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are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts?
The manner of the reign of Christ on David's throne, and the manner of the Kingdom of God, and the reign of the saints in the earth, we will treat of particularly when we come to speak of Jesus Christ as Lord.
THE TWO COVENANTS: THE OLD COVENANT AND THE
NEW COVENANT, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE OLD COVENANT, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE NEW COVENANT
First, or old covenant - Its history, meaning, inheritance offered, terms of salvation, and purpose New covenant — Why called “New ”— Making and confirmation of covenant — Importance to us — Barren period Children of promise — The Allegory — Covenant brought into force -Time of reward The inheritance Resurrection of dead, as taught in corenant Covenant of Circumcision Kingdom of God under each covenant — Body of Christ a kingdom - Two manifestations under second Cote nant.
No man can properly understand the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ so as to believe them and be saved by them so long as he is ignorant of the covenants of promise, as Paul properly calls them. And therefore he says in his letter to the Ephesians, "Remember that — in times past — ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (2:11-12). If that is the condition of all people who are strangers to the covenants of promise which God has made with his people, - that they are without God in the world and destitute of any hope of salvation, then it becomes those who have a desire to be saved to carefully study these covenants in all their parts, that thereby they may find the way of life, and make their calling and election sure. And what we shall now present on these important matters is intended to aid honest inquiry in these things.
THE FIRST OR OLD COVENANT When the seed of Abraham, the friend of God, had, as God promised him, become a great nation in the land of Egypt where they sojourned, then the Lord sent Moses, who brought them out under the direction and guidance of the angel. And Moses said to them in the wilderness, “The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and behold ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude” (Deut. 1: 10). And so the Lord brought them out of the house of bondage, and the iron furnace of Egypt, to Mount Sinai.
At Mount Sinai the Lord adopted them as his people and nation, as it is written in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Exodus, when they became his kingdom, and the Lord their God became their king, for he said, "Ye
passed upon all men. And this is all the work of covetousness, the work of lust in the flesh.
Again the children of Israel fell a lusting in the wilderness, and tempted God, so God gave them their hearts' desire; but they were not estranged from their lust, but while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God fell upon them, and he slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel, and they buried them there. And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah, which signifies the graves of lust, because there they buried the people that lusted (Num. 11 and Ps. 78: 18-31). This is referred to by Paul as follows (1 Cor. 10:5-6), “But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilder
Now these things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."
Lust therefore may be defined as the desires of the heart and of the mind for things which God hath forbidden. These desires may be restrained and controlled, but they cannot be extinguished, because they are innate and natural to the flesh, and therefore Paul said, “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live” (Rom. 8:13). And he says again (Gal. 5:17), “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Aesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye
would." Therefore we are required to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts, and so Paul said of himself, “I keep my body under, lest, while I preach to others, I myself become a cast-away."
Now, therefore, from the stringency of the terms of justification contained in the law, no man could, through that means, attain unto the recompense of the reward, but fell under condemnation through inability to come up fully to its just requirements, and therefore it is written in the hundred and forty-third Psalm (verse 3), "In thy sight shall no man living be justified.' This oracle Paul quotes to prove the above doctrine as follows, “ For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2: 16).
Again Paul says, “If there had been a law given which could have given life (eternal life), verily righteousness should have been by the law” (Gal. 13:21); and again he says (2:21), “I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Now the force of Paul's argument here is clearly seen, for if it were true, as the Jews, the scribes and the Pharisees maintained, that life and the inheritance could be obtained through the law, then there was no need for Christ at all, and consequently he died in vain; for if the inheritance could be obtained through the law, of what need was he? But the man who does not comprehend these things naturally inquires, Wherefore then serveth the law?
WHEREFORE THEN SERVETH THE LAW First, By the law is the knowledge of sin; the knowledge of sin is manifested in this way. When a man sees that through his inability by and of his own works to meet the just demands of God's holy law, so as to secure the inheritance, it teaches him this important lesson, that if he is to be saved
at all it must be through some other means than by the works of the law, for says Paul, “As many as are of the works of the law are under the
(Gal. 3: 10). Consequently Paul says (3:22), “The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”'
Again, he says in his letter to the Romans (3:9), “What then? are we (Jews) better than they (Gentiles) ? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” And we may inquire, Where had he proved this? Evidently in the first part of this very letter (1: 18-20); and it is further evident from other Scriptures which he then cites, for he adds (11-18) as it is written: First, in the fourteenth and fifty-third Psalms, " There is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way; there is none that doeth good, no not one”; second (Ps. 5:9), * Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongue they have used deceit ”; third (Ps. 140:3), “The poison of asps is under their lips”; fourth (Ps. 10:7), “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness "; fifth (Isa. 59: 7-8), “Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known"; sixth (Ps. 36:1), There is no fear of God before their eyes."
From the above quotations from different parts of the law, Paul declares as follows, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law” (Rom. 3:19). And who were under the law? No nation but the house of Israel, who entered into covenant with God, and who said, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient" (Exod. 24:7). Now these quotations which Paul makes as above from the Jewish Scriptures condemn all Jews who are under the law, and out of their own law, as Paul says, “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19).
This is wherein the law was a snare and a trap by which the scribes and Pharisees, and those who sat in the seat of Moses, were taken, for this feature of the law they discerned not, and because they were evil and had made God's law void by their traditions, and because they had resisted and killed many that God had sent unto them to warn them of their evil ways, therefore God gave them over to blindness and hardness of heart so that the very law that they trusted in became their condemnation. As Paul said (Rom. 7: 10), “The commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” Life indeed was offered to those who kept the law, but death was the penalty for failure in one single jot or title, and as no one could keep it perfectly, all without a single exception fell under its condemnation, and that proves the truth and force of the law written in the hundred and forty-third Psalm (verse 2) which said, “In thy sight shall no man living be justified."
God's object, therefore, was to include all under sin, that he might have mercy upon all, both Jew and Gentile alike. This is God's judgment, therefore says Paul, “Let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written (Ps. 51:4), That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” The Pharisees and lawyers made a liar shows, by his death, saying, “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all, while the testator liveth (Heb. 9: 16-17).
Here then is the secret why the covenant made with Abraham is now called the New Testament. It was now at Christ's death for the first brought into force, so as to be able to convey the things promised therein to the heirs. From the time that it had been made and confirmed, for more than two thousand years it had lain barren and unproductive, till Christ the testator came, and newly brought it into force by his death. The things, therefore, of this covenant we will now proceed to elucidate more fully, and first we will consider the making of the covenant.
THE MAKING OF THE COVENANT
The promises made to Abraham did not assume the definite form of a covenant until the things transpired which are written in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis. In the twelfth chapter the Lord had said unto Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Abraham obeyed the voice of the Lord, for says Paul, “ By faith Abraham, when he was calle
to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (Heb. 11:8-9). After Abraham and his wife, and Lot, his brother's son, had entered the land of Canaan, it is said (Gen. 12:7), “The Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Again, when Lot separated from Abram and removed to the plain of Jordan, the Lord said again to Abram, “Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall also thy seed be numbered. Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee (13:14-17).
These were exceeding great and precious promises which God was making to Abram. Afterwards, when he returned from the slaughter of the kings, Melchisedec, king of righteousness and king of peace met him, and brought forth bread and wine, as Christ, who is made a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec, did also to his disciples on the night in which he was betrayed, saying of the bread, “This is my body," and of the wine, " This is my blood of the new testament." Abram being a prophet would no doubt discern the same things in the bread and wine which Melchisedec brought forth for him, for Melchisedec was a priest of the most High God. And