The Royal Wedding

“Thy throne … is to times age-abiding and beyond, a sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness,—for this cause hath God, thine own God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy partners. … Daughters of kings are among thine honorable women; stationed is the bride at thy right hand. … All glorious—the daughter of a king sitteth within, brocades, wrought with gold are her clothing! In embroidered raiment shall she be brought unto the king,—the virgins that follow her, her companions, are to be conducted unto thee: they shall be brought, with rejoicings and exultation,—they shall enter into the palace of the king!” —Psalm 45:6-15, Rotherham

“IT IS with the greatest pleasure that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh announce the betrothal of their beloved son, the Prince of Wales, to the Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the Earl Spencer and the Honorable Mrs. Shand Dydd.”

The foregoing announcement by the Queen of England was greeted with a general feeling of joyous anticipation by the people of Great Britain, most of whom appear to be genuinely fond of their royal family, and delight in the occasional ceremonial splendors which constitute almost the last remaining prerogatives of a once powerful monarchy.

Prince Charles is well-liked by those who would be his subjects if he should, indeed, come to power. He has been in rigorous preparation for his anticipated reign for some thirty years, having received the finest education and training that immense wealth and royal position could provide. Additionally, he has had the respect and admiration of the people, and during his entire lifetime he has been blessed with those special comforts and privileges that only the highly-placed of this world can know. This future king’s personal possessions are valued at some four hundred millions of dollars, including three handsome homes. His annual income alone is indeed princely, at 1.4 million dollars. All this for his own personal enjoyment, and all supplied by the bounty and good will of the people!

The gracious bride is also highly regarded, and already loved by the British people. Like her future husband, the prospective king, her ancestry includes royalty and wealth. Her immediate family are the proud possessors of one of, the grandest homes on one of the loveliest estates in all England. Ever since the announcement of the coming marriage, congratulatory messages and lavish wedding gifts of gold, silver, and precious gems have flowed to the couple from all parts of the world. The bride’s beautiful wedding gown is in readiness, having been carefully fashioned of choicest material by the finest designers in the land, and at the marriage ceremony she will be attended by bridesmaids chosen from among the noblest families in all the realm.

The wedding of this prospective king and his lovely bride has been set for July 29th, and it will doubtless provide a spectacle of surpassing splendor. Indeed, the coming royal nuptials have already been proclaimed as “the wedding of the decade.” In view of the frightening experience suffered by Queen Elizabeth at her latest public appearance in London, the wedding plans for Prince Charles and Lady Diana are somewhat uncertain. But if they follow the colorful customs of past centuries, the bride will be taken from Clarence House in London, the home of the queen mother, where she is presently residing, to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the traditional glass coach drawn by a pair of beautiful matched bay horses. If the day is not pleasant the coach will be specially lighted to provide a clearer view of the bride to her many admirers and well-wishers. The bridegroom will ride from Buckingham Palace to the cathedral in a horse drawn state landau which was specially built for King Edward VII. Each vehicle on its separate journey to the cathedral will be surrounded by its own phalanx of splendidly attired horsemen on their prettily prancing steeds, whose main task will be to keep the jubilant, cheering multitudes from crowding too close to the royal carriages.

Arriving at the cathedral, the couple will find already assembled a gathering of the highest, the mightiest, and the wealthiest from all parts of the world—kings and princes, dukes and barons, premiers and presidents, ambassadors and other representatives from almost every nation on the face of the globe. Her beautifully gowned bridesmaids will attend the bride during the impressive ceremonies in the magnificent St. Paul’s, while anthems of praise and thanksgiving from the great choir resound throughout the vast cathedral. Following the marriage ceremony the future king and his lovely bride will have little to do but to enjoy their high position, receive the adulation of those who may one day become their subjects, and move from castle to lovely castle, while living on the bounty of the people.

But if this prospective king should ever come to power, it will doubtless be over a troubled nation, whose former glory and power have greatly declined. Indeed, for all their vaunted, kingly might, even the wisest and most beneficent monarchs of earth who have ever lived were never able to solve the deeper problems of their people. All down through the ages wretched poverty, hunger, disease and wars have been the lot of the nations. At best, the new king’s reign would be much like all previous reigns of human monarchs over their dying human subjects, alongside of whom they all, in time, find their own allotted places in the grave.

But a better time is coming, both for all the rulers of earth, good and bad, and for all their countless subjects, just, and unjust, of past ages and the present—for the prophecies of the Bible and the signs of the times in which we live are clearly saying that the transitory kings of earth have had their day!

Following the death of the patriarch Jacob, the descendants of Abraham came to be known as Israelites, and Jehovah God dealt with them as his own special people to the exclusion of all the other nations of earth. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth,” the Lord God said to them. (Amos 3:2) After the Lord delivered his people from bondage in Egypt he led them to Mount Sinai, where he made a solemn covenant with them as embodied in the Ten Commandments and the numerous supporting ordinances and statutes. (Exod. 19:1; 20:1-17) At the same time the Lord promised them great blessing if they kept the terms of the covenant; but if they failed to keep the covenant they would be punished. “If ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments: and if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you: … I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”—Lev. 26:3,15,16,18,21,24,28

Shortly thereafter the Lord conducted his people through the wilderness, and established them in the Promised Land, where for 450 years they dwelt under the administration of judges whom the Lord raised up to them from time to time. But the neighboring nations were ruled by kings, and the Israelites clamored for the same arrangement. In his infinite wisdom Jehovah saw fit to grant their request, and instructed Samuel, who became the last of the judges, to seek out one Saul, a son of Kish, and anoint him to be king. (I Sam. 8:1-22; 9:15-17) Thus it came about that the nation of Israel, as a theocracy under God, was ruled for a period of 513 years by kings who “sat on the [typical] throne of the Lord.”—I Chron. 29:23; II Chron. 9:8

But even as the Lord foreknew, the people of Israel failed to keep the terms of the Law Covenant, and the punishments upon the disobedient nation began with the removal of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 B.C. This event marked both the end of God’s dealings with Israel as a typical theocracy and the beginning of the seven symbolic times, or 2,520 years, of the forewarned punishment on the Jews.—Lev. 26:18; Ezek. 21:25-27

It was here, too, in 606 B.C., that Jehovah God revealed through Daniel’s inspired interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s famous dream (Dan. 2:1-49) that he was granting dominion over the nations of the earth to the Gentile powers, beginning with mighty Babylon. “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king,” said Daniel. “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.” Thereafter, Daniel explained, there would follow three more Gentile kingdoms to which the dominion would pass. But in the days of the fourth universal kingdom Jehovah God would set up his own kingdom, which would forever destroy these Gentile kingdoms. “And in the days of these [Gentile] kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these [Gentile] kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”

Our Lord Jesus, himself a foremost prophet of Jehovah God, termed this period of dominion by the Gentile kingdoms of earth as the times of the Gentiles. “Jerusalem [the Jewish polity] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) Counting seven symbolic times or 2,520 years, from 606 B.C., when the last Israelitish king was banished from his throne, we find that the foretold times of the Gentiles ended in 1914. Until that time the Gentile kingdoms of earth had enjoyed varying degrees of prosperity and stability.

Significantly, it was in 1914 that the First World War began, since which time it is an historic fact that the formerly powerful Gentile kingdoms of this earth have been in process of disintegration and destruction, and the old doctrine of “the divine right of kings” is no longer voiced or assumed. Incidentally, it was this same First World War that also brought about conditions which opened the way for Jews living in all parts of the world to return to their former homeland in Palestine, leading ultimately to the establishment of the nation of Israel in May 1948. When the imperfect kingdoms of this present evil world have been completely broken in pieces and consumed (Dan. 2:44) in the time of trouble [or Day of Jehovah] through which the world is presently passing, the way will have been prepared for the inauguration and glorious reign over all the earth of a new and altogether righteous monarch.

This glorious future king was also subjected to the most exacting training and the severest testing to prove his worthiness for the supremely grand position planned for him. But he was not wealthy. He was poor and meek and lowly. Indeed, he had not where to lay his head. Nor was he widely loved by those who would be his future subjects. Contrariwise, he was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He came not to live on the largess of the people, and be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for his people. He was repudiated even by his own brethren, and was finally hung upon a cross by the religious leaders of his own nation. When they had crucified him, they parted his garments, his only worldly possessions, casting lots upon them, to see what every man should take, and in death he was buried in a tomb that was not his own.

But Jehovah did not leave his soul in hell, neither did he suffer his Holy One to see corruption. After three days King Jesus was resurrected from the grave, and seated with Jehovah in the Heavenly Father’s throne.

From that highest position of glory and power and honor, his kingdom and authority will shortly extend over all the earth, for he will be King of kings, and Lord of lords, a truly royal king, of truly royal descent, anointed to his high position by none less than the great Creator and mighty Sovereign of the universe. His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his righteous government and peace there shall be no end, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth, even forever.

This King, too, will have a bride—a bride composed of those who are even now being selected, oh so very lovingly and tenderly and meticulously, by the Heavenly Father himself for his own beloved Son! These, like their Lord and King, are not rich. And in the sight of the world they are neither wise, nor mighty, nor noble. Indeed, like their Lord, they are the meek and humble of earth. God is choosing those to be the bride of his beloved Son who are considered to be the foolish of the world, and the weak of the world, and the base of the world, and the despised of the world, that no flesh should glory in his presence.

These, by the Lord’s grace and with divine help, strive earnestly and daily to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son. They seek to put on the fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. They give all diligence to add to their faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity. If they are faithful even unto death they will gain the divine nature, and become members of the glorified bride of Christ.

And what a marvelous wedding that will be! It will not take place in any earthly temple. It will be solemnized in the glorious heavenly realm, in the very presence of Jehovah God himself, before his heavenly throne. No earthly kings will be present; no dukes or dictators, no presidents or premiers. The reverent but rejoicing audience will consist of all the multitudes of the heavenly hosts of angels, archangels, principalities, and powers who for countless eons have watched with wonder and expectancy the preparation of the glorious planet Earth for man’s habitation, the eventual creation of that first wonderful human creature who would be king of earth and all it contained, his fall and condemnation to death, and finally, the development of God’s great and merciful plan through Christ for man’s salvation and restitution.

The bride will have made herself ready! Her glorious bridal gown will be of wrought gold, painstakingly and beautifully adorned with precious ornaments—each one purchased at great price—a golden clasp at the cost of long-suffering; a silver brooch for meekness; a diamond for remaining silent when falsely accused; a necklace for showing mercy; a pearl for patience—all most lovely ornaments, and in the sight of God, of great price.

As the bride is escorted into the presence of the Bridegroom by the multitude of her adoring bridesmaids, each one beautifully arrayed in a robe of purest white, and presented by the Bridegroom to the Heavenly Father, no great cathedral organ will swell forth its earthly music. Rather, there will be heard, as it were, the joyous, ineffable voices of the multitude of the assembled heavenly hosts, like the voice of many waters and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. It is the consummation of this great, unparalleled event for which the entire world, unwittingly, has so long been waiting—the completion of the number of those who shall be the bride of Christ.

This new king and his new government will not reign over a kingdom of limited area. His kingdom will extend over the whole earth, for he will be the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Nor will he reign over a kingdom of sick and dying subjects. Indeed, the whole purpose of his earthly ministry was to give himself a ransom for all, and thus provide mankind the opportunity to gain healthful, everlasting life here on earth. To that end, even those who have long ago gone down into the grave will be brought forth, and given a knowledge of the truth, so that they, too, by obedience to the righteous laws of the kingdom then in power, may gain blessed, perfect, everlasting life.

This glorious new king will not convert the good things of this earth into wasteful, death-dealing weapons of war, nor lead his subjects into bloody battle. He is the Prince of Peace, and there shall be no more wars. Injustice shall be forever banished from the face of the earth, for the spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the loving spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverence and worship of Jehovah. He will not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither will he reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness will he judge the poor, and reprove with equity the meek of the earth. He will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Satan, that old serpent, which is the Devil, will be bound, so that he can deceive the nations no more. None shall hurt nor destroy in all that holy kingdom, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And men shall learn to love their neighbors as themselves.

What a wonderful, matchless, everlasting kingdom that will be! Only the wisdom, justice, power, and love of the great Jehovah God himself could have devised it, and only he could ever bring it to pass. How all the world, including the resurrected millions of mankind, will rejoice at the prospect of joyous, peaceful life then presented to their astonished view! How they will raise their hearts and voices to the Heavenly Father, the Supreme Ruler of the universe, in thanksgiving and praise! And how their hearts will go out in love, and praise, and gratitude to their glorious King Jesus, who gave his life that all the world might live!

And the bride of the King? She will have a highly honored place and wonderful share in dispensing the long-promised, long-hoped-for blessings to the happy, grateful subjects of that righteous kingdom. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I am set down with my Father in his throne,” Jesus long ago said. Yes, the bride of Christ will live and reign with him a thousand years.

But alas! King Jesus’ thousand-year reign of righteousness for the blessing of the world of mankind has not yet begun, for the bride of the King is not yet complete. The required number have not yet made their calling and election sure. Poverty, hunger, injustice, wars, disease and death continue to plague the suffering and helpless world of mankind. The door to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is still open to those whose hearts are moved by the softly pleading voice of the Heavenly Father, and who present themselves to him as living sacrifices.

But the time is short! When the door is shut, no man ever more openeth it.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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