THE DRAMA OF ISRAEL*
By D. M. PANTON
tract was written in September, 1948.]
extraordinary manner in which Palestine - as none of us would have thought
possible in our day - fills the horizon of the world, makes it wise for us to
master Israel's history, past and to come, so that we may pray aright, speak
aright, and act aright concerning the only nation God has ever taken to His
heart a nation (Amos 3: 2), and whom He
addresses in the Old Testament His Bride yet to be.
is an urge of nationalism that is sweeping through the Jews of the world. †In 1827 there were 500 Jews in Palestine -
even that was probably the largest number since Hadrian exiled all Jews from
Palestine in the second century: in 1918 there were 50,000; to-day* there are 600,000. †Utterances of the Rabbis in the Holy Land reflect this passionate longing for return. †"The very air of
Palestine,Ē says one Rabbi, ďmakes one wise: to live in Palestine is equal to the observance of all
the commandments.Ē †In the third
and fourth centuries they taught that "he that dwelleth in Palestine
is without sin." †Most
terrible of all, the Talmud itself says :- "He that hath his
permanent abode in Palestine
is sure of the life to come."
pictures the modern Jew in one of the most terrible parables in the Bible. †"The valley was
full of bones" - bones dry and scattered, picked clean by vultures;
"and behold, there were very many in the open
valley; and lo, they were very dry" (Ezek. 37: 1): "then
he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel"
(ver. 11). †For
eighteen centuries, Israel
has been a fruitless figtree. †God said:- "I
will even give them up to be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the
earth for evil; to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all
places whither I shall drive them" (Jer. 24 : 9).
†Our Lord expresses the truth in the most
awful words of all. †To the Church in Smyrna He says:- "I know the blasphemy of
them which say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of
Satan" (Rev. 2 : 9).
†The Zionists endorse godlessness to the
full. †A converted Rabbi (Mr. Bergman) says : "I came in contact with many of them - often men of culture -
and when I asked them if they thought they were employing the right means,
their answer was - 'We have Dr. Herzl, he will lead us.' †'No,' said I, 'let us see what God
says,' but their reply was - 'We have nothing to do with God.' †One of these rich men told me
he was a banker, and had to deal with money day by day. †He asked me if I could spell God; and when I
did so, he said 'NO, G 0 L D, that is the
god I worship.' †Such are the leaders of the Zionist movement!"
†It is a Jew who has created the
mightiest anti-God movement on earth, a creed which threatens to swamp the
world - KARL MARX.
A Forfeited Land
inevitable consequence is rarely seen, even in the Church of God.
†The returning Jew has forfeited all
right to the Holy Land. †The Old Testament prophets, from Jeremiah
onward, are one increasing protest and warning to Israel that their continued apostasy from
Jehovah could have but one result - a total loss of the Holy
Land. †Their crucifixion of
Messiah was the final crash. †Calvary was
a joint action of Jew and Gentile; but to place it on the Scribes and Pharisees
alone, and not on Israel
as a whole, is merely an escape from the truth. †"All the
People answered and said, His blood be on
us, and on our children" (Matt. 27: 25).
†So far from the present return to
Palestine being a re-call of God, a restoration of the Holy Land to the Jew,
two-thirds of the entire population are yet to be wiped out by the sword (Zech. 13: 8) - an end impossible to a nation
brought back by God; and we have already seen in the last few years actually
half the race - six millions - blotted out of existence.
a critical question at once confronts us. †Spiritually, is Israel totally destroyed? †Paul answers. "Did
God cast off his people? †God forbid. †At this present time there is a remnant
according to the election of grace" (Rom. 11: 1, 5). †It is
estimated that during the nineteenth century about 224,000 Jews accepted the
Christian Faith; and since the first World War 60,000
in Russia, 40,000 in Poland, and 97,000 in Hungary, have come to know their
But the most wonderful development of all remains, God
Himself laying down the challenge. †After the coming
extermination in Palestine,
He asks:- "Son of man,
can these dead bones live?" (Ezek. 37:
3). †God Himself alone can answer
the question. †"Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live ; and the breath came into them, and they lived, and
stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (verses 5, 10). †But this is a bodily restoration first. †"Lo, there were
sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above: but
there was no breath in them"
(ver. 8). †The
restoration (as Hengstenberg
says) is first an external, political one: all Israel
is gathered again into the Holy Land - "the bones came
together, bone to his bone : I will
open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, 0 my people; and
I will bring you into the land
of Israel" (verses 7, 12).
†And Jehovah says He speaks it Of THE
WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
the physical restoration is to be followed, later, by a spiritual restoration
no less complete. †The trial of the last
days will shock them into repentance. †"I will being the
third part through the fire and will refine them as silver
is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my
name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and
they shall say, the Lord is my God" (Zech. 13: 9). †The Holy Spirit is the oxygen of man, without
which he is a walking corpse: so Jehovah says of the dead bones, - "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause
you to walk in my statutes; and ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to
your fathers" (Ezek. 36 : 27). †Or,
as Paul puts it, "ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED"
(Rom. 11: 26). †"It shall come to
pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not
my people" - the present Zionists - "it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God"
(Hos. 1 : 10).
The Greatest Nation
is most remarkable that the Holy Land, as a country and a nation, is to have
its prophecies and promises fulfilled as; it has never known them: Jehovah's
forecast for Israel is
vaster than Israel
has ever received. †The promise given to
Abraham (Genesis 15 : 18) and the boundaries
foretold in Ezekiel cover a territory which
includes the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, a territory of 1,000,000 square
miles - and, in that day, "The desert shall
blossom like the rose" (Isaiah 35 : 1) - an area more than sufficient to include England
Scotland, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. †Palestine,
Syria and Transjordania are all in it. †Ultimate
extension of the boundaries was promised to Moses three times over:- "The Lord thy God shall
enlarge thy borders as He said unto thee" - "from the river
of Egypt to the uttermost
sea shall your coast be." †It
seems certain that in the coming [millennial] Kingdom, Israel will be the most powerful of
all the nations on earth.
A Missionary Nation
wonderful of all is the coming mission of Israel to the world. †"Israel,"
says Isaiah 27 : 6,
"shall blossom, and bud and fill the face of
the world with fruit." †Paul's prophecy is amazing. †"If the casting
away of them is the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving
of them be, but LIFE FROM THE DEAD?" (Rom. 11: 15). †Many years ago Edward Bickersteth wrote on a slip of
paper "Eight million Jews, eight hundred million
heathen, which of these is the more important?" †Charles
Simeon turned it over, and wrote on the other side - "If the eight million Jews are to be as 'life from the dead' to the
eight hundred millions, what then?"†
The Scripture reveals. †"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall
come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the
languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of
him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is
with you." (Zech. 8 :
Very just is the comment of The Flame. †"... men of the
world, who do not pose as Christians, have a far clearer insight into the
alarming state of the world than the most professing Christians. It is high
time for the Church
of God to awaken to the
fact that the end of the age is upon us, and that the second coming of Christ
is at hand."
To recognize the approach of the "day of the Lord" is expected of ALL
believers. †Just as certainly they are
warned that they will not know the day or the hour. †The good effect of this expectation is
illustrated by the aged man who, when asked as to what value his belief in
Christís soon coming was in his life, said, "Iím
sitting with my feet untangled."
From the Mount of Olives
comes the clear challenge "Go ye [disciples] into all the world and preach the Gospel ... This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in
all the world for a witness."