To WHAT throne are we exhorted to come to find mercy?
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the thro'ne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16.
NOTE.—It would be useless to come before any throne for a favor if that throne had no occupant. The throne of grace, therefore, supposes the King of grace. If there is a King, He must have subjects, and laws to govern those subjects. Then, while in this state, and receiving grace, or favor, from God, one must be in the kingdom of grace.
KINGDOM OF GLORY FUTURE
To what other kingdom do the Scriptures call our attention, and when is it to be set up?
"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." Matthew 25:31.
NOTE.—The kingdom of glory is to be established at the second coming of Christ. Christ said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36.
How did Jesus seek to correct the false idea of the disciples and the Jews that He was then to set up His kingdom of glory?
"He added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jeru- salem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." Luke 19:11.
In this parable what did Jesus teach?
"A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." Verse 12.
Who is the nobleman?
"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." John 14:2, 3.
NOTE.—The nobleman is Christ Jesus. When He ascended to His Father He was seated upon His Father's throne, which, while probation lingers, is the throne of grace. Soon He is to receive His kingdom of glory. He has not yet returned, but when He comes it will be to claim His subjects, and to take them to be with Him where He is. The kingdom of glory will be set up at the second coming of Christ, but not on this earth until the close of the one thousand years. (See Revelation 20:6; 15:2, 3, and reading on "The Millen- nium," page 349.)
KINGDOM OF GRACE PRESENT
In what words did Jesus make it clear that the only kingdom God now has on the earth is the kingdom of grace?
"When He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them 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.
NOTE.—Christ reigns only over willing subjects. His reign now is wholly spiritual. Not until His second coming will He set up His kingdom of glory
. By what are men saved from sin?
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8. (See Romans 6:23.)
NOTE.—It follows, then, that only through the grace, or favor, of God can those be saved who have been sinners. There is no other way. Abraham, Moses, and David, as well as Peter, Paul, and John, were saved by grace. These all, therefore, were in the kingdom of grace, which must have been in existence as early as there was a lost man who needed grace. When Christ sent out His disciples, what did He tell them to preach? "He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." Luke 9:2.
In carrying out their commission what did they preach?
"They departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where." Verse 6.
NOTE.—Theirs was not a gospel of compulsion, but of persuasion; not a gospel of the sword, but of the love of God; not a political gospel, but the gospel of the Gift of God. In the parable of the wheat and tares what does the good seed represent? The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." Matthew 13:38.
Who sowed the tares in the kingdom?
"The enemy that sowed them is the devil." Verse 39.
NOTE.—Satan first sowed the tares of sin in Eden. Hence the kingdom of God was in existence at that time. The earth was a part of God's kingdom, and was designed to be under His rule forever.
To whom did God intrust His kingdom on this earth?
"God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Genesis 1:26.
What did man do with this trust?
"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Romans 5:12, 19.
NOTE.—Man fell, and the world became the abode of sin. Satan will con- tinue his reign until sin is blotted out. Whoever would become a subject of God's kingdom must now separate from the kingdom that has been usurped by Satan. The sinner must yield obedience to God's laws. Those who do this enter into an arrangement made by God, by which they become His subjects, and renounce the service of Satan. They are then in God's kingdom, His kingdom of grace, because they are the subjects of God's favor, or grace.
THE THRONE OF GLORY
What did God promise to David, king of Israel?
"Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations." Psalms 89:4.
Through whom was the throne of David to be perpetuated?
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the govern- ment shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David." Isaiah 9:6, 7.
Who is this seed of David, the heir to his throne?
"Thou shalt . . . 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 1:31, 32.
What did God, through the prophet, say concerning Israel?
"Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, over- turn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him." Ezekiel 21:25-27.
NOTE.—This threefold overturning was accomplished in the successive overthrow of the Babylonian, the Persian, and the Greek empires. The Jews were under the rule of each of these dynasties. The last overturning may be identified generally with the Roman succession to the territories of the Mace- donian empires, but the famous league between the Romans and the Jews, made in 161 B.c., brought the latter people more particularly under the pro- tectorate of that iron power, and in 63 B.c. Pompey annexed Judea as part of a province. With the establishment of Christ's church the throne of David, the kingdom of Israel, was to be no more till He should come to whom it belongs. While on earth Jesus did not take the throne.
Did He, upon ascending to heaven, take His throne, or did He occupy His Fathei's throne with Him?
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." Revelation 3:21. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." Psalms 110:1.
What is He doing at the Father's right hand?
"The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Psalms 110:4. (See Hebrews 10 :12, 13.
When His priestly work is finished, what will Christ receive?
"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." Daniel 7:13, 14.
When He comes in the clouds of glory, on whose throne will He sit?
"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." Matthew 25:31. (See Revelation 11:15.)
What will He then say to the redeemed?
"Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:34.