Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page



ILedbury Produoe Market.

I__Ledbury Corn Market.








[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] FAITHFULNESS TO OPPORTUNITIES. A BIBLE STUDY CONDUCTED BY PASTOR RUSSELL. The Leaeon:—Luke xix. 11-27. The Text:—"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I "will make thee ruler ever many things; enter thou into the joy of tiy Lord."—Matthew xxv. 21. We- are not to confound the Parable of the Pounds with the Parable of th- Talents. They teach totally different lessons. In the case of the talents, the amount given to each of the servants differed. In the case of the pounds, each servant received one pound. This parable, therefore, deals with- some- thing common to all the class referred to. The Lord and his disciples were approach- ing Jerusalem, where he was shortly to be crucified. The disciples supposed on the contrary-, that the Messianic Kingdom would immediately be- established. This parable was intended to inform them that a long time would first ela-pee. The kings of Palestine were appointed by the Roman Emperor. One of the Herods had recently gone to Rome, seeking an ap- pointment to. a kingdom. Some who hated him sent a message to Rome, discrediting him and declaring their preference for another king. Jesus seized upon this cir- eumstance as am illustration of his own case. He was t-he Appointee for the Messianic Kingdom of the world; Tint he would go to Heaven itself, and there the Heavenly Father, the great Overlord or Emperor of the Universe, would invest him with autho- rity. Later, he would return to earth and exercise his dominion. This is exactly the presentation given us prophetically. (Psalm ii. 8.) The Divine regulation is that Messiah, after finishing his work, shall in Heaven, itself make appli- cation for a Kingdom which Divine prophecy has foretold. "Ask of Me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheri- tance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. "OCCUPY TILL I COME." During the interim of the Master's absence—in Heaven, waiting for Divine in- vestiture with the government of earth-he haa committed to his disciples, his servants, one pound each. He has left them with full liberty to, use their best judgment in his service.. At his return, all these servants will be reckoned with, and the degree of their zeal and efficiency as servants will be manifested by the results, and the rewards will be proportionate. The parable distinguishes between these consecrated servants of God and the world. It shows that nothing is committed to the masses, and that no judgment, reward, is made in their oases at the Master's return as King. Only to his servants did he give the pounds, and only those servants were held responsible for either reward or punish- ment in respect to their faithfulness. In considering what is signified by the pound, we must keep in memory that as the same amount was given to each, the fulfil- ment must show some blessing or respon- sibility given alike to all God's consecrated people. We can think of but one thing that is given to the Lord's people in exactly the same measure. They have not talents and opportunities alike, but, on the contrary, very unlike-in wealth, mental capacity, en- vironment, etc. None of these varied talents belong to this parable of the pounds. The pound represents justification! The one thing which the Redeemer does for all his followers is to justify them freely from all things. This leaves them on exactly an even footing, for justification makes up to each individual in proportion as he by nature is short of perfection. I "BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH." All who in the present time; become fol- lowers of Christ must receive from the Lord, as a basis for this relationship; the pound- the free forgiveness of sins—justification. Because all are alike qualified' by justifica- tion, the results will show the degree of loving zeal controlling each servant. As one in the parable gained ten pounds, so such noble characters as St. Peter. St. Paul, St. John, and others counted all earthly things as loss and dross, that they might be pleasing to their Master, the coming- King. These, and such as these, who have gladly spent themselves zealously in the Lord's service, are to have the highest rewards, as repre- sented by the Lord's words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Because thou wast faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." I In the parable another came, reporting a gain of five pounds. He had not done so well as the first, but he had done well. He received his Master's "Well done," but the reward was less -do-minion over five cities. This will mean a less influential place hI) the Messianic Kingdom. Then came a servant saymg: "Lord, here is the pound you gave me I have kept it carefully laid up in a napkin." This servant represents a class that say to the Master: "I endeavoured to maintain my justification. I etadeavoured to live justly and honourably, but I did .not sacrifice myself. I was really afraid to use my privilege; for I realised that you would expect specially good return from the amount you gave me." This servant represents a considerable class, who have entered into a covenant with the Lord to be his servants, who have received, justification at his hands, but who have negleoted to comply with their engage- ments for self-sacrifice in his service. This neglect indicates their unfitneas for a share in the Kingdom. This class is represented in the foolish virgins, who failed to enter into the wedding. "THOSE MINE ENEMIES." After he shall have finished dealing with his own servants at his Second Coming, the glorious Messiah will deal with the world, and especially his enemies. This statement of the parable is borne out by numerous Scriptures. When Je.su8 prayed on the might before his crucifixion, he said: "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me for them also which shall believe on me through their word." (John xvii. 9-20.) Thus we see the work of the Gospel Age outlined by our Lord. It is merely for the selection of his servants and the testing and proving of these, with a view to determining which will be found worthy of association with himself in the great Millennial Kingdom. The Second Psalm points out that the Redeemer will not pray for, ask for, the world until, at his Second Advent, he is ready to establish his Kingdom, his Church having first been gathered to glory. Then he will ask for the heathen. By the term heathen (Gentile) is signified all out of fel- lowship with God. "enemies through wicked work.s." The Psalm proceeds to say that Messiah will deal summarily with the heathen. "He will dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel," etc. This, interpreted by other Scriptures, means that the inaugura- tion of Messiah's Kingdom will bring a great "time of trouble," symbolically called fire, or fiery judgments. "He shall be re- vealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance." Everything contrary to the Divine stan- dards of justice will be rudely shaken and eventually fully destroyed. However, the lessons of the "time of trouble" will be salutary, as we read: "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." These judgments will not in any sense continue upon all throughout the thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom, but will be inflicted only upon those deserving them. Hence the judgments will be especially severe at the beginning. All who learn righteousness will thereby deliver themselves, and as they shall seek to come into harmony with the King of kings and Lord of lords, blessing will be their portion, uplifting them gradually to human perfection.