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    CHAPTER 32. The Saints’ Inheritance

    “THEN answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:27, 28.SYNPT 328.1

    1. What question is a very natural one to be raised by Christians?
    2. What disciple put this question to our Lord?
    3. To what time did Christ point him?
    4. What is the regeneration?
    5. What prophecies harmonize with this view?
    6. To what promise does Peter refer to support the idea of a new heaven and new earth?
    7. What does this language certainly bring to view?

    The question here raised by Peter is a very common one. What shall we have? What shall be the reward or inheritance hereafter of the people of God? Christs points them forward as the time of their reward to the regeneration or the re-genesis brought to view in the Scriptures. In harmony with this, we find prophecies of a new heaven and a new earth to succeed the present. Isaiah 65:17: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Peter, in his second epistle, third chapter, describes the destruction of the present earth by fire in the great day of the Lord, when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up; but he adds, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” The promise to which he refers is the one just quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah. This certainly is no figure; and it points plainly to the future of our earth.SYNPT 328.2

    In Isaiah 45:18 we find this purpose expressed by the Lord in the formation of the earth: “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord; and there is none else.”SYNPT 329.1

    8. What purpose does the lord express in Isaiah 45:18?
    9. Has this purpose ever been accomplished?
    10. Will it be accomplished?
    11. What promises are made to the righteous respecting the earth, and where recorded?
    12. Why cannot these promises be fulfilled in this present state?

    He certainly did not form it to be inhabited by a race of wicked beings such as now dwell upon it. It must be inhabited by those who are in harmony with his own will; and this purpose will be carried out. Accordingly, we find promises made to the righteous that they shall inherit the land. Psalm 37:11: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Proverbs 2:21, 22: “For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.” So says our Lord himself in his first recorded sermon: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5. This is not fulfilled in the present condition of this world; nor can it be till a new dispensation shall be ushered in.SYNPT 329.2

    The promises made to the ancient worthies bring to view the same thing. Hebrews 11:13: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises.” Hebrews 6:12: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Then Paul refers to the promise made to Abraham; and he shows our connection with it; for he says that it was given that we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”SYNPT 330.1

    The promise to Abraham is recorded in Genesis 12:1-3. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blest.” Genesis 22:18: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blest.” This promise must be universal, and it must reach through all time: otherwise all the nations of the earth would not be blessed in him. Romans 4:13 shows that this is the view to be taken of the promise to Abraham. “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”SYNPT 330.2

    13. When will they be fulfilled?
    14. What is brought to view in the “promises?”
    15. To what does Paul refer in Hebrews 6:13?
    16. How is our connection with this promise shown?
    17. Where are the original promises to Abraham found?
    18. Quote them.
    19. How extensive is this promise, and why?
    20. What view does Paul take of this promise, in Romans 4:13?
    21. When was this promise fulfilled to Abraham?

    By the promise, Abraham is therefore made heir of the world; and yet we are told that he died, not having received the promise. How, then, can the promise be fulfilled? - Answer: Only by a resurrection of the dead. Paul say in Acts 26:6, 7: “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead? Here the whole promise is shown to rest upon the future resurrection of the dead.SYNPT 330.3

    Paul, in Galatians 3:8, calls this promise to Abraham the gospel. “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” He says further, in verse 16, that the promise to the seed is to Christ; and in verse 29, that we become Abraham’s seed, and heirs to the promise by becoming connected with Christ. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Heirs of what? We have just seen that Abraham is heir of the world, and if we become heirs with him, then our heirship embraces the world.SYNPT 331.1

    22. How, then, can it be fulfilled?
    23. What does Paul show in Acts 26:6, 7?
    24. What does Paul, in Galatians 3:8, call this promise to Abraham?
    25. Who is meant by Abraham’s seed to whom the promise was made?
    26. How do we become related to the prophecies by a connection with Christ?
    27. Of what are we thus made heirs?
    28. With what does this view harmonize?
    29. How much, then, do the promises embrace?

    This is in harmony with the scriptures already quoted, affirming that the meek shall inherit the earth. The promises, then, embrace all that Christ has undertaken in our behalf. They include the whole plan of salvation. By coming to Christ, and accepting him, we become “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” And this plan of salvation can be carried out only by a resurrection of the dead, when eternal life shall be given to all God’s people; and by the regeneration of this earth, when a new heavens and a new earth shall be created, and given to the saints as their everlasting possession. Then the meek shall inherit the earth; and then the promise, as quoted by Peter, can be fulfilled. Then the saints shall take the kingdom under the whole heaven to possess it forever and ever, as described by Daniel in his interpretation of the great image of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, and in his vision of the four beast in chapter 7: “And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” The stone cut out of the mountain, representing the kingdom of Christ, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.SYNPT 331.2

    30. How can these promises be fulfilled, or the plan of salvation be carried out?
    31. What will the meek then inherit?
    32. What promise mentioned by Peter will then be fulfilled?
    33. What prophecies of Daniel will then be fulfilled?
    34. Can they be fulfilled in any other way?
    35. What does John describe in Revelation 21?
    36. What is to be the metropolis of this new earth?
    37. What is to be the condition of the people of God there?

    This new heaven and new earth, the everlasting abode of the saints, is described by John in Revelation 21. The New Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven, the city of beauty and glory, is its grand metropolis. All tears are wiped away; there is no more death, sorrow, or care; pain never enters; and the former things are passed away. All things are made new. The son of God and the Lamb is the light of it, and the nations of the saved bring their honor and glory into it. There will be no night there! Nothing will ever enter in to defile or to destroy, and they only will possess it who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.SYNPT 332.1

    Isaiah describes it as the place where the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped, and the lame man shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; in the wilderness waters break forth, and streams in the desert. The parched ground becomes a pool, the thirsty ground springs of water; and the ransomed of the Lord come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.SYNPT 333.1

    There is the river of life, that stream which makes glad the city of God; and the tree of life, which is for the service of the nations. Then God’s original purpose concerning the earth will be carried out. His glory will fill the earth as the waves fill the sea. And then the wicked, having all been destroyed, the universal song of jubilee heard by John in vision on Patmos will rise to God, when every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, will be heard saying: “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13.SYNPT 333.2

    38. What description does Isaiah give of it?
    39. What purpose will then be carried out?
    40. Where do we find prophecies that the glory of the Lord shall fill the earth?
    41. When will these prophecies be fulfilled?
    42. What has then become of the wicked?
    43. What song will then be heard?

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