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§  2. Christ is truly a King.

Although the kingdom of God had existed from the beginning, yet as everything therewith connected before the Advent was merely preparatory, the Scriptures constantly speak of the Messiah as a king who was to set up a kingdom into which in the end all other kingdoms were to be merged. The most familiar designation applied to Him in the Scriptures is Lord. But Lord means proprietor and ruler; and when used of God or Christ, it means absolute proprietor and sovereign ruler. Apart from Christ’s right in us and sovereignty over us as God, He as the God-man is our Lord. We belong to Him by the purchase of his blood, and God has set Him as King on his holy hill of Zion.

In the Book of Genesis the Messiah is set forth as the Shiloh to whom is to be the gathering of the people. In reference to Him it was said in Numbers xxiv. 17, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob; and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. In 2 Samuel vii. 16, we have the record of God’s formal covenant with David, “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” In fulfilment of that promise Isaiah predicted that a virgin should bear a son and call his name Immanuel, on whose shoulder should be the government, whose name should be called “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah ix. 6, 7.) In the second Psalm God declares in reference to the Messiah, I have “set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. . . . . Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 597Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” The whole of the 45th, 72d, and 110th Psalms is devoted to the exhibition of the Messiah in his character as king. In Daniel vii. 13, 14, it is said, “One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The prophet Micah v. 2, said, “Thou, Bethlehem, Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” After the captivity the people were cheered with the hope that the promised king was soon to appear. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zech. ix. 9.) This is the mode of representation which pervades the Old Testament Scriptures. As the priesthood, and sacrifices, and prophets of the former dispensation were typical of the prophetic and priestly offices of Christ, so the kings of Israel were typical of his kingly office, and so the national theocracy of the Mosaic economy was typical of the spiritual theocracy of the Messianic period.

In the New Testament Christ is set forth as a king, in harmony with the predictions which foretold his advent. The Angel Gabriel, in announcing to the Virgin Mary the approaching birth of the Messiah said, “Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke i. 31-33.) John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, prepared the people for his coming, saying, “Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. iii. 2.) And our Lord himself, when He entered upon his personal ministry, went everywhere preaching “the gospel of the kingdom of God.” (Mark i. 14.) Much of his teaching was devoted to setting forth the nature of the kingdom which He came to establish.

Nothing, therefore, is more certain, according to the Scriptures, than that Christ is a king; and consequently, if we would retain 599the truth concerning Him and his work, He must be so regarded in our theology and religion.

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