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Let us then have no fear of jealousy on the part of the Spirit, because of the triumphs of Christ. Rather let us be sure that He seeks to hasten the presentation of the bride, —which is being sealed by Him (Eph. 4:20),—unto her Lord—who hath the Spirit without measure,55 that these twain, united into one,06 may be the one perfect man,57 the Holy temple,58 built for the habitation of God in Spirit.59 And who can estimate what shall be accomplished by the Spirit, through this holy, living Temple, in which He shall dwell. No wonder that He yearns to hasten its completion. See the type of His haste in Gen. 24:56.60 But this completion shall not take place until the Lord comes, when the Head shall forever be united to the body. 1 Thes. 4:18. Therefore, in this we may realize, to some extent, the meaning of that yearning cry of the Spirit "even So Come Lord Jesus." Rev. 22:20.
No. IX. The Gospel a Failure.
It is said that it makes the gospel a failure.
But this is not so. Man is a failure. The gospel is the
4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isa. 61 :l-3. See pg. 56.
(55) John 3 :34. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God glveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
(56) Eph. 5:30. Because we are members of his body.
31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
32. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.
(57) Eph. 4:13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto
the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
(58) 1 Cor. 3:16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Also 6 :19 and 2 Cor. 6 :16.
(59) Eph. 2:20. Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;
21. In whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;
22. In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
(60) Gen. 24:56. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way: send me away that I may go to my master.
57. And they said, We will power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom. 1:16). It is not the incompetency of the gospel, but the willful unbelief of sinners that prevents the conversion of the world. Jesus said: "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. But He also said "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." John 5:40. While we are to preach the gospel everywhere, we are not to expect that all will receive it. For, when He said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," He also added, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:15-16. But "what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make The Truth of God of none effect? God forbid." Rom. 3:3. Salvation shall be revealed in the last time.61
Jesus shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Isa. 53:11.
"After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Rev. 7:9-10.
Alleluia; Amen; Alleluia.
No. X. The Gospel Not Preached in All the World.
It is objected that the gospel has not yet been preached in all the world, as Christ asserted it should be, in Mat. 24:14, and therefore we cannot yet look for Christ, nor the end to come. Let us carefully examine this passage:
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
(61) 1 Pet. 1:5. Who are kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Col. 1:23. It ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is, under heaven.
1st. The end is unquestionably the end of the age (tou atZvos —tou aionos) of which the disciples asked in verse 3.
M. The world (oucov/aei/T/ — oikoumenee) means habitable, that is, the inhabited earth.
3d. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news, or glad tidings of the kingdom to come.
These glad tidings, it is asserted, shall be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth for a witness unto all nations and then (toti—tote) shall come the end of this age—or dispensation. It will be noticed that the time, during which the preaching shall continue, is determined entirely by the qualifying clause "for a witness unto all nations." When the witness is complete, then shall the end come.
When the Witness Is Complete.
Now, no finite mind can determine when the witness is complete. If we could, the evidence is to the effect that it has passed already. For when the gospel was preached on the day of Pentecost, there were present "devout men out of every nation under heaven." Acts 2:5. Afterward the disciples were scattered abroad and went about preaching the Word. Acts 8:4. "And they went forth and preached everywhere." Mark 16:20.* Paul says, in Rom. 10:18, "Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world,''" (world here being from the same word oiKovnevr —oikoumenee that is used in Mat. 24:14).
And again he says in Col. l:23*f that the gospel had already been "preached to every creature which is under heaven."
These inspired statements as to the universal preaching of the gospel ought to be conclusive. Mighty as it makes the work of the early disciples, I do not see how we can refuse to accept it. (See Dr. A. Clarke on Mat. 24:14 as to the special point of the universality of this preaching, also the authorities previously cited.) Surely we must
*Bee Bengell's Gnomon.
See Jamieson, Faussett and Brown, also Alford.
give no broader meaning to the word Olkov/xcvt] (oikoumenee) used by the Holy Spirit in Mat. 24:14 than in Rom. 10:18, or than to the equally strong words used in Col. 1:6 and 23.02 If we limit the one, we can, with equal propriety, limit the other. Because we have so full an account of Paul's work, we are apt to depreciate what was accomplished by the other Apostles and Disciples. Peter was in Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), and tradition gives us account of the preaching of the gospel in Parthia, India, Ethiopia, Scythia, Spain and Britain.
So then we may rest confidently on the plain statement of Col. 1:23, as being such fulfillment of Mat. 24:14, that the Church from that day to the present has not had, neither can have, in this, any sign or prophesied event standing between believers and the Lord's coming. If we take it upon ourselves to judge that the witness is not complete, or more presumingly, that it cannot be complete for centuries to come, then are we foolishly assuming a prerogative which belongs to God only.
Only God Knows.
Surely, only God can judge when the witness to all nations is complete, and here lies the essence of this entire question. If the Church is the agent which is to proclaim the gospel until the witness is complete, no mortal can judge but what the witness shall be completed this moment. But we have no evidence that the Church is the only agent, and it is quite probable that she is not, for we read of another agent in Rev. 14:6.63
Therefore the witness may not be completed, until after the Church is taken away, and this other heavenly messenger proclaims the everlasting gospel to them that dwell on the earth, even unto every nation and tribe and tongue
(62) Col. 1:6. Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and brtngeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.
23. See page 132.
(63) Rev. 14:6. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
and people. Rev. 14:6 (see Greek). In this case it is not the Church which shall complete the witness and it evidently can be no sign to her.
We conclude then that like the "day and hour,"64 it is known to God only, and the Church can have no definite sign in it. Therefore nothing is left for us to do, but faithfully to continue proclaiming the glad tidings of the coming kingdom while we watch momentarily for the Bridegroom.
No. XI. Some Here Live to See Kingdom.
It is objected, that we are taught in Mat. 16:28; Mark 9 :1, and Luke 9:27,65 that the coming of Christ, and of the kingdom, should occur during the lifetime of some of the multitude (Mar. 8:34)66 to whom Jesus spake, and that therefore His coming and kingdom can only be interpreted spiritually, viz.: the establishment of the power of the gospel by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, or as some hold, figuratively, viz.: the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity by the Romans, and the establishment of the Church. That is, as they say,—Christ came, by His Spirit, on the day of Pentecost and manifested His power through the disciples, in the preaching of the gospel, performing of miracles, etc.,—or, He came through the Roman army, destroyed Jerusalem and overthrew the Jewish polity,—and that His Kingdom is the Church over which He now reigns, or (as some say) in which or through which He now reigns over the nations of the earth.
(64) Mat. 24 :36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
(66) Mat. 16:28. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they "see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste
of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Luke 9 :27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
(66) Mark 8:34. And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.