"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.XII Pg.9a
July 1944

A Kingdom Picture

Jesse A. Maddux

The writer desires to call attention to the parable found in Luke 19:12-18. Verse 11 clearly declares that Jesus gave this parable to the people because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. So it must be a picture of the kingdom of God, or He failed in His purpose of correcting their misapprehension of the time when the kingdom should appear. Did the Master intend to give them a picture of His going away from this world to heaven, to receive His kingdom, or of His coming from heaven to earth to receive His kingdom? He said that a certain nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom. He was here on earth, nigh to Jerusalem, when He spoke those words. Did He mean that the nobleman came to a far country? If He did, why did He not say so? He said, "went," and they were bound to understand that He meant the nobleman left the place where he then was for some place far away.

That nobleman was Jesus. He left this world, having committed to His followers the gospel with all its blessings and privileges, and after His resurrection He taught them for forty days how to use those things so as to make the kingdom He is going away to receive, cover all the earth. He then "went away." He went up as Daniel said He would. (Dan. 7:13-16.) He was escorted before the Ancient of Days, as Daniel foretold. His apostles saw Him disappear in the cloud, and Daniel saw the clouds bring Him near before the throne. He received His kingdom. He fulfilled His Father's "good pleasure" as spoken in Luke 12:32, and sent that kingdom (rule, reign, dominion) down to the "little flock" (Luke 12:32).

There were very many of the Jews who refused to be ruled by Him. They "would not have this man to rule over them." But He has ruled and will continue to rule over all them who will "suffer Him to rule over them." He will return to reckon with all to whom he brought, revealed, and dispensed the glorious privileges of salvation. He will find some to have faithfully handled His affairs, while others have failed. Those who refused Him and who failed to use their opportunities, will "be slain."

Is the foregoing picture one of what happened when Christ left this earth and of what shall take place when He comes again, or is it a view of what shall happen when He leaves heaven and comes again? There is not a word in the Bible that teaches He will ever set foot on earth again. But if this is a picture of His coming back to earth, we then have the following: (1) Christ (the nobleman) leaves heaven (the far country); (2) He comes to Jerusalem (earth) to receive His kingdom; (3) Some (in heaven) will not have Him to rule over them (the Jews); (4) When He leaves heaven He will give talents to people there; (5) After receiving His kingdom when He arrives at Jerusalem (far country) He then returns to where He was (in heaven); (6) There He finds some have been faithful, some slothful (in heaven); (7) Some of them had been wicked servants (in heaven); (8) He approves the good, condemns the bad, and orders all slain (the Jews) who would not have Him rule over them.

If Christ is coming back to this earth to establish a kingdom, the latter picture must be the true one. The truth is: When He left earth 1,900 years ago, He went to heaven to receive His kingdom. He left His people on earth with the gospel and its ordinances. He will return some day and reckon with all.