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—SEPTEMBER 26.—PSALM 21.—
THE Jews took a practical view of the promised Kingdom of Messiah, in which they were to have a glorious place, and in which all nations were to be blessed. Two things they failed to realize: first, that a Redemption-price for the sin of Adam must be provided before Adam and his race could be returned to Divine favor and everlasting life in Eden; second, that Messiah Himself, before having so great an exaltation as Jehovah purposed, must demonstrate His worthiness to it by humility, obedience, loyalty, even unto death. St. Paul points out that Jesus the Redeemer did all this—that He left the glory which He had with the Father, humbled Himself to become a man (though not a sinner), and then as a man further humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the Cross; that on this account God highly exalted Him far above angels, making Him partaker of the Divine nature and Inheritor of all the promises of glory, honor, immortality.—Philippians 2:8-11.
Many who see this much fail to get the Scriptural declaration that God's purpose equally included a Church class as a Bride to Messiah—as sharer of His sufferings and trials, and sharer of His exaltation and glory. Only when this is seen can we properly understand the delay in the establishment of the Kingdom. It has delayed in order that the entire Church, foreordained of God, might be completed, tested, proved, glorified in the First Resurrection, and then inaugurated with Messiah as the Heavenly Kingdom.
Many peculiar ideas prevail because of a failure to take the Scriptural proposition and because of a false theory that the Kingdom has already been set up in glory. Ridding our minds of these difficulties, Bible students are now discerning Messiah's Kingdom near at hand—even at the door. They are more and more realizing that the present terrible war is the beginning of a series of troubles which will wind up the present order of things and inaugurate the New Dispensation of Messiah's Kingdom, for which we have so long prayed, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven."
Although it will be a spiritual Kingdom, no less so [R5762 : page 268] than Satan's kingdom of the present time, and the Father's Kingdom—invisible to men—nevertheless it will be a real Kingdom, exercising power and authority more completely than any earthly kingdom could, because not handicapped by human limitations and conditions. Moreover, the Bible indicates to us that the Ancient Worthies of the Jewish line will be resurrected to perfection and in an earthly glory will become visible representatives to men of the glorified spiritual Christ, Head and Body. Jesus emphasized this thought to the Jews saying, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom." (Luke 13:28.) But respecting Himself He declared, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." (John 14:19.) All will see Him, however, in the sense that eventually all the eyes of understanding will be opened, that all may see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God fill the whole earth.—Revelation 1:7; Habakkuk 2:14.
Many Bible students are claiming that, according to the prophecies, Messiah's Kingdom began in 1878. They claim that while its chief activities have been in respect to the Church—the harvesting of the wheat, the separating of the tares, etc.—nevertheless it has had a worldwide influence also, in that during this time of the dawning of the New Dispensation God has been lifting the veil of ignorance and showing mankind mechanical and chemical secrets which have proved invaluable thus far, and which undoubtedly will increase in the near future, when the Messianic Kingdom shall have been fully inaugurated, at the close of the great Time of Trouble, already beginning in Europe and in Mexico.
Amongst the other indications of the operation of the Kingdom influence in the world, Bible students point to the wonderful progress made as respects reform along the lines of intemperance. The wonderful wave of prohibition which has spread voluntarily over many of the States of the American Union has been supplemented by the necessities of the war in foreign countries. We must not expect too much along these lines. We must expect more or less of reaction, especially in the case of so sudden a turn as the war brought upon Europeans.
Indeed, evidence is not wanting that the first fervor of prohibition in Europe is reacting. We had similar experiences in America, but we perceive that as a whole the world is moving onward in this respect in a right direction. The movement against opium and other narcotics also tends in the right direction, as do the many exposures of vice and the lessons being given as respects the terrible penalty of vice, as witnessed in the now well-recognized fact that syphilis stops brain development and generally in a few years leads to insanity.
While continuing to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," let us as God's consecrated people continue to labor in character-preparation, that we may be found worthy of a place in that Kingdom, making our calling and election sure. And let us continue to note evidences on every hand that we are in the dawning of the Kingdom, even though its Sun of Righteousness cannot fully arise until the Church shall have passed beyond the veil. In this connection we call attention to an interesting report in respect to one of our States, which, having passed prohibition laws, is said by its Governor to be enjoying grand blessings of prosperity—Kansas. The following extract is from the "North American."
"'With more than $200,000,000 on deposit in our State and National Banks, we could weather a worse storm than this without hardship.' This money, equally divided among the men, women, children and babies of Kansas, would give each of them $118 in cash, not to mention the tidy sum of $1,684 each is credited with as his or her share of the State's assessed wealth. Kansas last year produced $325,000,000 worth of farm products.
"In eighty-seven of her one hundred and five counties there are no insane. In fifty-four of this number are no feeble-minded. Ninety-six counties have no inebriates, and in the other nine they are as scarce as hens' teeth. Thirty-eight county poorhouses are as empty as a last year's locust-shell, and most of these have been so for the best part of a decade.
"The pauper population of the State falls a little [R5762 : page 269] short of 600. That is one pauper for each 3,000 of the kind making a living, and a good one—the kind that now own $255,000,000 worth of live stock and in the last twelve months have added more than $45,000,000 to their taxable personal property. Her own people this year hold more than $67,000,000 in this form of wealth, an increase of over 500 per cent. in five years.
"At one time not long ago the jails in fifty-three counties were empty and sixty-five counties were on the roll as having no prisoners serving sentence in the penitentiary. Instead of being hampered by a large mass of illiterates—thirty years ago 49 per cent. of her population came under this head—her present ratio of two per cent. is next to the lowest in the land and two-thirds lower than Massachusetts, including Boston.
"It is the combination of sense and solid muscle that has kept her growing stronger and richer through extremes of climate which soon would decimate a less fit lot. These people have made good in a zone once declared to be unquestionably unproductive. In the last twenty years they have made this 'unproductive' soil yield corn and wheat worth $2,517,902,640.
"It is this fundamental provision, fought and evaded in some localities as it was for a quarter-century, and strictly enforced in all parts of the State only within the last five years, that has helped Kansas to flaunt a two-hundred million bank-account in the face of a partial crop failure; that relieves her of spending much time, strength and money on paupers, criminals, insane and feeble-minded; that gives her people the best of chances for living and the fewest excuses for dying."