ISRAEL TO-DAY AND TOMORROW
D. M. PANTON
Jew is so the enigma of history, the insoluble exception to all national
rulers, that Hagel, the German philosopher, said:- "The history of the Jew is
a dark, troublesome enigma to me. I am not able to understand it.
It does not fit in with any of our categories. It is a riddle."
Moreover, it is the key, and the only key, to all history. Herr Streicher, probably the bitterest Jew-hater in the world, said:- "I shall not rest until the
motto - The Jewish Question Explains All World-History - appears on the wall of
every University, and every elementary school, and of every school teacherís
home." A keen-eyed enemy of Jehovah thus discovers, through
the observation of hate, one of Jehovahís master-truths. Every day the
Jewish problem grows more acute all over the world, and every day it becomes
more vital that we should grasp Godís solution of the problem, so that we may
tread warily in the dangerous spiritual country we are entering.
of all, Scripture makes the present position of Israel perfectly explicit.
Hosea sums it up. "And Jehovah said, Call
his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I
will not be your God: yet the number of the children of Israel shall be
as the sand of the sea" (Hos. 1: 9).* Israel to-day - disowned, disinherited,
without God and without hope - [i.e., for as
long as they continue to reject Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, and up to
the time of His second advent,] - exceeds, in
its 15,000,000, all limits in its long history. There is, as Paul says,
"at the present time a remnant according to the
election of grace" (Rom. 11; 5),
and no Christian mission in the world has been - in ratio to its numbers - so
successful as the appeal of Christ to the Jew; but, as a race, once Godís
select and solitary people, it has now been wholly supplanted by the
Church. God never has two peoples on the earth at once. As Hosea (Rom. 9: 25)
says again:- "I will call
them my people, which were not my people: and her beloved which was not beloved."
The unceasing sin of fifteen centuries culminating in Calvary produced our
Saviourís terrible summary of Israel:- They "which say they are
Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2: 9).
[* In 1790 there were 3,000,000 Jews in the world;
in 1881 there were 7,500,000; in 1914 there were 14,000,000; in 1923 there were
For a deeper truth lies beneath. The "Israel of God" never was, and will be, on this
side of the Kingdom, anything but a core of life in a rind of death. Paul
puts it (Rom. 2: 28) thus:- "He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that
circumcision, which is outward, in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one
inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the
letter." All down the centuries, the real Jew,
of God, was the Israelite who had been born again. "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but
A NEW CREATION: as many as shall walk by this rule" - the
experience of the new birth - "peace be upon them,
and upon the Israel of God" (Gal. 6: 16)
- all the redeemed of all ages who are Abrahamís blood. It is a
striking confirmation that no sooner does Nicodemus stumble over the doctrine
of regeneration than Jesus says (John 3: 10):-
"Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest
not these things?" The whole Bible (e.g. Ezek. 11: 19, etc.) states always the necessity of
a new birth.
Israelís age-long apostasy can only
ripen to its close. The vast resurgence of the Jew to Palestine
which all the world is watching can, both in normal development and in
prophetic fulfilment, have but one certain goal - a rebuilt Temple. Here is a petition in the
Prayer Book of the British Jews:- "May it be thy
will, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, that the temple be speedily
rebuilt in our days, and grant our portion in thy law. And there we will
serve thee with awe, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years. Then
shall the offering of Judah
be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years."
The final tragedy of Israel
she herself thus prepares. For a crowning covenant (doubtless made for
their own protection) with Antichrist of a weekís duration he suddenly breaks,
the resumed sacrifices are at once stopped, and the Image of the Beast is
erected in the Holy of Holies as a final insult to Jehovah.
a second selection within Israel
- not now a remnant according to the election of grace - appears. Out of
the twelve tribes, rediscovered doubtless supernaturally, a new remnant arises
for which a peculiar destiny is reserved. "A
hundred and forty four thousand," John says (Rev. 7: 4), were "sealed
out of every tribe of the children of Israel." It is to
all restored Israel in Palestine that our Lord directs His command:- "When ye see the abomination
of desolation standing in the holy place" Ļ
- Antichristís image in the rebuilt temple - "then
let them that are in Judea flee unto the
mountains" (Matt. 24: 15). †These "fly into
the wilderness" - beyond the mountains - "where they are nourished" - doubtless again by
Angels with manna (Rev. 12: 14) - for the
three and a half years of Antichristís world dominion.
a tremendous revolution occurs, necessarily, as the new age dawns; and the
whole attitude of the Jew is revolutionized, probably by the appearance, and
inspired instructions, of Elijah returned from the heavenlies. Church
standing departs with the day of Grace: righteousness - that is, law - returns;
therefore Old Testament distinctions once again sever the nations. This
is most strangely disclosed when the entire mass of mankind is brought before
the Lord on Olivet. The treatment of the Jew - Godís people once again,
with the enormously rich added asset that Incarnate Deity has since been born
of that race - becomes the criterion of international judgment. "Inasmuch as ye did it" - good or bad - "unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it
unto me" (Matt. 25: 40); for the
Saviour identifies Himself, on the Judgment Throne, with the race out of which
He was born; and this crucial dividing line Christ drives through the entire
mass of humanity alive on earth in those closing years. So, exactly as of
old, Israel, irrespective of
its internal spiritual condition before God, is again the Chosen
Race, chosen with a Divine choice which God demands that the nations shall
recognize. "ALL THAT DEVOUR HIM SHALL BE
HELD GUILTY: evil shall come upon them,
saith the Lord" (Jer. 2: 3).
now we close the double secret of Israelís last dread tragedy. On
the one hand, from the side of God the judgment for Calvary down all the ages
culminates in the agony of ĎJacobís troubleí:
from the side of Satan, the last physical embodiment of the Divine - Israel, who
produced both the Bible and the Christ - becomes their last crucial obstacle to
Hell. The double provision works the tragedy. †Privilege unexampled met by sin unexcelled -
the crucifixion of the Son of God supplemented by a rebuilt Temple after two
thousand years of gospel appeal, on the one hand: on the other hand, the plot
of Hell to make this Divine judgment, carried out by the nations, Israelís
extermination, so stamping out even the records of God:-
these together, from opposite poles, combine to produce a national agony
without precedent in the history of the world. Two-thirds of the restored
Zionists of Palestine will be massacred or otherwise destroyed (Zech. 13: 8); and nothing will prevent the
annihilation of the Jew but the descent of our Lord on Olivet.
now we reach the most extraordinary fact of all. Godís Word remains
inevitable. After forecasting their total fall, Hosea
(1: 10) says:-
"And it shall be, that in the place where it was
said unto them, Ye are not my people" - that is, throughout the
whole earth - "there shall they be called sons of the living God."
So Paul says (Rom. 11: 25):- "A hardening in part hath befallen Israel,
until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; AND SO ALL ISRAEL
SHALL BE SAVED." ĎFulnessí
means a patch sown into a rent, the filling up of a gap: the moment, therefore,
that the last Gentile is sewn into salvation before the Apocalypse of Christ,
the hour strikes for the salvation of the Jew. Amid its sobbing millions
(Zech. 12: 11) a nation is born again in a
day; and with our Lord once again on earth Jehovah says:-
"Thy people shall be all righteous, they shall
inherit the land forever" (Isa. 60: 21).
THE ROYAL NATION
finally, in the Age to Come,
that royalty of the nations for which she was created. "And it shall come to pass in the latter days that many
peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the
Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and
we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word
of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2: 3).
That Israel will be the
Royal Nation shines forth in the fact that
a unique reward of the Apostles is that they "shall
sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19: 28); and the only earthly Monarch in the
Kingdom revealed to us by name is Ďthe man after Godís own heart.í
"And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he
shall feed them, even my servant David" (Ezek.
34: 23 and also Hos. 3: 5). So of the earthly Jerusalem Jehovah says:-
"That nation and kingdom that will not serve thee
shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted" (Isa. 60: 12). Gabrielís announcement to Mary -
"The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of
his father David" (Luke 1: 32),
is accomplished in the words of Jeremiah (3: 7) - "At that
time they shall call JERUSALEM THE THRONE OF THE LORD: in those days
the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come
together out of the land of the north that I gave for an inheritance unto your
No prophets now their hearts
Forsaken Israel wanders lone;
Their fathers would not know Thy ways,
And Thou hast left them to their own.
But O, when stoops on Judahís path,
In shade of storm, the frequent night,
Be Thou, long suffering, slow to wrath,
A burning and a shining Light!
O come O come, Immanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee,
Matthew 24: 15 is directed to "the disciples" (ver. 3):
not Ďto all restored Israel in Palestineí.
has been pointed out that the "blessed hope"
of the church, is the "glorious appearing ["appearance of the glory" (Greek)] of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2: 13): it is not a secret, invisible
writing "to the Church" (1
Thess. 1:1) in ch. 2
says: "Donít let anyone deceive you
in any way, for that day [Ďthe day of the Lordí, 2: 2.) will not
come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed,
the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself over everything
that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in Godís temple,
proclaiming himself to be God" (ver. 3, 4).
words "appearance" and "glory" are a repetition of the words used by
Christ in Matt. 24: 30 on the same topic:
"At that time" [that is, after
the events that immediately follow the Great Tribulation] "the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the
sky, ... they will see the Son of
Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."
(G. H. Lang.)
the "elect" (of Matt. 24: 24) refers to disciples who are Christians
is certain, as G. H. Lang has
pointed out:- (1) "No
gathering of Jews to Palestine
at this hour is known to Scripture. †There
is to be one before the reign of the Beast, for he will persecute them there,
and another, expressly termed the second, after Christ shall have
come to Jerusalem
(Isa. 11: 10, 12). If
this at the moment of the appearing were Jews that latter one would be the
third. (2) This gathering of the elect is universal: were
it of Israelites none of these would be left for that later and second
gathering. (3) The Gentile nations, not angels, will be agents of that
second gathering of Israel
(Isa 11: 12; 14: 2; 49: 22; 66: 19,20). (4) This gathering takes place while Christ is yet
in the clouds, whereas Israel
are not to be gathered there, but to their land and
Christ further stated that the gathering of the elect should be
accompanied by "a great sound of a trumpet" (Matt. 24: 31). This is repeated in 1 Thess. 4: 16, and 1 Cor.
15: 52 describes this as the "last trump." The
last trump of Scripture is recorded in Rev.
11: 15-18. Under it four events are
grouped: (1) The anger of the nations and Godís wrath upon them;
(2) The time of the dead to be judged - the godly dead, for it is before the
millennium: comp. Dan. 7: 22; (3) The rewarding of the prophets, saints, and those
who fear God; (4) The destruction of the destroyers of the earth.
Thus the raising and rewarding of the godly take place at the same
epoch as the destruction of the wicked, and all is after the Tribulation, for it is the time of the destruction of
the Beast, and is after he has persecuted, and has killed the Two Witnesses in
Jerusalem (Rev. 11: 1-3). Thus the church of God
is viewed as continuing in affliction right down to the apocalypse
(public appearing) of Christ."
the rapture of the watchful, prayerful and all "able
to escape all that is about to happen," [ i.e., the
Great Tribulation] who will "be able to stand
before the Son of Man" (Luke 21: 34-36);
must therefore be only a section of the redeemed; and this is
taught also in Rev. 3: 10: "Since you have kept my
command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour
of trial that is going to come upon the whole world"
- this is a conditional promise, and therefore does not
embrace all the redeemed.
raptures must therefore occur, the first before the Tribulation,
and the other at its end; and the former is selective. That
is, it includes only those who are Ďcareful,í Ďalways on the watch,í and Ďable
to stand before the Son of Maní (Luke 21: