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THE nations of antiquity always boasted of their golden eras in the dim distant past. This custom seemed to be an effort to clothe themselves with a halo of glory. Why did they do this? This question cannot be answered absolutely. It is altogether possible that these myths were the crystallization of the tradition of Paradise in the Garden of Eden, distorted and magnified. This explanation may be correct. It is easy to see how, with the simple story of man's residence there, men could, during the passing of the centuries, incorporate with the original primitive account new elements which would magnify them and crown their past with such glorious recollections. There was however a vast chasm separating those so-called halcyon days of the dim distant past from their historic times-a gulf that could not be bridged by facts.

In violent contrast with this method of referring to the past, the prophets of Israel traced their history with the greatest reserve and delineated the path over which the nation had trodden with the greatest of simplicity and without any adornment. No people ever traced their pre-national days to a period of slavery and bondage; nevertheless the prophets of God thus represented Israel's origin and set forth the facts in such a clear, unpretentious, and unassuming manner that they have the ring of sincerity and truth. Their writers with faithfulness recounted the national history. They constantly interpreted the various experiences through which the race had passed as having been brought upon them by the Lord. They have given us the true philosophy of history. No person nor nation need fear the path which the Lord maps out, for it is in Him that we live and move and have our continual being.

Especially the later prophets looked forward and spoke of Israel's world-wide dispersion. In doing this they were simply repeating what Moses stated in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. They were very careful to show us that this period of sojourn among the nations is to terminate, as was seen in the last chapter, with a period of distress greater than has ever visited this earth, and known as the time of Jacob's trouble. With great clearness they showed that the faithful remnant of Israel will be protected during this crisis and will survive the period.

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After Israel has been purged of all wickedness, and the sinners of the nations have been destroyed from the earth, there will be, according to all the prophets and the psalmists, the world's golden age, when the glory of God shall encircle the earth as the waters cover the sea. Many and most beautiful are the descriptions of this wonderful era found in the writings of the prophets. On accountbf limited space I shall be able to call attention to only three of them.


A Psalm of Solomon

1 Give the king thy judgments, 0 God, And thy righteousness unto the king's son. 2 He will judge thy people with righteousness, And thy poor with justice. 3 The mountains shal1 bring peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness. 4 He will judge the poor of the people, He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. S They shall fear thee while the sun endureth, And so long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 He will come down like rain upon the mown grass, As showers that water the earth. 7 In his days shall the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace...till the moon be no more. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River unto the ends of the earth. 9 They that dwell in the wilderness shal1 bow before him; And his enemies shall lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute: The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. 11 Yea, al1kings shal1 fall down before him: All nations shall serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy when he crieth, And the poor, that hath no helper. 13 He will have pity on the poor and needy, And the souls of the needy he will save, 14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence; And precious will their blood be in his sight: 15 And they shall live; and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: And men shall pray for him continually; They shall bless him all the day long. 16 There shall be abundance of grain in the earth upon the top of the mountains; The fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon; And they of the cityshal1 flourish like grass of the earth. 17 His name shall endure for ever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun: And men shall be blessed in him; Al1 nations shall call him happy.

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Solomon was the inspired writer of this hymn. It breathes the spirit which is found in his petition recorded in I Kings 3: 4-5. He began his career very humbly, trusting in God who always answers the petition coming from a contrite spirit. He fully intended, as is indicated in the first five verses of this Psalm, to administer a reign of righteousness and justice. The Spirit of God enabled him to see a vision of the kingdom of Messiah in the distant future (vss. 16, 17). The transition from the scenes of his own personal reign to that of Messiah is made in verse 5, which prepares the reader's mind for the prediction found in verse 6 relative to His descent from heaven to the earth, appearing to establish His reign of righteousness. His advent is compared to the falling of the rain upon the mown grass. This prediction evidently refers to King Messiah's second coming. In the succeeding verses we see that Messiah's reign will extend from the River to the end of the earth and from sea to sea. All nations will be obedient to Him.. The curse at that time will be lifted, the earth will bring forth its increase, and all men will bless themselves in the name of the God of Israel.


"1 And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel arid might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears; 4 but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide 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. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. "6 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatting together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear sh;il1 feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be ful1 of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. "10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting place shall be glorious. "11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, that shall remain, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from

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Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and they that vex Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 14 And they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines on the west; together shall they despoil the children of the east: they shall put forth their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. 15 And Jehovah will utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his scorching wind will he wave his hand over the River, and will smite it into seven streams, and cause men to march over dryshod. 16 And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, that shall remain, from Assyria; like as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."
     "I And in that day thou shalt say, I will give thanks unto thee, 0 Jehovah; for though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and win not be afraid: for Jehovah, even Jehovah, is my strength and song; and he is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day shall ye say, Give thanks unto Jehovah, can upon his name, declare his doings among the peoples, make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing unto Jehovah; for he hath done excellent things: let this be known in an the earth. 6 Cry aloud and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel."

In chapter 10 the Lord compared both the Assyrian nation and Israel to forests of trees which are hewn down by the Lord Himself. According to 11:1, the tree of Jesse is felled at one stroke. In the distant future, from the prophet's time, as we have already seen, there is to come out of the root of Jesse a twig (Messiah) who will bear fruit, and who will exercise authority over the entire world. Verse 2 speaks of His first appearance. Between verses 2 and 3, the period separating the two advents is passed over in silence. But in verses 3-5 a clear statement is made with reference to the righteousness with which He, upon His second advent, will judge the world and champion the cause of the meek and downtrodden who put their trust in Him. In the following paragraph, verses 6-9, we learn that the curse will be lifted, and the creation will be delivered from the bondage under which it has groaned since the fall. Prior to the sin of Adam there was no enmity among the animals. When the curse fell upon the earth, their nature was changed and enmity arose, continuing from that day to the present time. When however Messiah returns, He will lift this curse and liberate all creation. A picture similar to this one is found in Hosea 2:14-23. A little glimpse of Jerusalem where Messiah will be enthroned in glory as the King of the earth is found in 11:10. He also gave us a very glowing account of it in chapter 4:2-6. In the following

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verses, 11-16, we see the regathering of Israel and the commercial and social relationship restored between her and Assyria on the northeast and Egypt on the south. Men of that time will learn war no more. The song of triumph and of praise, which will be upon the lips of everyone throughout the whole. world at that time, is given in chapter 12. Glorious will be those days.

II.                   THE KINGDOM OF GOD ACCORDING T0 ISAIAH 65:13-25

"13 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shalt drink, but ye shalt be thirsty; behold, my servants shalt rejoice, but ye shalt be put to shame; 14 behold, my servants shalt sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit. 15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; and the Lord Jehovah wi1t slay thee; and he will can his servants by another name: 16 so that he who blesseth himself in the earth shalt bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.     "17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I wi1t rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shalt be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shalt plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shalt not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shalt be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them. 24 And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I wi1t answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the Iamb shall feed together, and the lion shalt eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shalt not hurt nor destroy in an my holy mountain, saith Jehovah." In Isaiah 65: 8-12 we find an account of the tribulation period which will purge out all the wicked from Israel. In the next two verses is a promise that God will protect the faithful remnant and supply their needs during that period, but will allow the unfaithful to suffer as punishment for their sins. At the end of the tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble, a new social and political order will be introduced (vss. 15-16). Things that characterize the present age will be forgotten and will never come into mind, because there will be nothing to suggest conditions as they now exist. The reason that there will be no reminders of the present age is the fact that at the beginning of the Kingdom Age, God will

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create the heavens above and the earth below anew. This is seen in verse 17. The earth will be destroyed and wrecked by the far reaching judgments of the tribulation, and, in order that there may be a kingdom of glory, God must remodel and reshape both the heavens above and earth beneath. To do it, He must create new materials and set up a different order. At that time Jerusalem will be created anew and will be the joy of the whole earth. (Compare Isaiah 2:1-4.) "I The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. "2 And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shalt be established on the top of the mountains, and shalt be exalted above the hills; and all nations shalt flow unto it. 3 And many peoples shalt go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion
shalt go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 4 And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shalt not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Beginning with verse 20 of Isaiah 65 and running to the close of this prediction, we see a clear, detailed, and, at the same time, a literal description of conditions as they will obtain in this great kingdom of God, which is to be established upon the earth. Indeed earth's golden era is yet in the future.

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