THE KINGDOM OF GOD
IN THE LAST DAYS IT SHALL COME TO PASS, that the mountain of the house of the Lord [House of Israel] shall be established in the top of the mountains [The Chief of Nations], and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:1]
THE STONE THAT BECOMES A GREAT MOUNTAIN
The Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830 asserts that the keys have been given through the restored Holy Priesthood to bring about the kingdom of God as required in God’s word. This kingdom is designed to create a new society made up of people who will covenant with the Lord to follow his teachings in all things. We are commanded to organized this kingdom on the pattern contained in scriptures. This pattern provides for the establishment and the building up of the City New Jerusalem and expanding the organization and kingdom throughout the Stakes of Zion and ultimately throughout the world. This new society is in contrast to the accepted values of the world.
There are prevailing misconceptions concerning the kingdom. Some think it is to be established when the Lord returns to begins his earthly reign. Others believe that the kingdom is only a spiritual kingdom with no earthly counterpart and we must wait until this earthly body is dissolved before we can enter therein. In using the Three Standard Books of the church, The Holy Scriptures, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, with the Holy Spirit as our guide, we are able to understand the plan that has been laid down for the development and bringing forth of this kingdom. If we look to the ancient and the latter day prophets we will begin to understand God’s timetable in all of this.
The book of Luke Luke 1:30- 33 informs us thus, “And the angel (Gabriel) said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and shall 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. This identifies the kingdom of Christ as being one and the same with the kingdom of Israel.
Before ascending into Heaven, the Lord conferred the keys to bring about his kingdom on Peter and the Apostles.
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:20
These keys hold the power and authority [binding and loosing on earth] for the priesthood to perform all ordinances necessary to prepare a people and the kingdom for the reign of Christ.
“Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten.” Inspired Version Genesis 6:62
We find that God, in the process of restoring all things as at first, sent John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John to re-established these same keys of the kingdom upon Joseph Smith Jr., and Oliver Cowdery in 1829.
“Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I revealed unto them; unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fullness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; and also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world;” D&C 26:3a-c
If we believe those things that were revealed, we must accept the fact that Joseph Smith still retains the keys of the kingdom both in this world and in the next. Joseph Smith was informed in a revelation:
“Verily I say unto you, The keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you [Joseph Smith Jr.] while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another; yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them, lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby; and stumble and fall, when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.” D&C 87:2a,b
We are also informed that Joseph Smith Jr., would have power and authority to organize God’s Kingdom:
“Therefore, as I said unto you, Ask and ye shall receive; pray earnestly that peradventure my servant Baurak Ale [Joseph Smith Jr.] may go with you and preside in the midst of my people, and organize my kingdom upon the consecrated land; and establish the children of Zion, upon the laws and commandments which have been, and which shall be given, unto you.” D&C 100:6g
Looking to the prophets in the quest for understanding the latter day kingdom
What is the stone that is cut out of the mountain without hands?
The great prophet Daniel shed much light on this latter day kingdom that was to exist forever. God gave him the interpretation of a dream of king Nebuchadnezzar while Judah was in captivity in Babylon. The time line of the elements of this dream begins with Nebuchadnezzar and ends with the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth in the last days.
Daniels interpretation of the dream; “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;” Daniel 2:28
He saw a stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands and this stone broke down a huge image made up of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay. We are told that this stone would destroy the image and turn it to powder like the chaff of a threshing floor. This sounds like a mighty powerful force.
“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the 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
A mountain in prophecy is a great nation or a great power.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it ;And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem;” Isaiah 2:2,3
Joseph Smith was also given the laws for the governing the kingdom.
“. . .wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment, that you should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high, and from thence, whosoever I will, shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.” D&C 38:7b-d
Daniel goes on to interpreting the dream and identifies four kingdoms. The Babylonian kingdom; the Media Persian kingdom; the Greek kingdom; and the Roman kingdom. The Roman kingdom was divided into ten nations of Europe designated as the toes of the image. This time line brings us down to the latter days and in the days of these kings–the ten kings– God will set up a kingdom.
“And 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. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:44,45
Finally in Section 65 of the R.L.D.S. Doctrine and Covenants we find the identify of the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands and that the kingdom is to be present on earth when the Lord returns.
The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence [from the kingdom] shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone [the kingdom] which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth; yea, a voice crying, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom; pray unto the Lord; call upon his holy name; make known his wonderful works among the people, call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth; that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth; wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, may be glorified in heaven, so on earth, that thy enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen. [Sec 65:1b-1f]