REVIEW OF THE QUARTER'S STUDIES.
"Thy Kingdom come; thy will be
done on earth as it is done in heaven."
REVIEWING the studies of the quarter we find that nearly all of them are closely related to our Golden Text.
(1) We had the Beatitudes--the conditions of heart and character essential to our participation in this Kingdom class that God has declared he is selecting from the world, and which by and by he will glorify with the King Emmanuel in his Millennial Kingdom.
(2) We had certain precepts, promises and warnings respecting how this Kingdom class must make development, not in sitting in judgment upon others now, but rather by judging nothing before the time, when they shall be granted the powers of judgment in such glorious measure as will permit their judging to be a blessing to the world, and that thus this Kingdom class must seek the narrow way to glory, honor and immortality.
(3) We had the miracle of the awakening of the daughter of Jairus, an illustration of the great work of the Kingdom when it shall be set up, and when all mankind shall be released from the prison-house of death.
(4) We had the healing of the centurion's servant, another picture of restitution blessings which are to be general at the time that our Lord's prayer, in our Golden Text, is realized, and God's Kingdom shall come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(5) We saw how the faith of John the Baptist was tested by reason of the fact that the Kingdom work did not come in his day just as he had expected it would, and we saw how carefully our Lord explained to him wherein his expectations had been partly erroneous, and indicated how events as they were in progress were in full accord with the testimony of the prophets. And so we have learned in respect to the establishing of the spiritual Kingdom now, to trust not to our own imaginations, but to go rather to the Word of the Lord, and to see what therein is written, and so doing we are able to note to-day what we would not otherwise be able to discern, how that our Lord's great plan is grandly progressing in harmony with what was written aforetime.
(6) We saw, in our Lord's denunciation of Capernaum, [R2645 : page 174] Chorazin and Bethsaida, how possible it is for some in our day to have great privileges, as those cities had great knowledge, great opportunities of coming into accord with the Lord's Kingdom, and yet through lack of faith to fail utterly--to fail more miserably as respects pleasing God than did such heathen cities as Sodom and Tyre and Sidon. We saw, nevertheless, that the full number of the elect Church or Kingdom class would be found in God's due time, and that then will commence the great Judgment Day of the world, in which it will be tolerable for all, under the righteous judgment of the great King, but more tolerable for such as Sodom and Gomorrah than for those who have had the greater privileges and knowledge and misused them.
(7) We found, in the case of Simon and the woman that was a sinner, that some who occupy important positions in the nominal church may be much further from the Kingdom of God as respects their hearts than are some others who have outwardly been living a less correct life, and that some of the latter, reforming, may become more zealous toward the Lord and more acceptable with him, and hence more eligible to the Kingdom.
(8) The parable of the sower showed us the importance of having our hearts in a correct attitude toward God, not full of worldly ambitions and cares, which as "thorns" would choke the very best seed, but freed from these that we should be ready to receive "the good seed of the Kingdom" into our hearts, and to be exercised thereby into seeking first the Kingdom of God.
(9) We saw various parables of the Kingdom, illustrating to us the Church's present experiences, while waiting for the completion of the elect number and the full inauguration then of the Kingdom glory and power to bless the world. We saw the true Christians represented by the "wheat," the outgrowth of pure doctrine, the good seed of the Kingdom. We saw false Christians represented by the "tares," and the false doctrines which produce such, which were sown by the Adversary. We saw the growth of the nominal church represented as being very great, but as resulting in inviting into it the fowl--"every unclean and hateful bird." We saw that the spiritual food provided for the Lord's household had been corrupted by the "woman" everywhere predominant throughout the Scriptures, the wine-cup of whose abominations have made drunk all nations.--Rev. 18:2,3.
(10) We have seen that the sending forth of the twelve apostles was with the same message, the same Gospel of the Kingdom, that the Master declared, and that similarly whoever is sent out of the Lord to-day as a servant of the truth has the same message, the Gospel of the Kingdom, under which, when it is established, God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
(11) The lesson of Herodias and her wicked ambition and sinful course, in which Herod shared, taught us that earthly ambitions lead downward and sinward, away from God and into degradation, but that the ambition set before the Church, viz., to be God's Kingdom, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, if so be that we suffer with him, is the lawful ambition which leads upward and is elevating in its every influence, and purifying as respects our hearts and lives.
(12) Finally, in the feeding of the multitude, we see illustrated our Lord's compassion for the people, which compassion during the Millennial Kingdom will have fullest sway, when the bread of life shall be broken to all of the hungry, and when all shall be privileged to share in the blessings which the Lord's Kingdom will bring, and that then those who have followed him in the present time shall be associated with him in the work of blessing the multitude under the glorious Kingdom conditions.
We may well pray from the heart, in the language of our Golden Text, Lord, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."