In the Bible, individuals, rulers, and kingdoms are at times represented by trees Photo Credit: Flickr
Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?—Acts 1:6
BEFORE Jesus ascended to heaven, his apostles asked the above. When would God’s Kingdom start ruling? But Jesus’ answer showed clearly that that was not the time for him to come as heavenly King to rule in heaven. When would that time thus be?
First, there was an important task for his disciples to accomplish at present: they have to focus on the witnessing work that they needed to do. (Acts 1:7,8) But Jesus taught his disciples also to look forward to the coming of the above mentioned Kingdom.
Is this teaching regarding the coming of Jesus Yes. Christians since then prayed for it to come. When that time drawed close, Jesus’ Father, Jehovah, helped his modern day disciples to understand the timing of events. In 1876, Charles Taze Russell, one of the founders of the then so called ‘Bible Students’, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses were then called, published in the magazine Bible Examiner an article (“Gentile Times: When Do They End?“) that pointed to 1914 as a significant year. It bound the ‘seven times’ of Daniel’s prophecy with ‘the appointed times of the nations’ mentioned by Jesus.—Dan. 4:16; Luke 21:24
“The kingdom of the heavens is like a traveling merchant seeking fine pearls. Upon finding one pearl of high value, away he went and promptly sold all the things he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:36, 45, 46)
Pearls are considered beauties of creation. What do you think about pearls?
The most beautiful pearls — the kind used for jewelry — are perfectly round.
Jesus in one of his parables told about the great value of a pearl. He compared it to the Kingdom of
God. He says that a merchant saws a rare pearl and was disposed to sell all his possessions to buy that pearl. The merchant was aware of the inestimable value of that pearl. Yes, he recognized the value of what he had found and was willing to make huge sacrifices to get ahold of it.
God’s Kingdom is the greatest blessing Jehovah has deserved for humans. Jesus himself offers his life to grant us this promise. What do you know about God’s Kingdom? If Jesus was disposed to offer his perfect life does this not mean that great attention and an accurate investigation is needed?
“The kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it.”—Matthew 11:12.
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From the very beginning of history angels played an important role. The Bible account of, describes the downfall of Adam and Eve due to a bad angel who became known as Satan the Devil.In Genesis is also reported the story of three young boys who were delivered from the fire thanks to the intervention of an angel. And the just Daniel, God’s prophet, when drowning in a deep pit amids lions for his loyalty to God, was also miraculously delivered by one of Jehovah’s angels. Mary the mother of Jesus Christ was visited by an angel who brought her the glad tiding from Jehovah that she should be the bearer of the promissed Messiah.In fact one important role of angels is that of being messengers of Jehovah. But why are we personally involved? There is an important question to consider.
Good Angels and Bad Angels
Not all angels are serving God as his loyal messengers. Since Eden an indefinite number of angels became Satan’s followers and came under his control. All these bad angels became demons who will harm us. Like a severe viral infection we can affect their dangerous influence if exposed to horoschopes, divination of all kinds, drugs, television, radio, music, video games and the Internet.
“Not all television programs are bad, but data showing the negative effects of exposure to violence, inappropriate sexuality and offensive language are convincing.” ( Paediatric Child Health, “Impact of media use on children and youth”)
Why are humans involved in this matter? As we have seen Adam and Eve were personally involved in the strife with Satan there they both choose to disobey the Almighty God. This challenge afflicts all of God’s creatures. What will we personally do?
At present humans are given the opportunity to make their personal choice to obey the directions of Jehovah God or those of Satan. Humans and angels are created with the precious gift of free will. It is a personal choice to obey to Jehovah. One important way for doing this is following the principles and councels of the Bible, God’s written word. But Satan the Devil uses his ability to force this free will and try to let us do his will. When we are not aware of his tricks and schemes he hold sway over us.
It is like a puppet in the hands of a puppet master who moves the strings according to his will and forced the puppets to obey his orders. The same happened when one falls in Satan’s trap: he is destined to obey.
Angels are mighty creatures who were originally created for Jehovah’s purposes. One of these aims is that of declare the good news of God’s kingdom by means of his loyal servants. (Mathew 28:19) They spread this vital message world wide to people of all languages and races. (Revelation 14:6) What an important role angels have today!
What will we do?
To know more about angels, please:
THE prophet Daniel lived more than 500 years before the birth of Jesus. Nevertheless, God revealed him the prophecy about his arrival.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks”—Daniel 9:25.
To find out the time of the Messiah’s arrival, please visit: wol.jw.org
See also: Jesus-Christ-the-Promised-Messiah
The title is part of a Dutch rhym. Interesting the fact that the Charles mentioned in the rhym and the Charles of this post maybe have nothing in common but dogs. But I love it. This post give us a vivid, but incomplete frame of the lighearted character of King Charles II.
The excerpts are taken from the publication of Osmund Airy: “Charles II” , if not otherwise indicated. This publication is downloadable at archive.org.
CHARLES’ DOZEN DOGS
“The King always lying in his own bedchamber, we had a bed placed each night to be near him, and when the page of the back stairs lighted us from the room where we undressed, on his retiring we shut up the door on the inside with a brass knob, and so went to bed. Several circumstances made the lodging very uneasy—the great grate being filled with Scotch coal that burned all night, a dozen dogs that came to our bed, and several pendulums that struck at the half, quarter, and all not going alike, it was a continual chiming. The King being constantly used to it, it was habitual.”—Thomas Bruce. (Charles II, Osmund Airy, p. 411)
THE KING’S ACTIVE HABITS
“The King’s magnificent constitution was supported by his active habits. Seldom he passed a day without visiting the tennis court “as early as there was light enough to see clearly. In the summer he was there at five in the morning. At eight, he told Clarendon* at Council, “I am now going to take my usual physicke at Tennis”. “He was devoted to every form of open-air sport, especially hunting. When not hunting, he generally walked three or four hours a day.”
“Long after eleven at night, [the King] sat writing to his sister, “So sleepye as I hope you will pardon the shortnesse of it,” and in three in the morning was on his horse for Audley End, where he used to stay for the race.”
*Edward Hyde Clarendon, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674)
HIS MILD TEMPER
“The urban nonchalance of Charles was but seldom ruffled, and the storm was soon over. One episode of a loss of self-control was when Henry Savile, one of his gentlemen voted for the address against Lauderdale in the House of Commons in 1678:
“The King was mightily displeased against him, and to so high a degree, that when he was late that night going to bed, and Savile coming in after his ordinary way, the King upon the first sight of him fell into such a passion, that his face and lips became as pale (almost ) as death, his cheeks and armes trembled, and then he said to Savile, ‘You Villayne, how dare you have the impudence to come into my presence when you are guilty of such baseness as you have shown this day. I doe now and from henceforth discharge you from my service, commanding you never to come any more into my presence, nor to any place where I shall happen to be.’
It surprised no one to hear that Savile was in attendance again in a few days.”
“The cup of pleasure was filled deep for [Charles], and he grasped it with both hands. But pleasure is not happiness. There is no happiness for him who lives and dies without beliefs, without enthusiasm, and without love.”—Osmund Airy.
“The [Governors] … were entreated to make a draft of laws agreable to the word of God, which might be the fundamentals of this Commonwealth, and to present the same to the next General Court.”—May 25, 1636, Mass. Rec., I. 174. (New England, during the Stuard Dynasty, Vol. II by John Gorham Palfrey)
Twenty-three years had passed since the first plantation at Plymouth, and thirteen since Massachusetts had become the basis of government of the league of the four Colonies (Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Haven). At the length, with the growth of interests and of the community, some uniformity was required. In a session which “continued three weeks,” (ibid. p. 23) the General Court established one hundred fundamental laws, called the Body of Liberties that “no man shall infringe… without due punishment.” (Body of Liberties, Art. 98)
These laws had been composed by Nathaniel Ward, who had studied at Cambridge and afterwards came to Massachusetts in 1634. Under ninety eight heads, it lays down fundamental principles related to the sacredness of life, liberty, property and reputation. It also provides for justice to woman, children, servants, and foreigners.
“No man’s life shall be taken away; no man’s honour or good name shall be stained”…”no man shall be deprived of his wife or children; no man’s goods or estate shall be taken away, nor any way endangered”…”unless it be by virtue or equity of some express law of the country warranting the same, established by the General Court and sufficiently published, or, in case of the defect of the law in any particular case, by the word of God” (First paragraph of the code, Body of Liberties ).
For the people the Scriptures were considered a universal statute-book, the building block of their community and administration.
“There is no higher, and no other just conception of human law, than was theirs, when they recognized it as an embodiment of the will—in other words, of the law—of God.” (New England, p. 27)