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Government

CHAPTER IV

Preparation

JEHOVAH granted his son Lucifer lordship over man. Lucifer therefore was a prince. From and after the time of the rebellion of Lucifer his rule over men became wrongful and therefore without right. The only way that he could rule rightfully would be to rule in exact harmony with Jehovah God and continue loyal to God. Zedekiah, the last king of Israel, "sat upon the throne of the Lord," for the reason that he was a successor to David. When he yielded to the wicked influence of Satan Zedekiah's rulership was wrongful and therefore without right. With the dethronement of Zedekiah God expressed his determination to permit the rightful rulership of man to be overthrown until the coming of him "whose right it is". Thereafter all rulership of the peoples and nations has been by permission of God in that he did not interfere therewith; but such rulership has not been by right proceeding from Jehovah. He has permitted man to take his own course and has not restrained the Devil from exercising influence over man.

Although Babylon was the beginning of earthly governments, the invisible ruler of which was Satan, its elevation to the position of a world power was delayed until the star of Assyria had set. At the time that Babylon arose to the position of a world power

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Satan there became "the god of this world", meaning that his invisible rulership extended to all the nations and peoples of earth. Before that there were peoples organized by Jehovah's authority, but from that time forward there was no organization in earth of which Jehovah was the invisible ruler. Melchizedek's kingdom had fulfilled its purpose as a type. The government of Israel was done; and since there was no government in actual operation and in opposition to Satan, and Babylon being the dominating government of earth, it became the most important government of earth. To its first emperor Daniel said: "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath [suffered it to be] given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." (Dan. 2:37) Up to that time God had placed before the peoples of earth sufficient evidence to prove his own supremacy. He had particularly manifested his supreme power in the overthrow of the world powers of Egypt and Assyria. With the overthrow of the king of Israel God would permit the Gentile peoples, that is to say the non-Jews, to take the lead and put forth their best endeavors to set up a government and to prove whether or not they could establish a desirable government without the aid of Jehovah God. The Gentile world power, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar the first emperor of Babylon and its king, had a golden opportunity. God saw to it that sufficient evidence was given to its ruler that he could choose to obey Jehovah if he desired rather than to yield to Satan. Babylon went the wrong way and fell.

Babylon being the foremost power of the world, and having the greatest favor bestowed upon it, and the

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most favorable opportunity of establishing a government, foreshadowed or represented "Christendom", which embraces those nations of earth that claim to be Christian but which in fact form a part of Satan's organization. The nations called Christendom have had the greatest opportunity of any nations on earth. These nations have made advancement in material matters and in worldly knowledge but have forgotten God and served the Devil. These nations, as the evidence heretofore set forth proves, have failed to establish a desirable government for man. The fall of Babylon foreshadowed the fall of "Christendom", together with all other parts of Satan's organization. Beginning with the world power Babylon, God gave the Gentile nations a free hand by refraining from interfering. He numbered the days of Babylon (Dan. 5: 28); and he also numbered the days of the Gentile supremacy in the earth, which period of time is designated in the Scriptures as the "times of the Gentiles". (Luke 21:24) The Gentile or non-Jewish governments of earth have therefore never been governments representing the Lord Jehovah, nor have any of these governments or rulers ruled by divine right. They have existed or ruled by sufferance; which means that God has tolerated them and by a negative consent has permitted these governments to exist. During all that time God has had his witnesses in the world to testify concerning his goodness, and those men who have desired to learn of him and follow his way of righteousness have had opportunity to do so. God has awaited his own good time when he would bring forth his loyal Son, whose right it is to rule, and to that Son the right shall be given and his rule

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shall be by divine right. He is the King and the first One that will rule the world by divine right. It is of importance to man, in order that his faith may be established, that he definitely determine the lineage of this mighty Ruler.

Lineage

The Scriptures leave no room for doubt as to who shall be the rightful Head of all earthly government, which government shall be set up in God's own due time. The truths concerning that great government were written expressly for the benefit of those who search out the truth, that these might have their faith firmly established and have a sure foundation for the hope of a righteous government. (Rom. 15:4) To such God has furnished his Word as a lamp or light to guide the course of action taken by those who want to serve him. — Ps. 119:105.

Shortly following the flood Noah, by God's direction, uttered a prophecy foretelling the blessing of his sons Shem and Japheth, particularly the blessings concerning Shem. "And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." — Gen. 9:26, 27.

Melchizedek is the first one mentioned in the Scriptures as a man who ruled any people by divine right. Undoubtedly he was of Shem's line, and it is quite probable that Shem and Melchizedek were one and the same person. Shem was living at the time Abraham met Melchizedek and paid tithes to him. (Gen.

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11:11) Abraham was a descendant of Shem. (Gen. 11:12-26) To Abraham God said: "I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee." (Gen. 17:6) Based upon these prophetic parts of the Record it is certain that he who should receive the right to rule would descend from the line of Shem and through Abraham.

Jacob was a grandson of Abraham. God changed Jacob's name to that of Israel. Then God caused this prophecy to be written: "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. . . . Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city." (Num. 24:17, 19) Jesus said of himself: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." — Rev. 22:16.

Judah was a son of Jacob, concerning whom a special prophecy was written: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be." (Gen. 49:10, R. V.) The descent of the rightful ruler of earth therefore must be through the line of Judah. The name Judah means praise. (Gen. 29:35) "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise." (Gen. 49:8) The Mighty One whom Judah foreshadowed is called "the Lion of the tribe of Juda". (Rev. 5:5) This shows that the Mighty One foretold would praise Jehovah God and he in turn would be praised for his faithfulness and loyalty to God and his praise should arise from all creation in God's due time. — Phil. 2: 5-11.

After the death of Joshua leadership was given to Judah. (Judg. 1:1, 2) "For Judah prevailed above

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his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's." (1 Chron. 5:2) "Judah is my sceptre [symbol of authority]." — Ps. 60: 7, R. V.

Caleb was of the tribe of Judah; and at the division of the land in Palestine Caleb received as his inheritance the mountain of Hebron. (Josh. 14:12-14) "Mountain" is a symbol of a government or kingdom. In that division of the land the tribe of Judah as a whole received a tract of land which bordered on Mount Seir, the latter being a symbol of the Devil's organization of earth. (Josh. 15: 8-10) This would indicate that the Devil's organization would extend up to the beginning of the government of Jehovah ruled by him whose right it is to rule, which ruler should descend through the line of Judah.

Jesse was of the tribe of Judah. It was Jesse's son David whom Jehovah anointed as king over Israel. (1 Sam. 16:13,14) To David the Lord said: "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore." (1 Chron. 17:11,14) To Solomon the son of David, God said: "And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel." (1 Kings 9: 4, 5) That both David and Sol-

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omon foreshadowed the real Ruler is made clear by the words of the prophecy: "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 with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." "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. 9:7; 16:5) That David foreshadowed the rightful Ruler and his coming righteous government is just as certain as day and night. — Jer. 33: 20, 21, 25, 26.

In the year 606 B. C., with the overthrow of Zedekiah the last king of Israel, there was a breach made in the line of rulers over Israel, God's chosen people. Through his prophet God foretold a day coming when he would close up this breach and bring into power earth's rightful Governor and that that Ruler would be of the line of David. " In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof: and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old." — Amos 9:11.

Mount Zion is a symbol of God's organization, of which organization earth's rightful Governor must be the Head. In line with the foregoing prophecies it is written: "Moreover, he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim; but chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion, which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever. He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheep-folds." — Ps. 78:67-70.

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Bethlehem was small among the families of Judah, but God chose it as the place of the birth of the rightful Ruler of earth and foretold that through his prophet: "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Mic. 5:2) Bethlehem was the home of Jesse and the home of David, who was anointed by Jehovah as the king over Israel; and Bethlehem is often called the city of David.

Mary, the virgin of the house of David, conceived a Son by the power of the holy spirit of God. (Luke 1:27-29) God sent his angel from heaven to inform Mary that she should be the mother of the promised One whom the prophets of God had foretold: "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his 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."  — Luke 1:30-32.

The Scriptures therefore trace the lineage of Jesus in an unbroken line from Shem, from Abraham, from Jacob, and from the tribe of Judah, and through David, God's anointed king over his people. In due time the son of Mary, who God announced through his angel should be called Jesus, was born at Bethlehem as foretold. On that memorable occasion the holy angels of heaven bore testimony to his identity. The special messenger whom God delegated to give witness said: "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon

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them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." — Luke 2: 9-11.

The Apostle Peter, moved by the power of the holy spirit, testified that Jesus Christ is the One whom God foretold as him "whose right it is" to be the ruler of earth. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." — Acts 2:29-31.

His Anointing

From the time of his birth until he reached the age of thirty years very little is said about Jesus. At that age he had reached his majority, and there his work in the earth began. He proceeded immediately to John and requested John to baptize him in the waters of the Jordan.

Anointing is a symbol of delegated power and authority. When Jehovah would signify that he had conferred authority upon David as king he caused his prophet to anoint David with oil. (1 Sam. 16:13) "I

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have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him." (Ps. 89: 20) "And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul." — 2 Sam. 12: 7.

Wherever the Scriptures speak of "the Lord's anointed" that term almost exclusively refers to the ruler or governor. (Ps. 2:2; Lam. 4:20) The titles Messiah and Christ mean "the Anointed One". The title is used particularly with reference to rulership. Daniel the prophet spoke of Messiah, or the Anointed One, as "the Prince" or ruling One. (Dan. 9:25) The Jews so understood the term Messiah to mean 'He who should rule'. The Jews were looking for a king or ruler who should relieve them from the Roman yoke and establish a just and righteous government. When some of the faithful Jews had learned from John concerning Jesus and had seen Jesus they spoke to their brethren and said: "We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ" (the Anointed [One], margin). (John 1:41) God's prophet testified that the Anointed One is the rightful Ruler of the earth: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." — Dan. 7:13, 14.

The baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan symbolically testified that he had agreed to be en-

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tirely submissive to the will of Jehovah God, Thereafter he was anointed by Jehovah with his spirit and power. God there announced his approval of Jesus. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:16,17) The Scriptural proof is that his anointing showed that he was clothed with power in due time to destroy the wicked organization of the Devil. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy [spirit] and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: for God was with him." (Acts 10: 38) "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." — 1 John 3: 8.

At the time of the anointing of Jesus God conferred upon him the authority and power to be God's Priest and Prince. He was there appointed to the office of Priest and Prince for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Ps. 110: 4; Heb. 6: 20; 7:17) Let the fact be kept in mind that Melchizedek was a priest upon his throne. As a priest he was a servant of the Most High, and therefore the Most High's special officer; and as a prince he was a ruler or king acting by authority from the Most High. Melchizedek was a type of the great Ruler who shall rule the world by divine right and authority. It was at the time of the anointing of Jesus that the authority to be King or Ruler was conferred upon him.

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The anointing of Jesus carried with it the power and authority and obligation to tell the people who would hear, of and concerning the government that God would erect and how the people could be relieved from Satan's rule. Shortly after his anointing at the Jordan he said in the presence of the Pharisees and people: "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18, 19) On that occasion he was quoting from the Prophet Isaiah, who had foretold what should be done by the Anointed of the Lord when on earth. (Isa. 61:1-3) He stated on that occasion that on that day he began the fulfilment of that prophecy. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17) During the three and one-half years of his ministry that followed, Christ Jesus emphasized the fact of God's kingdom or government of righteousness that should be established for the benefit of man.

Temptation

There must be a preparatory work concerning himself as earth's rightful Ruler. At the very outset of his work Jesus was subjected to great temptation or test. He had been forty days and nights in the wilderness without food. It was at the end of those forty days of fasting that the temptation came to him. Why had he gone to that place? The Scriptures answer:

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"Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil." (Matt. 4:1) To be sure, it was the spirit of Jehovah that led Jesus into the wilderness, because he had agreed to do Jehovah's will and was being led by the power of Jehovah. But why should Jehovah God even permit his beloved Son to be beset by Satan the Devil and subjected to temptation 1 Briefly, the answer is that Jesus by withstanding this temptation or trial might prove his loyalty and faithfulness to God. To be tempted means to be put to a test. Jehovah had anointed his Son Jesus to be King or Ruler, and before permitting him to reign God would prove his Son by a severe test. Jesus had always been loyal and true to his Father, but now he was anointed to be God's great Prince and King to rule the world, and God would prove his Son by actual experience. The purpose of Satan, of course, in placing the temptation before Jesus was to induce Jesus to break his agreement with Jehovah, which would have resulted in his (Jesus') own destruction. If Jesus would break his agreement with God to be obedient to him, he would die and of course would not take the office of Ruler over the world. If Jesus would prove his faithfulness and loyalty to God under the test, he would prove himself entirely worthy to be trusted with the great authority and power as Ruler of the world. Therefore God permitted the enemy Satan to apply the test, and God saw to it that that test resulted to his own praise and glory.

The subtle and wily enemy Satan put the temptation before Jesus. He knew that Jesus, having fasted for forty days, was hungry. He said to him: "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be

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made bread." The reply of Jesus was: "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Moses had in substance said the same thing to the Israelites, that their life depended upon faithfulness in the keeping of their covenant with God. (Deut. 8:3) Jesus was holding firmly to that rule. He resisted the Tempter and proved his faithfulness to God.

Satan, knowing that God had anointed Jesus to be Ruler, and knowing the opposition that Jesus would have amongst the Pharisees, thought to entrap Jesus by inducing him to perform some daring and spectacular feat. He thought to appeal to his pride. The enemy therefore in substance said to Jesus: 'Why don't you go up on the temple and jump off into the valley? God's angels will bear you up so that you won't be hurt; and the people, seeing this miracle, will be convinced that you are more than an ordinary man and they will more readily support you.' That proposition was seductive, diplomatic, politic and cruel. Jesus replied: "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

The Devil then and there laid claim to rulership of all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus did not dispute that claim. In fact Satan was then the god of the whole world. The Devil then proposed to Jesus that he would abdicate and turn over the rulership of the world to Jesus provided Jesus would worship the Devil. Had Jesus done so, he would have shown his disloyalty and unfaithfulness to God and would have been destroyed. His reply to Satan was: "Thou shalt worship [Jehovah] thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

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In this great test Satan had lost. Jesus had won, and God had proven his Son to be loyal, faithful and true. (Matt. 4:1-10; Luke 4:1-13) Then the Devil left Jesus for a season. Never during the three and one-half years that Jesus was on earth did Satan miss an opportunity to try to entrap Jesus and destroy him. The temptations that he put before him were divers and numerous and were advanced in a subtle and wily manner. Through them all Jesus proved his full devotion to his Father. This was a part of the preparatory work for rulership.

Persecution

An attempt was made to kill Jesus even before Mary gave birth to the babe. Satan was behind that attempt. Then an attempt was made by Herod to have the child Jesus destroyed, and to carry out his purposes he caused all the children of Bethlehem of two years and under to be killed. (Matt. 2:16) The master mind of Satan arranged that scheme for the destruction of the child. When Satan found that he was unable to turn Jesus away from his course of righteousness and complete devotion to his Father, then he instituted a system of cruel persecution against him. God could have prevented it, but he permitted it.

From and after the day of Enos, when the people under Satan's supervision in derision and mockery called themselves by the name of the Lord, Satan continued to reproach God. When Jehovah sent his beloved Son into earth and anointed him to be King or Ruler, then Satan heaped upon the Son the reproaches which he had heaped upon the Father. It is written:

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"I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me." —Ps. 69:8, 9.

Jesus was born a Jew subject to the terms of the law covenant with the Jews. God sent him to the Jews to do a work in connection with his coming government, and particularly to inform the Jews thereof. The leaders of Israel, to wit, the clergy and the principal ones of their flocks, led the persecutions against Jesus; and Satan was the super-mind behind it all. There were some faithful Jews who acknowledged Jesus as the Anointed One of God, and to them was extended God's special favor: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:11, 12) The others put forth their best efforts to make his existence burdensome and to destroy him. These experiences of Jesus were in exact accord with what had been prophesied of and concerning him. "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." — Isa. 53: 3.

Jesus was perfect, holy, harmless and without sin, and he did harm to no one. The fact that he was despised and persecuted is proof that Satan the Evil One was causing the persecution and for the reason that Jesus was anointed to be the Ruler of the world. Jesus had a message of special importance to the Jews that would be beneficial to them. They were his brethren and he came to help them. Satan induced them

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to despise and reject and persecute him. Bear in mind always that those men whom Satan used to lead the persecution against Jesus, and who caused him great sorrow and suffering, were the clergymen of that time, who claimed to be the representatives of God. This proves that the clergymen and the principal of their flock were the sons of the Devil and not the sons of God. Jesus plainly told them that they were of the Devil. — John 8: 43, 44.

Jesus was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"; and one reason was that he saw men who claimed to represent his Father, but who were daily misrepresenting him and slandering his holy name, and were heaping ignominy upon Jesus because he came from God and represented him on earth. Those instruments of Satan hated Jesus without a just cause or excuse for so doing. "They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away." — Ps. 69:4.

God through his holy prophets had repeatedly told the Jews of the coming of the One whom Moses and David foreshadowed. Now Jesus had come in fulfilment of these prophetic utterances. He furnished ample evidence for the leaders of Israel to know that he was God's Anointed. These Jewish clergymen were familiar with the law of the prophets, and yet they continued to persecute Jesus and laid upon him all manner of reproaches. They accused Jesus of being a glutton and a winebibber and a sinner because he drank and ate according to his needs and because he showed some kindness to publicans and sinners. (Matt.

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11:19) Because Jesus relieved some of the people of their sufferings, which the Devil had caused to come upon them, by casting out demons, the clergy accused Jesus of being the chief of devils. (Matt. 12:24) They accused him of blasphemy because he told them the truth concerning himself which they should have known by reading the prophecies. (John 10: 36) Then Jesus spoke a parable to the clergy, which parable was in fact a prophecy and was to the effect that Jehovah had planted a vineyard and entrusted it to the Jews, particularly the leaders in Israel; that Jehovah had sent his prophets to them and they had beaten and stoned and killed them; and that now at last he had sent to them his Son, and when they saw the Son these evil-minded men had said: 'Let us kill him and seize the inheritance.' (Matt. 21:33-41) To be sure Satan induced this persecution of Jesus by and through the clergy, and Jesus was telling them that they were so doing. Satan could use the clergy because they had forsaken God and had yielded to the invisible rulership of the Devil. They preferred the approval of men and enjoyment of the little power they had to being faithful to God. Although they claimed to represent God, they were in truth the representatives of the Devil, as Jesus told them; and because he told them the truth they sought to kill him.

For more than three years the relentless persecution of Jesus continued, and at the end of his earthly ministry the representatives of the people of Israel, to wit, the clergy, profiteers, and politicians, entered into a conspiracy to have Jesus put to death. (Matt. 28: 3-5) Carrying out that conspiracy they caused the arrest of Jesus, brought forth false witnesses, held

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a session of court contrary to their own law, compelled the accused to give testimony against himself contrary to their law; and without any true evidence and without any just cause or excuse Jesus was convicted, sentenced, and then put to an ignominious death by being hanged upon the cross. He died as though he was a sinner. The prophet had written the words that were in Jesus' mouth: "Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none." — Ps. 69:19, 20.

Could not Jehovah God have prevented the persecution and suffering and ignominious death of his beloved Son? To be sure Jehovah could have, because he is almighty: his power knows no limitation. Why then did the Almighty God permit his Son to be persecuted and thus to suffer?

Obedience

The inspired writer answers the question: " Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." (Heb. 5:8) Again God would emphasize the importance of obedience. In the days of Saul God had said through his prophet: "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."  — 1 Sam. 15: 22, 23.

God had anointed his son Lucifer to be a covering cherub, and that son had proven unfaithful and dis-

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loyal. God had now anointed his beloved Son Jesus to be the Head of the great government of righteousness which he would establish; and before he would exalt him to the high position of actual rulership God would prove his beloved Son by permitting him to be subjected to the most severe trials. The persecutions that were heaped upon him afforded the opportunity for him to learn obedience. By these experiences Jesus did learn obedience and proved his worthiness to be fully and for ever entrusted with the work before him. Jesus was so thoroughly devoted to his Father and to the work set before him that he said: "I can of mine own self do nothing." (John 5:30) That did not mean that he had no ability to do, but that his covenant with Jehovah would permit him to do nothing contrary to God's holy will. Thus he emphasizes the lesson God would teach all of his intelligent creatures: that obedience is of the greatest importance. Those who fail to obey fall to the influence of the evil one, and their stubbornness in refusing to obey orders is lawlessness that leads to devil worship. This rule's being so thoroughly and completely established in the experience of Jesus in preparing him for his exalted position is conclusive proof that God will require obedience of every one whom he exalts. To this end it is written: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace [favor] to the humble [obedient]." — 1 Pet. 5:6,5.

Paul under inspiration states that Jesus did not seek to grasp more than was intended for him nor did he take a course contrary to God's will. He was will-

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ingly submissive to his Father's will, and knowing that no trials and persecutions and sufferings could come to him without his Father's permission, he gladly submitted thereto. It brought upon him great suffering and sorrow and it led to an ignominious death. But by all these experiences he learned to be obedient, and because he thus learned obedience Jehovah exalted him to the highest place in the universe. " Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, . . . being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." — Phil. 2: 5-11, R. V.

Death and Resurrection

Jesus was put to death on the cross, was taken down from the cross and buried, and on the third day God raised him up out of death. Forty days thereafter Jesus ascended into heaven. As King or Ruler of God's righteous government will Christ Jesus, the Anointed One, be visible or invisible to men? He will be invisible, because he was put to death as a man and raised out of death a spirit. (1 Pet. 3:18) Human

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eyes can not behold a spirit. To man a spirit being is like the wind. Man can see the effects of the wind and can hear it and feel it; but he can not, by the exercise of the human sense of sight, see the wind itself. That is in substance what Jesus told Nicodemus concerning spirit beings. (John 3:5-8) Jesus was born of the spirit at his resurrection out of death. He afterwards appeared to his disciples in human form and in different bodies. Manifestly the body for each appearance was created for the purpose. He did not appear, however, at any time in his glorious spirit body. Paul came the nearest of any one to seeing his glorious body. Paul saw only the reflection of the light therefrom, and the brightness of that light exceeded the brightness of the sun at midday. (Acts 9:3; 26:13) This is exactly in harmony with what Jesus said to his disciples concerning men of the world seeing him: "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more." — John 14:19.

Seeing that the Logos, the Son of God, was originally a spirit and that his life was thereafter transferred to human, that he became a man, and that he died as a man and was raised from the dead as a spirit being, and it being true that he will exercise his power as ruler while a spirit being, could he have become the Head of the righteous government that God will establish and rule it without ever having come to earth?Yes, he could have become the invisible ruler without becoming a man; but had he done so his rulership would never have resulted in the complete and full blessing of mankind. Why then did Jesus become a man, and why did he die?

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The Ransom

The purpose was to ransom or redeem the human race and to make it possible for man to become perfect mentally, morally and physically. To understand the relationship that the death and resurrection of Jesus bear to his rulership enables the student to see some of the wonderful expressions of Jehovah's loving-kindness toward man. The proper answer to the foregoing can illuminate the matter. The sending of Jesus to earth as a man by Jehovah, the death and resurrection of Jesus, all were a part of God's preparatory work for the great government that shall result in the eternal blessings of the human race.

Jehovah's human creature Adam was a perfect man. His wilful disobedience to God's law brought upon him the sentence of death and expulsion from his perfect home in Eden. The perfect man and his perfect wife had no offspring. After man was under the sentence of death and after he had been expelled from Eden he begot and his wife gave birth to their children. Adam and Eve, being under the sentence of death and undergoing that sentence, were of course imperfect; and the natural result was that their offspring came into existence as imperfect creatures. These children were born in sin, because anything imperfect can not keep God's law perfectly but will transgress it, and sin is the transgression of God's law. (1 John 3:4) The recompense or wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6: 23) It follows then that all of the children of Adam were born sinners. (Rom. 5:12) They were all 'born in sin and shapen in iniquity'.

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(Ps, 51: 5) The ultimate destiny of all would therefore be destruction, which is death.

God purposed to redeem or ransom man from death and the grave, and he gave his word that this should be done. (Hos. 13:14) Being absolutely just God could not reverse his own judgment and forgive man and release him. The infraction of the law which Adam committed demanded a perfect human life. If another perfect man would willingly take Adam's place in death as Adam's substitute, and thus meet the demands of the judgment, then God could with consistency release Adam and his offspring from the judgment and its effects. But there was no man who could even redeem himself, because of his own imperfection; and of course he could not give himself as a ransom for his brother. "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him." — Ps. 49: 7.

The disloyal son of God, Lucifer, now called Satan the Devil, was really the first who started sin in action. God's purpose is to take away Satan's lordship over man and institute a righteous government in the place and stead thereof and to give that government to one in full harmony with himself. God loved man and purposed to recover him. The perfect man was his creature; and he would give imperfect man an opportunity to be fully recovered. God would place in the hand of his beloved Son the Logos the government of righteousness that he would proceed to establish for man's benefit. To the end that mankind might benefit fully therefrom, however, man must first be ransomed or redeemed from death and the grave. By willingly being made a man, and then willingly suf-

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fering death that God's purposes might be carried out, his beloved Son would prove beyond possibility of a doubt that he would be for ever loyal and faithful to God and would carry out God's righteous purpose.

His beloved Son was the great delight of Jehovah. (Prov. 8: 30) God is entirely unselfish, which means that God is love. He would deny himself, however, the delight and daily communion with his beloved Son in order that he might recover man and at the same time prepare his beloved Son for the most exalted position of rulership. Therefore God, to carry out his purposes and because of his love for humankind, sent Jesus to earth to die in behalf of the sinful race. " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16,17) God would first save the human race from destruction and then establish with man a righteous government, that mankind might be fully restored to the condition of perfection and fully enjoy that perfect government.

When Jesus was thirty years of age he was a perfect man in every respect and folly qualified to become the ransomer of man. At that age he expressed his full desire to do the will of God his Father. Therefore Jehovah entered into a covenant with his beloved Son, which is the 'covenant by sacrifice', the carrying out of which would lead to the sacrifice of the man Jesus in order that he might take the place of Adam in death. That covenant was fully performed. Jesus said that he came to earth to give his life a ransom to the end that mankind might live. (Matt. 20:28;

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John 10:10) The death of the perfect man Jesus therefore provided the exact corresponding price, to wit, a perfect life for a perfect life which Adam had been compelled to give up because of sin. Jesus became a man that God's purpose to redeem man might be carried out. He was made a man for the tasting of death, and by giving his life he became a ransom for all. (Heb. 2: 9; 1 Tim. 2:3-6) If Adam and his offspring are to profit by the death of the perfect man Jesus, then Jesus as a man must remain dead for ever. This is true because the perfect man Jesus became a substitute in death for the perfect man Adam and the benefit thereof results to Adam and his offspring.

But why should Jesus die an ignominious death? Adam was a wilful sinner and was driven from Eden because of sin. Whoever would provide the ransom price for Adam must take his place as a sinner and although being holy and without sin must die like a sinner. The manner of the death of the Redeemer was fixed in the penalty imposed upon the wilful sinners of the Jewish nation. It was written in the Jewish law: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Deut. 21:23) The death of Jesus upon the cross or tree removed that curse from the Jews. Jesus was holy, harmless and without sin, and indeed he must be in order to provide the ransom price; yet he must take the place of the sinner in death, and to that end he must die as a transgressor. Concerning him it is written: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. ... He hath poured out his soul unto

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death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many." (Isa. 53: 5, 12) The value of the life of the perfect man Jesus poured out in death as a sinner must be presented in Jehovah's court to constitute an atonement for sin, or a sin-offering, on behalf of man.

His Resurrection

Why did God raise Jesus out of death a spirit? (1) Because he was loyal and faithful even unto death (Phil. 2: 5-11); (2) in order that Jesus might have access to heaven and there present the value of his human sacrifice as a sin-offering to make atonement for the sins of man; and (3) that he might in God's due time assume the high office of Ruler or Governor over all the nations of earth.

Jesus the beloved Son had been put to the test; he had been tempted by the Devil and proved faithful; he had been persecuted and had remained loyal to God; he had been unjustly accused and condemned to an ignominious death; and amidst all he had been absolutely loyal and faithful to his Father. He went to the death of ignominy with not even an unfaithful thought. God rewarded his faithfulness and thereby for ever established the rule that God will reward those who love him and who are faithful to him.  — Ps. 31:23.

Had Jesus been raised out of death as a man the ransom price would have been of no value. If not raised at all God would need to appoint some one else to present the value of the sacrifice in heaven as a sin-offering. To Jesus was granted that honor and

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therefore he entered heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God on behalf of those who believe. There he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. — Heb. 9:24, 26.*

God appointed his beloved Son Jesus to be Ruler of his coming righteous government. Had Jesus remained dead for ever he could never have filled that office. God raised him up as the great Prince or Ruler, that in due time he might carry out his purpose of establishing his righteous government. When he raised him up God committed into the hand of his beloved Son all power in heaven and in earth and clothed him with immortality, that he can never die; and gave to him the keys of death and hell, which means the power in due time to abolish death and the grave and to fully set man free. — Matt, 28:18; Rev. 1:18.

Waiting

When Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, if he was then King why did he not at once establish the government of righteousness and begin his reign? Because it was not then God's due time. When he ascended on high he was commanded by Jehovah to wait: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Ps. 110:1) In corroboration thereof Paul wrote: "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." — Heb. 10:12, 13.

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The preparation for the establishment of God's righteous government was not yet complete. In the meantime Satan would continue to be the invisible ruler of the world oppressing the people. At the same time some men under adverse conditions could avail themselves of the opportunity to prove their love and devotion to God and thereby maintain their integrity. During that further period of preparation for the establishment of God's righteous government Jesus must wait and not begin his operations against Satan to oust him from his rulership. In his own good time God would put the enemy Satan under Jesus' feet. In that work his beloved Son, as Priest and King, would act as his Chief Officer. But the Son would take no action against Satan to destroy his rule until God should direct him so to do. Until that due time God through Christ would be selecting from amongst men those who would manifest a desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and who under the test would prove their love and loyalty and faithfulness unto God. It is written that there must 'be taken out from amongst men a people for his name' and that this must be done before the establishment of the righteous government and the beginning of the reign of the great King whom David foreshadowed. —Amos 9:11; Acts 15:14-17.

Place of Government

Is that righteous government over which Jesus Christ the Anointed will preside to be in heaven or in earth? Will that government be visible to man, or will man feel and see the good effects thereof? Christ, upon whose shoulder the government shall rest, is a spirit. He now is and ever will be invisible to man.

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The government will be for the benefit of man; and therefore its operations, by and through the official representatives of Christ, will be visible to man. It will not be the privilege of men to behold with the human eyes the glorious Ruler; but men will see the representatives of that heavenly government on earth and will observe the righteous operation of that government. Men will know the effects of that government and will be blessed under it. The words kingdom and government mean the same thing. Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10) The governing power will be in heaven, where God's will shall be done; and the operation of the government shall be on earth, where the will of God will likewise be done. The government must be a reality which will fully and completely establish righteousness amongst men.

"Within You"

An erroneous view is held by many concerning the nature and place of the government or kingdom of righteousness, as well as concerning its operation. That erroneous view is due to the subtle influence of Satan the enemy. Many clergymen have taught the people, and yet teach them, that the kingdom or government of God is in the heart of man. The statement of their position is in substance this: That Christ when he was on earth established his kingdom in the hearts of men; that, since that time, when man hears of Christ and becomes a Christian the kingdom of God is set up in the heart of that man and from that

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time forward the man must develop a character that is consistent with God's kingdom; that this process of conversion and of establishing the kingdom in the hearts of men must go on until all the world will have the kingdom planted in their hearts; that the work of the denominational churches is to convert the peoples of the world and bring them into the church and thereby establish the kingdom in the hearts of the people.

It should be at once apparent to all reasonable persons that Satan is the author of this erroneous view. Satan well knows that man is imperfect and can not by his own efforts establish a perfect government. He knows that the human heart is desperately wicked because of imperfection and sin. He knows that if he can keep that class of people who are reverential busy in developing what they call "character" and in trying to convert the world he can thus keep the minds of such entirely away from God and his purpose for a righteous government and for the blessing of mankind.

In support of the above-mentioned erroneous view concerning the kingdom the clergy cite the words of Jesus, to wit, "for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) Based upon this scripture the clergy say: 'These words of Jesus prove that he established the kingdom within the hearts of men at the time he was here, and that it is the duty of Christians to put that kingdom in other men's hearts, and that in no other way will the kingdom be established.'

But note particularly to whom these words of Jesus were spoken. If we are to support the conclusion above

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stated by the clergy, then we must find that Jesus spoke these words to some men who were in harmony with himself. Surely he would not establish his kingdom in the hearts of his enemies. The clergy should have read this scripture more carefully and should have observed its context.

The words spoken by Jesus, as above quoted, were spoken by him to the Pharisees, who were at that very time opposing Jesus and trying to entrap him. If the clergy's conclusion is correct, then it must be agreed that Jesus established his kingdom in the hearts of these Pharisees. If the kingdom was set up in the hearts of the Pharisees, then it would be anything but righteous. Jesus had already told those men that they were children of the Devil, their father, and that his will they did. (John 8: 43, 44) It is unbelievable that God's kingdom would be planted in the hearts of the Devil's children. Jesus had previously told these same men that they were fools, liars, hypocrites, oppressors of the people, and that they and the principal ones of their flocks were deceivers of the people and had taken away the key of knowledge from the people; that they had not sought to enter God's kingdom themselves, and that they were hindering and preventing the people from understanding the meaning and purposes thereof. (Luke 11:40-54) It is impossible to believe that God would establish his kingdom in the hearts of such wicked men. For the same reason we must know that it is impossible for modern Pharisees or clergymen to have a part in the kingdom of heaven, because they seek their own selfish glory and repudiate God's Word. For the same reason we may know that God has not set up his kingdom in the hearts of these

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clergymen or any other men who are part and parcel of the Devil's organization.

Had the clergymen studied the Scriptures they could have readily known that Jesus did not say that the kingdom is in the hearts of those who profess him. They have wrested this scripture and misapplied it and thereby deceived millions of honest people. There are millions of people on earth today who believe, because taught by the clergy, that the only kingdom of God that will ever be established is that which is set up in the hearts of men. This is a wicked deception born of Satan and promulgated by his representatives. Let it be borne in mind that God's kingdom is a righteous government. The Lord Jesus expressly told the Pharisees that they could not be of that kingdom but that all privilege of being in that kingdom should be taken away from them and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matt. 21:41-45) Let the people understand therefore that the teaching of the clergymen to the effect that the kingdom of God is in the hearts of men not only is false, but is a wicked deception practised by Satan and his emissaries to deceive the people concerning God's true kingdom.

Neither did the Lord Jesus say that the kingdom of God was within the hearts of his faithful followers. In the Scriptures the word "kingdom" has different meanings. Sometimes the word is used to mean "realm", "reign." (Ezra 7:13, 23; Jer. 28:1; Dan. 6:3, 28) It also means the one charged with the responsibility of carrying on the government. Consider now the circumstances under which Jesus uttered these words: "The kingdom of God is within you," and this will throw some light upon the mat-

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ter. The occasion was this: The Pharisees went to Jesus and made demand upon him that he express to them his view of the time and coming of God's kingdom. In harmony with their unrighteous practices they were trying to entrap Jesus. They did not want to learn from him for the good of the people. They were too self-centered to learn for themselves. The attitude of the Pharisees before the people was like this: 'We are the only ones who understand the Scriptures,' said they. 'We know what the prophets have said about the coming of the Messiah the King. You watch us, and listen to what we say. We will announce the kingdom in due time and then you will say, Here it is, or there it is.' They were blind to the truth because of their own selfishness and ambition. Being very impressed with their own importance they expected that in answer to their question Jesus would make some statement that would convict himself. They were hunting evidence against him. Hence they went to him and demanded that he show them when the kingdom would come. Jesus knew their thoughts, and he knew their false attitude assumed before the people, and he answered their demand and said: "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20,21) The marginal rendering of this text in the Authorized Version is this: "The kingdom of God is among you." Rotherham renders the text the same way. Another translator renders the text: "The reign of God is now in your midst." (Moffatt) In a footnote of the Emphatic Diaglott, commenting upon this text, the translator says: "Basileia here refers to the person

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to whom the title and honor of king belonged, rather than to his territory or kingdom. Prof. Whiting, an able Hebrew and Greek scholar, says, this clause in the 21st verse ought to be rendered 'the king is among you'."

What Jesus really said and meant was this: 'The kingdom will not come with outward show, as you have expected it would come. Your desire is to make a great show before the people and to shine in that kingdom. You will not be able to do so. In fact, you will have no part in the kingdom. I am the One anointed of God for the kingdom, and I am now in your midst.' Jesus was then the anointed King of God; and he was telling those Pharisees a truth that they would have known had it not been that their minds were blinded by their selfish devotion to the Devil's organization. The period of time elapsing between the anointing of Jesus and the actual beginning of his reign, is long. The Devil has seized upon this fact, together with the misapplication of the above scripture cited in support of the erroneous theory, to cause the people to believe that no government of righteousness would ever be actually established upon this earth.

Jesus appointed seventy of his followers and sent them out as his representatives and told them to go from house to house to speak to the Jews "and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you". (Luke 10: 9, 11) What he meant was that he, Jesus, had come to the Jews and that these seventy men were sent to them as his representatives and in his name and there was being offered to them the privilege of accepting him as God's Anointed One, and

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that therefore the kingdom had come nigh unto them. He used the word kingdom with the same meaning with which he used the word when he spoke to the Pharisees in referring to himself as God's Anointed One. The kingdom did come nigh unto the Jews, and almost all of them rejected him as God's Anointed One. Again, when Jesus said to them: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," he referred to himself as the One anointed to be the Ruler over the righteous government.

The clergy today, following the same false theory of the 'kingdom within you', have induced themselves and their followers to believe that God will never establish any other kingdom on earth than what is now here. When their attention is called to the Scriptural proof and the physical facts in fulfilment of prophecy concerning Christ's second presence and the establishment of the government of righteousness, they reply exactly as the apostle foretold they would reply: "Where is the promise of his coming [kingdom]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Then adds the apostle: "For this they willingly are ignorant of." — 2 Peter 3: 4, 5.

The clergy today refuse to embrace the kingdom themselves and refuse to teach it to the people; and by their false teaching and their course of action they keep many away from the kingdom and from the understanding thereof. They go further than this and persecute those who humbly try to instruct the people concerning God's righteous government that he will establish for their benefit. God's great work,

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however, of preparing for his kingdom goes majestically and grandly on.

Covenant for a Kingdom

Jehovah made a covenant to establish a government for the benefit of man. It appears from the Scriptures that when God is about to perform a great work in which his creatures have some direct connection he makes a covenant concerning the same and carries out his work according to the terms of that covenant.

David, the man whom God anointed as king over Israel, proved his zeal for God's house. He had brought up the ark of the covenant from the house of Obed-Edom and placed it in the tent or tabernacle on Mount Zion. At that time David himself dwelt in his own house built of cedar wood. Sitting there in ease and in comfort he called to him Nathan the prophet of the Lord and said: " See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee." (2 Sam. 7:2, 3) David had a desire to build a house for the Lord, wherein the ark of the covenant might rest. He had a loving zeal for the Lord God and his cause. God knew David's thoughts and therefore directed Nathan the prophet to go to David and deliver a message, as it is written: "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father,

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and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men." — 2 Sam. 7:12-17.

It appears therefore that David's care for the Lord's interest, and his loving zeal for the Lord, was the basis for the covenant which God made with David. Himself a prophet, David in his last hours prophesied and said: "The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow." — 2 Sam. 23: 2-5.

Concerning that covenant that God made with David it is further written: "Howbeit the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever." (2 Chron. 21: 7) "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, 0 Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints." (Ps. 89:3-5) "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne." — Ps. 132:11.

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The Scriptures make it plain that the covenant God made with David is an everlasting covenant. Through his Prophet Jeremiah he said: "If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, . . . then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant." — Jer. 33: 20, 21.

Salt is used symbolically to represent faithfulness in keeping an agreement. When used in connection with a covenant it seems to say: ' This covenant shall be faithfully kept and diligently preserved for ever.' (Lev. 2:13; Num. 18:19) Concerning the covenant with David it is written: "Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?" — 2 Chron. 13:5.

The Scriptural proof is clear beyond a doubt that the seed of David mentioned by the prophet of God is Christ Jesus the beloved Son of God. When God's messenger told Mary that she would be the mother of the blessed One he said: "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 for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."  — Luke 1:32, 33.

Jesus is designated as "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David". (Rev. 5:5) The words of Jesus himself show that he is the offspring of David and at the same time David's Lord. (Matt. 22:42, 45) Jesus Christ is "the firstborn of every creature". (Col. 1:15) Concerning this Mighty One God's prophet wrote: "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I

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keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven." (Ps. 89:27-29) And again the prophet said of and concerning Jesus: "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." — Ps. 45: 2, 6,17.

Where the inspired writer in the New Testament places an interpretation upon that which is written in the Old Testament scriptures, that interpretation must be taken as absolutely true and correct. This is an invariable rule to be followed. The Apostle Paul, writing concerning Jesus Christ, the beloved and glorified Son of God, placed an interpretation upon the words of the prophet, applying the same to Jesus: "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." — Heb. 1:8,9.

Concerning the government of righteousness to be established by Jehovah, and the One whom God would place at the head of that government, the prophet wrote: "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. 16:5) Concerning the same matter the same prophet wrote: "Incline your ear,

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and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isa. 55: 3) It is therefore definitely established by the Scriptural proof that the everlasting covenant which God made with David finds its complete fulfilment in Christ Jesus. David was a type of Christ, the beloved One of God. The everlasting covenant, therefore, between Jehovah God and his beloved Son is that the Son shall have life, immortality, a throne, a crown, and a kingdom or government.

The everlasting covenant above mentioned by the prophets could not be applicable to Jesus until Jesus became the seed of David, within the meaning of the Scriptures. It was at the Jordan, at the time of the consecration and begetting of Jesus, that he became David's seed. From that time all of the prophecies of the everlasting covenant enured to Christ Jesus. After Jesus was raised from the dead that everlasting covenant was confirmed unto him. This is made sure by the words of the inspired apostle: "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid

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unto his fathers, and saw corruption: but he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption." —Acts 13:32-37.

This Scriptural proof shows that the everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David, is really between God and his beloved Son Christ and those who become his associates. God took away the diadem and the crown from Israel's king at the overthrow of Zedekiah and stated that he would not give it to another until he comes whose right it is. That crown when placed upon the head of the One whose right it is would be represented by pure gold, for the reason that gold is symbolic of things divine; and since the right proceeds from Jehovah, the Divine One, the crown is placed upon the head of him who is anointed to things divine. Of Jesus Christ, the Anointed of God, the prophet wrote: "For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head." — Ps. 21: 3.

When Jesus was about to die he prayed to his Father that he might have the glory of life that he had enjoyed with Jehovah before the world was. He asked no honor above that in consideration of the zeal and faithfulness he had shown. God granted his request for life and gave him even more because the covenant involved more. "He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance." — Ps. 21:4-6.

Furthermore the prophet concerning him said: "Thou wilt prolong the king's life [by breaking the

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bonds of death]; and his years as many generations. He shall abide before God for ever." — Ps. 61:6, 7.

It necessarily follows that the covenant was a guarantee of life and immortality to Jesus because of his faithfulness unto God in the performance of the covenant. The everlasting covenant with Jesus was therefore for life, immortality, a throne, a crown and a kingdom. When he was about to finish his earthly course he said to his disciples that his Father had covenanted with him for a kingdom and that he would covenant with them also for a kingdom. — Luke 22: 29, 30, Diaglott.

This statement, together with other Scriptural proof, shows beyond a question that Jesus is the One by whom the everlasting covenant is fulfilled, and that in his unselfishness toward his faithful followers he covenants and agrees to take them into the kingdom with him. This is also a part of the preparation looking to the setting up of the government of righteousness for man.

Associates with Jesus

Near the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus he told his disciples that he was going away. "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards." (John 13:36) Jesus then said to his disciples: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

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(John 14:2, 3) A little later Jesus prayed, and his prayer shows that those faithful disciples were no part of the Devil's organization. He said to God in that prayer: "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." — John 17:14-16.

Jesus had committed to these faithful men a work to do relating to the preparation for the new government of righteousness; and this is proven by his words: "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." (John 17:18) Then he prayed not only for these faithful eleven but for all others who might believe during the day of preparation for the new government: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." — John 17: 20, 21.

God had anointed Jesus to be the invisible Ruler of the world, and it is manifest from his words above quoted that he desired these faithful men to be associated with him in that rulership. The 'oneness' surely means that Jehovah God is the great King and Ruler, that Jesus Christ is the King to rule in the name of Jehovah, and that those who would be made one with him and his Father would have some part in that government of righteousness and therefore be one with God and with Jesus.

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"Sure Mercies of David"

In harmony with the foregoing the prophet wrote: "Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David," (Isa. 55: 3) If mercy, as used in this text, means undeserved forgiveness shown toward the imperfect creature or erring one, then that part of the text could not refer to Jesus Christ; because he was always perfect and did not commit any errors, and no mercies were shown to him. Those who are called from amongst imperfect men to be made associates with Christ Jesus must receive mercies, because they are imperfect and often commit error; and they have the promise of forgiveness and mercy from God through Christ Jesus.  — 1 John 1:9; 2:2.

The rendering of the above words of the prophet in the Authorized Version does not make the matter as clear as some other translations. The Septuagint renders that part of the text "the gracious promises of David, which are faithful". Rotherham renders the same portion "the lovingkindness to David well-assured". The associates of Jesus are a part of himself and therefore are included in the name of David the Beloved One. Often the Scriptures refer to these imperfect ones as a part of the Beloved One. On this point the prophet says: "0 God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee." (Ps. 69: 5) The same psalm, verses 7 to 9, shows that the words of verse 5 refer to The Christ, the Beloved of God, and of course apply to the body members or associates of Jesus Christ. When the Prophet Isaiah

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says: "I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David," manifestly the thought is the extraordinary goodness of Jehovah which Jehovah delights to show to his Beloved. Such goodness and loving-kindness is like mercy, in that it is not exacted by the demands of justice. It follows then that "the sure mercies of David" mean the extraordinary goodness which Jehovah bestows upon those whom he justifies, brings into the body of Christ, and anoints with his spirit.

God's prophet says: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." — Isa. 55:1-3.

Manifestly these words of the prophet apply to the Beloved of God during that period of time when the gospel is preached as an invitation to men to hear and believe and become associates with Jesus Christ.

God through his prophet marks out the course that must be taken by those who would have a part in the everlasting covenant of David and be the recipients of God's mercies. The prophecy begins with the exclamation inviting the attention of those who might have a hearing ear. The prophet takes his stand as at Pentecost, and his words down through the period of sacrifice ring out: "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye

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to the waters." Jesus commanded that the gospel should be preached to all nations, which means to both Jew and Gentile. (Matt. 28:19) This is not a call, as many have erroneously construed it, to convert all the individuals of the nations of earth; but it is a call for the selection of those who shall be brought into the everlasting covenant and made associates with Jesus Christ.

On the great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried, saying: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37,38) These words of invitation began to have an application at Pentecost. That this invitation was to be extended to those who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow him is shown by the further words of Jesus: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14) The application of the words of God's prophet is to those who thirst, who are seeking after God if haply they might find him, and who have a sincere and honest desire to come into harmony with God.

The prophet continues: "Come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." (Isa. 55:1) How could one buy without money and without price? Evidently this refers to the fact that on the basis of man's justification by faith in the shed blood of Christ Jesus Jehovah accepts such an one and then by begetting and anointing ushers him into the wealth of the divine house of

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sons. The price of partaking of the Lord's divine good things is the sacrifice of all the justified one has. But this justification came to him without any expense on his part. It is charged to the account of Jesus. It is therefore without money and without price from one's natural self. The one who is thus justified and accepted by the Lord, and who thus buys without money and without price, is invited to eat, to buy wine and milk, and partake thereof. Manifestly the wine and milk refer to something joy-inspiring and that which brings riches. The conclusion therefore is that the wine and milk refer to the precious promises that are given to the spirit-begotten and anointed ones and to the joys of serving the Lord, which is the fruit of the true vine. — John 15: 8.

The second verse of the prophecy reads: "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." (Isa. 55:2) Many theories claiming to lead to life have been offered to man. The adversary, through his agencies, has placed before the people many alluring things. Many who have sought the way of life have been deceived by the subtlety of the Evil One. Therefore the prophet asks: "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?" It was Jesus who said: "I am the bread of life." No one can get life by partaking of any other. The invitation then is to the one who seeks the Lord, to hearken diligently and to eat the bread of life and delight in the fatness that shall result therefrom. In harmony with this the psalmist, as God's mouthpiece, said: "Hearken, O

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daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him." — Ps. 45:10,11.

It is the ones who partake of Christ, forsake all things of the world and give themselves wholly to God, trusting in the merit of Christ, that have the opportunity for life on the divine plane. Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." — John 5: 24.

This has really been the gospel that has been preached by the faithful witnesses of the Lord during the Christian era. The message has pointed out Christ Jesus and him crucified. It has afforded the opportunity for those who had an earnest desire to know and do the Lord's will to turn away from the world and seek the Lord and follow in Jesus' footsteps. As a logical sequence of taking this course God through his prophet says: "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isa. 55: 3) The sure mercies of David, or the extraordinary goodness of Jehovah, then become available to all who make a full consecration to do God's will. Being begotten and anointed they are taken into the covenant which guarantees to them, if they are faithful, that they shall be made partakers of the divine nature, be made like unto the Lord Jesus Christ; be joint-heirs with him, and be associated with him, in his kingdom; sit with him in his

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throne; and for ever be recipients of God's choicest blessings.

The Apostle Peter tells that Christ Jesus is the Chief Corner Stone laid in Zion and that his true associates are living stones built up into him as members of Zion. It is made plain by the Scriptures that Zion is God's organization or holy government or governing class. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it."  — Ps. 132:13, 14.

God sent Jesus to the Jews and gave them the first opportunity to become associated with his beloved Son in Zion. The clergy of the Jews rejected and persecuted Jesus and caused the people or nation to reject him. Addressing the Jewish clergy Jesus quoted the words of the prophet, telling them that he is the Chief Corner Stone of Zion, which precious Stone they had rejected, and then added: " The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt. 21: 43) This is conclusive proof that the Jewish clergy can never have any part in God's righteous government.

Peter, addressing the faithful associates of Jesus, said: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." — 1 Pet. 2: 9, 10.

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These are the ones, according to the words of the Apostle Peter, that are living stones built up as members of Zion. The Prophet Isaiah, continuing to address those that are invited to become associates with Christ Jesus in his government, says: "Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and nations that 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) The word "thou", in the above text, applies to Zion or that "holy nation" of which Christ Jesus is the Head and which calls the other nations over which Christ shall rule. During his reign, however, all nations may properly be called one nation. — Isa. 55: 5, R. V.; Acts 17: 26.

The nations of earth have not known Zion nor what Zion signifies. When the nations and peoples come to know that Zion is God's organization, and that their blessings come from Zion, of which Christ is the Head, then, as the Prophet Isaiah says, "nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God." They shall "come to Zion with songs" of joy upon their lips; and they will be seeking the way to come into harmony with God and receive his blessing, and will learn that it comes from Christ, the Head of Zion. The people will learn that God has glorified those whom he has taken into the covenant, and that Zion is his instrument to bear blessings to the people. This scripture shows clearly that the prophecy, opening with the exclamation, "Ho! everyone that thirsteth, come," is not addressed to "whosoever will", and is not applicable to the millennial reign of Christ, but is addressed to those who have an ear to hear, to those who have the faith of Abraham during

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the time of sacrifice, which is the "acceptable time" of the Lord.

The work of preparing for the righteous government continues over a long period of time and until Christ Jesus receives the command from his Father to begin operations against Satan the evil one and to set up his own righteous government. Who will be associated with Christ Jesus in that righteous government? How can these be identified? What are the requirements for men to be associated with Christ in that glorious government? What are the qualifications for official position therein?



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