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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON FIFTY The Setting Up of God’s Kingdom

    l. Two kingdoms are recognized in the Scriptures, the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. Zechariah 6:12, 13; Hebrews 4:14-16; Matthew 25:31; 19:28.TDOC 137.1

    2. The message of the first advent announced the kingdom of grace. Matthew 3:1, 2; 4:17; 10:7; Luke 4:43.TDOC 137.2

    3. The message of the Second Advent announces the kingdom of glory. Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14:6-14.TDOC 137.3

    4. The establishment of God’s kingdom upon the earth is predicted in prophecy. 2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 16; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14, 27; 12:1; Luke 1:32, 33; Revelation 11:15, ARV.TDOC 137.4

    5. The Second Advent of Christ is a necessary factor in the setting up of the everlasting kingdom. Matthew 25:31-34; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 24; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10; 2 Timothy 4:1.TDOC 137.5

    6. Those who respond to the call to this kingdom through the preaching of the gospel, will share in all its glories. 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Daniel 7:18, 27; Romans 8:16, 17.TDOC 137.6

    7. We should pray for the coming of the kingdom as our Lord has taught us, and then co-operate with him for the answer to our prayer. Matthew 6:10; 24:14.TDOC 137.7

    NOTES
    A visible prophecy

    “The national existence of the Jewish people, their national history, their national institutions, were a visible prophecy and assurance of the ultimate establishment of the kingdom of God.”TDOC 137.8

    The foundation laid

    “After his frustration of the first rival attempt at a world supremacy in the case of Babel, the Son of God lays the first foundations of his own special kingdom, in the world but not of it, in his summons to Abram to get him out of his country, and from his kindred, and from his father’s house, and his promise to make him a blessing in whom should all families of the earth be blessed.”TDOC 137.9

    A needed lesson

    “What men needed to be taught then, and what we need to remember still, is that each nation holds its position in subordination too thee ends of God’s government, that no power or wisdom or refinement will save a state from destruction when it ceases to serve the interests of his kingdom.”TDOC 138.1

    The central idea of the kingdom

    “The term ‘kingdom of God’ is found over one hundred times in the Gospels and in every part of the ministry from the outset to the end. Its central idea is the reign and rule of God over human, life, and it was the theme of Christ’s preaching from the first. ‘The kingdom of God’ was the earliest word in Jerusalem (John 3:3) and in Galilee (Mark 1:15), and the theme is found in sermon, parable, and prophecy to the close of his ministry. Man ruled over by God, and thereby finding the full realization of life: this is the essence of the idea of the kingdom of God.”TDOC 138.2

    The kingdom of grace and of glory

    “As used in the Bible, the expression ‘kingdom of God’ is employed to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is brought to view by Paul in the epistle to the Hebrews. After pointing to Christ, the compassionate intercessor who is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities,’ the apostle sys, ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace.’ The throne of grace represents the kingdom of grace; for the existence of a throne implies the existence of a kingdom. In many of his parables, Christ uses the expression, ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ to designate the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men.TDOC 138.3

    “So the throne of glory represents the kingdom of glory; and this kingdom is referred to in the Savior’s words, ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations.’ This kingdom is yet future. It is not to be set up until the Second Advent of Christ.TDOC 138.4

    “The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately, after the fall of man, when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race. It then existed in the purpose and by the promise of God; and through faith, men could become its subjects. Yet it was not actually established until the death of Christ. Even after entering upon his earthly mission, the Savior, wearied with the stubbornness and ingratitude of men, might have drawn back from the sacrifice of Calvary. In Gethsemane the cup of woe trembled in his hand. He might even then have wiped the blood-sweat from his brow, and have left the guilty race to perish in their iniquity. Had he done this, there could have been no redemption for fallen men. But when the Savior yielded up his life, and with his expiring breath cried out, ‘It is finished,’ then the fulfillment of the plan of redemption was assured. The promise of salvation made to the sinful pair in Eden was ratified. The kingdom of grace, which had before existed by the promise of God, then established.”-The Great Controversy, 347, 348.TDOC 138.5

    The signs of his coming unheeded

    “The Savior himself has given signs of his coming, and he says, When you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.’ And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ ‘Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand. The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and his apostles, the precious last years of grace to the chosen people, they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies, and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God.”-The Desire of Ages, 266.TDOC 139.1

    The kingdom received at the Second Advent

    “Not until the personal advent of Christ can his people receive the kingdom. The Savior said: ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ We have seen by the scriptures just, given [1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17] that when the Son of man comes, the dead are raised incorruptible, and the living are changed. By this great change they are prepared to receive the kingdom; for Paul says, ‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.’ Man in his present state is mortal, corruptible; but the kingdom of God will be incorruptible, enduring forever. Therefore man in his present state cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But when comes, he confers immortality upon his people; and then he calls them to inherit the kingdom of which they have hitherto been only heirs. These and other scriptures clearly proved to Miller’s mind that the events which were generally expected to take place before the coming of Christ, such as the universal reign of peace and the setting up of the kingdom of God upon the earth, were to be subsequent to the Second Advent. Furthermore, all the signs of the times and the condition of the world corresponded to the prophetic description of the last days. He was forced to the conclusion, from the study of Scripture alone, that the period allotted for the continuance of the earth in its present state was about to close.”-The Great Controversy, 320, 323.TDOC 139.2

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