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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The Hebrew commonwealth was broken up by the Romans about thirty years or so after the crucifixion; and it has been, and will be, no more, until the Lord Jesus come, who is the King of the Jews, and whose sole right it is to reign In reference to this good time which is near at hand, it is written, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah.

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness".

The Kingdom of God, then, has existed once, but, for the present, exists "no more".

It existed from the fourth to the twenty-eighth generation, a period of rather more than a thousand years; but it has been extinct upwards of two thousand five hundred years -- a time so long that the promise of its restoration has become a mere fable, or speculation, in the estimation of the world!

But the believer in the gospel of this kingdom rejoices in the sure and certain hope of its restitution, and glorious and triumphant existence for a thousand years, at the expiration of which kingdoms on earth will be no more, but God will be all and in all.

The reader, then, will perceive from this exposition that the kingdom of God must be studied in the two periods of its existence -- in the thousand years of the past, and in the thousand years of the Age to come.

As God's kingdom of the past.

it is the grandest theme of ancient or modern history; but as His kingdom of the future, it is the sublime topic of "the truth as it is in Jesus".

In the past, it existed under the law of Moses, which made nothing perfect.

Its kings and priests were frail and mortal men, who held the kingdom for a brief space, and then "left it to other people".

Its subjects were rebellious, and its realms invaded and wasted by the hands of ruthless and barbarous foes.

But how changed will be its fortunes in Messiah's age!

The same land and nation will then be under the law of the New Covenant which goes forth from Zion.

All things will be Perfected.

Its king and pontiff will be the King immortal from the right hand of God.

The rulers of the tribes will be the fishermen of Galilee, "shining as the stars for ever and ever".

The chiefs of its cities, and the possessors of its glory, its honours, and its dominion will be the holy ones of God, "equal to the angels," and subject unto death no more.

In short, "the saints of the Most High will take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever," never receding from their Position, nor leaving it to be Possessed by others.

CHRONOLOGY TO THE CAPTIVITY.

From the creation to Noah's Flood   1656   From the flood to the night of the exodus from Egypt, as on page 253     Sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness   Numb.

xiv.

29,53 From the invasion of Canaan to the allotment of the land among the tribes.