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Answer.—Our understanding is that Messiah's Kingdom will be a spiritual one, invisible to mortals, yet all-powerful, for the accomplishment of the great things promised in the Law and in the Prophets. The Empire which he will establish, invisible to men, will take the place of the Empire of Satan, likewise invisible. The King of glory will replace the Prince of Darkness. Principal amongst Messiah's earthly agents and representatives will be Abraham, Isaac and all the Prophets, resurrected in full human perfection. Instead of their being, as heretofore, the fathers, they shall be the children of Messiah, whom he will make princes in all the earth. (Psalm 45:16.) With this Kingdom the nation of Israel will speedily unite, and eventually every nation will come into harmony with Messiah, and all people will be privileged to come in under Israel's New Covenant, then established by the great "Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in."—Jeremiah 31:31-34; Malachi 3:1-3.
The glorious Messiah, whom the Jews identify with "Michael, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thy people" (Dan. 12:1), the Mohammedans also expect and identify with Mahomet of the past. The Free Masons also expect the same glorious personage and, in their traditions, identify him with Hiram Abiff, the great Master-Mason. This same great Messiah, Michael, the archangel, the antitypical Melchisedec, Priest as well as King, we identify as "the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (I Tim. 2:5,6.) But when the great King shall appear in his glory and establish his Kingdom with Israel he will be, as promised by the Prophets, "the desire of all nations." (Hag. 2:7.) Then all the blinded eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped. Then who he is and how he should be identified with—Abraham's Seed and David's line—will be clearly known to all, in heaven and in earth. Not now, but when the King shall reign in righteousness, all shall fully understand the significance of Zechariah 's prophecy (12:7-10) and Psalm 22:16. Content that Messiah shall show the Truth in his day of revealment, we are glad to point Jews, Mohammedans, Christians, all, to the glorious Messiah and the great work of blessing for all the nations which he will accomplish through the Seed of Abraham, according to God's Covenant and his Oath.
Answer.—What the Lord is looking for at the present time is the spirit of sacrifice or self-denial—not merely the spirit of obedience to commands. Few, of course, would resist a Divine command, if thundered from heaven. Our test is more crucial than that. It is a test of obedience to what we understand to be the will of God or the privilege of service in his cause. Those who delight to do his will, those who delight to serve his cause, even at the cost of sacrifice to earthly interests, are the very ones he is now seeking. "He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in Truth"! "Now is the acceptable time"; now is the time for those to come forward who desire to offer themselves unreservedly, and who desire that [R4716 : page 365] the Lord shall accept their offering, which they know is not of great value. The more the sacrifice costs you, the more we may be sure it will be appreciated of the Lord. For any to give the Lord a thing which has no value in their own estimation would be in the nature of an insult, instead of sacrifice.
Every accepted sacrificer who fails to carry out his sacrifice will surely miss the "high calling," and, if our expectations are correct, will share with the "great company" in the "destruction of the flesh," which, after consecration, they were unwilling to devote day by day.
Answer.—It is true that one might be both justified and sanctified through faith in the blood before learning anything about the Covenants or the philosophy of the Ransom. And one might retain equally justification and sanctification through faith in that blood, irrespective of philosophies respecting the Divine methods of the applications of Christ's merit. This was true in our own case. Subsequently, having obtained grace from the Lord and some knowledge of his Plan—the philosophies of the Atonement, etc.—we served it out to others in his name. He advised us through his Word that these things were "meat in due season," and that the path of the just would shine more and more. In harmony with these promises, we have clearer light, increasingly, which is ours to dispense to whomsoever has "an ear to hear."
The Old Law Covenant was to the natural seed of Abraham, and similarly the New Law Covenant will be instituted with them, as taking the place of the old one and bringing them a blessing, which they failed to get under the one of which Moses was the mediator. Ours is the faith Covenant, the original Covenant, to which the old one was added, and to which the new one will be added in due time."
Question.—Please explain the following text: "Go and sell all that thou hast, and come and take up thy cross and follow me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven." Should we go and do as the Master advised?
Answer.—If that young man had assented to our Lord's proposition, and had made further inquiry as to the particulars, it is our opinion that the Lord would have modified his statement to the extent of suggesting that the selling and giving to the poor be not done all at once, but gradually, as the necessities might seem to open up. In the language of the Apostle, "Let your moderation be manifest to all." We are to use earthly things and earthly opportunities and temporalities with great moderation, self-denial, as the case may seem to make necessary.
We are to have bowels of mercy, compassion, sympathy, love. Did not our Lord allow Mary to anoint his head and also his feet and were not these caresses and manifestations of love of an earthly sort? There are various items to intimate the Lord's special love for Lazarus, Martha and Mary, James and John, and for his mother. And this would seem to give us ground for a similar course. But as Jesus did not allow those earthly loves to hinder him from the Father's service, so we, also, must be on the alert about the Father's business.