Before the Bible House congregation, Pastor C T Russell delivered a discourse yesterday afternoon on "The Reasonableness of the Doctrine of the Millennium." The text was taken from Matt. 6:9-10 , "After this manner, therefore, pray ye, Our Father which art in heaven hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is done in heaven." Pastor Russell spoke as follows:

The latter part of the text is the particular topic for this afternoon: "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." We are met by those who oppose the doctrine of the coming kingdom with the objection that it would be an impossibility for our heavenly Father to accomplish the thing which has been declared, that the kingdom would never come, that the blessing of all the families of the earth would be an impossibility. We want, therefore, to discuss that feature of the subject first. We want to examine some of the objections that are stated. One of them, for instance, is in respect to the impossibility of the earth accommodating all the families of the earth if they were restored, and then the argument that it is impossible to have a "restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," as the Apostle Peter mentions. The words of the critic are these:

"This millennial doctrine encounters a very serious difficulty. If the world's population had doubled each century for the past 60 which seems a very reasonable estimate the present population of the earth would be two and one-third quintillions of people. That would cover over the 50,000,000 square miles of land surface on this globe with people as thickly as they could stand, 4,000 feet deep. If each were 5 feet high, they would reach up into the sky nearly four miles. No doubt people enough have been born to make that number."

The above remarks were addressed by the Rev. Dr. E L Eaton to the Methodist Episcopal ministers of Pittsburgh, at a meeting held April 27, 1903. The address was favorably received by the learned gentlemen present and thought so highly of that it was printed for circulation. Six months later, on October 29, 1903, the same Rev. Dr. E L Eaton, in debate with the present speaker, repeated so much of the above as applied to his method of calculation, but revised his figures as to the total of humanity for the past 6,000 years. As illustration the large concession we place his figures side by side:

First statement 2,333,333,333,333,333,333
Second statement 98,098,300,000,000
Shrinkage in 6 months 2,333,234,235,033,333,333


Let us hope that a man of so liberal a mind and so easy a pencil may yet get to see the question he is discussing in its true and reasonable light. Let us hope, also, that the intelligent, thoughtful, educated clergymen, who so innocently swallowed the first exaggeration will be as ready to receive the truth on the subject as they were to accept the error. It is not our thought to speak slightingly of anyone's honest endeavor to ascertain truth, however egregiously he may err in his attempts; neither is it our wish to make personal criticisms; but extravagantly erroneous statements have been so freely made by men of large reputation and deficient comprehension, that it is necessary in defense of the truth and for the assistance of the unlearned and non-professional, that this matter be critically examined. Our statements, therefore, are not to be considered personal, but a general criticism of all the learned men [HGL96] who have talked so foolishly upon this subject. Dr. Eaton and his figures merely come in conveniently at the present time. Our criticisms apply equally to the thousands of other great heads which have similarly misapprehended the truth on this subject.

Before showing the reasonable figures for the total of humanity who have ever lived on this earth, let us give a simple illustration of the inaccuracy of Dr. Eaton's computations that will be proof positive of the grossness of his error, even in his revised figures, to everyone possessing a sufficiency of gray matter to be able to reason on any subject. Anyone can demonstrate this matter, for the doctor has told us his method of computation, namely the doubling of the population each century. Accordingly, the last century of the 60 would be the one-half of the entire sum. The demonstration follows:

According to Dr. Eaton's largest figures the total population of the world at the present time would be 1,166,666,666,666,666,666. According to his second statement, 49,049,150,000,000. According to the census taker the figures should be 1,600,000,000. We cannot suppose that Brother Eaton questions the accuracy of our last census returns, for he surely knows that at the present time the "50,000,000 square miles of land surface on this globe" are not covered "with people as thick as they could stand" 2,000 deep reaching up in the sky nearly two miles. Yet, above, he tells us that to him all this "seems a very reasonable estimate" and adds that he has "no doubt" on the

subject. Evidently the brother's desire to make the doctrine of the millennium "look like 30 cents," as he expressed it- "to strike that doctrine a blow between the eyes from which it would never recover" blinded him to the antics of his pencil.


But, alas! Dr. Eaton and many of those who applauded his ludicrous statements, are as far from the truth in their general understanding of the divine plan as they are in error on this simple mundane proposition. The secret of this unwisdom lies in rejecting the clear testimony of the Bible opposing it claiming that the apostles and early church, in looking for the millennium, were misled by their ignorance now well known (?) by modern theologians of the higher criticism school. Well says an apostle that to these the teaching of the cross is foolishness they have no use for the doctrine of the ransom that we are bought back from destruction by the ransom price, even the precious blood of Christ. The words of the prophet, quoted by the apostle, are still applicable to such and still explain why it is that worldly wisdom is so liable to err, unguided by the letter and spirit of revelation. The quotation is, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Cor. 1:18-20.

We should reason of unknown things from the basis of that which is known. We know that the world's population today is approximately 1, 600,000,000. We know that the present rate of increase is 8 per cent for the past 10 years: this would give an 80 per cent increase for a century. However, that the increase has not been so great in the past, we are certain. This is easily demonstrated, for if we should reckon backward at this ratio of increase we would get back to the first pair (Adam and Eve) in about 3,000 years, and we have scriptural grounds for believing that it is fully 6,000 years since the creation of our first parents.

We believe that every careful, thoughtful calculator, who with us will take Bible history and secular history, will come to close agreement with our conclusions on this subject. Our figures for the whole number of people who have ever been born on this earth are 28,441,126,838 to date including the present population. It is our conviction that these figures are probably double the actual number, but we desire to make them so generous that even opponents can find no fault with them. We arrive at these figures as follows:


During the first 1,656 years, down to the flood, the scriptures show us that humanity lived longer and reached development more slowly than now, many of the children not being born until the parents were more than 100 years old. Thus Seth, the son of Adam, was 105 years old when Enos, his son, was born; and Enos was 90 years old at the birth of his first son, Cainan; and Cainan was 70 years old when he begat Mahalaleel, the latter was 65 years when he begat Jared, who was 162 when he begat Enoch. The latter when 65 begat Methuselah, who when 187 begat Lamech the father of Noah.

We are inclined to believe that the whole population in that time may not have exceeded 100,000, but to be liberal we have placed it in the foregoing estimate at 1,000,000. After the flood humanity began again with 8 persons, and for a time evidently the increase in population was much more rapid than before the flood. In our liberal estimate we reckon the population to have doubled five times in each century for the first five centuries, which would bring us down to about the time of Abraham, and show a population in Abraham's day of over 58,000, although it is our opinion that these figures are double the actual facts. "Higher critics" are so in the habit of using wild unreason in respect to matters of ancient times that we make this concession. They will declare, for instance that Assyria was a great nation at this time, and that evidences have been unearthed mentioning the great King Chedorlaomer, whom they estimate as probably the ruler of millions taking no thought of the flood and the impossibility of having more than 50,000 in the world at that time.

The scripture narrative, however, will save the Lord's people from such error of judgment, for this great king, Chodorlaomer, is distinctly mentioned in Genesis 14, in connection with three associated kings who, joining their combined forces, attacked five other kings in the vale of Siddim. The great Chedorlaomer and his valiants conquered, and carried away the spoil including Lot, Abraham's nephew, and his goods. The narrative shows that these kings though great for their time, when there were few people in the world, had very small armies for they did not venture to attack (King) Abraham, who was "very rich" in flocks, herds, etc. On the contrary when (King) Abraham heard that his nephew Lot was taken [HGL97] prisoner he armed his 318 servants and pursued after the four great kings and their armies, smote them hip and thigh and brought back Lot and all his goods.


To the Bible student, therefore, the biggest things about King Chedorlaomer was his name, and such will not be confused by the exaggerated estimates of the higher critics respecting the millions of those days; for their figures are just as reliable as Dr. Eaton's given above. Continuing our liberal allowance, we have estimated that during the next five centuries the world's population doubled three times each century. This would give us as the world's population at the time of the Exodus 14,241,744. Again we believe that our figures are at least double the actual facts.

We now reach the time of wars, and must reckon the increase of population more slowly than during the pastoral period. Proceeding, we group the next six centuries together and remember that the Israelites in Canaan were some 18 times in bondage to their enemies during this period, and that a census taken near the close of David's reign by Joab showed the number competent to serve in the army to be 570,000, hence the entire population of Palestine at that time cannot have been much of any above 2,000,000. The same warfaring spirit affected other nations and similarly hindered rapid propagation; hence our estimate is that the race doubled during those six centuries, which would show a population in Solomon's time of over 37,000,000 throughout the world. Again a very liberal estimate according to all reliable information at our command probably double the actual number.

We group the next 12 centuries together; concluding that the race doubled during those 12 centuries. To some this may appear too slow a ratio of increase, but we should consider the immense wars of that period, during which Assyria went down and Babylon rose and conquered the whole world, destroying many nations entirely; and that it subsequently fell before the Medes and Persians, who also shed blood in a wholesale manner, and who in turn fell before the Greeks; and that the latter, under Alexander the Great, conquered and dominated the world, but who in turn fell before the Romans; and that these at a cost of thousands upon thousands in the prime of life, did their share also in staying the rapid propagation of the race.


These figures would give a world population of 82,000,000 in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, of 100,000,000 in the time of Christ, and of 113,000,000 at the time when the Roman empire was at its zenith its boundaries extending over Europe, Africa and a considerable portion of Asia. The historian estimates the population of the Roman world then at 50,000,000, and our estimate shows a surplus therefore of 63,000,000 for the known and unknown portions of the earth at that time. Again, evidently, a very liberal reckoning.

We estimate the next four centuries as increasing the population 25 per cent each century, for the decrease of war resulting from the firm establishment of the Roman power, must have had such an effect. This gives us at the time of Charlemagne at the opening of the eighth century a world population of over 227,000,000. Following came the centuries of the crusades, etc., in which mil-lions of the youth of the world perished. Our reckoning is that the world's population doubled during the six centuries from the year 800 to 1399 A D This gives us for the population of the world for the year 1400 the sum of 455,733,808.

The next four centuries were more favorable to the multiplying of the race, great battles and desolating plagues being fewer. The religious reformation belongs to this period. We reckon the population to have doubled during these four centuries and this would give us the world population for the year 1700 of 911,467,606. These figures so far as we know, are very greatly in excess of any reliable statistic. We reckon the period from 1700 to 1800 A D at a 20 per cent rate of increase, giving the population in the year 1800 at 1,093,759,939. For the century just closed, from the year 1800 to 1900, 1,531,163,915. Although, as already stated, the ratio of increase in population for the 10 years of the last census was 8 per cent, representing an increase of 80 per cent for the century, it is manifest that the increase during the earlier portion of the century was at a much slower rate. Present conditions are increasingly favorable to the propagation of the race, as well as to its longevity; and it would not surprise us if the increase would show much greater in the near future.


The following table of estimates of the world's population made during the nineteenth century shows clearly that the estimates we have given are exceedingly liberal; besides in reckoning the total we have counted the entire century at the figures of its close:

Volney, in 1804, estimated the population of the world at 437,000,000; Pinkerton, 1805, estimated the population of the world at 700,000,000; Malte-Brun, 1810, estimated the population of the world at 640,000,000; Morse, 1812, estimated the population of the world at 766,000,000; Graberg v. Hemso, 1813, estimated the population of the world at 686,000,000; Balbi, 1816, estimated the population of the world at 704,000,000; Balbi, 1843, estimated the population of the world at 739,000,000.

We believe that the liberality of our figures will be conceded by all careful, thoughtful people, and in our opinion they are as a whole double the truth.

Our next step was to approximate the number that died each century. We have estimated that twice the number of the whole population at the end of the century died every century down to the time of Solomon; and that since then, to the present time, three times the number of the whole population at the close of each century have died each century. It is on the basis of this calculation that we have already stated the number 28,441,126,838. Be it remembered also that in this calculation we have nearly doubled the actual facts. Take for instance the last century, which began with 1,093,759,939 and closed with 1,531,163,915. In estimating this we did not multiply by three the supposed number living in the middle of the century 1850, but multiplied by 3 the total number living at the close of the century.

Now, with this large allowance and liberal estimates everywhere of probably double, what can we say respecting [HGL98] the ability of the earth to furnish these habitation and food? Remembering the Lord's promise that in that Millennial period "the earth shall yield her increase" and the desert and wilderness places of the earth "shall become as a garden of Eden," we may safely estimate upon all the land which we find according to recent estimates to be 57,000,000 square miles, or over 36,000,000,000 acres.


What would this mean as to space for each individual who has ever lived in the world according to this very large liberal estimate? It means that there would be 1, 275 acres for each little village of 200 families (1,000 persons). Quite a sufficiency of room, all will agree, under the new conditions promised; but if more space be necessary let us have a little of the faith which Father Abraham exercised when he counted that God to keep his promise was able to raise Isaac from the dead. With this faith we will see readily that it will be quite within the divine power to raise vast continents from the depths of the oceans, or indeed, to give a literal as well as a symbolical fulfillment to the declaration, "There shall be no more sea."

Our conclusion then must be that those who hold to the teaching of the Lord and the faith of the apostles and primitive church respecting a coming kingdom and blessing have not been put to shame in any degree by the wisdom of this world. Now let us look on the other side of the question and see if it be not true respecting the worldly wise as was written nearly 3,000 years ago. "The wise are taken in their own craftiness." Those who stand loyally in support of the teachings of our Lord and His apostles in respect to the coming kingdom "under the whole heavens" have generally been content to be on the defensive. Those who trust fully in the promise of God to Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," have too long perhaps endured the sneers of the worldly wise and refrained from pricking their bubbles of self complacency, pride, sarcasm and folly set afloat by those who think themselves to be somebodies and discredit the inspired revelation and those who stick closely to the Book.

The time is come to forever silence these opposers of the divine word and we shall now proceed to do so. Again we must use Brother Eaton's words, but we again disclaim any personality, and recognize that he is merely one of a class, a large class, an influential class, a D D class, whose minds and expressions on the subject are the same as Brother Eaton's. We take his words rather than those of some one else, because they were uttered recently and in public contention with this very subject of the Millennium; and were heard by hundreds and read by thousands; we must have some positive statement to deal with, and his is the nearest and most suitable one; therefore, and not from any personal reasons, his words are criticized. Dr. Eaton's words in his argument against the reasonableness of expecting a millennium not only were as above quoted and criticized, but additionally he said that he did not expect the second coming of our Lord until the conversion of the world, and the end of this dispensation, which would not be for probably "50,000 years yet."


Brother Eaton by this time has gotten used to the treachery of his pencil, and we trust will conclude finally that while it may be safe to use the pencil ad lib on the subject of astronomy, where a few hundred thousand solar systems will not be noticed by the credulous public, it is nevertheless a very uncertain pencil to use in respect to earthly things. Now let us weigh carefully this statement made not only by the Rev. E L Eaton, D D, but by hundreds of other equally titled gentlemen whose position before God's people and before the world as teachers has been trusted too confidingly by their flocks. We hope that on the subject under discussion and on all subjects they will revise their methods of "foolish talking," and remember that those who pose as ministers of the gospel of Christ should, according to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, "Speak as the oracles of God" truthfully, accurately in a manner to be depended upon. Meantime we hope their followers will give them no more credit for accuracy in other features of their religious teaching than in the one under consideration.

Let us do a little figuring; let us do it in a manner that any school boy can follow. We want to inquire how many people will be living on the earth at the end of 50,000 years about the time Dr. Eaton estimates that Christ will come. We will take as the basis of our calculation the present population of the world as 1,600,000,000. We will take as the basis of our reckoning for increase the census returns for the last decade, namely, 80 per cent increase for the century. If the favorable conditions of the present continue no doubt the increase will be far in excess of 80 per cent, but let us confine ourselves to present conditions.

A little figuring shows us that at the end of the first of these 50,000 years the living population of the world would be over 580,000,000,000; and at the same ratio of increase the close of the second thousand years would find a living population on this earth of over 210,500,000,000,000; and by the close of the third of these 50,000 years the living population on earth would be over 76,328,500,000,000,000.


What do these figures mean? They mean that if God's word is not true, if the great change of dispensation which we preach is not soon inaugurated, the whole world of mankind will be in great distress, not only for food to eat but for standing room. We have only counted three of Dr. Eaton's 50,000 years! What would the figures be if we were to run them up further? Those who deny the teaching of a Millennium must of course ignore the promises which declare that "the wilderness will blossom as the rose and the solitary places be glad;" and consequently any reckoning of the earth's surface from their standpoint must exclude all the at present useless portions of the earth's surface. Approximately estimating the usable portion of the earth's surface at 25,000,000 square miles we find that this would give us 16,000,000,000 acres or 696,960,000,000,000 square feet.

Comparing these figures with the above reckoning as to population, we find that at the close of the first thousand years there would be more than 36 people for each acre of the habitable earth. At the close of the second thousand [HGL99] there would be barely standing room of less than 31/2 square feet for each person. At the close of the third thousand there would be 109 persons for each square foot of the habitable earth, or in other words they would be standing on each other's heads about 200 persons high; or, if we include the polar regions and waste portions of the earth, there would be about 100 persons high on each other's heads, or if we include the ocean surface as well as all the land surface, there would be 12 persons for each square foot. Allow 2 square feet for each individual and the population would need to stand in piles 24 deep closely packed together all over the surface of the land and sea in 3,000 years from today! What would the figures be at the end of 50,000 years if each of the succeeding 47,000 were estimated on the reasonable basis of the three already calculated.


Is it not time that those who do not believe in a coming Millennium should begin to pray that God would arrange for one? Is it not evident that if Christ's kingdom were delayed even 500 years the world would be in terrible straits? The population at the present rate of increase would then be over 30,000,000,000 with less than one habitable acre apiece; and only by very "intensive farming" could they subsist at all. Very evidently the facts as we look backward and forward, all indicate that we are just at the right time for the establishment of "the kingdom of God's dear Son."

The declaration of the Lord at the beginning was that the earth should be filled; and according to our computations we have now reached a place where a sufficient number of people have been born into the world to about reasonably and properly fill it, if they were recovered from the tomb. On the contrary, looking into the future, we see not only an impossibility of long continuance under the present conditions, but we see likewise that even three centuries more at the present rate of increase would add to the numbers of the dead 52,000,000,000 or nearly double the number of our above liberal estimate of all the past dead, making the total number 80,000,000,000. Three centuries are not far ahead either! The more we investigate this question upon a proper basis, the more strong our faith must become in the promises of the divine word respecting the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," and which are to commence with the second coming of our Lord. Acts 3:19-21. Another objection that is frequently urged as against the theory of the Millennium is that it would be inconsistent for our Lord to appear as a man in the flesh to establish an earthly court, and to have a throne somewhere at Jerusalem or elsewhere, and to have men pay their homage as they would to Kaiser William or the czar. We agree that that is unreasonable; we never took that position, and such statements, whether intentionally or unintentionally, are a misrepresentation of our position. It would be a gross injustice to attempt to show that we take any such view. We hold that the scriptures teach that the kingdom of God's dear Son, as it will be established, will be a spiritual kingdom, and not a fleshly kingdom, for according to the Scriptures, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and therefore we must all be changed if we would have part in the kingdom. We hold that this kingdom class is to be composed, first of our Lord Jesus, the "great King over all the earth in that day," and secondly, the Church, his associated Bride, the Lamb's wife, according to the picture or symbol, his brethren, according to another symbol.


These are to be associated in the kingdom, and all of these will be changed, no longer to be of flesh and blood, no longer human, visible to men, but spirit beings, like unto the Father, like unto the angels, invisible. We hold also that the Scriptures teach that there will be an earthly visible representation of this kingdom that the ancient worthies, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets shall be the earthly representatives of this spiritual and invisible kingdom, and that while the real rulers of the world will be unseen to men, there will be seen visible agents among men, perfect as men, and therefore splendid representatives of the unseen kingdom beyond the sight of men.

We hold that the instruction of the world will be carried on through the supervision of the spiritual kingdom and through the agency of the earthly representatives as the Lord said respecting this earthly feature of the kingdom: "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom" but He never said a word about their seeing Him, the King, nor seeing any of the apostles. They would see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be among those who will be earthly representatives of the kingdom.

The Apostle Paul refers to the place which the ancient worthies will occupy in Heb. 11:39-40 - .In the preceding verses He has been recounting the faithfulness of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and others, and now in summing up his argument, he says: "These all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promises" they did not get the thing that was promised to them; the thing promised to them was an earthly thing, an earthly kingdom. They could not get their kingdom until first the church would get the spiritual kingdom, because the spiritual must precede the earthly. The apostle proceeds: "God having provided some better things for us" for the church of the Gospel age, a better thing than for Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the holy prophets- "that they without us should not be made perfect." They can never reach the perfection of blessing that God has provided for them until first the Christ, head and body Jesus the head, the saints the members of His body -shall have been glorified. Then the time shall come of which the Apostle James speaks in Acts 15:14-17, for the Lord shall return and build again the tabernacle of David that is fallen and rebuild the ruins thereof, etc.


This is the kingdom coming back to the Jewish people, not as Jews, but because they were God's people; not to every Jew, because as the apostle says: "He is not a Jew that is a Jew outwardly," but to every one of them who are Jews indeed, having the faith of Abraham. And, by the [HGL100] way, we remark that when the kingdom is established there will be many others coming in who will belong to that class besides these ancient worthies, who will accept the Lord and seek to walk in His ways, and thus gradually the whole world may become children of Abraham, as it is written again: "I have made thee to be a father of many nations" not merely a father of the Jews. And so all the nations of the world shall ultimately be brought to a knowledge of the Lord, and whoever shall accept of the Lord's favor and grace in Christ, and conform themselves to the clear laws of the kingdom then enforced, they will be

counted as indeed the children of Abraham, whatever may be their earthly nationality. Thus he will become "the father of many nations."

Another thought worthy of consideration is this: Does not the world recognize the need we have of a perfect government? Is not the cry of every political party, "We will give you a perfect government?" That has been the cry for centuries, each nation striving to have the mastery of the world, declaring that it, and it alone, is competent to bless the world. And now what do we see? We see that in the very best governments of the whole world there is necessarily an element of corruption unavoidable, let us say so that even where comparatively pure men are elected to office you do not know what influences may be brought to bear upon them to more or less cause them to deviate from the rule of rectitude and righteousness. As a matter of fact, if occasionally an upright man does get into office it is generally because he can be used as a puppet and representative of others who desire the power, and he is generally used as long as they can use him to advantage, and then usually dropped. But what can we see respecting the Millennial kingdom and how could we hope that if the Lord should then take His great power and exercise it in the world that the world would have better rulers or governors than at present? Ah, we answer, our God is making the very preparation that is necessary in this matter.


He reveals to us in His word that He is selecting a peculiar people, a little flock, and that they are all saints! Not all are saints who name the name of Christ by no means; but those who will be of the very elect, those who will make their calling and election sure, will all be "copies of God's dear Son." And if copies of God's dear Son, what think you of the government that they would establish in the world? We answer, nay! Would it be a charitable, generous government, of love and righteousness? We answer, yes! The Lord and His character assure us that the government of which He would approve and which the saints, the members of his body, would approve and establish would be a pure government, a righteous government, built upon love, and not upon selfishness. We have every reason, therefore, to have absolute confidence in that government, as we could not have in any government established by the world, or in any government that we could ourselves establish while we still have the flesh and its human weaknesses and frailties to contend with.

And what about these ancient worthies, if they be given power will it not be possible that they will be the subjects of corruption and bribery? No, because they also will be a tested and proven class. Mark the apostle's description, in Hebrews 10:1, of how they were all found worthy. If they pleased God that is sufficient testimony, and the apostle declares: "They had this testimony, that they pleased God!" Then they will please you and me! If satisfactory to God they will be satisfactory to all in harmony with God and righteousness, and "the Lord knoweth them that are His." If the Lord has made such an arrangement respecting the kingdom and has provided such under-rulers or earthly rulers, in the control of the world, under the spiritual kingdom, may we not have absolute confidence in the results, that all the families of the earth will be blessed under that glorious kingdom?

The question then may arise in the minds of some, Could we be sure that these ancient worthies might not be liable to change? We answer, No, because they have already passed their trial and have been accepted, and in their resurrection, according to the Scriptural use of the word, they will be raised perfect men absolutely perfect, as Adam was perfect, in the beginning, in the image of God, and therefore with all the qualifications of perfect men, and under the guidance and instruction of the glorified saints, and the greatest saint, our Lord Jesus, surely they will be quite sufficient for the task that is before them.


And what shall we say respecting the needs of the world? Does not the world need help along the line of good government and the bringing in of blessing of God to be generally distributed among all the people, and not merely among a class? It is not the real object of the Lord that the blessings that are now being so freely showered in this wonderful day of the world's understanding should be generally dispensed to every creature? Surely! We do not say that that is possible under present conditions; it could not be attained under present conditions.

We have no sympathy with anarchists or Socialists, in their endeavors, under conditions as they exist today, to introduce an order of things which would result in blessing to all mankind alike. We are not only assured by our reasoning faculties that man cannot do this now, but also by the Lord's word itself. When present conditions shall have brought the world to a great time of trouble, in which all present institutions shall fall because of their imperfection, then upon the ruins of those institutions the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom. It is the very matter pictured by Daniel in interpreting the prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar; after picturing the kingdoms of this world, Babylon, as the head of gold, Persia, as the breast and arms of silver, Grecia as the belly and thighs of brass, and Roma as the legs of iron, and present institutions as the feet of mixed iron and clay then he says: "I beheld until the stone was taken from the mountain without hands." A stone! what was it? God's Kingdom, the church!

God is taking it out of the kingdoms of this world without hands'without the operation of human power. It is "not by might nor by power, but by spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Humanity indeed acts as an agency of God in proclaiming the truth, but it is the power of God that is unto salvation to every one that believeth. The stone is taken without hands, and in due time the smiting shall take [HGL101] place, and then all present institutions shall go down. This does not mean that it is for you or me or any of the Lord's people to have anything to do with bringing about the terrible trouble which is to wind up present conditions, but it does mean that we view the matter from the Lord's standpoint, as enlightened of Him, who knows what to look for, because the Lord hath spoken it, and what are to be the grand results.


And although the time of trouble will be serious, an awful affair, a terrible cataclysm which will involve every existing evil institution, including much that is miscalled good, God will use that trouble as His agency in bringing in the Kingdom which shall be for the blessing of all the families of the earth, the establishment of a righteous government, as promised, and for which we are taught to pray, as in the text before us, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven" not merely as it is done in Allegheny, nor as in some other city of good moral character; but as it is done in heaven, and up to the standard set by God.

We are not to suppose that the world is to be converted, and then the kingdom established, but the kingdom of God is to be exercised in the world while sin and sinners will be largely in the majority, and the kingdom is to be established so that it will put down all authority and every evil thing, as the apostle declares in First Corinthians 15, -"He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet." During Christ's kingdom all things will become subject to Him, all the wicked persons and evil influences, and He shall reign for the suppression of every evil. When the Lord is king over all the earth will it be as now? No! Those who look about today and think that Christ is reigning must have the opinion either that our Lord Jesus has very poor character or exercises very little power.

When they see all the sin, the iniquity, the crime, the evil tendencies that are permitted to go on today, if they have the thought that Christ is recognizing these evils either in the sense of approving them or else in the sense that He acknowledges His inability to suppress those things. But He does neither! On the contrary, the Lord's word assures us that he is allowing Satan to be the prince of this world in the present time, and that the time is coming when He shall take to Himself His great power and shall reign. Already the power and authority are His, but He has not yet taken it in the sense of exercising it. There is a time set apart of the Father when "He shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth;" when "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the great deep," and when "none shall need say unto his neighbor, 'Know thus the Lord, for all shall know Him, from the least unto the greatest of them.'"


We will allow others to make void the word of God, preaching salvation of the heathen without faith or without even knowledge of the only name given under heaven or among men. As for us, we have this one commission, and that is, to preach the word, to preach the kingdom, and to declare that this kingdom shall accomplish a great blessing to the world, and to declare that in this present time, while sin is still permitted, God is choosing out of the nations the little flock, to be joint heirs with His Son to sit with Him in the throne, to be associated with Him in all the work of blessing all the families of the earth according to the gracious promise given to Father Abraham. It is respecting that promise that the apostle says, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." That promise is not fulfilled. We are still heirs of it.

The world has never been blessed yet; but as soon as the seed class shall have been developed, as soon as the little flock shall be complete, as soon as the body of Christ shall be glorified with the Lord, then the kingdom will be come, and God's will shall be enforced, and all the ends of the earth shall turn unto the Lord, as it is written. Let us then proceed, just as the apostle did, to declare the kingdom, to preach Jesus as the Redeemer from the great penalty of death, to preach resurrection as the hope respecting the dead, and to preach the kingdom as the grand agency of God for blessing the world, and to preach a share in the kingdom as the grand message to all those who have an ear to hear and a heart to obey it.

And what is the effect of this upon us? The apostle tells us, and I trust it is your experience and mine, respecting this true message, the message about the second coming of the Lord, and the kingdom to be then established, and the work of that kingdom in the blessing of the world- "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." So while we are praying, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." If we are praying in sincerity and truth, we will be striving to enter in, to have a share in the kingdom class, and correspondingly striving to be pure as He is pure.

Prev   Next