thing as a commanding faith.

The first request made in this prayer was "Thy kingdom come." The second was "Thy will be done. " The coming of the kingdom of God to the earth was without doubt the uppermost thought in the mind of Jesus Christ. That was the thought of thoughts and the prayer of prayers. The entire life of Jesus Christ on the earth was a parable of the coming kingdom. Every man fie healed, every leper He cleansed, every sin He forgave, every blind eye He opened, every deaf ear He unstopped, every word of wisdom He spoke, every act of kindness He performed was a display of the glory that should be revealed when He, the King of kings and Lord of lords, reigns in the glory of His Father on the throne of David in Jerusalem.

His entire life on earth from birth to resurrection was a testimony to the glory and wonder of the kingdom age to come when He will reign as King and prosper, and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. Where could place be found for sin, sickness, war, hate, poverty, greed, anarchy, violence, disobedience, lust, and a thousand other curses when He reigns who during His life on earth abolished these things from the lives of all who trusted Him?

The prayer, Thy kingdom come, has gripped the heart of all creation. There is a secret longing in the innermost being, of all mankind that the kingdom of God shall come and God's, will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven. For almost two thousand years this prayer has been both upon the lips and in the hearts of countless millions of people. Some have prayed it with the revelation and understanding given them by Almighty God, who has already taken His throne within them, for it is in the heart of the believer that the kingdom of God first appears.

That is why Jesus told us, "The kingdom of God is within you." As a seed sprouts in the ground, so the kingdom of God begins within His faithful sons and daughters. Thence it will spring forth, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear, until its fertile fruit fills the whole earth.

Not all have prayed with understanding, yet because of the universal hope of the kingdom in God's creation, all have prayed. The wonderful words, "Thy kingdom come," have been mumbled in the litanies of the unthinking, they have been recited at the death beds of men who knew not God, and they have been intoned by condemned men as they stood on the scaffold waiting to be dropped to their death. Men hiding in fox-holes, knowing no other prayer, have prayed, "Thy kingdom come," and in the heat of battle amid the blood and fire and vapor of smoke both the living and the dying have sighed out their longing to God, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven." The mind of man, struck dumb and insensible through the fall, still responds to the longing born of God within him that eventually the glory of the kingdom age will dawn upon the earth when God's will shall be done from sea to sea, and the dread rule of the carnal mind will be no more. When the British armies under General Allenby marched into the city of Jerusalem in 1917, their massed bands played as they marched:

'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun

Doth his successive journeys run,

His kingdom reach from shore to shore

Till moons shall wax and wane no more.'

 Without doubt the hope of the kingdom is in every heart and somehow by divine power God has placed these three words, Thy kingdom come, in the hearts of all creation.  And is it any wonder that man should long for that glad hour to come, for the beasts likewise, together with the trees, the winds, and the waters, without understanding groan in travail for the day of sonship and the kingdom?  It was Paul the apostle who said, "The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, for the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Rom. 8: 18-21.

Man does not understand the longing that is within him and we may be sure that all the inanimate creation is also blind and in the dark. We have become like babies who sometimes cry for reasons they know not, refusing to be comforted. Our souls often deplore the awesome conditions that are in the world - the rebellion, anarchy, delinquency, self-assertion, and war - yet if we could look deeper than the surface, we would understand that all these things actually spring from man's hatred and rebellion against the bondage he is in. In his darkness and bondage he imagines that could he but throw off his restraints he would be happy, that could he have all he wants, he would be content, but he does not know that his discontent lies far deeper than his outward life. While he thus seeks liberty from without, he does not know that the inner man is seeking for freedom from the bondage of corruption and all the wretchedness into which the carnal mind has brought him. Man is longing for freedom from the slavish thralldom he is in, but, not knowing God, he seeks freedom by rebellion only to find that his new found freedom is even a greater and more hateful bondage than the one from which he escaped. But those to whom Christ the King has revealed Himself know that true freedom is found only when Christ is crowned King. When He comes into the life, the snares of the fowler are broken, the tears of sorrow turn to pearls of praise, and sins of years are washed away by His blood.

  THE CERTAINTY OF THE KINGDOM

  We need no greater evidence of the certainty of the coming kingdom of God on earth than the fact that Jesus taught us to pray for its coming. The prayer prayed by Christ, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven," should in itself be indisputable proof that God intends to set up a literal kingdom in which His will shall be done in the entire earth even as it is done in the entire heaven. The evidence, as we shall abundantly see, does not stop with this prayer, but rather the prayer "Thy kingdom come" was the earnest request of Christ that the eternal purpose of God for such a kingdom would soon be accomplished.

The hope of a kingdom in which God's sons would reign existed long before Eden and was first manifested to us in the words, "Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness and let Us give him dominion." The kingdom of God was the theme of the prophets as we shall presently see. When the birth of Jesus was announced to Mary, these words were spoken by the mighty Gabriel, who came from the very presence of God: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring fourth a Son and shalt call Him name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33. What greater proof do we need at the birth of a king than the word of God as to what His future shall be? No better identification can be given than this: "The Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David." Therefore let God be true though every man should be a liar. The earth is yet to see the literal and glorious reign of Christ in a kingdom that shall have no end.

  When Jesus prayed, "Thy kingdom come," He was certainly looking beyond this age when good and bad are everywhere together and light is mixed with darkness. He was looking to the age of the kingdom of His Father when the will of God should be done in the earth, and the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. When the angels of God gather out of the kingdom of heaven all things that offend (Matt. 13:41), that at last will be the true beginning of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the Father on earth.

David was anointed to be king of Israel while Saul was still on the throne. David is typical of Christ while Saul is typical of the carnal systems that have ruled the world in Christ's stead for thousands of years. David, though anointed king of Israel, never once put forth his hand to wrest the kingdom from Saul, but waited patiently until God's hour came in which he would be set upon the throne. Even so it is now and has been for centuries past.  Christ (the anointed) has made no effort by force or by power of arms to take the kingdom for which He is anointed, but like David is waiting until the Father shall give Him the kingdom and the government of the whole earth.  Though David would not lift a finger to take the kingdom from Saul, yet all through his rejection he reigned as king in the hearts of all who loved him and followed him even though Saul was still on the throne of Israel.  David had his mighty men.  There were those with him who were ready to lay down their lives for him.  He ever delivered those who were oppressed and gathered unto himself all who were discontent with the reign of Saul.  His followers were a motley crowd indeed, for it is said, "And every one that was in distress and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." I Sam. 22:2.  They were indeed an unlikely group, but they were mighty and they were faithful to him.  They were the ones who followed him in his distress and in his humiliation and they were the ones who entered with him into the glory of his kingdom and of his reign.  So also it is today.  The flesh and the carnal mind are usurping the throne of Jesus Christ while the anointed Christ, like David, is rejected by His enemies.  Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath nowhere to lay His head.  But in His rejection and His humiliation He has His faithful followers to whom He says, "Ye that have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Matt. 19:28.

  The days of David's rejection came to an end, and the days of the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, are also near their end.  Soon Saul will be dead and David (Christ) will be king.  The kingdom of heaven is an age of mixtures, an age when it is difficult to know who is who, a day when sheep and goats flock together, when wheat and tares grow in the same fields, when the leaven is working in the meal, when good fish and bad are in the kingdom of heaven net.  But at the end of the age God will send forth His angels to gather the wicked from among the just.  He will set the sheep on the right hand and the goats on the left.  He will gather up the good fish and cast the bad away.  He will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie, and then His kingdom will have come and His will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven.

  The kingdom for which Christ prayed was the Father's kingdom.  "Thy kingdom come," He said.  "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.  " He was not praying for the kingdom of heaven to come, but for the kingdom of God to come when He should reign in the kingdom of His Father.  That is why it is said, "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  " Matt. 13:43.  The kingdom of God is the kingdom of the Father.  "But I say unto you I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.  " Matt. 26:29.  Jesus Christ with all the sons of God will reign in the kingdom of the Father even as Joseph reigned under Pharaoh, having complete authority in all things.  "And He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For He hath put all things under His feet.  But when He saith all things are put under Him, He is excepted which did put all things under Him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." Cor. 15:25-28.

  When we realize that there is so much similarity between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, it is not difficult to understand why the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

  THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM

  Whenever it pleases God to reveal a truth, it will immediately be found that the whole Bible springs into life regarding that revelation until every page of holy scripture breathes forth the fragrance of its message. You discover that wherever you look within its inspired pages golden threads appear, weaving themselves into a pattern of truth until the finished product shines forth with a magnificent beauty and fulness that only God Himself can devise.

  Both New Testament and Old Testament writers are forever forging links in the golden chain of kingdom truth until we are left to marvel at so great a restitution and so wonderful a regeneration. These significant words of Peter fill the soul with wonder: "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; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; 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 from the beginning of the world." Is it then any wonder that the Bible literally breathes the message of the kingdom of God and the restoration of all things that fell under the curse even from the beginning of the world?

  The Bible itself does not contain all the things that could be written on this subject. How much less are we able in such limited space to unfold more than a mere outline of the majesty of that kingdom which is even now at hand. We must therefore confine ourselves to small portions from one or two books that we might better understand the whole.

  Isaiah is certainly a prophet of the kingdom of God. His prophetic ear seemed always tuned in to the glory of the coming age. His prophetic eye overlooked the scenes of his own day. Spanning the centuries, he saw a Saviour who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and chastised for our peace. Then, leaping far beyond the sorrow of the cross, he saw every valley exalted, every mountain made low, every crooked place made straight, and every rough place smooth. Isa. 40:4. He saw a king who would not fail nor be discouraged till He had set judgment in the earth, and the isles would wait for His law. Isa. 42:4.

  THE KING AND THE KINGDOM

  It is the king that determines the kingdom. If the king is righteous, so also is the kingdom. If the king is iniquitous, the kingdom will be filled with evil. "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." The nations of the earth have been plagued for thousands of years by strife, inequity, and every imaginable evil because there has been an unceasing reign of the carnal mind in every kingdom from the beginning of time. Throughout all the history of Israel the testimony was "like people, like priest." If the king was righteous, the people were righteous. If the king was evil, so also were the people.

  The kingdom of God will be all glorious because the King is all glorious. All that He is will fall in blessing upon His kingdom as the dew of Hermon falls in blessing upon the mountains in Zion, for there the Lord commandeth the blessing, even life for­evermore.

  The life which Jesus lived on earth was the greatest parable ever known. It was a parable of the kingdom of God. He fully demonstrated by His divine life and power all the blessings that Were to follow in His kingdom. The evil things which we have learned to live with and accept as part of our very existence He conquered, putting them beneath His feet. He delivered those who believe from every sickness known to man! The word of His mouth makes the lame man to leap as an hart. Hear Him as He commands deaf ears to be unstopped and blind eves to see. Listen ah His wisdom puts all His enemies to silence, causing them to ray, "Never man spake like this man!" Stand in awe beside the tomb of the dead while He who is the resurrection and the life calls, "Lazarus, come forth!" Weep with the forgiven woman to whom He said, "Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more." Feast as He feeds the hungry multitude with enough and to spare. Rejoice as He preaches, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Stand in awe as He stills the raging storm even as He stilled the fevered brow. Weep with His friends as He died. Rejoice that He liveth again soon to return on the clouds of glory to reign, no more in humility and rejection in tiny Palestine, but in power and wonderful glory over all the earth. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps. Fire and hail, snow and vapors; stormy winds fulfilling His word: Mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all Cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl: Kings of the earth and all people; princes, and all judges of The earth. Both young men and maidens; old men and Children: Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His Name alone is excellent.  His glory is above the earth and the heaven.

It is almost possible to hear the thrill of Isaiah's voice as it comes ringing o'er the centuries; "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this," Isa. 9:6,7. I stand in awe before these mighty words. They are too much for my feeble words to describe. Think of it! A King reigning whose very name is Wonderful, whose very title is Counsellor, who has a name written The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace! We who are accustomed to seeing the increase of strife, anarchy, war, and evil are asked to behold the increase of His government and peace which shall flow like a river over all the earth until every sword is a plow share and every spear a pruning hook. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Thus upon the throne of David and from Jerusalem (the city of peace) shall the throne of the Lord be established with judgment and justice from henceforth for the kingdom age. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isa. 9:7.

  THE SON AND THE SONS

  The apostle Paul taught that "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. " Rom. 8:19. Sonship is the hope of the entire creation. In sonship we are to include that first glorious Son, Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn of God's creation of sons, but with Him we are to include also that vast family of sons who are to follow after Him to finally come into His glorious image. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of many brethren, many sons who through His grace were to come into that same image. When John saw the fulness of Christ in his blessed vision on Patmos, he fell as one dead before Him, for he saw Him in completeness, His voice as the sound of many waters, for all the sons of God were complete in Him.

Though the apostles taught the truths of sonship, we must not think that the doctrine began with them, for it did not. Isaiah, David, and many others wrote of sonship. Isaiah in his prophecy opened a revelation which Jesus later completed when He said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches. " Jno. 15:5. In Isaiah 11: 1 we have these wonderful words: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of His roots. " Jesse was the father of David (Matt. 1:6) from whom according to the flesh Christ came. Rom. 1:3, Matt. 1:1. Jesus Christ was the rod out of the stem of Jesse and the sons of God are the branch that grew out of His root. For this reason Jesus declared, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." His inspired words without doubt explain the true meaning of the prophecy. Speaking again of the kingdom day in chapter 4:2, Isaiah says, "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious. . ." Jesus Christ was the corn of wheat which fell into the ground and died. The sons of God are the full corn in the ear. He was the seed; they are the fruit in His image. Let us not miss this great truth, for it shows us as nothing else can what the place of the sons of God will be in the kingdom of the Father. Indeed, it manifests the true meaning and purpose of sonship. The manifestation of the sons of God will be during the kingdom age. Then the works that Christ did they will do also and far greater works than these. Their ministry will be to restore the whole creation to the glory of Eden during the entire thousand years of the millennial kingdom.

  Let us not be deceived by crafty men who now profess to be manifested sons of God. If they were such, they would have no need to proclaim it, for their undeniable glory and power would stand open before all the world, none being able to dispute nor gainsay it. For the most part these men are as unlike Jesus as it is possible to be. When the sons of God are manifested, all the world will feel the power and authority of their ministry, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

  When John saw the 144,000 stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev. 14), he was actually beholding the complete body of sons gathered out of the church age and prepared for the government of the kingdom, for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

  To understand the character and glory of the millennial reign, which is identical with the kingdom of God, we will need far more than ordinary understanding. God grant that His revelation may be given us to see beyond the misty shadows of doubt and fear that belong to this age of carnal men that we may behold the day which the Lord has made, even His sabbath of rest.

  Men who are accustomed to fighting every curse in this age would not know what to do if they were to suddenly find themselves in Eden where no curse is. All our lives we have struggled against the curse of thorns and weeds. In the sweat of our faces we have fought with drought and heat; we have wrestled with floods and endless pests. Frost and hail have snatched away the hope of our labors; fire has devoured the dreams of a lifetime. During the days we have been scorched with heat; in the night we have been bitten with frost. Sickness, disease, war, fear, and death have dogged our pilgrim pathway from the cradle to the grave. Our days have been full of trouble and sorrow as the sparks fly upward. To understand, therefore, the character and glory of the kingdom reign we must know that the nations who then will inhabit the earth will be free from all these blighting curses, for the ministry of the sons of God, the branch of the Lord, will have removed them all. Then shall be brought to pass the saying of Jesus, "The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these ye do because I go to the Father."

Let us now notice that upon this branch of the Lord, which is the sons of God, will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of might, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of reverence or the fear of the Lord. Isa. 11:2.  This is the Spirit and anointing which will rest upon the sons of God who will reign with Christ to govern the earth in the kingdom of the Father. The sevenfold Spirit that is named in detail here is the same as that which John in the Revelation calls the .seven spirits which are before His throne. Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6. (Please read these references. Their teaching is most enlightening.) Need we remind ourselves that the throne is the seat of government? Therefore these seven glorious spirits appear before the throne.

  The very thought of an age governed by sons of God who are full of the sevenfold Spirit of God leaves us almost breathless. Words become totally inadequate and human expression collapses completely. Our innermost beings must begin to respond to the revelation and the inspiration of the almighty God; otherwise we will be as dumb beasts in our understanding. Compare the governments of our day with all their graft and greed, their political maneuvering, their heartless intrigue, their oppression and inequality, with the government of the sons of God upon whom shall rest the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the .spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and reverence for the Lord. If our hearts Can comprehend the vast gulf that lies between these two systems, then we will see that all who enter into that blessed realm of the kingdom of God will have awakened to a new age where old things have truly passed away and, behold, all things are become new. Is it any wonder that Paul, thrilling to the inspiration of the Spirit, cried, "I reckon that the sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us, for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth [Or the manifestation of the sons of God." Rom. 8:18,19.

  Now notice the kind of judgment the earth will share in that age. "And He shall make Him (the branch, or the body of sons) of quick (living) understanding in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of the ears. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, and He shall smite the earth with the rod (authority) of His mouth and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins." Isa. 11:4,5. The judges of the earth for centuries past have judged by the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears. But we have yet to learn that what the natural eye sees and the natural ear hears are outward and undependable. Man can see only the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. I know of only one judge who cast outward evidence aside and judged righteously by the Spirit. That judge was, of course, Jesus Christ, the first glorious Son who was the pattern for all God's sons. When the woman taken in the very act of adultery was brought before Him, He judged neither by what He heard nor by what He saw. Casting aside the outward and visible, He judged by what His spirit knew within. therefore He was able to release her without condemnation and send her away to sin no more. John 8:1-I 1. His gracious act on this important occasion proved and confirmed His own inimita­ble teaching, for He had taught that we should 'judge not according to the outward appearance, but judge righteous judgment. "John 7:24. The Holy Spirit centuries earlier, speaking by the lips of Isaiah, had said, "With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth." This without doubt is to be the character of the reign of Christ in the kingdom of the Father. Upon Him with all the sons of God will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God that "righteousness might be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins." Isa. 11.5.

  THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS

  The dispensation of the kingdom of God is to be a dispensation of restoration. The things lost through the fall are to be restored from the least to the greatest. Certainly there is a further vast unspeakable gathering of all things into Christ in the disposition of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:9, l0), which dispensa­tion follows the dispensation of the kingdom of God. But, during the kingdom of God, when Christ reigns on the earth with His sons from Zion and Jerusalem, there will be a restoration beyond man's ability to comprehend. We must believe the word of God as we read it and seek the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of the unspeakable glory of that coming age.

  When Peter spoke of the restitution of all things (Act 3:21), he was without doubt speaking of the kingdom day. He said that the heavens must receive Jesus until the times of restitution of all things. The blighting traditions of the church have stolen the truth of this scripture from the hearts of believing men, teaching them that God would not restore all things, but I am sure that lie who gathered up the fragments of bread and fish that nothing be lost cannot consent to the loss of the greatest purposes of His creation. Nor will He who left the ninety and nine sheep in the fold to seek the one that was lost be content to have one sheep in the fold while ninety and nine are lost. Such thoughts are inconsistent with the very nature of God and contrary to all He is and does. Let us then follow the prophet Isaiah and move with him in inspiration as he paints the picture of restoration on the canvas of our faith.

RESTORATION OF LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING

  Since the day that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, man has lacked spiritual understanding. His heart has been blinded because he has walked almost entirely by the dictates of the carnal mind. The chief interest of a carnal mind is the preservation of his flesh, which is naught but the physical body of flesh. A heavy darkening veil has clouded his spiritual mind. He has groped about in darkness neither knowing nor understanding spiritual things. Like Nebuchadnezzar he has become as a beast because he was given the mind of a beast. But all this dimness will be removed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father, which is even now at our doors.

  In the ninth chapter of Isaiah the prophet overwhelms our minds with these truths. After describing the darkness of the earth (Isa. 8:21,22) which has prevailed in all ages, he throws open the gates of light to illumine the kingdom day. "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light hath shined. " 9:2. For centuries humanity has been as prisoners gathered in a dark pit, but after many days we will be visited. So great will be the light that the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously. Isa. 24:22,23.

  The dark covering that has been cast over the hearts and minds of the people for ages and dispensations will be completely destroyed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father from Jerusalem and from Mount Zion. For thus saith the Lord by the mouth of Isaiah, "And He will destroy the covering cast over all the people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, and it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us: This is our God; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isa. 25:7­9.

Few people have believed in ages past because there has been a veil over their understanding. Even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts; nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 2 Cor. 3:15. God has a definite purpose in allowing a veil to cloud all human understanding. Contrary to the tradition of the church it is not God's intention to bring all the world into the fold in this age. His intention is to choose out a people for his name, who in a coming glorious age would be used to bring light to all men. This is the plan laid down by the inspired word of the apostle James when he said, "God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this (after He has taken out the people) I will return and build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and will build again the ruins thereof, and will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:14-18.

It is after Christ's return to set up the kingdom that the residue of men are to be saved. To look for a world-wide ingathering during the church age is unscriptural and ridiculous. The world-wide revival will be during the kingdom age under the government of the sons of God. For then shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Some years ago it was revealed to me that the evangelization of the nations during the kingdom age would be accomplished in exactly the opposite way to the method used in this age. In the church age the commission has been, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel." In the kingdom age entire nations will come to Jerusalem and to Zion to seek and find the Lord. What could be more certain than the words spoken by Micah the prophet when he said, "But in the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain (Zion) of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow into it and many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord (Zion), and to the house of the God of Jacob (Jerusalem) and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Micah 4:1,2.

During this age of grace the Lord has sought the people, but in the age of the kingdom He will pour upon them the spirit of grace and supplication and the millions of earth will come as nations, seeking the Lord in Jerusalem and in Zion. What an indescribable wonder! But once the Lord removes the covering cast over the minds of all people, then all men will see in a clear light and will come by the millions to seek His face. To this also agree the words of the other prophets. Isaiah has said with great clearness, "Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations which knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee." Isa. 55:5,6. Here we have the wonderful promise of whole nations running to seek the Lord, because God has glorified His sons.

  "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then shalt thou see and flow together and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged: because the abundance of the sea (the people) shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. " Isa. 60:1-5. "Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself. for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands that 1 have glorified. " Isa. 60:20,21. Please read Isaiah, chapter 60.

It is completely hopeless here to even try to quote all the scriptures that refer to the universal conversion of the seeking nations during the dispensation of the kingdom of God; therefore, with these scriptures we will pass on: "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that onto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear." Isa. 45:22,23. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, It shall yet come to pass that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: For we have heard that God is with you." Zech. 8:20-23. Thus shall the covering cast upon the minds of the people since Eden be destroyed by the sons of God, and all nations will see the light and seek the Lord.

THE END OF OPPRESSION

What a dreadful sermon could be preached on the theme of oppression! But the subject is too well known by most people to speak of it here. From time immemorial the history of the world has been one of the oppressor and the oppressed. The poor have been robbed because they were poor. The hireling has been cheated of his pittance while rich men have grown fat by his loss. The widow's house has been devoured while the rich man's riches have cankered and rusted. The wages of the hireling that reaped the field have been kept back by fraud that the rich might heap treasure for the last day. The innocent have been condemned and killed while the guilty have gone free. The strong have made slaves of the weak and have taken by force the little he had. But the end of all oppression will immediately come when the law of the Lord goes forth from the 144,000 sons who stand upon Mount Zion, for the righteousness and justice of Christ will fill the entire earth. "For the extortioner is at an end, and the spoiler ceaseth; the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking judgment and hasting righteousness." Isa. 16:4-5. "With right­eousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reigns." Isa. 11:4,5. Thus shall all oppression end.

PHYSICAL RESTORATION

  The kingdom age will see the final end of all sickness and physical disability. A pitiful cry is rising today from all mankind, saying, "I am sick!" Every part of the human body is subject to disease. No member of the physical body has escaped. In spite of all the remarkable accomplishments of medical science we may safely say that the human race becomes weaker as the years go by. Practically every doctor and dentist has a long waiting list. Hospitals are filled to overflowing all the time. One out of every twelve persons requires mental treatment during his life, and cancer and heart disease have reached epidemic proportions. The whole creation groans in pain and the cry of the sufferer never ceases. Is it any wonder that the suffering creation sighs in a sort of universal travail, longing for the manifestation of the sons of God when at last they will be delivered from the awful bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the sons of God.

Jesus Christ, who will reign in the kingdom of His Father, demonstrated while upon earth that His power over every human ailment was complete. Even the maimed (people who had lost limbs) were healed by His matchless power and went away rejoicing. Demons who had filled men's minds with wild insanity were cast out. Lepers were cleansed with a word and dead men raised to life again. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." "I am the resurrection and the life," He said, "Whosoever believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." The healings and miracles of Jesus were performed, not to try to rid the earth of sickness nor even to prove His power as the son of God, but rather to demonstrate the power, the authority, and the character of that King whom God has fore-ordained to reign over all the earth in the coming age. If He did these mighty things in His rejection and humiliation, what will He do in His glory? Or if these things be done in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?

The prophecies which concern the kingdom of God leave no stone unturned to fully assure us that there will be a full and complete deliverance from all the diseases and sicknesses which have brought such a night of suffering and death upon the whole earth. The deliverance of the entire creation from this bondage will be one of the greater works of which Jesus .spoke. When Zion is the city of our solemnities and Jerusalem a quiet habitation, the inhabitant shall not say, "I am sick. " Isa. 33:20,24. What a change that will be! "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. 35:5,6,10. In that glorious day man shall be satisfied with long life (Psa. ') I : l6), and they will see the salvation of the Lord, for He gives His followers aionian life and they shall never perish.

  RESTORATION OF THE EARTH

Like all other things the good earth has suffered the result of the curse ever since the fall. The very ground itself has been cursed for man's sake. The productiveness and life-giving power it once possessed has vanished from it with the coming of the curse, for God said to Adam, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded of thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground." Gen. 3:17-19.

Never has man been able to remove the curse from the earth. He does not know how much the earth is capable of bringing forth, nor does he understand the creative ministry that Adam enjoyed when he was given the joy of dressing the garden. Of the earth man knows only toil and sweat that he might eat the herb of the field to keep life within him until he returns to the dust. But to His glorious sons God has given the ministry of removing the curse from the earth. This, too, will be restored, for it is written, "Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it." Isa. 40:4,5. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: ... The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes." Isa. 35:1,2,7. "Ye shall go out with joy and be led forth  with peace: the mountains and hills will break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Isa. 55:12,13. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman 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 shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." Amos 9:13-15. Thus shall the kingdom restore the earth to an Eden of glory.

RESTORATION OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

Not least of all that fell beneath the weight of the curse was the animal kingdom. Their once bright minds were forced downward by the fall of man lest they should be wiser than their fallen lord. Throughout the dispensations they have groaned under a fearful travail which even man has not known. They have unwillingly been made man's enemy. They have been sacrificed on the altar for his sin. They have been butchered for his meat. They have been hunted for his pleasure, and made slaves for his industry. But the days of their bondage and thralldom are almost over, for the sons of God will restore them to their original glory. Then shall "the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11:6-9.

Most men have a love for animals, and I cannot resist saying that I think I shall weep with joy when I see a mighty lion lying in peace with the calf and the failing. How I shall rejoice to pat his tawny head and see him restored to the peace of Eden! Then shall our glad hearts repeat, "Greater works than these shall ye do, because I go to My Father."

  Then the bear shall be gentle,

And the wolf shall be tame;

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb.

Then the beast from the wild

Shall be led by the child,

And I shall be changed from the creature that I am.

  RESTORATION OF UNIVERSAL PEACE

  The reign of King Solomon with its universal peace is symbolic of the millennial reign of Christ. From the beginning of time war and strife have been so universal that mankind has accepted them as necessary evils and an important part of international relations. All nations have their ministers of war and all have their armies, either small or large. War is the method of the carnal mind. Carnage and the carnal mind go hand in hand. Though nothing is ever truly settled by war, yet the carnal mind never learns that lesson. Should this age go on forever, there would still be armies and bloody battles in the earth. War exists not only on the level of nations, but it exists in the hearts of the people. It is waged between members of families, between husbands and wives, between rival gangs, and even in sports. The world of religion gives no relief from this spirit of rivalry, for the bitterest of all struggles have been the religious ones, for they never end, neither are they ever for­given.

  All wars in history come from the carnal mind. The carnal mind is the mind that is interested only in the carni, which is the flesh. The carnal mind is the physical mind and not the spiritual mind. The carnal mind is concerned only with the things of the body - what it tastes, feels, hears, sees, and smells.  For the sake of these five senses the whole physical world exists, and for their gratification all war and strife is waged.  But the kingdom of God will not be governed by the carnal mind but by the mind of Christ, which is the Father's mind.  That glorious mind of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will be possessed in fullest measure by every reigning son of God that peace might reign supreme among all nations and all families of the earth.  It will change the nature of carnivorous beasts.  Then the wolf an the lamb shall lie down together and nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all God's holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Jas. 3:17.  This is the wisdom that comes from above and this is the wisdom of the mind of Christ.  The wisdom from beneath is earthly, sensual, devilish (Jas. 3:14-16), and the result of it has been war and continual confusion throughout all ages.  But the wisdom from above, which is pure and peaceable, gentle and easily entreated, will bring a reign of peace, purity, and gentleness.

With wisdom there is always authority.  There is no true authority apart from wisdom.  It could not possibly be.  Therefore the wisdom God has given to His sons possesses the authority to remove all greed and the resulting strife from the face of the earth, for "He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. - Isa. 2:4.  "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.  For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." Micah 4:4,5.

  During that glorious reign there will be no lawlessness, greed, graft, or rebellion permitted, for the "spoiler ceaseth, and the oppressors are consumed from the land.  And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the

Tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness," Isa. 16:4,5.  "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord. . . . Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts. And in that day there shall be no more Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." Zech. 14:20,21.

THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM

  The kingdom of God will not spread over the entire earth in 11 moment of time.  Never in any dispensation has God undertaken to fulfill His purposes in an instant.  There will be increase and a steady growth of the kingdom that will gradually fill all the earth until no man will say, "Know the Lord, for all will know Him from the least to the greatest." Isaiah certainly gives a wonderful understanding of the increase of the kingdom when he says, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever (the age).  The zeal of the Lord of' hosts will perform this." Isa. 9:7.

  When Daniel saw the vision of the destruction of the Babylon of the world systems, he saw a stone (Christ) cut from (lie mountain (Zion) which smote the image of the world systems in the feet.  The whole image collapsed, and the stone became a great mountain that filled the whole earth.  Dan. 2:34,35.

I am convinced that we are at the end of this age.  The dispensation of the kingdom of heaven which we have known as the church age or the dispensation of grace is at an end.  It has been an age of good and evil, right and wrong, wheat and tares, sheep and goats, light and darkness, mingled together so that scarcely anyone knew which was which.  Jesus Christ, like David, though anointed to reign, has seen Saul seated on His throne while He in His rejection has reigned only in the hearts of His true followers.  But those who have truly followed Him in this age of uncertainties, division, and carnality will be the ones who sit with Him in His throne in the kingdom of God.  Matt. 19:28.

  Two thousand years ago John the Baptist came proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  " His message was true and that age came with great power.  From its fields of wheat and tares the Lord has gathered the seed of the kingdom of God.  The message today is not "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven s at hand," but, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!" It is scarcely necessary to repeat the signs which Jesus declared would precede the end of this age, but certainly they have been fulfilled and are being fulfilled on an ever increasing scale.  We read in the seventeenth chapter of Luke that the disciples asked Jesus when the kingdom of God should come.  Verse 20.  In the following verses of the chapter He outlined many signs.  "The Son of man must be rejected of this generation," He said, and so it has been.  As it was in the days of Noah, so should it be in the days of the Son of man.  Certainly the days of Noah are with us.  The kingdom of God is at hand.

  Great preparations are being made in the spiritual world for the coming age.  The image of great Babylon is rising to its fullest height.  The sons of God are being secretly prepared and anointed to reign.  Very soon the little stone cut from the mountain without hands will strike the image on the feet, and the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. 

George R. Hawtin

                                                        

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