Israel in the Millennium


By John Douglas [edited]


(This message was given at a Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony Conference in London on 22nd September, 2006.)


Let us turn to Romans 15 and in particular to the verses 9, 10, 11, and 12, which all contain the word ‘Gentiles  These verses are important.  Do you know who the Gentiles are?  They are those who do not come from the stock of Jacob, those who do not pertain to the twelve tribes of Israel.  So there is a sense, ethnically, in which mankind is divided into two, Jews and Gentiles.  It is interesting to notice that the Lord has kept a part of Romans 15 specifically for the Gentile peoples.


I commend verse 10 to your attention, ‘And again He saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles with His People  I have already explained who the Gentiles are.  This meeting today is, I guess, composed of a congregation of Gentiles and the preacher of the Word is a Gentile.  There are some observations I want to make about this verse.


Five Introductory Observations


1. It is important to learn when reading the Bible, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, the three expressions ‘Gentiles,’ ‘Heathen,’ ‘Nations’ all have the same word in the original.  There may be few exceptions, but nearly all the time, when you find the word ‘Gentiles’ in the Bible, you are entitled to read ‘Nations  Or, if you find the word ‘Heathen,’ please get this impressed upon your mind and heart, let it be your practice, automatically, to link in the ‘Heathen’ with that word ‘Gentiles’ and ‘Nations,’ because these three words in your Bible all spring from the same word in the original.  I cannot emphasise this too strongly, for Christians continually forget this all-important point.  If you read ‘the heathen’ in the Bible you are not to imagine that the Lord has in mind those whom we would regard as heathen.  That is not the thought in the Bible.  The Lord is talking about Gentile peoples, and we are among them.  Ordinarily in Scripture, when Gentiles are mentioned, they represent the ungodly world.  So those three words are there.  I am going to be repetitive and I do hope that it is not too tedious, but I do want it to stay with you that the three words ‘Gentiles,’ ‘Heathen’ and ‘Nations’ all come from the one word in the original.


2. It is equally important to observe that Israel is called ‘His Peopleand this quotation is made after the Lord Jesus died and rose again.  So Israel, after Calvary, is not merged into some kind of anonymity, blended in with the nations and lost to view among the nations; but, even after Calvary, and after Pentecost in Acts 2, Israel is still a distinctive people.  Israel is seen here in verse 10 as a distinct entity and importantly, notice this, Israel as seen is in union with God, because Israel here is described as ‘His People  So, we are looking at God’s covenant people here, that part of Israel brought into the covenant of redemption and made one with God and with Christ.  Israel retains her identity, even though Christ has died on the cross.  That death on Calvary and the rising again of the Saviour has not abolished the special identity of Israel; for this quotation is entered into Scripture after Jesus’ death and resurrection.


3. Those saved among the Gentiles are called upon to engage in full-hearted joy, an abiding and an overflowing joy.  The Lord says, ‘Rejoice, ye Gentiles  They are to rejoice with His People; to rejoice with Israel. Nowadays, when Gentiles rejoice, they usually forget about Israel.  There are Gentiles who, if they rejoice now, will say to themselves that they are the whole people, the whole cheese, and it does not matter about Israel.  That is sad.  It is a departure from Scripture.  That preposition, ‘meta’ (with) in the Greek, means ‘to go along with, to be in conjunction with  So Gentiles should rejoice, not apart from Israel, but along with Israel.  If you like, it is a celebration of the Gentiles, with Israel, about what the Lord has done.  How important that is!


4. I want you to notice the significance of the word, ‘again  It occurs in verses 10, 11, and 12.  Mark those instances.  Remember that we believe in the verbal inspiration of God’s Holy Word, and three times the [Holy] Spirit of God says ‘again,’ to the Christian.  Why does He repeat this word?  He is showing us that it is generally taught in the Old Testament that the Lord will allow for the admission of Gentiles into the Church, which is His Body.  He would allow for the occasion when the Gentiles would be brought to Christ, to know the Lord.  That is why again and again, quite deliberately, the Scripture has that word repeated.  The subject is generally taught.  The Lord is saying, in effect, ‘Do you see how the whole Bible is alive with this subject


5. There is a group of verses here with quotations from the Old Testament.  All three parts of the Hebrew Bible are represented in the quotations that are found here in Romans 15.  In verse 9, there is a quotation from the Psalms.  In verse 10, there is a quotation from Deuteronomy.  Verse 11 brings you back to Psalms. And in verse 12, the quote is from Isaiah.  Do you know the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible that the Jews, even to this day, recognise?  They are mentioned by the Saviour in Luke 24, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms.  For the Jews who were living through gospel days, that would have seen the whole Bible.  So the apostle Paul, in quoting the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, seems to be saying that throughout the whole Bible, God has made allowance for that day when the Gentiles would be brought under the sound of the Gospel, and so the whole Bible is there presenting that wonderful message.  This teaching is in the Law (verse 10), the Prophets (verse 12), the Psalms, which term represents a number of books in the Old Testament (verses 9 and 11).  That must be something in the testimony of God, in this chapter, for the believer who will take time to meditate on this passage.  It is not as if God just casually mentioned the Gentiles in some isolated part of the Bible.  Some of our friends in Christ think the Gentiles are not mentioned at all, which is sad, because the Lord shows here that this is widely taught throughout the Old Testament.  It is certainly taught enough for us to have it brought to our attention here.  From every part of the Old Testament there comes this testimony about those Gentiles who are to be brought into the fold and family of God.


Our subject is ‘Israel in the Millennium’ and, as a matter of interest, in verse 8 as well as in verse 10, Israel is specified as a people; and, as I have pointed out, in verses 9, 10, 11 and 12 we read of the Gentiles as well.  The two are seen to exist side by side.  So, although these verses take in the Gospel era, there is reason for us to say they also extend their application to the days of the millennium.  This is especially so with verse 10.


Why the Lord Came into the World: A Two-fold view


Verse 8 tells us that ‘Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers  So, the Lord Jesus Christ is described as ‘a minister of the circumcision,’ and thus the purpose of the Lord, in His first coming into this world, as it is highlighted here, is twofold.  First of all, in relation to Israel, the circumcision.  You see the words showing the purpose of the Lord in coming into the Land of Israel is ‘to confirm the promises made unto the fathers  Secondly, He has the Gentile peoples in view, for this scripture testifies, ‘and that the Gentiles might glorify, God for [His] mercy  The Lord will not forget His prophetic Word.  Specifically here it is stated the purpose that the Lord had in coming into this world, and in particular to Israel, was that He might confirm the promises.  He confirmed those promises by His teaching.  You will remember He said, ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil’ (Matthew 5: 17).  The Lord did not come to abolish the law or the prophets.  He said so.  He did not come to do away with the Old Testament.


There are Christians today, genuine Christians, who think the Old Testament is a secondary book and does not matter much, but the Saviour said He did not come to abolish or undermine the Old Testament.  He came to establish and fulfil it.


Remember, Romans 15: 8 assures us that the Lord came to Israel to confirm the promises.  So Jesus added in Matthew 5: 18, ‘Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled  Heaven and earth, as yet, have not passed away, and that means there is not one jot or one tittle in the Scriptures of truth that will pass away unfulfilled.  That is what we are looking at in Romans 15: 8.  The Lord came into the world to confirm the promises.  He confirmed them by His teaching, and He confirmed them by His coming into the world.


To what end, or why would He confirm the promises?  It is clear it is in order to put Israel onto firm ground whereby they could perceive that all that is said in Holy Scripture is still in force.  Put that another way, every word of God will stand and it will be fulfilled in spite of all that might occur to the contrary and everything that might appear to make the Word of God look as if its fulfilment is altogether impossible.


God’s Word Comes to Pass Irrespective of the Conditions


It seems to me, as I look through the whole period covered by the history of the Bible, that the Lord allowed time after time, for circumstances to arise where His people were involved, and those circumstances were so dismaying and so overwhelming, it seemed impossible for the Lord to honour His Word.  But then He fulfilled His Word in spite of the circumstances which appeared to be so contrary.  That cannot be coincidence.  The Lord allowed for things to be done in that way, and we may reason aright that if the Lord did things that way consistently in the past, then He will work that way in our time, and, indeed, beyond our time.  When it seems impossible for the Word of God to be fulfilled, it will be.  Abraham, when he was an hundred years old and Sarah was ninety, reasoned with God about the birth of Isaac.  It looked impossible, but God did it.


Jeremiah was told to buy ground as evidence that, after the seventy years’ captivity, God would bring Israel back to the land.  Jeremiah did not expect to live through the seventy years, and so could not see that he would be able to claim his inheritance.  He prayed about it, asking if anything was too hard for his God to do.  And the Lord answered saying there was nothing too hard.  Jeremiah had to buy the ground, get the deeds evidenced and put them in an earthern container.  I wonder if some day that container will be discovered.  Maybe we will have to wait till the Lord comes.  I do not press the point, but I have a feeling that some day the deeds will come to light and Jeremiah will rise [out] from [Hades, and his decomposed body from] the dust of death, and then the property will be his.


Certainly, the Lord came to confirm the promises, to put His people onto firm ground and to emphasise that the Word will be [literally] fulfilled.  When studying that word ‘confirm,’ I decided to look at the adjectives related to it.  I am not going to run through the whole list, but simply take a few.


Thoughts about the Word ‘Confirm’


An important adjective for the verb ‘confirm,’ which highlights the meaning of the word, is found in Hebrews 2: 2.  It is not difficult, and it is interesting to have a word picture, an illustration that we can associate with this Bible word.  The verse says ‘the word spoken by angels was steadfast  That related to the giving of the law, and therefore every word spoken on Mount Sinai stood and is still standing today and will stand for all eternity.  That gives a clue to our verse in Romans 15 where the Lord Jesus is ‘a Minister of the circumcision.’ He came to Israel to confirm the promises, to show them that every word in the Scriptures is steadfast.  That is what it means to confirm the Scriptures.  If you are a Christian and believe the Bible, the Lord can consolidate things and so enlarge the dimensions of your Christian life that you can say it is tremendous, as never before, to have the conviction that this is God’s Holy Word; every line, every word, and every syllable of it has come home to your heart with power.  That is confirming the Word.


Another example is in 2 Peter 1: 19 where it says, ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy  That word ‘sure’ is an adjective coming out of the verb ‘to confirm’ the prophecy.  So, when the Lord Jesus came to Israel at His first coming, He was showing to His people that every word in Scripture is steadfast and that every word of prophecy is sure.


The Scripture in Romans 15: 10 comes from the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 32, and we can make an important discovery.  So, to get things in perspective, our text in Romans 15 comes from the Old Testament and that would show the Old Testament is not abolished.  It shows too, since Deuteronomy is part of the law, and a key part of the law at that, that the Lord has not forgotten about, or relegated the law, making it of no account.  The law is relevant.  It is quoted in this doctrinal, theological epistle to the Romans.  Romans 15: 10 comes from Deuteronomy 32: 43.  That is an important discovery to make.  The verse says, ‘Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people … for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people  I would like to make and emphasise some observations on this Scripture.


You remember that everywhere in the Bible, virtually without exception, the three words ‘Heathen,’ ‘Nations,’ ‘Gentiles’ all come from one word in the original.  There is a demonstration of this when you look at verse 43 because if you did not know, you might say that this verse is different; that it is not an exact quotation, when compared with the parallel verse in Romans 15.  Well, it is an exact quotation.  When it says, ‘Rejoice, O ye nations,’ that is the same thing as saying, ‘Rejoice, ye Gentiles  That is very important.  So Deuteronomy 32: 43 is thus far saying the very same thing as Romans, for ‘nations’ or ‘Gentiles’ is the same word.  In the Hebrew, It is ‘goi  The American friends commonly use the term ‘guy


I would not be surprised if that expression came from the Jews of New York who, when they were all working together, would speak of a guy when referring to a Gentile.  They would have been using Hebrew, and somebody may have thought it a fancy word and decided to use it too.  I am not certain about this but it seems to me that is how that word came into being.  The nations, the Gentiles, the heathen; God has a command for them, and it is, ‘Rejoice, ... with His people  You see how the identity of Israel is so much to the fore.  God has not forgotten them.  He calls them His people.


In Fact, There are Four Entities in Deuteronomy 32: 43.


The first is the Gentiles or nations.  The second is the people, namely Israel.  The third is the adversaries, those who set themselves up in bitter enmity against the Lord and against His Christ.  The fourth is the land, called ‘His land.’ That is, [primarily] the land of Israel, [but also includes the whole of this world].  These four entities help to summarise the teaching of this verse, where the Gentiles are told to rejoice with His people.


At the start, I said there are some verses quoted in the New Testament which will reach a new level of fulfilment when the Lord Jesus comes, and this is one of them.  I do not doubt there are studious people in the Lord’s family who have understood long since that Romans 15: 10 has sprung from Deuteronomy 32: 43, but not so many [today appear to] have discerned the conclusion to verse 43.  They have only noticed the little snippet that is taken and carried over into the New Testament and I believe they have never thought to work out what the context is in which that word is given at the first, and they have not asked themselves the question, did the Lord say anything else?  When you do ask this, then you see that He did say something else, and what He said is infinitely important.


So why would the Gentiles rejoice?  The Lord has met with you and saved your soul.*  Are you rejoicing about that?  If I asked some friends why they are rejoicing, somebody may say that it is because their sins are all put away.  Somebody else with more study may say it is because the Gentiles, unworthy as they are, are put on the same foundation as Israel, they are brought into the body of the Lord’s people.  Another is bound to say the reason he rejoices as a Gentile is because he has become an heir of glory, and the best has yet to be.


[* Note. The words above, ‘saved your soul’ in this instance, refers to our eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus; but there are other instances throughout the Scriptures where the clause ‘the salvation of your souls’ (1 Pet. 1: 9), refers to a future salvation when the regenerate believer will ‘rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory’ (v. 8).  It is the Christian’s ‘Hope!  A ‘hope’ which will be ‘brought unto you’ (‘as obedient children’) ‘at the revelation of Jesus Christ’ (v. 13, 14).  It is therefore connected to the time of Resurrection and the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ - the Jews’ coming and long awaited true Messiah.]


But there is another reason why you should rejoice.  It is found in Deuteronomy, and it is God’s command for the Gentile to rejoice because (1) God is going to avenge the blood of His servants; He is going to deal with His adversaries, and (2) He will be merciful to His land, and to His people.  So the Gentiles are to rejoice, not only because the Lord will deal with His adversaries in due time but they are to rejoice because the Lord will be merciful unto His land and to His people.  The verse is quoted in Romans to show that what Deuteronomy says is still relevant.  The verse is not now relegated to history, having had only a past fulfilment.  No, the original wording ultimately relates to the future, the Book of Romans indicating that Deuteronomy 32: 43 is still given currency with God in our time.  God has by no means finished with this word from Moses.  That brings us straight into the subject of Israel in the millennium.


Set Your Heart on this Song


Before leaving Deuteronomy 32, we should consider the significance of verse 46.  I will ask you to search your heart and come to a conclusion, how many Gentile Christians have a hold of this and have rejoiced with His people, Israel, because the Lord is going to be merciful to His land and to His people?  And how many have seen that is part of a song?  Verse 46 is the concluding part of the song, and the instruction is to set our hearts on what the Lord has just now said.  I ask, have you obeyed the Lord?  Have you set your heart on this, because you could have missed it?  I firmly believe that Christians all over the world have missed this part of the message, and have not set their heart on it as God has required of them.  Moses spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people (verse 44).  It is a song, that is why there is rejoicing.  You are glad when you sing, and cannot sing dolefully.  The words are made into a song because men are to rejoice, and the Gentiles are allowed to come in at the end of the song, and rejoice because the Lord will be merciful to His land and to His people.


This is Israel in the millennium.  That is the key theme.  It came out of our text.  It did not appear to be in Romans 15: 10 but it was there all the time.  It was in the mind of God, and when we looked at Deuteronomy, the source text, we could see it right away.  We ought not to miss it.  In fact, God says, set your heart on it. We want to remember when we listen to God’s Word.  We do not mean to forget things, but we do.  God wants us to set our hearts on this, that the Lord will be merciful to His land and to His people.  And the Gentiles are called on to rejoice.  When - [if ‘accounted worthy’ (Luke 20: 35)] -  they get to be part of this and see what God has done then they will be rejoicing in it.  That is how it all comes together.


A Look at Exodus 19


We turn to Exodus 19 to see how the Lord will be merciful unto His land and His people.  This is a statement on the immutable purpose of God.  This chapter refers to the third month which coincides with Pentecost in the feasts of Israel.  They remembered, at the Passover time, their coming out of Egypt.  Sinai, with the giving of the law, coincided with the season of Pentecost.


1. What was the purpose of God in bringing Israel out of Egypt?  The answer is in the last line of verse 4, ‘I brought you unto Myself  That is the great scheme of redemption; the essence of the gospel; that is why the Lord saved you.  It was not just to keep your soul out of hell [i.e., the eternal place of the lost in ‘the lake of fire’].  The Lord saved you to bring you to Himself.  That is a lovely thought.  What did the Lord do when He saved me?  Praise the Lord, He brought me to the cross, He brought me to Himself.  If you are interested in studying the Bible and you wanted to put the whole book of Exodus in encapsulated form, I would put it to you, this very well sums it up, it is God bringing His people to Himself.  That is why He brought them out of Egypt.  That is why He sent the plagues.  That is why He had Moses go up on Sinai and He gave him the law. That is why God designed the tabernacle.  All these things in Exodus converge on the fact that God is bringing His people to Himself.  That is why I say this is a key phrase to the understanding of the whole book of Exodus.


2. When we come to verse 5, we see the next thing in the purpose of God for we read of God’s peculiar treasure.  The Hebrew word is ‘segullah  What does that mean?  It is translated ‘a peculiar treasure  The word occurs eight times in the Old Testament and a lot of those times God is talking about Israel as His peculiar treasure.


3. The third thing we should notice is in verse 6.  Israel is to be a kingdom.  This is Israel in the millennium because never in all their history has Israel been a kingdom in the manner described here.  It is not a kingdom in the usual sense because God talks of a kingdom of priests.  That has never taken place.  Israel has never been a kingdom of priests but it is plainly stated that, in the purpose of God, they are to be.  Will God’s Word fall to the ground?  Why did Jesus come the first time?  He came to Israel to confirm the promises, to show that every word is steadfast.  Heaven and earth will pass away before any jot or tittle will pass.


The jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew language.  The letter ‘jod’ is shaped like a comma but it is not a punctuation mark.  If you look at verse 6 you will see a comma after the word ‘priest  It is just a tiny little mark, of course.  That is a punctuation mark in the English, but in the Hebrew when jod is used as a letter, it looks like a comma but it is not placed at the bottom of the line; it is at the top.  It is shaped like a comma, but it is a letter.  And the Lord said not one of them will pass away.


In verse 6, there is a letter ‘b  At the top of that letter there is a small piece of ornamentation in some fonts, and I may compare that to the tittle.  And the Lord said that neither the smallest letter nor the smallest part of a letter will pass away till all will be fulfilled.  So Israel will be a kingdom, as Scripture says.


4. They will become a Holy Nation.  That is part of the purpose of God also.  I spoke to a young man who was not disposed to believe as we do, and so he was resisting all the way, but I told him to look at Israel.  I said that God’s Word will be fulfilled so that Israel must become a kingdom of priests and they have not yet been that.  God’s Word will be fulfilled to the letter.  Thus the nation will be so transformed as to be saints with God.


These then are the essential points.  (1) God has brought Israel out of Egypt to bring them to Himself.  (2) He will make them a peculiar treasure.  (3) They will be a kingdom of priests, and then (4) a Holy Nation.  They have not been a holy nation, as yet.


‘Yet for All That’


Turn to Leviticus 26, where we find God’s covenant expounded.  In this chapter, there is a long projected history of Israel having walked contrary to God, and God reminds His people of the years of woe and heartache and sorrow and despair and dismay, which come as a result of [wilful] sin.  Somebody may say God has forgotten Israel now; all of His covenant has passed away, and Israel has no future.  But God says He will remember His covenant.  Someone will say Israel’s sin, failure and unbelief, their rejection over years, centuries, or, indeed, millennia means that Israel has been disinherited.


In verse 42, the Lord states quite clearly that He did not make His covenant with Israel.  That is very important. God did not make His covenant with those people who committed all those sins and entered into disgrace.  He made His covenant with three people, with Jacob, with Isaac, and with Abraham.  He affirms it in this verse. He will remember that covenant with those three and they did not sin against Him in this horrific fashion.  They did not sin as to have God reject them and count them an abomination.  When He remembers His covenant with them He will remember the land.


Our principal quotation in this message has been that God will be merciful to His land and to His people. There is a marvellous promise in verse 44.  There is a long list of details about Israel’s shameful behaviour, but observe four words in this verse, ‘yet for all that  Mark them in your Bible.  God makes it clear that yet for all that, He will remember His land and His people.  Notice the negatives. (1) ‘I will not cast them away  (2) ‘Neither will I abhor them  (3) ‘To destroy them utterly,’ and (4) ‘To break my covenant with them


A gradation is there.  That is to say, it is like steps going down and getting worse as they go.  It is bad enough to be cast away, but it is infinitely worse to be abhorred, and worse still if God would destroy them utterly, and finally break His covenant.  They go from bad to worse, but the Lord is not going to cast them away finally. That is what He has said.  All this is written into the text, because God intends to bring Israel back to Himself.


Some Negatives are Positives


There is a rule in hermeneutics about God’s negatives, and it is this, that God’s negatives in a paragraph like this one, are intended to be positives.  Thus, the first phrase would be, I will embrace them. (He will not cast them away).  If He says, I will not abhor them that means, I will warmly receive and love them.  When He says, I will not destroy them utterly, that means, I will save and protect them.  And if He says, I will never break My covenant, it means, I will keep and establish My covenant.  It is a lovely thought to turn them into positives.*


[*Note.  Paul, in 1 Cor. 10: 1-11, is not threatening disobedient and immoral regenerate members of the Church   with the loss of eternal life in ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ (Rev. 21: 1); but he is threatening the ‘wicked’ and ‘immoral’ members of the ‘church’ - (if they do not repent) -  whit the loss of a millennial inheritance upon this earth, (1 Cor. 5: 13; 6: 9-11)]


In Jeremiah 30: 3, the Lord has said, ‘For lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’  So the Lord is going to bring them back, in the millennium.  In what way will God plant them in the land?  In chapter 32: 41 we read, ‘I will rejoice over them to do them good, and 1 will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul  The Lord will do this when the Lord Jesus comes again.  That God should speak of His whole heart and His whole soul is a unique statement in Scripture.  Did you ever come across anything like that before about God?  As if the Lord would speak as man speaks.  It is called in theological language, ‘anthropomorphism


Notice that in the next verse (42) reference is made to ‘all this great evil’ and again ‘all the good that I have promised them  One is set against the other.  This verse is very important, and tells us that as the evil has come, so the good will [i.e., eventially, but only after the kingdom ‘age’ has ended] follow, and each in conformity to His Word.  The past influences the future.  History is to be used as an aid to prophetic interpretation.  Bible history may be used as a guide as to how we study prophecy and how we should understand prophetic scriptures.  You could write a note in your Bible alongside verse 42 because the history of Israel is summarised in the words ‘as I have brought all this great evil upon this people  History is a guarantee as to how God intends to fulfil His Word.  All those ancient prophecies which were fulfilled to the letter, those prophecies which foretold terrible judgments and came to pass precisely, become the pattern by which we understand the prophecies about the future.  So we have a Divine rule of interpretation here, a God given hermeneutic as to how we should interpret Scripture.  God brought all this evil upon the Jewish people.  That is history.  Then the prophecy assures us the good He has promised them will likewise come to pass.


An Example of God’s Word Executed with Precision


A simple illustration would be that of Pharaoh.  God spoke through Moses saying ‘tomorrow at about this time I will bring a plague’ (e.g. Exodus 9: 18). How was the prophecy fulfilled?  Was it interpreted spiritually and did it take an infinite amount of time for the prophecy to be fulfilled?  Or, did Moses explain that he did not intend to take God’s Word literally?  No, the next day at the exact time the plague came.  Every word of God was steadfast and sure.


That is the note on which we began and that is the note on which we conclude.


(a) The Word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem in the millennium with such power and blessing (Isaiah 2: 14), that the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters the sea, (Isaiah 11: 9).  That is saying something.  We have never had that in our time.


(b) Near the beginning of the Book of Isaiah (7: 14) is a wonderful prophecy concerning a special birth, the virgin birth of Christ, which belongs to His first coming.  That virgin birth is something the natural man cannot believe.  Interestingly, the end of the Book (66: 8) has a prophecy about the second coming, also marked by a special birth, but this time, the birth of a nation.  At the coming of Christ the veil will slip away from Israel.  They will look on Him Whom they have pierced and God will pour out His Holy Spirit upon them, and the Bible asks, ‘Who hath heard such a thing  It looks impossible.  Nobody could believe this. There are men nowadays who cannot believe in that birth.  ‘Who hath seen such things?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth’ [the souls of the dead out of Hades] ‘in one day?  Or shall a nation be born at once?’ Yes, all at once.  In one day the nation shall be born at once, the redeemed of Israel will be saved.  ‘For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children  Praise the Lord.  It is a wonderful passage and the Lord will do great things in the millennium, when His name will be spread abroad and the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters the sea.



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Stand fast


By C. H. Spurgeon



Failure at a crucial moment may mar the entire outcome of a life.  A man who has enjoyed special light is made bold to follow in the way of the Lord, and is anointed to guide others therein.  He rises into a place of love and esteem among the godly, and this promotes his advancement among men.  What then?  The temptation comes to be careful of the position he has gained, and to do nothing to endanger it.  The man, so lately a faithful man of God, compromises with worldlings, and to quiet his own conscience invents a theory by which such compromises are justified, and even commended.  He receives the praises of “the judicious”; he has, in truth, gone over to the enemy.  The whole force of his former life now tells upon the wrong side.  If the Lord loves him well enough, he will be scourged back to his place; but if not, he will grow more and more perverse, till he becomes a ringleader among the opposers of the gospel.  To avoid such an end it becomes us ever to stand fast.



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Suminary of Romans 9 - 11


By Herman Newmark



1. Paul longs for Israel’s salvation (9: 1‑5; 10: 1).


2. There is still in Israel, even while the nation is set aside, and that Israel is the elected remnant of believing Jews, such as Paul himself (9: 6-22; 11: 1-6).


3. The larger part of Israel are hardened and blinded, and stumble at Christ, because of their self-righteousness (10: 1-4; 11: 7-11.)


4. They have not stumbled so that the nation should be utterly lost, but that salvation might come directly to individual Gentiles (11: 11-14).


5. Israel’s blindness is only temporary, and will be taken away when God’s present work among the Gentiles is completed (11: 15-25).


6. At Christ’s Second Advent Israel as a whole nation, including the remnant in the land, will be saved (11: 26-27).


7. The knowledge of the foregoing produces worship, praise and adoration of the God of Jacob ‑ ending in complete surrender to His glad service (11: 32; 12: 2).


8. Meanwhile the Gospel is to be preached to Jew and Gentile alike, for none can hear without a preacher, and the message to be preached is the Word of God (10: 5-21).


9. Believing Gentiles should today provoke the Jews to jealousy by their godly lives, and should show them the mercy which they have received from God (11: 11-14, 28-31).


We see, clearly, then, that God has NOT finished with His earthly people Israel, but that when our Lord returns to Zion (not heaven) He will turn away Jacob’s ungodliness, and they will be saved, thus becoming Israelites in deed and not merely in name.



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Loving Devotedness (2 Samuel 21)


By Cecil Yates Biss


(This article is taken from notes of an address given by Dr Biss, but was not printed until after his home‑call).



Let me explain the incidents of the story.  Saul was a man, impetuous in obedience or disobedience.  He grossly disobeyed God in not slaying Agag the Amalekite (1 Samuel 15); yet rushed forward to destroy the Gibeonites, to do service as he thought, though quite unbidden.  In Joshua 9 we read how they deceived Joshua; who, instead of asking directions of God, rashly made a league with them, thinking they had come from afar.  But when he had sworn not to destroy them, he found they were a people nigh unto them!  An oath was an oath; and Joshua, finding he had made a mistake in judgment, did not make it worse by breaking his oath.  So the Gibeonites dwelt among the Israelites as servants.


Saul presents us with the character of one misguided by religious zeal.  (It is a dreadful thing if such zeal gets off the lines of Truth).  Such zeal led to the Saviour’s crucifixion.  Saul was bound to have protected the Gibeonites, instead of that, he slew them!  This was a public act, a national sin; and the land was smitten with famine for three years.


David was king at that time.  He enquired of the Lord why the famine was sent and was told it was because the Gibeonites had been slain.  He was bound to deal with the matter in a public manner; so he sent to ask them what he could do to atone for the sin. They demanded, as the murderer was then fallen, that seven of his sons should be given up to be slain before the Lord.  The expression ‘before the Lord’ should be noted; meaning as an act of judicial punishment.  Whether the Gibeonites were right or wrong is doubtful.  I do not think they were right but David did not hinder them, as it was an act of public punishment and atonement; to let all see that public sin should be punished.  Do not say that David allowed this in order to get Saul’s sons out of the way, for he spared Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake; who, as a rival to the throne, was more to be feared than the rest.


The one bright spot in this dark story is the devotion of Rizpali.  Her two sons were taken and hanged on the hill before the Lord (verse 9).  This hanging up intimated that they were persons under a judicial curse (Deuteronomy 21: 23).  When people were judicially cursed, they were slain and the body ‘hanged up’ as a public demonstration of it.  Understanding this, the passage in Galatians 3: 13 respecting Christ has more force.  He took His people’s position and bore the heavy curse, as their Substitute.


We know nothing of Rizpah but what God has related here.  She comes before us as an example of devoted love; determining that nothing should separate her from her children.  So she took sackcloth and spread it upon the rock, and there abode day and night to chase away beasts and birds from her loved ones; and, what must have been yet more dreadful to her than the weary watching, was looking on their shrinking, blackening bodies.  If we want a picture of devotedness, we must look to a woman’s heart to show it.  God refers to it when He asks, ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, etc.?’


What a real Book the Bible is!  Here is a simple and natural story which might take place to-day; did take place then.  Rizpah had her troubles.  Bitter and deep they were.  So have we.  What was the cause of hers? SIN! What is the cause of ours? SIN!  Troubles would never have come but for SIN.  These troubles came to Rizpah through no fault of her own.  Many have to feel that their troubles come through their own fault; their own carelessness and mis-doing; but here is one who suffered the bitterest, sorest anguish, harder than death itself, through no fault of hers.  What is more, this poor Rizpah was all alone in her sorrow.  No one was willing to share that lonely midnight watch with her!  Sometimes, we have the help of the sympathy of others, and very precious it is; but how many troubles have to be borne alone, as the pressure of sorrow and affliction when left by those we love.  So we see Love sustained Rizpah and kept her up.


What would be the good of this story if we were to stop here?  To consider the sorrows of others would not make our own load lighter.  There is not a page of the Bible with which we may not connect Christ, so this picture presents us with a feeble illustration of the Love of Christ.  To speak of Him, is to speak of One Who came to be a Sufferer from the cradle to the grave!  He came to suffer for His people’s sins!  He came to suffer with them, not merely as a Pattern, but as a Fellow-sufferer - to bear the load for the sake of those for whom He suffered - and we can think of Him as really with us in our suffering, as when He was on earth.


Rizpah suffered for others, and in this was a pattern of One Who suffered not only for, but with His people. Human sorrow can be measured by the human heart, but not so His sorrow; and His Love is a Love ‘that passeth knowledge


Rizpah suffered for her children. Jesus for those who never loved Him till they knew how He had loved them! He suffered from the hand of man; from the rage of Satan, and from the wrath of God against Him as the SIN-BEARER.


Rizpah gained her end at last, and those bodies were buried as kings’ sons should be.




“… and joint heirs with Christ ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8: 17b, 18, A.V.).


“… heirs on one hand of God, joint heirs on the other of Christ, since we suffer with [him] in order also that we may be glorified with [him].  I reckon for that (are) not worthy the sufferings of the now (present) time [to with the coming glory (present) be compared]” (Lit. Greek).