In the Beginning

Preparing for the Kingdom

We are living in the closing years, not only of the Gospel Age, but of the harvest, or ending period, of the Gospel Age. There is a wide expectation that the Kingdom of God will be established within a generation.

In this issue we consider some of the experiences of the harvest, leading to the Kingdom. The first article, How Will Israel Be Delivered, considers the experiences recorded in Isaiah chapters 36-38 that seem prophetic of Israel’s deliverance at the introduction of the Kingdom. The second article, Good King Jehoshaphat, considers God’s salvation of Judah from a three-part coalition, as another view of this deliverance.

The next article, The Jerusalem Law, notes that from 1980 forward, Jerusalem has been legally declared to be the possession of Israel and finds a meaningful parallel in this date. Joel Chapter Two traces God’s care for Israel through three efforts by the enemies of Israel to uproot this fledgling nation, with a fourth effort pending.

We shift then to consider the Church class in her last stages of development. Completing the Church is a necessary precursor to the establishment of the Kingdom. The first article in this section, “I Have Fought a Good Fight,” remembers some of the last words of the Apostle Paul, and our need to complete our course faithfully as well. Reverence for God is adapted from a lovely article from the 1942 Dawn, expressing the value of this important grace for us.

We close this issue with two articles respecting the present harvest period, tracing progress toward the Kingdom. The first, The Harvest, explains that our returned Lord already exercises regal authority, by which three events are underway: (1) gathering the saints to glory, (2) restoring Israel, and (3) breaking the powers that be in a time of trouble. Our final article, What Intervenes, suggests what we might be attentive for in coming years.

All of us long for the blessed Kingdom of God. “This is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world, when the times are ripe for it — the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind, of restoring the whole creation, to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in Heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in him” (Ephesians 1:9, 10, Weymouth). It is near. It is at the doors. Let us be thankful — and apply ourselves to our work within and without in the time remaining.

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