Last Updated on :Thursday, November 20, 2014










Now, beloved reader, "Despisest thou the riches of this goodness of God"? Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the good things of His mercy we have brought up herein, and say if they are not of peerless import. Are not endless life and good days, boundless riches, honour, and eternal glory in a kingdom of God's establishment upon the earth, more to be desired than all the world can give you now? Can you be of sane mind and despise all these riches of goodness? Can you be rational and self-possessed? But if you despise them not, but "believe on God", that is, be fully persuaded that what He has promised He is able to perform, and will do it, will you not likewise be willing to make any sacrifice to obtain them? If you were till a certain time devoted to the world and the enjoyment of the flesh, but came afterwards to believe in these promises with an honest and good heart, or as men say, "sincerely", would not your views of things present and future have undergone a radical change? Would you not cease to set your affections on earthly things; would not your affection rather be transferred to the things contained in that "mercy kept for thousands"? (Ex. 34:7) Yea, verily. And would you not have been led to this change of views, affection, and will by the goodness of God exhibited in the testimony of His holy prophets? Even so and you would then be a practical illustration of the Bible sentiment that "it is the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance". (Rom. 2:4)

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God's goodness leads to repentance. It leads believers to place themselves in such a relation to the truth that "repentance unto life" may be "granted unto them" (Acts 1:18). The goodness of God is like to choice and goodly wares exhibited in a bazaar for sale. Their goodliness attracts the attention of passengers, and leads them to desire to possess them. The merchant grants their desire on certain conditions. They accept the terms, and receive the right of property in them; and he promises to put them in possession of them at an appointed time. The goodness of God which leads to repentance is exhibited in the gospel of the kingdom, and nowhere else; for this gospel is the grand theme of the word of God contained in the scriptures, old and new: and because it is displayed in that royal proclamation, therefore John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles before their Lord's crucifixion, went through the towns and cities, and country parts of Judea, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, Repent; for the Majesty of the heavens is arrived" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17,23; Mark I:14, 15; Luke 4:18,43; 9:2,6). The kingdom and arrival of its king were preached to lead those who believed it to repentance. The goodness of God set forth in the doctrine of the kingdom was preached also after the Lord's resurrection, to lead men to repentance, that they might be made meet for its inheritance; but the motive hereto, founded on the personal presence of the king, was not repeated. It could not be; for "the Majesty of the heavens" had departed into a far country (Luke 19:11,12). The apostles no longer said: "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"; but, "Repent: because God hath appointed a day in which he will rule the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance to all in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:30,31) - - in other words, "Repent; because the Majesty of the heavens, who hath departed, will come again to rule the world in righteousness". This is now the glad tidings of the kingdom for repentance unto life.

That "the gospel" and "the goodness of God" are phrases importing the same things, is clear from the use of them by Paul. He says: "the Jews became the enemies to the gospel for the sake of the Gentiles". (Rom. 11:28) It was no good will to the Gentiles on their part, that they refused to believe; but their refusal was the result of hardness of heart: therefore, as a punishment God blinded and hardened them still more, so that, instead of filling His house or kingdom with believers who were "Jews by nature", (Gal. 2:15) determined to make up the complement of the redeemed by believers separated from "sinners of the Gentiles", (Gal. 2:15) who should become Jews by adoption, through faith in His goodness. Judah, though still beloved for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's sake, fell from gospel favour through want of faith; while faithful Gentiles were grafted into the stock of Israel's olive, and recognized as Israelites in every respect save the accident of birth. This was just severity towards Judah; but gracious goodness towards Gentiles. (Rom. 11)

Thus it is apparent that the principle according to which the position of Judah and the Gentiles relative to Jehovah [Yahweh] and His mercy was changed, was that of faith. To continue in the faith of the gospel was to continue in the goodness of God. Judah did not continue in that goodness because the Jews did not continue to believe it. They were therefore "cut off". (Rom. 11:22) The offer was to be made to them no more. Judah would indeed be grafted in again to the national olive: that is, reorganized with the rest of the tribes as a nation and commonwealth, or kingdom, in their own land, under the sovereignty of "Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews"; (John 19:19) but those of them contemporary with the national blindness should have no share in "the joy" of their king -- in those good things offered to individuals in the gospel of the kingdom. This gospel announces that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom and dominion upon earth, under whose righteous administration Israel and the nations will be blessed with all temporal and spiritual blessings for a thousand years; such as, that there shall be war no more; that oppression and injustice shall cease; that the earth shall give her increase; that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord's glory; that the poor shall be comforted and protected; that there shall be but one religion, and so forth -- these are gospel blessings for the world, when by conquest it is brought into subjection to Israel's king; but the gospel promises the glory, honour, majesty, and riches of the kingdom and dominion only to those persons who, before the manifestation of them, while they are yet a matter of faith, and not of sight, believe the promised goodness of it, and continue in it.

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To Gentile people the apostle saith; "If ye continue not in the goodness of God, ye also shall be cut of". (Rom. 11:22) "In the same place, he saith: "Thou, O Gentile, standest by faith". (Rom. 11:20,21) That is, so long as the Gentiles continue to believe the gospel of the kingdom, there shall be scope for repentance unto life, that they may inherit the kingdom; but when they become faithless of the gospel, as Judah was before them, the door of mercy shall with like destructive violence be closed against them. "Be not high-minded, but fear", saith Paul; "for if God spared not the natural branches of the olive tree, beware lest he also spare not thee" (Rom. 11:20,21) In the apostle's day there was a disposition in the Gentile mind to high-mindedness, and to boast against Judah, who had stumbled at the stone of stumbling and rock of offence. They do not seem to have entertained the idea of the re-engraftment of the broken-off branches, but concluded that God had cast Israel away as a people for whom He had no further use or affection. This was not the general idea; but some seem to have held it, or the apostle would not have contradicted the supposition. "God forbid", says he, "that such a thing should be; he hath not cast away his people, Israel, whom he knew before he received the Gentiles into favour". (Rom. 11:1- 2,11) But, though the apostle so promptly repudiated the notion, he did not succeed in repressing it. That Israel was finally rejected and cast away, took strong hold of the Gentile professors of Christianity, who in after times thought they were doing God service in persecuting the Jews. Even at the present day, after a lapse of eighteen centuries, the receiving of Israel into favour again is regarded as fabulous by "Christian professors". Being "wise in their own conceits", (Rom. 11:25) they boast themselves against the Jews, and denounce as "carnal Judaizers" those who, with Paul, affirm that "God hath not cast away his people, Israel, whom he foreknew". (Rom. 11:2) Hear what Jehovah (Yahweh) saith of Israel: "Thus saith the Lord, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night; who divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar -- the Lord of hosts is his name". "If those ordinances depart from before me", saith the Lord, "then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever." Mark the "if", which is still further emphasized in the next verse, saying "If the heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done", saith the Lord (Jer. 31:35-37). This is equivalent to saying, Israel shall never cease from being a nation before Me though they have done grievously in My sight; for the hypotheses upon which their casting away is predicated are absolute impossibilities. It is as impossible for their national existence to cease for ever, as it is for feeble-minded man to measure heaven, or to search out the centre of the earth.

We have said that the non-restoration of Israel was not the general idea entertained by Gentile believers in the apostle's day. To say that it was, would be to affirm that they did not generally believe the gospel; for there can be no kingdom without the restoration of the Jews. There are those in our day who deny their restoration. This is proof-positive that they do not understand the gospel, which is the glad tidings of the restoration of the kingdom again to Israel, and the blessedness of all nations through their government; for, we repeat it, "Salvation is of the Jews". (John 4:22)

The spiritual condition of the Gentiles at the present crisis in all countries of "Christendom" is the exact counterpart of Judah's at the period of the dissolution of their commonwealth. The Jews were without faith, and so are also the Gentiles of today. But thou wilt perhaps say, 0 reader, how can that be? Are there not thousands upon thousands of holy men engaged in preaching Christ in every land; and are not they sustained by millions of faithful men, who contribute immense sums for the propagation of the Christian faith? We admit there are multitudes of preachers, and millions of sincere professors of religious faiths they call Christian; but where are the preachers and believers of the gospel of the kingdom; and rarer still, where are the believers thereof, who obey it? "Faith", such as it is, abounds, but "THE Faith" is known to very few, and preached by still fewer. The Jews believed the gospel of the kingdom, but they refused to obey it in the name of Jesus as king of Israel. They stumbled at him. They did not believe in him as Jehovah's [Yahweh's] Anointed One; and therefore rejected "the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:19) in his name. It is so likewise with the Gentiles at this day. They preach a character they call Jesus, whom Paul did not preach. Compare the popular notions of Jesus Christ with the Christ delineated in the old and new scriptures, and you will be astonished, O reader, at the want of congruity between them! The Gentiles stumble at the character called Christ in the Bible, even as the Jews did at Jesus. These repudiated a suffering Messiah; the Gentiles reject a Christ who shall subdue the nations by the sword, replant Israel's", olive in its native soil, restore the kingdom and throne of his father, David, sit upon it for a thousand years, and as sole monarch of the world rule all nations as Jehovah's [Yahweh's] vicegerent . upon the earth. The Bible is at variance with them both, for it not only reveals a Christ who should be made perfect through sufferings, but one that should do all these things besides.

We repeat it with profound conviction, that the gospel is not preached, it is not believed, nor is it obeyed by the religionists of our day. The exceptions to this statement are so few that they do not affect the generality of its application. If, as in the days of Elijah, there be seven thousand in Christendom who believe the truth and have obeyed it, our statement is not at all invalidated thereby. They who believe in a gospel of kingdoms beyond the skies to be possessed with a Jesus who is to return to earth only to destroy it, believe a gospel that has no place in the Bible. How high minded and wise are professors in this day in their own conceit! They plume themselves in their christianity and spiritual intelligence, saying "they are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; but know not that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17) So Egyptian is the darkness which beclouds their minds that they discern not the awful crisis which is advancing upon them with gigantic strides. They are sporting themselves with their own deceiving, while destruction is at the door. Faithless of the gospel, highminded, and wise in their own conceit! This is itself a great sign of the times. By faith we stand; by unbelief we fall. What then remains? Nothing more, but that the Gentiles be cut off, and the process of their engraftment be terminated. Short will be the work when it is once fairly under weigh. The cutting off accomplished, the gathering in of Israel's tribes will then proceed, and shall not be intermitted until "all Israel shall be saved". (Rom. 11:26) Hear, in conclusion, what Jehovah (Yahweh) saith by the hand of Moses concerning this time of trouble coming upon the world: "The day of the calamity of Israel's foes is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me. I kill, and I make whole; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever, If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold of judgment, I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." (Deut. 32:35-42,43) When this shall be perfected, then "Rejoice, 0 ye nations, with his people; for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people". (Deut. 32:35-42,43)


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