THERE is more than one purpose to be accomplished by the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ into this world. It is not merely individual, to "seek and to save that which
was lost," but it has national and racial objects, according to the first prophecy in
Gen.3:15. "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." This looks on
to the final destruction of the works of the devil. The purpose for which Christ came as
recorded in the Gospels, was not to form a church, but to set up a kingdom. He did not
form a church, but His preaching and teaching, had reference to the kingdom; which would
have been set up at that time if the Jewish people had received Him as their King. In
their rejection of Him, the kingdom has passed into its condition of mystery, and will so
remain until the King shall return, and Israel say "Blessed is He that cometh in the
name of the Lord."
In the progress of the ages, certain things have been
accomplished towards the ultimate subjection of the world to the rule of the Man of God's
Appointment (Acts 17:31).
1. The King has been born.
This part of the prophecies have been fulfilled, and fulfilled literally, a virgin has
conceived and brought forth a Son (Isa.9:6; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:35). It is but reasonable to
suppose, that the first half of these prophecies having been fulfilled literally, the
other half will be fulfilled in like manner.
2. The King has been presented.
John Baptist the herald of the King, proclaimed Him present and introduced Him to the
people. The King Himself proclaimed the kingdom at hand, in their midst in the person of
the King then with them. The miracles He wrought were the evidence of the righteousness of
His claims as their Messiah. They only needed to put the claims of Jesus side by side with
the predictions of the prophets to know that of a truth, He was the one that was to come.
3. The King was acknowledged.
The wise men from the East came inquiring "Where is He that is born King of the
Jews?" Pilate, in the inscriptions he placed over the cross, testified, "this is
the King of the Jews," and the resurrection was not only the witness of God that
Jesus was the Son of God, but that He was also the seed of David, and the fulfillment of
all covenanted promises made to Him.
4. The King has been rejected.
Why rejected in view of all the righteousness of His claims? The Jews were like the
people of the present day, with this difference, they (the Jews) read the Scriptures
accepting all about the coming glories of the kingdom, but overlooked the necessity of the
suffering before the kingdom could be established. Today we are generally occupied with
the suffering Christ, and are indifferent as to the kingdom. The offense of the cross has
now become the offense of the crown (Luke 24:25-27).
5. The King has been exalted to the right hand of God.
This is where our attention is now directed. "But now, we see not yet all things
put under Him; but we see Jesus...crowned with glory and honor" (Heb.2:7-9).
In the rejection of the King, what of the kingdom?
1. It has not been abandoned.
The book of Acts still keeps it before the people. The first question in the book is
about the kingdom: "Wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel" was
the first question asked by the perplexed disciples, and all through the book it is the
prominent subject, and is only set aside at the end of the book. If their thought was
wrong, it seems strange that the Master did not use the opportunity to correct their
mistake. They did not make any mistake. They were not warranted by the Hebrew Scriptures
to expect anything else than the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, according to
their prophets (Acts 1:6; 28:28).
2. It has not been changed in its nature.
It still has reference to an earthly administration, the kingdom of the heavens ruling
the earth. It has not given place to an order of things "within you," as so
often stated, but is yet to be established visibly upon the earth at the return of the
King (Luke 19).
3. The church is not the kingdom.
The church was before the kingdom in the purpose of God (Eph.1:3,4). It is heavenly in
character. Its position, blessings, and destiny are heavenly.
4. The kingdom is in abeyance.
It is not in view at present. When Israel is again the subject of God's dealings, its
form, will be that of the kingdom in mystery. In that condition it will remain until the
return of the King. The eight parables of Matt.13 gives us its different phases until the
King comes back again. The present time is a parenthesis, not recognized outside Paul's
What remains yet to be accomplished, before this world is under the rule of the Man
"Whom He hath appointed?" The program for the future may be found in many of its
particulars in the Acts 15:14-18.
1. The Prophetic Program.
"To this agree the words of the prophets." It must be kept in mind that the
present election is not the subject of the prophets. This part of the program has not to
do with the church aspect of the coming of the Lord. The secret or mystery as committed to
Paul deals with a prior translation of the saints for a meeting with the Lord in the air
(1 Thess.4:13-18; Phil.3:10,20,21).
2. The National Program.
This is expressed in "The building again of the tabernacle of David which is
thrown down, and the setting of it up again." This is nothing less than the
restoration of Israel (1) to their God, (2) to their land, (3) to one another and (4) to
3. The Racial Program. "And all the gentiles" etc.
Thus we see that the object of the preaching of the gospel at the present time is not
the conversion of the world but its evangelization. That the nation of Israel are to be
restored to their own land. That this restoration is connected with the coming of the
Messiah. That Israel converted will become the missionaries to the nations for their
conversion to God, in accordance to the original promise made to Abraham.
4. The Consummate Part of the Program.
This looks far beyond millennial times. This embraces the reign of the Son of Man.
Beyond this there is the reign of the Son of God, when all enemies shall be subdued.
Beyond this there will be the ultimate delivering up of the kingdom to the Father, that
GOD may be ALL in ALL. In the opening of Genesis GOD IS ALL, at the end of the book of
Revelation, He is ALL IN ALL (1 Cor.15: 27,28).