Hide Articles List

15 articles on this Page

Advertising

LEDBURY URBAN COUNCIL. I

Ledbury Produce Market. I

Ledbury Corn Market. I

[No title]

Advertising

PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE.…

Advertising

[No title]

AIR-RIFLE SHOOTING.I

Advertising

!ACROSS THE TABLE.

DYMOCK.

(All RIGHTS RESERVED.] BIBLE…

News
Cite
Share

(All RIGHTS RESERVED.] BIBLE STUDIES CONDUCTED BY PASTOR RUSSELL. THE FAITHFUL ARE WATCHFUL The IJesson :-Luke xii. 35-48. Tha Text:—"Blessed arc those servants w hom the Lord when he cometh shall tind. watching."—v. 37. To-day's lesson continues the Master s ex- hortations that his faithful ones prepare themselves for participation with him in his Kingdom. The Lord purposely left his fol- lowers without definite information respect- ing the time for the establishment of his Kingdom. He illustrated the interim be- tweeu his going and his returning in the Parabtt; of the Talents. lie. the Master, had lft his servants in charge of his goods while he went to a far country, even Heaven itself, to be invested with the Kingdom authority; and at an appropriate time he would return to receive his servants and according to their faithfulness to make them sharers with him in his Kingdom, and then. begin hi". rule over his subjects, for their blessing and uplift out of snr, and death con- ditions. To-day's lesson opens witn' a parable. If, in a great house, the master were about to bring home his bride, the servants would on that particular night be especially active, wakeful. They would not know exactly the time of their master's coming, but would be continually alert to hear his knock and open instantly. So Jesus' followers should be alert for his second coming-not that ho would bring his bride with him: rather ha comes to receive his bride here. Indeed, the faithful servants arr then to be made the Bride, according to the other picture. WATCH AND PRAY. The thought is that Jesus" followers should take their ideals of alertness from the most extreme experience of earthly ser- vice. Jesus intimated that his followers might be looking for him sooner than he would come, saying that if he shall come in the second watch, or the third watch, or whenever, bleissed are those servants found ready to receive him. He will gird himself. make himself their servant, and cause them to sit down to a sumptuous feast. Bible students understand this to signify that at Jesus' "parousia his second presence, he will first make himself known to his faithful followers, while the world in general will be ignorant of the fact that he has come. His manifestations to the world will come later; as we read, "He shall be revealed in flaming fire"- judgments. Our Lord's "parousia" is described in to-day's lesson—bis earliest manifestations of his second advent. The world will see him not, and know not of his presence; his church will know of his preisence only by his knock —the fulfilment of prophecy. It will then be for the watchful ones to recognize this fulfilment, and promptly to acknowledge the Master's presence, the nearness of his Kingdom, and the proving of all found worthv to share in that Kingdom: The irre:it Teacher then intimates that Satan is the master of the present- order of things on earth; and that at his second eom-inj Jesus will bind this strong man, overturn present institutions and establish the long-promised reign of Righteousness. This thorough transition from the reign of sin and death to the reign of righteousness and life will cause the great "time of trouble" mentioned throughout the Bible as closing this Gospel Age—a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Dan. xii. 1; Mark xiii. 8; Matt. xxiv. 21. Jesus speaks of his second coining as thief- like. The thonght is that he will He present for a time. unobserved by the world, known only to "the Bride" class, whom he will re- move—changing them from earthly to heavenly nature. Verse 40 instructs all the Lord's faithful ones to be ready for his pre- sence, to render up at any hour their ac- counts and experienct their change. "TO GIVE THEM THEIR PORTION. St. Peter was perplexed. Was this parable especially for the Apostles or for all the people? But the Lord did not answer him directly. He merely assured St. Peter that at the appropriate time the Lord would appoint a steward over his household, to give them food in due season This is not very different, from what has been the Lord's usual method of dealing with his family. Fvr ins'ance, St. Peter apparently was a. leader amonr-lit the Apostles, in opening the Pentecostal door, and later in opening the door to the Gentiles preaching to Cornelius, the first Gentile convert. Later on, the Lord seems to have chosen St. Paul to be his particular messenger to the Gentiles; as we read, "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles; (Acts ix. 15.) Similarly Enoch, Abraham. Moses, the Prophets, and others during this Gospel Age, have seemed to be especially used of the Lord to draw the attention of his people to his word, in the Apostles' case, there was of course a special inspiration which does not appertain to others of this Age since. While the Lord has thus appointed special servants in giving his household meat in due reason at various times, it was required that each partaker should prove all things by the written word of Cod, which the Apostle Paul declared is sufficient that the man of Grd may be thoroughly furnished. Any ser- vant not found faithful, it is intimated, would be supplanted by another. The servant at the end of the Age, the- time of the Master's coming, if found faith- ful, would be especially blessed, and given general charge respecting the spiritual food to the Lord's family, "meat, in due sevica. But if he should prove unfaithful, fail to recognise the Master's presence, and mani- fest an unkind spirit toward the household, ministering to his own earthly wants rather than to the spiritual needs of God's family. he would go into outer darkness with fhe world, in utter ignorance of the times and seasons, etc., of his Lord. The displacement of the one servant would mean the recogni- tion of another to supply the Household of Faith. The Lord then explained the general principle of his dealings; namely, that any servant, knowing his Master's will and not acting in harmony therewith, would receive stripes, punishments, tribulations, in propor- tion to the degree of his knowledge and opportunity. On the other hand. any ser- vant even if he did things worthy of stripes, yet did them ignorantly, would receive pro- portionately fewer stripes. That general principle then i-i, "To whom much is given, of him much is required." OUR GOLDEN TEXT. The heart of this lesson is found in verse 37, which refers to all of the Lord's servants, who in the earliest stages of his comintj, in the time of his "parousia," his presence, will be faithfully watching, alert to serve every interest of the Lord's cause, searching the Scriptures to the best of their ability. These will be informed nspècting the time in which they will be living, as the Apostle points out.—1 Thess. v. 1-8. The secrecy observed respecting the time- and the manner of Jesus' second coming will prove to be a strong test. All the Lord's consecrated who are overcharged with the cares of this life-busines. pleasure, etc.— will be slow to hear the knock; and even when they hear, thty will be too much en- grossed to give proper heed. However, there will bo a great blessing on those serva.nts whom the Lord shall find watching—not watching the- sky, as though they would see Jerus. when he is now a spirit being, invisible to human eyes; but watching the Bible testimonies, watching the trend of the times, watching their own hearts, watching also the interests of the Church of God, seeking to build one another up in the most holy faith, laying aside every weight and every besetting sin. Let all of us who claim to be virgins—pure ene-ibe found of him in peace, seeking nrst the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and helping the Bride to make hersolf ready.— Rev. xxi. 9; xix. 7.

Advertising