The Kingdom of God
It is not planned at this time to enter into a full treatise on the kingdom of God yet certain things need to be covered. First of all it needs to be understood that the church is not the Kingdom of God prophesied of by Daniel. Joseph Smith prophesied, as has been pointed out, that this will be set up beginning in the Rocky Mountains and then eventually moving to the center stake. The church is sometimes called the Kingdom merely because it is a part of the kingdom. Actually, it was designed to be an auxiliary of the kingdom, just as the Sunday School is an auxiliary of the church, yet when we go to Sunday School we often say that we are going to church.
The Kingdom of God, as organized by Joseph Smith was first called a “special Council.” It was created March 11, 1844 just a few short months before the prophet’s death. It was generally referred to as “The Council of Fifty” but was officially called “THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS LAWS, WITH KEYS AND POWERS THEREOF AND JUDGMENT IN THE HANDS OF HIS SERVANTS.” (See DHC 6:260-1 for partial account of the organization.)
The whole purpose of the gathering of the saints was to the end that this kingdom prophesied of by Daniel could be set up, and that end was realized by the prophet Joseph just before he died. For fear of greater persecution from the world the kingdom continued in semi secrecy for decades, but was discontinued about the same time the saints lost interest in the gathering.
It is no secret that the Lord had the idea of an independent state in mind for the saints for he clearly said: “Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and YE SHALL HAVE NO LAWS BUT MY LAWS WHEN I COME.” 7 D&C 38:22 The gathered saints were also promised that they would “stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world.” D&C 78:14 We are also told that “out of Zion shall go forth the law” Isa 2:3. How can all of this be without the organization of a political kingdom?
Brigham Young pointed out that members are in the habit of calling the church the Kingdom of God “but there are further organizations. The Prophet gave a full and complete organization of this kingdom before he was killed… The Kingdom of God will protect every person, every sect and all people upon the face of the whole earth in their legal rights; I shall not tell you the names of the members of this kingdom, neither shall I read to you ITS CONSTITUTION, BUT THE CONSTITUTION WAS GIVEN BY REVELATION The day will come when it will be organized in strength and power.” JD 17:156-157
In speaking further of this political kingdom Brigham said: “This kingdom is the kingdom that Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days; it is the kingdom that is not given to another people; It is the kingdom that is not given to another people; it is kingdom that is to be held by the servants of God, TO RULE THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH.” JD 17:156
This is all in perfect harmony with the scriptures. We are told: “In the days of these 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 kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44 The word for “kingdom” comes from the Hebrew Malkuw which means “dominion.” The church today has no dominion whatsoever over the kingdoms of the world, nor is it designed to have dominion, but the Kingdom of God is. Joseph Smith organized this kingdom it is true, but it is not yet set up as Daniel prophesied. Daniel says that “In the days of THESE KINGS shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom…” Who are these kings We are told that they are ten kings symbolized by the ten toes of the image. These are the same ten kings as spoken of in the Book of Revelation where the ten kings are symbolized as ten horns “which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast. These SHALL MAKE WAR WITH THE LAMB and the lamb shall overcome them… Rev 17:12-14
It is somewhat of a mystery as to what these ten kings will be be but the scriptures indicate they will represent ten kingdoms that will dominate the earth after the fall of the Roman Empire. Some believe they will be ten European nations that will unite under an antichrist but any union there does not seem to be represented by the number ten. I tend to believe the ten kings represent the ten current political divisions of the entire planet which are:
(1) North America
(2) Central and South America
(3) United Kingdom, including Australia and New Zealand
(5) Russia and neighboring countries
(8) China and Taiwan
(9) Japan and Korea
(10) The Middle East
The scripture says these will have one mind and unite to fight against the Kingdom of God. Thus the kingdom could not have been set up for the days of the ten kings uniting as one and receiving power has not yet arrived. It is possible the world will become as one super nation and have one money system for the whole. Since this day is may not be far off we may safely assume that God also is making plans for the setting up of his kingdom in power to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel.
“In that day it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion… and there shall come unto her out of every nation under heaven. And the day shall come when the nations of the earth shall tremble because of her, and shall fear because of her terrible ones. The Lord hath spoken it.” Amen.’ D&C 64:38, 42-43
The inhabitants of Zion will be able to judge all things pertaining to Zion because they will have their own government ruled by the Council of Fifty that Joseph started. Even though Joseph created the seed organization the kingdom yet awaits the setting up as mentioned by Daniel.
It may sound fairly far-fetched to talk of setting up a kingdom in this day and age. How could it possibly be done? It is true that in the present conditions it would be extremely difficult and the present rule of other governments would make a kingdom here in the Rocky Mountains well neigh impossible, but remember the prophecies previously quoted. That is there will be great tribulation which will overtake this and other countries which will cause the collapse of many governments. At that time many people will be forced to group together for their protection and try and form governments of their own. It will be at this point that the Kingdom of God will be set up in power. On the other hand, many smaller governments set up by individual efforts will be created that will initially compete with the government of God, but in the end the government of God will bear rule. In that day the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled: “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in its time.” Isa 60:22 “And they shall call them, the Holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and thou shall be called, SOUGHT OUT, a city not forsaken.” Isa 62:12 The Lord repeats this prophecy in our day: “The little one to become A STRONG NATION, two shall put their tens of thousands to flight.” D&C 133: 58
What is the little one that is to become a strong nation? It nothing less than the stone which Daniel saw that was cut out of the mountain without hands. It will begin as the smallest of nations. That stone shall begin as a little one but shall become a strong nation. The Kingdom of God will begin as a mustard seed, but eventually grow to be the greatest of nations and just as the fowls rest on the branches of the mustard tree so will other nations rest secure under the protection of the Kingdom of God,
There can be no doubt that the Kingdom of God consists of both the spiritual and the political government. Since the political government, then, is a major portion of the Kingdom of God, it would only he logical that the Council of Fifty would share the keys of the kingdom. This was verified by Joseph Smith: We are told that “he stood before that association of his, select friends, including all of the Twelve, and with great feeling and animation he graphically reviewed his life of persecution, labor and sacrifice for the church and THE KINGDOM OF GOD BOTH of which he declared were now organized AND THE KINGDOM upon the earth, the burden of which had became too great for him longer to carry, that he was weary and tired with the weight he had so long borne, and he then said, with great vehemence: ‘And in the name of the Lord, I now shake from my shoulders the responsibility of bearing off the kingdom of God to all the world, and here and now I place that responsibility, WITH ALL THE KEYS powers and privileges pertaining thereto, upon the shoulders of you the Twelve Apostles IN CONNECTION WITH THIS COUNCIL; and if you will accept this, to do it, God shall bless you mightily and shall open your way; and if you do not do it you will be damned.’” Johnson to ‘Tibbs, Page 10.
Here we see that Joseph Smith gave the keys of the kingdom to not only the twelve, but to all members of the Council of Fifty, and interestingly, some of the members of that council were not even members of the church. This indicates strongly that since the keys were given to non members then the priesthood was given to them also, for one does not have to be a member of the church to have the priesthood. it is common knowledge that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Priesthood before they became members of the church.
The prophet Joseph was not the only one who saw the advantage of establishing a political kingdom. His good friend James Arlington Bennett wrote: “If they are drove farther west, they may set up an independent government, under which they can worship the Almighty as may suit their taste. Indeed, I would recommend to the Prophet to pull up stakes and take possession of the Oregon territory in his own right, and establish AN INDEPENDENT EMPIRE. IN ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM THIS TIME, NO NATION COULD CONQUER SUCH A PEOPLE. Let not the history of David be forgotten. If the prophet Joseph would do this, MILLIONS WOULD FLOCK TO HIS STANDARD AND JOIN HIS CAUSE. He could then make his own laws by the voice of revelation, and have them executed like the act of one man.” DHC 5:171
This idea was suggested to the prophet Joseph two years before the actual political kingdom was set up.. Some time later the prophet Joseph wrote: “I instructed the twelve apostles to send out a delegation and investigate the locations of’ California and Oregon, and hunt out a good location, where we can remove to after the temple is completed, and where we can build a city in a day, AND HAVE A GOVERNMENT OF OUR OWN, get up into the mountains where the devil cannot dig us out and live in a healthful climate, where we can live as old as we have a mind to.” DHC 6:222
Brigham Young tried to carry out the purposes of the Kingdom which Joseph commenced and attempted to establish the nation of Deseret which was to be much larger than Utah is today. In the short time that he was able to work unhindered by his enemies he ruled the land through members of the Council of Fifty and he did away with all taxes and made preparations to finance the government through the tithing of the people so tithes and offerings would be their only tax. He desired to build the Kingdom envisioned by Joseph Smith, but he was hindered not only by the non members from the outside, but by his own people for they were like Israel of old who wanted to be like the other nations around them so they could be popular in the eyes of the world. The saints began to demand and petition for Statehood, instead of creating their own government. Brigham Young, on the other hand, said: “We have assembled ourselves together to become one, to become the children of God, the children of Zion, the children of light. We are here for the express purpose of separating- ourselves from the world and ESTABLISHING THAT ORDER OF GOVERNMENT THAT WE READ OF IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES; and we desire to see the glory of Zion upon the earth that has been spoken of by the prophets of God.” JD 12:266-7
Heber C. Kimball supported this idea: “He has called us to the work in which we are engaged, and he is educating us, as I said before, in order that by and by HE MAY HAVE A NATION of kings and priests, judges and rulers to help him bear government and RULE OVER THIS EARTH IN RIGHTEOUSNESS when the curse shall be taken from it, and when truth shall prevail from one end of the earth to the other.” JD 26:102-4
How can we deny that the early brethren looked forward to the actual establishment of an independent government in which they themselves would be kings and priests? If they could have only converted their own people to that idea the nation of Deseret would be an independent empire in the Rocky Mountains today. Has anyone stopped to think of what would have happened if Joseph, Brigham and others were successful in setting up such a thing? Mr. Bennett predicted that “in one hundred years from this time, no nation could conquer such a people.”
Although Mr. Bennett was a non member he seemed to speak with the voice of inspiration for even though the nation of Zion, or Deseret, may not have been that attractive to the Gentiles at first, if it had inspired leadership it would have grown much more desirable with time, especially after all the taxes which vex this people and other nations were introduced. Today our nation and all others have a very unstable money system and many investors are glad to trade American dollars for anything with real value that will not be devalued with inflation.
Now if there was a nation of Zion established in the midst of the Rocky Mountains today with a stable money system and no taxes at all, would not the rich of the world who are worried over losing their wealth want to invest such a secure nation? Would not large corporations want to set up manufacturing and headquarters in Zion where they would have no taxes and could make a much larger profit?
Just because the church missed one glorious opportunity to establish such a nation does not mean that all opportunity is lost for such an event is prophesied and the word of the Lord does not fail: “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to The Holy One of Israel he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces (from the Hebrew CHAYIL, which can also be translated as wealth or power) of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought (More accurately translated “And with the kings leading). For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea those nations shall be utterly wasted… The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despise thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Isa 60:8-12,14
We are told several interesting things in this scripture. It is written that those who come to Zion will “fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows.” This language describes modern air travel as clearly as language could in the days of Isaiah; moreover it indicates that the Lord knew that the nation Zion would not be built in the days of Joseph Smith, but our own day when we can land in airports as doves on a window.
The second important thing we are told is that they will bring “their silver and gold with them” They will also bring their “forces” which should be translated as wealth or power. When Zion then receives the wealth and power of the nations she will have the power to “rebuke strong nations afar off” as prophesied by Micah.
A third important occurrence is that “the sons of strangers will build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee.” Orson Pratt gave his view as to how this will come to pass: “I will here again prophesy on the strength of former revelation that there are no people on the face of the whole globe, not even excepting London, Paris, New York, or any of the great mercantile cities of the globe, there are no people now upon the face of the earth, so rich as the Latter-Day Saints will be in a few years to come. Having their millions; therefore, they WILL PURCHASE THE LAND, BUILD UP CITIES TOWNS AND VILLAGES, build a great capital city, at headquarters, in Jackson County Missouri.” JD 21:136 Brigham Young also made many promises about the great wealth the people of the Lord will one day have, that the Lord will put much gold in their hands, and with all of this wealth we can hire all the labor and assistance needed from “the sons of strangers.”
The forth thing we are told is that “the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea those nations shall be utterly wasted.” This will not come to pass because Zion will use great physical strength to subdue them and force them to become one, but the unyielding nations shall perish for two reasons: (1) The common man will rebel against their leaders for not yielding to Zion, for when he learns of the glory and freedom there he will demand such privileges for himself. (2) Natural principles of cause and effect which one may term the wrath of God will be poured out upon such nations until they repent or perish. All are promised that God will fight the battles of Zion for a freedom won by blood must by blood be maintained, but if it is won by faith, it may be maintained by faith.
An interesting principle few realize is that the events in the Bible are actually a foreshadowing of a greater event in the last days and one of the greatest foreshadowings is the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and eventually spent seven years in prison. But when all looked darkest he was released arid given power over all Egypt second only to the Pharaoh. With this power he bought and stored the wheat of the world and when the famine came the wheat was worth its weight in gold and he was able to buy up the world. This foreshadows a great event not too distant in the future. The present true church, or saints of God are in the wilderness similar to the prison of Joseph. They will soon become spiritually free and gathered out and great wealth will be given into their hands and they will buy up the wheat and supplies of the world as did Joseph.
If this comes to pass in this manner then all the authorities of the world whether they be religious or political would either yield to Zion or try and fight them.
Daniel tells us that the kingdom of God will strike “the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, tire clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the Chaff of the summer threshing floors and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-35
One can see how the Kingdom of God can be established in the future after the governments of the world collapse, but many feel as if the hands of freedom are tied at the present and there is nothing much we can do to establish the Kingdom, but this is not so. Unless great preparations are made the next opportunity will also pass us by for even the prophecies in the scriptures are subject to the free will of man, else why did God say that there was a chance that the earth would be wasted at His coming? The question is then what are we to do? We are to prepare for the Kingdom of God by “buying lands and gathering together on them.” Once we are gathered together then such a people can be more fully taught in ways of righteousness and be prepared to become literal kings and priests of the Most High. The Lord does not expect us to upsurge any government ourselves, but to gather unto Him. He will deal with the nations for the benefit of Zion, and the Anti-Christ powers will fall by a natural means. When such a time comes that there is no supreme government in the land then it would be natural for a gathered people to set up one of their own. In the absence of government we would be violating no law for there would be no supreme law of the land, but if a people are unprepared for such an event then they will eventually turn into a mob themselves
We must be a free people and the word of the Lord to Jeremiah applies to us today: “Therefore, thus saith the Lord, Ye have not harkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, everyone to his brother, and every man to his neighbor.” Jer 34:17
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
(You do not have to log in to add comments)