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by Dr. John Thomas
Or is it to be brought about by burning up the wicked, and leaving none but the righteous to inherit the earth?
Or are the existing orders of bishops, priests, ministers, and missionaries to be employed to bring the nations to the obedience of faith, that they may voluntarily surrender all political power into their hands, as the saints of the Most High God?
I answer unhesitatingly, that the conversion of the world to Christ's supremacy will be accomplished by no such fantastical schemes as are implied in these suppositions.
The answer to the question is, that the nations will be subdued to the sceptre of Shiloh by the sword, and that the tribes of Israel will be his soldiers in the war.
Besides punishing them for their idolatry, and subsequent unbelief of the gospel of the kingdom preached to Judah in the name of Jesus, Israel has been also scattered among all nations, that they may be ready for the work assigned them in "the time of trouble," which intervenes between the battle of Armageddon and their final and complete restoration at the end of forty years.
Though the dominion of Gogue be broken, the kingdoms and states which acknowledge him as their imperial chief will not voluntarily surrender themselves to another lord, any more than the populations of the old Assyrian empire did when the power of Sennacherib was broken in one night.
The effect of his overthrow was only to prepare them for subjection to a more civilized and powerful ruler.
In this case, the Lord used the Chaldeans for their subjugation: but in the coming strife He will use the tribes of Israel.
The Lord Jesus Christ at his appearing in his kingdom finds Judah inhabiting the land.
Not all the Jews, but a goodly number of them.
Having gained the victory of Armageddon, he convenes the elders of the people, which as their deliverer he has a right to do.
Thus "they look upon him whom they have pierced;" "and one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thy hands?
Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends".
The effect of this information upon the people is to cause a national lamentation.
They will then discover that he to whom they owe their deliverance from Gogue, is Jesus of Nazareth, whom their fathers crucified.
They will therefore "mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and will be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.
In that day, there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo".
Two-thirds of the people will have been cut off by the war against Gogue, and the third which survives will have passed through a fiery ordeal.
It will have been a refining process in which they will have been refined like silver, and tried as gold is tried.
Thus prepared "a spirit of grace and supplications" will be poured upon them, and they will call on the name of the Lord, and he will hear them," and open for them a fountain for sin and for uncleanness.
He will say, "It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord (even Jesus) is my God".
Thus will Judah be grafted again into their own olive, and brought to acknowledge Jesus as King of the Jews, and to confess that "he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
The New Covenant being made with the house of Judah, the kingdom is established.