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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 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, raised to 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." (Psa. 45:16.) To this Kingdom the nation of Israel will speedily unite. 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."—Jer. 31:31-34; Mal. 3:1-3.
The glorious Messiah, whom the Jews identify with "Michael, the great Prince, which standeth for thy people" (Dan. 12:1), the Mohammedans also expect, and identify Him with Mohammed 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 Melchizedek, Priest as well as King, we identify as "the Man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself a Ransom-Price for all, to be testified in due time."—I Tim. 2:6.
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 shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. (Isa. 35:5.) 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 all on 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 of Psa. 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 God will accomplish, through the Seed of Abraham, according to His Covenant and His Oath.
Answer.—While the reign of Christ will be a reign of righteousness unto life, we are not to understand that Adamic death will be at an end as soon as Messiah has begun His reign, for it is stated that He must reign until He has put down all enemies. (I Cor. 15:25,26.) It is understood that people will be more or less in the Adamic death during the thousand years and will rise gradually out of Adamic imperfection and death to the perfection of the human nature. We should remember that the Kingdom as it will be established in the beginning of the Millennial Age will consist of the New Jerusalem—that is, the glorified Church, of which Christ is the Head. (Rev. 21:1-8.) During the thousand years the world will be coming into accord with this arrangement. For all such as will come into harmony there will be a blessed arrangement by which they will be protected from any penalty for imperfections. We may reasonably suppose that after perfection is reached there will be no more accidents, just as we have reason to suppose that in heaven there is no necessity for surgeons, doctors, ambulances, etc. "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain [Kingdom]." (Isa. 11:9.) God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We read that there shall be no more sighing and no more crying and no more dying.
Answer.—Perfection was given to Adam originally; and by virtue of his perfection he had a right to continue to live, if he were obedient. But as God saw fit to test Father Adam, so He will test the human family. And the final test, after the Kingdom shall have been turned over to the Father, will be by way of testing their worthiness to attain these life-rights and to keep them everlastingly. The thousand years of Christ's reign will be for bringing mankind to perfection. At the end of that reign those who have reached perfection will be delivered over to the Father. The New Covenant will have accomplished for them all that it was intended to accomplish. But before God determines them worthy of the fulness of His everlasting life, He will see that all are tried individually and without any Mediator between. We may be sure that the test will be a crucial and a just one.
Question.—To whom is the Apostle speaking when he says, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies living sacrifices"?—Rom. 12:1.
Answer.—These words are properly applicable to two classes. First, they apply to a class termed "brethren," in the sense that they are no longer opponents, but sympathetically in harmony with the consecrated. The Apostle was urging these to complete the work of grace which they had already begun. Secondly, the text applies to those who have made the consecration, and urges them to complete the work. I urge you, brethren, that day by day you attend to this matter of presenting your bodies living sacrifices [R5031 : page 170] until the work be accomplished. This, he says, is a reasonable service, acceptable to God.
Although St. Paul does not say how the great Advocate will make the sacrifice acceptable, yet this is to be understood by Christians, who know that they are accepted in the Beloved. After that class have given up their lives, after they have put all in the Lord's hands, they understand that they, themselves, as members of the Body of Christ, are to die daily. Hence it is that daily an opportunity comes to us to lay down life in the Lord's service. While this is a daily dying, yet, in another sense of the word, it is a sacrifice to the end of life. Our Lord Jesus said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50.) In one sense, His sacrifice was accepted at Jordan. In another sense it was day by day until that baptism was completed on the cross and He cried, "It is finished!"
Question.—"For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water." (Isaiah 3:1.) What does this mean? Answer.—There was a famine which came upon Judea. The people did not have enough to eat or to drink. They are still in very much the condition of Ishmael at the time when Hagar laid him down to die. During the Gospel Age the poor Jews have been famishing. They have been without any communication whatever with God.
The same Prophet, from whose inspired writings the above text is taken, tells us of another class whose "bread shall be given them, whose water shall be sure." (Isa. 33:16.) They will be well cared for, well protected, and will have both bread and water. This text may have applied to the Jews at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and may apply to any Jews and others who, since that time, have put their trust in the Lord and to [R5032 : page 170] whom He has supplied what was needed for the strengthening of their lives. As we look about us today we find many of nominal Israel hungry, thirsty. They endeavor to make themselves think that they are well fed; and the majority of them do not realize that they are poor and naked and unfed and blind. In the meantime the Church of Christ is in the protected place. Everything is working together for good to them. Their bread and water is sure. "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly"; "the meek will He guide in judgment; the meek will He teach His way."