This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ESTABLISHED O EARTH.
BY JESSE L. SEWELL
THERE are various answers to this question given by
religious teachers in this age. Some say it was
complete in Christ with all its members before the
foundation of the world ; others say it was established in
the days of Abraham ; and others tell us that it was set up
during the ministry of John the Baptist. And still others
say that it was not set up until after the ascension of
Christ, while some even tell us that it is not set up yet.
ow it is evident that all these dates can not be correct.
The one kingdom could not have been set up at so many
different times. And it is a very important matter that
we should know just when it was set up, in order that we
may know what the laws of induction into it are , for it is
not reasonable to suppose that these laws would be enacted
and made known before the kingdom was set up.
Let us therefore examine this subject carefully in the
light of the Bible, and see if we can find just when it was
established. The first Scripture we will call your atten-
tion to is the second chapter of the book of Daniel. In
this chapter we have the account, by the king of Babylon,
and interpreted by Daniel. In the dream a great
image stood before the king composed of four different
kinds of metal, and in describing the fourth or last of
these kingdoms Daniel says, ' ' In the days o^ these kings
the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom."
And it is agreed by all parties so far as known to me
that this is a prophecy or promise of the kingdom of God
spoken of in the ew Testament, and it is certain that the
kingdom spoken of here was not set up before this dream
Sermons by Jesse L. Seivell. 141
was had, and interpreted, for this prophecy unmistakably
points to the future for its fulfillment. The prophet said
in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up
a kingdom ; and near the close of the chapter Daniel says
that the God of heaven hath made known to the king
things that shall be hereafter. When then was this dream ?
If it was dreamed before the days of Abraham, it may
have reference to the days of Abraham. But Daniel him-
self was of the seed of Abraham, and lived more than a
thousand years after the death of Abraham. Therefore
this prophecy could have had no reference to any thing
done in his days.
This shows therefore that the kingdom spoken of here
was not set up before the foundation of the world nor in
the days of Abraham. And this forever settles that ques-
tion, and so we will have to look to some other period to
find the time that the kingdom was set up. This dream
was before the day of John the Baptist, and therefore
might have reference to his day ; we must therefore come
down to the account of his ministry and examine that,
and see whether it was set up in his day or not.
The first account of John's preaching is in Matt, iii : 1-2,
*' In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the
wilderness of Judea, and saying, repent ye for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand." Yes, and sure enough, he is;,
preaching about the kingdom, and says it is at hand..
What then does *' at hand" mean? if it means already
come, already here, then the kingdom was set up at the
very beginning of John's ministry. But if it only means
near, close by, then the kingdom was not set up at the
commencement of his ministry, but was only near.
To illustrate ; the oflicer says to his soldiers when
they are sorely pressed by an enemy, be of good
cheer, there is help at hand. Kow what do they under-
stand him to mean? evidently they understand him to
mean that there is help near, but not already there.
And this is evidently the meaning of the words " at hand."
This is further sustained by what the Savior said when he
required the seventy to testify to the people that " the
kingdom is come nigh unto you." Luke tenth chapter^
142 Sermons by Jesse L. Sewell.
So tlie kingdom was not set up at the beginning of John's
ministry, but was only near. *
In Matt. 4^17, we have the record of Christ's preaching,
which says, *' from that time Jesus began to preach and to
say, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The
kingdom was not set up until Christ began to preach. The
kingdom was also still future when Christ gave the first
commission to the apostles ; for he said to them, " as ye go
preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt.
X : 7. The kingdom was still future after the disciples had
fulfilled this commission. For it was after this that Christ
said, " on this rock I will build my church, and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it." This teaches clearly
that the church was not yet established; and the word
church here evidently means the same as the word king-
dom, for Christ immediately answered, "and I will give
unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," which
shows clearly that the kingdom was not then set up. And
this was after the death of John the Baptist. From this
we learn that the kingdom was not set up during
the personal ministry of John the Baptist. So we will
look to the future, still, to find the time of its establish-
After this the Savior says, "verily I say unto you, that
there be some of them standing here which shall not taste
of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come
with power." This shows that the kingdom had not yet
come, but that it would come before persons then standing
around him would die. Mark ix ; 1. And again the Savior
said, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the
kingdom of God shall come." Luke xxviii: 18. This Avas
the night in which he was betrayed, and the kingdom is
not yet come. After he was crucified, and was dead on
the cross, "Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor,
which also waited for the kingdom of God, came and went
in boldly and begged the body of Jesus." Mark xv: 43.
This was after the death of the Savior, and his disciples
were still waiting for the kingdom to come, for "Joseph
was Jesus' disciple." Matt, xxvii: 57. And again after
he rose from the dead, and just before he ascended to
Sermons by Jesse L. Sewell. 143
heaven, his disciples asked him, saying, ''Lord, wilt thou
at this tinie restore again the kingdom to Israel ? " Acts
i : 6. Immediately after this conversation, we read of his
ascension to heaven, and his disciples' return to Jerusa-
lem where he had commanded them to tarry until they
should be endued with power from on high. Luke
ow the Savior is gone to heaven, and the kingdom is
not yet set up. Well, this agrees with his teaching. For
he taught that he must go away in order to receive his
kingdom. Luke xix: 12-19. Since Christ is gone to
heaven, how are we to ascertain just when the kingdom
was set up. Are all things now ready for it? There are
several things that are absolutely necessary in order for a
kingdom to begin : first there must be a king vested with
the proper authority to reign. And in order to have that
authority, he must conquer all opposing powers. There
must be subjects that have covenanted for him to reign over
them. Were all these things ready at that time ? Let us
see. We find from the history of the kingdoms of this
world that no kingdom ever permitted a new one to be es-
tablished within its own territory until its armies were first
subdued. Was there an older kingdom or power that op-
posed the establishment of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and
if so, had he now conquered it? There ivas such a power,
and he had now conquered it, but what was that power?
It was the power of the devil. For the devil is spoken of
as the prince of this world. Johnxii: 31. " The prince
of this world shall be cast out. xiv : 30. For the prince
of this world cometh and hath nothing in me, xvi : 11,
Because the prince of this world is judged." Satan is rep-
resented as having [n, kingdom in Matt, xii; 26, "and if
Satan cast out Satan he is divided against himself. How
then shall this kingdom stand ? " Satan said that all the
kingdoms of this world had been delivered to him, Luke
iv: 5, and offered them all to the Savior, if he would
worship him. We see then that Satan has a kingdom and
that it embraces all the kingdoms of this world, and with
all this power he opposed the Savior.
When Christ was baptized and God had said, **This is
144 Sermons by Jesse L. Seivell.
my beloved Son in whom I am well jDleased," all the fears
of Satan were at once aroused, and he made his first attack
on the Savior by temptation, by which he had succeeded in
leading our first parents away from God. But failing in
that, he next caUed to his aid, the rulers of the Jews, who
had departed from the law of God, and had become the
children of the devil. For Christ said to them, ''ye are
of your father, the devil; and his work will ye do." John
viii : 44. So we find them opposing and prosecuting him
in all his labors of love during his life on earth ; and finally
they arrested him, and tried him before their court, and
condemned him. But their power had been so far limited
by the Eomans, that they could not put him to death.
And so he was carried before the Eoman court, and cdh-
demned there to be crucified. And here the great battle
between the prince of peace and the prince of darkness
began in earnest. This was the greatest battle ever fought
on this earth ; a battle that involved the destiny of the
world for vast eternity. If the 'prince of peace conquers,
the human race has a chance of salvation from sin, salva-
tion from the grave, and everlasting life and happiness.
But if Satan conquers, the human race is lost forever.
Thus the battle begins : Satan arrays the iron kingdom,
and all the powers of darkness against the prince of peace.
But the prince of peace was abandoned on this occasion by
all on earth and in heaven, and left to battle against this
fearful host alone.
In the temptation when Satan left him, angels came and
ministered unto him. When he was struggling under that
heavy weight of grief and sorroAv in the garden of Gethsem-
ane, angels appeared unto him strengthening him. But here
he is left alone. But he maintained the conflict against
this fearful host until it darkened the sun, shook the earth,
rent the rocks, opened the graves and rent the vail of the
temple in twain. But at last, being weakened by wounds
and crushed by pain, and grief, he cried out with a loud
voice, it is finished, and gave up the ghost.
Satan seems to have gained the victory, and the powers
of darkness rejoice and his disciples, disappointed, and aU
Sermons by Jesse L. Seiuell. 145
their hopes gone, retire from the scene in grief and sorrow.
But the end is not yet, Satan up to this time had the
power over death. Heb. ii : 14, And he being deter-
mined to hold the prince of peace under his power, had
the grave sealed, and a watch set. But on the third morn-
ing an angel descended, at whose coming the earth quaked,
and at whose presence the keepers quaked, and became as
dead men. The Angel broke the seal, rolled the stone
away, the Savior rose from the dead a triumphant con-
queror over death, hades and the grave. Here the prince
of peace triumphed ; and the victory was complete when
he ascended up on high, and led captivity captive. Thus
the prince of peace had conquered all his enemies, and was
now ready to take his seat on the throne as king. But
were there any subjects that were willing that he should
reign over them ? Yes, there were his chosen ambassadors,
waiting in Jerusalem in obedience to his command to re-
ceive power from on high. And there were many others
in Jerusalem that were his disciples and ready to submit to
him as their king.
Therefore when he ascended to heaven everything was
ready for his kingdom to begin. And he being crowned
king, sent down the Holy Spirit U2ion his apostles, endued
them with power from on high, and thus qualified them to
fulfill the commission he had given them. And having
received the keys of the kingdom according to his prom-
ise, they opened the kingdom by making known the laws
of induction into it, and about three thousand persons
complied with the laws of induction and entered into the
kingdom on that very day.
After this, we have no mention of the kingdom as being
future. But it is spoken of as something that was pres-
ent, and that the. people were continually entering into it.
And this day of Pentecost is afterwards referred to as the
beginning. Acts xi: 15.
I think that I have now clearly shown that the kingdom
or church of God began as a fully organized body or
church on the day of Pentecost, and that it was not fully
organized before that day. But I am aware that there
146 Sermo)is by Jesse L. SeiveU.
are many that believe that there are passages that prove
that it was set up in the days of John the Baptist, and as
it is right to do justice to all, we will examine these pas-
sages. Luke xvi: 15. "The law and the prophets were
until John ; since that time the kingdom of God is preached,
and every man presseth into it." Matt, xi: 12, "And
from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom
suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matt,
xviii : 17, " And if he neglect to hear them, tell it to the
ow, these passages and others of a similar character
are relied on to prove that the kingdom or church was es-
tablished in the days of John the Baptist. They ask, how
could persons press into the kingdom if it did not exist ?
And then how could the violent take it by force, if it was
not yet set up? Or how could they tell it to the church,
if there was no church ? ow we admit that there is some
weight in these arguments, Avhen these passages are taken
by themselves, without taking into consideration all that
is taught on this subject. But we should take into con-
sideration that in establishing all new kingdoms or govern-
ments, there is always first a kind of provisional or pre-
paratory department established, before there is a perma-
nent kingdom or government set up. And it was just so
in this case. John's work was a preparatory work, and
not a permanent work, and came to an end when the way
of the Lord was prejDared. For we read, Matt, iii; 3, in
speaking of John the Baptist, " For this he that was
spoken of by the prophet Esaias saying, the voice of one
crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord,
make his way straight. xVnd again Luke i : 16, " Aud
thou child shalt be called the prophet of the highest; for
thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his
ways, to give knowledge of salvation unto his people for
the remission of their sins."
And this is precisely the work John did. He preached
the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and
the people baptized by him were prepared for the Lord,
and this constituted the preparatory department of the
Sermons by Jesse L. SeweU. 147
kingdom. But it did not become a permanent kingdom
until the king was crowned in heaven, and the apostles
were endued with power from on high. And it was into
this preparatory department that the people were pressing ;
it was this preparatory department that the violent were
taken by force, and not the permanent kingdom. Hence
we read of two of his disciples asking that they might sit
one on his right hand and the other on the left in his
kingdom. Mark x: 37. Here is the pressing into it.
And again the people were about to take him by force, to
make him king. John vii : 15. Here are the violent tak-
ing it by force. And when Christ in the eighteenth of
Mathew says tell it to the church, he was e^^delltly speak-
ing prospectively, and teaching what they should do
when the church was established. For the church was
not established until Christ a^scended to heaven and
was there made head over all thiuirs to the church.
Eph. i : 22.
There is another class of religious teachers that are
teaching the people that the kingdom is not yet set up ;
that Christ has not yet been made king, and that he has
no kingdom yet. And I am satisfied that this is an error,
and calculated to deceive the people. I therefore propose
to examine it in the light of the Bible. And first, has
Christ been made king. ow to the law and to the testi-
mony. Peter says, " Let all the house of Israel know as-
suredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye
have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And again Peter
says, "He is on the right hand of God, angels and au-
thorities and powei-s being made subject unto him." 1 Pe-
ter iii : 2. Paul says, "God set him on his own right
hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and
power, and might, and dominion and every name that is
named not only in this world, but also in that which is to
come, and hath put all things under his feet." "We say
without fear of successful contradiction that these passages
clearly teach that Christ is now king. But has he a king-
dom ? Paul says of God, "who hath delivered us from
the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the
kingdom of his dear Sou."
148 Sennons by Jesse L. SeweU.
This shows that the Son of God has a kingdom, and
that Paul and the Colossians were in it. And again "I
John who also am your brother and companion in tribula-
tion and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ."
This passage shows clearly that he had a kingdom and
that John and the seven churches were in it. Again "for
he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet ;
the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." 1 Cor.
XV : 25-6. This shows that he was reigning when this
was written, and that he must reign until the resurrection ;
for the last enemy, which is death, will not be destroyed
till the resurrection. This forever settles the ques-
ow dear reader, we have shown that Christ the great
prince, has conquered the powers of darkness and has es-
tablished his kingdom on earth. Are you in the kingdom,
and are you a loyal subject of the king? If so, you oc-
cupy the only absolutely safe ground in this world. Your
king has all power in heaven and on earth, and is there-
fore able to protect you from the strongest enemy that can
assault you. And if you continue faithful to him, he will
ultimately bring you into his everlastiug kingdom of glory.
But if you are not in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, you are
still under the power of darkness. For though Christ has
conquered Satan, he has not yet destroyed his kingdom ;
but permits him still to reign over all that are willing to re-
main in his kingdom, and all who refuse to come into the
kingdom of God's dear Son.
ow dear reader, as long as you remain in the kingdom
of Satan, you stand on dangerous ground, ''you are
without hope and withou God in the world." You are ex-
posed to the wrath of God, and everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his
power. We beseech you therefore to come out of the king-
dom of Satan. For Satan has no power to forcibly de-
tain you there ; he is conquered ; you can come out, if
you will, and your salvation depends upon your coming
out. Let me say to you that the Lord will not force you
to come out. He has made it possible for you to come
out, and has invited you, and has placed motives high
as heaven and vast as eternity, before you to influ-
ence you to come. He has taught you how to come ; he
requires you to believe on him with all your heart, and
repent of all your sins, and confess him with the mouth
before men, and to be baptized in his name. This will
bring you into the kingdom of God's dear Son, where you
will find redemption through his blood, even the forgive-
ness of sins.
1. 68 FREE BOOKS
2. ALL WRITIGS
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.