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by Dr. John Thomas
But this is not peculiar to a ministerial class, but is common to all the Lord's people, for he is no respecter of persons.
A successor to the faith of the apostles delights to feel that he is a layman; that he is one of the flock; and of the best of the sheep it contains, because his sole anxiety is to know and obey the great shepherd's voice.
He is not a wolf, nor a dog, rending and devouring the Hock, and investing himself with its wool; but one who would be the servant of the least, that he may be exalted to an unfading crown of glory, when the good shepherd shall appear to give life to all his sheep for evermore.
CHAPTER 2 It is written in the prophet Micah, that "the Lord shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off (from Jerusalem)"; and as the result thereof, "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into scythes; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid".
And "in that day, saith the Lord, I will assemble" Israel, "and make them a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth, even for ever" And "Unto thee, O Zion, shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem".
And the Judge, who shall be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from everlasting, "shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the Majesty of the Name of the Lord his God; and Israel shall abide; for now shall He be great to the ends of the earth.
And this man (Christ the Lord) shall be the peace when the Assyrian (the Russo-Assyrian) shall come into our (Israel's) land".
And "Assyria shall be wasted with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof; thus shall He (the Judge of Israel) deliver us from the Assyrian (Gog) when he cometh into our land".
"And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off".
"And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard".
From this passage, which is only a specimen of the general tenor of the law and the testimony, we are informed, That the nations are to be subdued, and that universal peace shall prevail in consequence; That when this shall occur, the Israelites shall become a strong nation; That they shall then constitute a kingdom; That the Judge of Israel, formerly treated with indignity, shall be their King; That Jerusalem shall be the metropolis, and Mount Zion the throne, of the kingdom.
Such is the revealed purpose of the Most High.
But a consummation like this requires preparation; and that, too, a very long one; especially as it is to be developed upon certain moral, as well as political, principles.
When the time shall come for the kingdom to be possessed, it will be said to the heirs of it, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".
From this, it appears that the work of preparing the kingdom takes from the foundation of the world to the resurrection of the dead.
All this time the kingdom is preparing; but when the King descends, and rebukes the nations, and wastes the land of Nimrod with the sword, and makes Israel a strong nation, it will then be said that the kingdom is prepared.
The reader will probably inquire, what does this work of preparation consist in that it should take so long a time?
This is an important question, and, in reply, I remark that if physical force only were employed in preparing the kingdom, it need not take so long.
A kingdom may be set up in a few days, and abolished as speedily, as we have witnessed in our own time.
But it is not so with the Kingdom of God.