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—MAY 28.—MICAH 4:1-8.—
THE whole world has for a long time been boasting that civilization and Christianity have won the day, that the world has become God's Empire and that the blessings of the Millennium are ours to enjoy. Aid Conferences and Peace Councils and Peace Commissions have flared up for the moment, only to die down. The cry of "Peace, peace," has brought no peace. We are beginning to see that we have been deceiving ourselves into thinking that the nations of the earth are kingdoms of God. We are beginning to see that the Bible styles them "kingdoms of this world," kingdoms of the Gentiles, and that it tells us that "the Prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience," is Satan, the Usurper, "a liar from the beginning and abode not in the truth."
We see it all. The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, for which the Master taught us to pray, has not yet come. We are glad, however, that the Divine promise assures us that it will come and explains to us that the All-Wise Creator is now, first of all, preparing for his Kingdom by gathering from amongst mankind a worthy, saintly few, to be associates of their King and Redeemer in that Kingdom of glory, by which the world is to be blessed.
But all are not yet convinced of these Bible truths. Some point to the coins of the various kingdoms, which declare that "In God we trust," and that the several emperors and kings of earth are reigning "by the grace of God" and claiming that they are of Divine appointment; while the Pope also makes the still greater claim that he is the personal representative of Messiah and his Kingdom and the only one authorized to reign over and to govern the kings of the earth.
To convince the more prejudiced nothing further should be necessary along these lines than to point out the difference between present conditions and those which the Scriptures declare will prevail when he who redeemed the world by the sacrifice of himself will take his great power and reign as Messiah, the King of glory, to put down sin in its every form and death in its every form and to release and uplift all the willing and obedient of the families of the earth—including those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death—the grave, sheol, hades.
[Original Tower has a pie-chart divided in 2 sections. About 62% of the chart is entitled "FOR WARS PAST & PROSPECTIVE" and the remaining 38% is entitled "FOR ALL OTHER PUBLIC APPROPRIATIONS". The chart is entitled:]
The United States of America does not lead the world in the size of its standing army and in great battleships. She has no need to do so, having no threatening Christian (?) nations to menace her. Yet even this nation, walled about by thousands of miles of ocean, is making enormous expenditures on account of war, as the above diagram well illustrates. [R4795 : page 107] [In original Tower there is a small picture entitled:]
The Minneapolis Journal shows what the money expended for this battleship would have accomplished in the State for which she is named. It would have provided a $25,000 agricultural school and experimental farm in its every county, with an endowment fund of $175,000 for each school, the interest on which would have provided $10,500 annually for the maintenance of each school. Additionally, it would have left $1,000,000 of an endowment for the State Agricultural College.
The situation in Europe is still worse. Does not this preparation of the so-called Christian nations of the world to destroy one another prove to us that there is a mistake—that the term Christian has been misapplied [R4796 : page 107] to them? Nor can we say that there is no danger, for only fear could lead to such costly preparations for war.
The hope for humanity is the Messianic Kingdom described in this lesson. The "mountain of the Lord's house" signifies the Kingdom of God's house, his church. It will be established in the top of, or above the kingdoms of the world. It will be exalted amongst the nations and all peoples will flow to it. There will be an attraction in it for all peoples. It will lead them to climb upward. The attraction which will thus draw mankind will be the blessings of health and restitution, which the Kingdom will be prepared to grant to all peoples as they shall come into harmony with its requirements.—Acts 3:19-23.
That Kingdom will be closely identified with the Zionist movement and the Holy Land. The Kingdom itself will be spiritual, invisible to men, but its earthly agents will be visible and they will be Jewish—"Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom," etc. (Matt. 8:11.) The Jews, already impulsed toward the Land of Promise, will go thither in increasing numbers, and all of the faithful of them will go in sympathy and representatively, through financial assistance. The Israelitish hopes and promises will attract that number strongly first. And gradually all the nations, learning of the grace of God, and the blessings of restitution to be bestowed, will say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us (as well as the Jews) of his ways and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem."—Isa. 2:3; Mic. 4:2.
Verse 3 tells of how Messiah's judgments will be manifested, favoring most the nations which are most righteous and rebuking all unrighteousness. The effect will be that wars will cease. The metal previously used in weapons of destruction will be used in plowshares and pruning hooks. The earth shall no longer be soaked with human blood, but be tilled for the blessing of the race, with none to molest nor make afraid. The Lord's people, at the beginning of that time, are represented as saying, Let each follow his own conception of God, but Israel must follow Jehovah. And at that time he will assemble her and gather her back into her own land—"a remnant." Then the Lord shall reign over them in Mt. Zion.
The original dominion was given to Adam, but lost through sin. Jesus, by his obedience even unto death, has become the strong Tower, the Fortress, the Protection, to all of God's people. "To him will come the first dominion" and for a thousand years he shall reign for the blessing and uplifting of all the willing and obedient.