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by Dr. John Thomas
Promises fulfilled already; or, things concerning Jesus.
The doctrinal import of the fulfilled promises; or, things concerning his Name.
A man might believe all the promises and the doctrinal import, but if he did not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the subject of them, he would make a very good believing Jew under the law, but he would not be a Christian under grace.
This is the great turning point in the faith of an enlightened Jew, and Christian.
Is Jesus of Nazareth the personage described in the law and the prophets; has he right and title to the throne of David, and to the dominion of the world?
The Jew says, "No, we look for another": but the Christian replies, "He unquestionably is the person: we look for no other; but assuredly expect the re-appearance of ‘this same jesus' on earth, to restore the throne and kingdom of David; to occupy them as the King of the Jews; and to be the Melchizedec High Priest and the Ruler of the nations".
Hence, it is the foundation truth of the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Anointed King, the Son of the living God.
He is the Rock, or Strength, of Israel; whose power will never be restored till he sits upon the throne of their Kingdom, and is acknowledged as King by the nation.
On the other hand, a man may believe that Jesus is the Son of God; that he was sent of God as a messenger to Israel; that there is remission of sins through the shedding of his blood; that he is the saviour; and that he rose from the dead: -- if he believe these things, but be ignorant, and consequently faithless, of "the things of the kingdom," he cannot obtain glory, honour, incorruptibility and life in that kingdom.
The condition of salvation is the belief of the whole gospel and obedience to it.
It is not, "He that believes in Jesus Christ, and is immersed, shall be saved"; but "He who shall believe the gospel, and is immersed".
Simply to believe in Jesus is to believe no more than in "the messenger"; but, he was sent to preach the gospel to the poor; to show the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: this was his MESSAGE, the message of God to the Jew first, and afterwards to the Greek.
Let it be remembered, then, that salvation is predicated upon belief in the messenger and in the message he brings from God.
The unhappy condition of the professing world at the present time is, that they have no faith in the message of God, but rather ridicule it, and heap insult upon those who contend for it.
"I came to preach the kingdom of God," says Jesus.
we believe that thou camest from God, because no man could do the miracles thou doest unless God were with him; but we do not believe a word in a kingdom in Judea under thy rule.
We have no idea of thy coming to this cursed earth again to reign in Jerusalem, and to sit as a priest upon a throne there.
This is nothing but the day dream of those who take thy words, and the sayings of the prophets, as if they were to be understood in the carnal, or literal sense.
It would be derogatory to the interests of God to suppose or desire such a consummation.
No, no; we believe thou art at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, now reigning over mankind; that we are thy ministers and ambassadors on earth; and that in enriching us, the world is giving its substance and doing homage to thee; and that when we die, we shall come to thee, and kingdoms rule beyond the skies!
Our churches are thy kingdom here, and it is our deep and pious conviction, that the more they confide in us, and the less they trouble themselves about the millennium, the better it will be for them, and for the peace of the denominations to which they belong".