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Doctrinal Series Studies

The Kingdom in History and Prophecy


Lewis Sperry Chafer

Bible Teacher

Author of "Satan," "True Evangelism," "He that is Spiritual," "Salvation," etc.

Copyright © 1915

~ out-of-print and in the public domain ~



THE Bible teaches that GOD will ultimately triumph over all sin and rebellion in the earth. This is stated in many passages; notably I Corinthians 15:24-28:

"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

Thus does the divine record predict the restoration of this universe to its primal blessedness under the unchallenged authority of GOD, when the Son shall have put down all authority and banished every foe. This purpose, as recorded in the Bible, appears in various stages, or aspects, all leading with the certainty of the infinite to the glorious consummation.

The reestablishment of the authority of GOD is first mentioned in Genesis 3:15, where it is stated that the Seed of the woman should bruise the head of Satan, the file leader of all the permitted present confusion in the government of GOD. In this mighty undertaking, too, Satan must bruise his heel. There are successive methods and various degrees of divine government in the earth following this first reference in Genesis and leading up to the eternal Kingdom covenant made with David. In the Davidic Covenant the final consummation is again foreseen in that this covenant is unlimited in respect to time. It is the detail and duration of this covenant that gives it preeminent value as the logical starting-point for all Kingdom study in the Scriptures.

The portion of the Davidic Covenant which has to do with eternal rule and government is as follows:

"Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his Kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart a way from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever" (II Samuel 7:1117).

This covenant, as herein stated, secures an established kingly order which will continue for ever.

The element of perpetuity in this kingly rule was not conditioned in the Lord's oath by sin in the Davidic house. Chastisement was provided in ease of disobedience,- chastisement which fell upon the nation in the captivities and the dispersion,- but the eternal purpose of the covenant is not abrogated: "Thy throne shall be established for ever."

Of this eternal covenant and the one condition of chastisement it is written in Psalm 89:20-37:

"I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven."

The certainty of this covenant is again stated in Jeremiah 33:20, 21:

"Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne."

Peter, by the Spirit, in his Pentecostal sermon reveals also that it was the eternal element in this covenant, to which the Lord had sworn with an oath, that led David to foresee the Lord always before his face and to demand in his faith, even the resurrection of CHRIST, that the oath of his GOD should not fail.

Thus Peter spoke of David:

"For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, Thou hast made known to me the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" (Acts 2:25-31).

So, yet again, when the reign of peace through David's Greater Son is pictured to the House of .Jacob, over whom he is to rule, the same eternal covenant is mentioned with a chastisement: "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment," which moment, however, has already extended at least twenty-four centuries; but what is this compared with that which follows: "But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer" (Isaiah 54:8)?

The history of the kings from David on, with the sin of the nation, is too familiar to need description.

Their complete apostasy ended in chastisement in which they were taken off from the land and scattered among the nations and there was a cessation of the line of kings. These exact events Moses had prophesied a full thousand years before. This prophecy forms a part of the farewell address of Moses to the nation for whom he had wrought, and with whom, because of the judgments of the Lord, he could not enter the land. Moses foresaw the national apostasy, the chastisement by exile, and on beyond a period already extended 3,500 years, to that nation's blessings which are yet future, when their chastisement shall have ended and they are regathered in to their own land under the unchanging covenant of the Lord.

These prophecies are recorded in Deuteronomy 26:1 to 30:20. Only a portion is here given:

"And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say. Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you" (Deuteronomy 28:63-68).

"And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and all them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every good work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul" (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).

There is no more important Scripture relating to Israel than this, and every word of this prophecy covering the time to the present hour has been literally fulfilled. Shall it not be so to the end? Shall they not be regathered as actually as they have been scattered? And that in relation to, and by virtue of, a "return," or second coming (30:8) of the divine Person to the earth?

Is there any other explanation of the miraculous preservation of that nation than that the Lord's oath cannot be broken?

 ~ end of chapter 2 ~


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