HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
An Essay by Nathan C. Miller
"The Kingdom Incorporated" - Truth or Error
by Nathan C. Miller
As a former member in good standing for over forty years of "The Kingdom Inc.," I would like to share my knowledge of what it is and what it is based on, in order that all who have or will come in contact with it may be better able to answer the above question intelligently and conscientiously. I will try to be as honest, unbiased, and objective as possible and confine myself to the facts as I learned them from "Kingdom" teachings over the years. If I am mistaken in any of them, I would be glad to be corrected.
First let me make it clear what the "Kingdom" is not.
1. It has nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses.
2. It is not just another good Bible believing Christian fellowship even though you might at first get that impression and even intentionally be given that impression.
3. It is not the spiritual kingdom of Christ into which every Christian is translated when he or she is born again.
4. It is not another sect or Protestant denomination.
Then may I state my understanding of what the "Kingdom" is.
1. It is a tangible, visible organization of people who are subject to the governing authority of a king as any institutional kingdom must be.
2. It came into existence on October 2, 1902 in Jerusalem when Rev. Frank W. Sandford, a Baptist minister who firmly believed he was Elijah the prophet of Malachi 4:5,6, claimed he obeyed God's command to him to "renew the Kingdom," meaning the actual Kingdom of Israel.
3. It claims to be the "kingdom" spoken of in Acts 1:6 when the disciples asked Jesus if He would then restore it to Israel, supposing He was the one who could and would do it.
4. It claims to be the conquering, everlasting kingdom of Daniel 2:44.
5. It claims to be the restored throne of David on which Jesus will sit when He comes back as prophesied in Isaiah 9:7 and Luke 1:32.
6. Since there could be no actual, institutional kingdom without a king, Mr. Sandford claimed he became modern David and filled that role until his death in 1948. Then Mr. Victor P. Abram took his place.
7. Both Mr. Sandford and Mr. Abram were supposed to be Christ's regents, until He comes back. Mr. Abram died in 1977 without leaving a successor.
8. At any one time in its history, its membership, probably never exceeded two thousand persons.
9. It was incorporated in the State Maine in order to be able to do business.
10. It's headquarters is in Dublin, New Hampshire.
How Can These Things Be?
In order to be able to answer this question, one needs to know more of the ministry and claims of Frank W. Sandford, for he claimed not only to be "David" the king, but "Shiloh": "That prophet"; "the remover of the covering"; "the Branch" or high priest; the "shepherd"; "the anointed one"; "the messenger of the covenant"; a source of the "golden oil" or Holy Spirit; Elijah the prophet; "The Restorer" the rider on the "White Horse"; the "herald" of Christ's second coming; and one of the "two witnesses".
I have compiled a list of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation which Mr. Sandford sincerely believed and taught applied to himself (or his ministry). To be fair, I will also include some of the interpretations of the same scriptures by other Bible scholars.
1. Genesis 49:10 - "The scepter shall not depart from Judah or the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the obedience of the people be." Mr. Sandford called his Bible School "Shiloh" in Durham, Maine, and he was supposed to be the "him." Bible scholars believe it is a prophecy of Christ Isaiah 11:1-5; Luke 2:30-32.
2. Deuteronomy l8:18 "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee: and I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." Mr. Sanford claimed to be that prophet. Bible scholars believe Christ fulfilled it - Acts 3:22.
3. Psalms 89:20 - " I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him." This is the basis for Mr. Sandford's claim to be "David"; otherwise interpreted to mean Christ - Acts 13:23.
4. Isaiah 25:7 - and he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that covereth all peoples and the veil that is spread over all nations." Mr. Sandford felt God gave him the commission to "remove the covering." when in truth Christ did it- on Calvary as is shown in the next verse: Isaiah 25:8 "He hath swallowed up death forever: and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces: and the reproach of His people will he take away from off all the earth: for I Jehovah hath spoken it."
5. Isaiah 40:6 - "The voice of one saying Cry. And one said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass and the goodliness therefore as the flower of the field." Mr. Sandford was supposed to be the second "one," and this was the basis of fiery ministry of the second forerunner of Christ, Elijah. Otherwise interpreted to be the message of every preacher of truth - I Peter 1:24.
6. Ezekiel 34:23 - "And I will set up one shepherd over them and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them and he shall be their shepherd." Mr. Sandford always had his followers call him "our Shepherd" or "O.S." Bible scholars know this refers to Christ. John 10:11 - "I am the good shepherd..."
7. Ezekiel 37:24 "And my servant David shall be king over them; and they shall have one shepherd..." This is really another prophesy that Mr.Sandford claimed to have fulfilled. Otherwise interpreted to mean Christ - Luke 23:3.
8. Daniel 2:44 - "And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever." Mr. Sandford and all his loyal followers actually believe that "The Kingdom Inc." is that "kingdom" and has been since October 2, 1902. Most Bible scholars believe this refers first to Christ's spiritual kingdom, "cut out without hands" (verse 45) at his first coming, and also his actual kingdom when He returns.
9. Zechariah 6:12 - "...Behold the man whose name is the Branch;... he shall build the temple of Jehovah... he shall be a priest upon his throne..." Mr. Sandford believed himself to be prophet, priest and king." He claimed this scripture for the priestly ministry. This is, of course, interpreted to refer to Christ. Hebrews 3:1 - "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus."
10. Zechariah 4:14 - "Then said he, These are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." and verse 12 - "that empty the golden oil out of themselves' (Holy Spirit)." These two" were supposedly Mr. Sandford and his follower, Mr. (Charles) Holland. They are understood by some to refer to the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
11. Malachi 3:1 - "Behold, I send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant whom ye desire, behold he cometh." The first phrase refers to John the Baptist, the second to Jesus, and Mr. Sandford believed the third referred to him. There are only two covenants: Moses mediated the first, Jesus the second - Luke 22:20.
12. Malachi 4:5,6 - "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." This is the verse that "The Kingdom Inc." and all of Mr. Sandford's ministry is based on since he claimed God said to him, "Elijah is here, testify," meaning he was it! Jesus said John the Baptist was Elijah - Matthew 17:12.
13. Matthew 17:10 - "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come. And he answered and said, Elijah indeed cometh and shall restore all things." Mr. Sandford claimed this made him Elijah, the restorer of all things. But in verse 12 Jesus says, "but I say unto you that Elijah is come already." Verses 11 and 12 would be contradictory unless one understands that when John the Baptist introduced Jesus, in whom "all things consist" to the world, he was indeed restoring "all things." The consummation of that restoration awaits Jesus' second coming.
14. Acts 3:21 - "Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restoration of all things whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets..." Mr. Sandford believed the "times" of the unfulfilled prophecies referred to here cannot begin until Jesus returns.
15. Revelation 6:2 - "And I saw and behold a white horse and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown; and he came forth conquering and to conquer." Mr. Sandford was supposed to be the rider on the "white horse." The gilded crown over the chapel at Shiloh, Maine represented the "crown" and the shape of the grounds in front of that chapel represented the bow.
16. Revelation 1:3,4 - "And I will give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days in sack cloth. These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth." And verse 7 - "the beast...shall kill them." Mr. Frank W. Sandford and Charles E. Holland always taught that they were these two witnesses. Neither of them died on the streets of Jerusalem. In fact, Mr. Sandford once told an audience that if he did not die in Jerusalem, they could put him down as a false prophet.
It is not easy to be totally objective and impartial when considering such a question as my subject, either from within the "Kingdom" or from without. It must be evident that I am not unbiased even though I am trying to be. However, if one is seriously and perhaps even desperately seeking to know the truth about the "Kingdom" and will prayerfully study the facts and scriptures here presented, he or she must conclude that someone other than Jesus Christ is being magnified and honored in positions that rightfully belong to Him, i.e., Christ. Jesus had something to say about such in Luke 21:8 - "And he said, take heed that ye be not led astray, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he, the time is at hand: Go Ye Not After Them."
How, then, could I, knowing as much as I did from a child about the "Kingdom," have gone after it? This can only be understood by someone who has come under the influence of the powerful personal and spiritual charisma of men like Frank W. Sandford, Victor P. Abram, or presently Frank S. Murray. There is so much good teaching and fellowship and loving care in the "Kingdom," that one tends to either ignore or become blind to the glaringly unscripturalness of its basic doctrines and the utter impossibility of Mr. Sandford's claims about his place in God's plans for the last days. It took many years of study and heart searching before I decided that I could no longer conscientiously continue to promote the false doctrines by selfishly enjoying the good things and people involved. It was a heart rending decision, but as a lover of truth, I came to the place where I had to separate myself from "Kingdom" fellowship. However, it was also a spiritually liberating experience, for false doctrine generates a kind of bondage that those in it do not even sense or realize until they have gotten out of it.
Finally, let me say that my experiences and evident conclusions about "The Kingdom Inc." are really not that relevant or important to one seeking to know of it is "truth or error." What is important is that you know the facts and study the scriptures herein stated. As you do, if you are a lover of truth, I am very sure God's spirit will guide you into truth and out of error. John 16:13.