Abraham and his seed were chosen from the inhabitants of the earth for four purposes -



(a) To witness in the midst of universal idolatry.  “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe and understand that I am He. ... I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.  I have declared, and have saved, and have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God” (Isaiah 43: 10-12).



(b) To illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God.  “Happy art thou, 0 Israel; who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; thou shalt tread upon their high places” (Deuteronomy 33: 29).



(c) To receive, preserve, and transmit the Scriptures.  Moses said, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord thy God commanded me, that ye should do in the land whither ye go to possess it.  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4: 5-6).



(d) From this nation was to proceed the Saviour of the world.  To Abraham the promise was given, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice  Paul explains this promise in his letter to the Galatians (3: 16).  He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He (God) saith not, and to seeds as of many, but as of one; and to thy seed, which is Christ






To Israel in the Promised Land, God says, “If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments, all these curses shall come upon thee ...”  Then follows a long list of judgments which are to fall upon an apostate people.  Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy concludes with a wonderful prophetic description of the people in rejection, as they are at this day.  “The Lord shall scatter thee among all people from one end of the earth even to the other ... And among these nations thou shalt find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest, but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind, and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life






Is there any foundation in the Bible for believing that the Jews will be partially re-gathered to Palestine in unbelief?  God said to Ezekiel (22: 18) “Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even dross of silver.  Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem



Again, “As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it, so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.  Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof” (Ezek. 22: 20).



Then in Zephaniah 2: 1-2, the Lord said, “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, 0 nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you



This, then, is to be a gathering of the people together in their own strength, allowed by the Lord.  As we see in Ezekiel, it is God drawing them together for refining, though they think, as in official Zionism, it is their own natural genius which is doing the restoration.  That it is for refining judgment, is borne out by Zechariah 13: 8-9, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, two parts shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and I 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  Thus we see that there must be a re-gathering in unbelief,






that a “remnant” may be saved through great tribulation.  Therefore another period of tribulation is ahead of the Jewish people, spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah thus (30: 5-7), “Thus saith the Lord: we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands upon his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into a paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it In the Book of Daniel we read, “At that time (the time of the end of this [evil] age) shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation






We know that individual Jews, in this and all countries where they are scattered, have believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah, but it is not easy to imagine the whole Jewish nation becoming Christian; yet we are confronted with many prophetic Scriptures which teach, beyond doubt, that this will be so after their time of terrible tribulation, at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, their Saviour and Messiah.  In Hosea we read that God says, “I will go and return unto my place, until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (5: 15)



The Lord Jesus Christ speaks of this conversion of the Jewish nation when He uttered those solemn words, - “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, for I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth until ye say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,” and these words will be uttered by the Jews when in the moments of their severest trial, they will see their Messiah coming as their deliverer.






Following the conversion of the Jewish nation to Christ, we come to the prophecies concerning their wholesale return to this land.  God says in Isaiah 11: 10-12, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath; and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth



In Ezekiel 39: 25-29, it is written, “Thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in the land, and none made them afraid.  When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out from their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them any more there.  Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out of my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God



But in all these prophecies concerning the re-gathering of the Jews into their land, it must first be noticed that it is the Lord himself who gathers them, and secondly, they are a repentant remnant, and accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  The National movement of the present time fulfils neither of these conditions, and one can seek in vain for any blessing upon an enterprise which ignores God, and with no repentance.



We now come to the fulfilment of that fourfold mission for which Israel is chosen.  Israel converted and restored is said to then, “fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isa. 27: 6).  And in Zechariah 8: 23, we read, “Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, In those days* ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall 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  Thus the Jews of the future will not be hated and despised, but will prove to be an enormous blessing to mankind by taking to the four corners of the earth the joyful message of Salvation.






[* “Those days,” that is, during Messiah’s days upon this earth in the “Age” yet to come; the time described by Bible scholars as ‘the age of gold’ – presumably an expression based upon Daniel’s divine prophecy:- 

For lo, the days are hastening on

By prophet bards foretold,

When with the ever-circling years

Comes round the AGE of GOLD;

When peace shall over all the earth

Its ancient splendours fling,

And the whole earth send back the song

Which now the angels sing.

The Writer of Hebrews describes it as “a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” - which we are to “give diligence to enter into,” (Heb. 4: 9, 11).  It will commence when “the creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8: 21, R.V.): and, at the beginning of earth’s birth pangs, we are now awaiting the time of “the resurrection out from the dead” (Phil. 3: 11; Luke 20: 35), when the righteous dead shall arise from the underworld of “Hades” / “Sheol.” - (Isa. 66: 8, 9. cf. Rev. 6: 9-11; 20: 4.) - and overcomers’ to rule and reign with Messiah Jesus, upon and over this earth, Rev. 2: 26, 27; 3: 21. cf. Luke 14: 14; 22: 28-30.



Great ‘King of kings,’ why dost Thou stay?


Why tarriest Thou upon the way?


Why lingers the expected ‘Day’?


‘Thy kingdom come’.




Life in its fulness is with Thee,


Life in its holy liberty;


From death and chains this world set free:


‘Thy kingdom come’.




O King of glory, King of peace,


Bid all the storms and tumults cease,


Bring in Thy reign of righteousness:


‘Thy kingdom come’.




Peace, gentle peace, is on its way,


And holy love this earth to sway;


Hasten, O Lord, that glorious ‘day’:


‘Thy kingdom come’.




Oh, bid Thy blessed gospel go


Forth to each child of sin and woe,


That all Thy wonderous grace may know:


‘Thy kingdom come’.



                                                                                                                                                            H. BONAR.]



*       *       *












It should be a rule with every one who would read the Holy Scriptures with advantage and improvement, to compare every text which may seem either important for the doctrine it may contain, or remarkable for the turn of the expression, with the parallel passages in other parts of Holy Writ; that is, with the passages in which the subject matter is the same, the sense equivalent, or the turn of the expression similar.  Particular diligence should be used in comparing the parallel texts of the Old and the New Testaments.  It is incredible to anyone, who has not in some degree made the experiment, what a proficiency may be made in that knowledge which maketh wise unto salvation, by studying the Scriptures in this manner, without any other commentary or exposition than what the different parts of the sacred volume mutually furnish for each other.  I will not scruple to assert, that the most illiterate Christian, if he can but read his English Bible, and will take the pains to read it in this manner, will not only attain all that practical knowledge which is necessary to his salvation, but, by God’s blessing, he will become learned in everything relating to his religion in such a degree that he will not be liable to be misled either by the refined arguments, or by the false assertions, of those who endeavour to engraft their own opinion upon the oracles of God.  He may safely be ignorant of all philosophy, except what is to be learned from the sacred books, which indeed contain the highest philosophy adapted to the lowest apprehensions.  He may safely remain ignorant of all history, except so much of the history of the first ages of the Jewish and of the Christian Church as is to be gathered from the canonical books of the Old and New Testament.  Let him study these in the manner I recommend, and let him never cease to pray for the illumination of that Spirit by which these books were dictated; and the whole compass of abstruse philosophy and recondite history shall furnish no argument with which the perverse will of man shall be able to shake this learned Christian’s faith.  The Bible thus studied will indeed prove to be what we Protestants esteem it, a certain and sufficient rule of faith and practice, a helmet of salvation, which alone may quench the fiery darts of the wicked.









If we distort the truth, or mix it with what is false, the truth becomes - really and rightly - incredible: so when the literal Second Advent, with all its attendant prophecies, is denied by vast sections of the Christian Church, the consequent doctrine - a Gospel which is to capture the whole world for God - becomes, in the face of the facts, as incredible as it is false.  It was the challenge of Bradlaugh, the great infidel of the nineteenth century:- “God, a God of truth?  Why, He promised to Abraham in the most solemn words, He repented His promise, and He has not kept His word.  The Bible which reveals the attributes of Almighty God, tells us that God condescended to swear to a puny man that He would establish his kingdom forever, and that his seed should be as numerous as the sand upon the seashore.  That promise was reiterated and sworn to by God, and I ask, where is that kingdom now?  Here?  Do not tell me it is meant figurative; do not tell me that it is not literal.  God swore it  By mere increase of population the world is growing more heathen by 6,000.000 a year; and in the words of an Anglican Bishop:- “The earth in this present era is seething with disorder.  There are in Europe many signs of a crumbling civilization.  There are countries where truth is scorned, freedom destroyed, and international righteousness mocked









Who at the coming of Christ will be represented by the wise virgins?  Who by the foolish?  Were the latter finally saved?  What class of persons are the five wise virgins intended to represent?  Christians, undoubtedly, as the name indicates and implies.  Virgin signifies persons morally chaste and pure, and is applied equally to both sexes in the Scriptures (see Rev. 14: 4), and is never applied to the unregenerate, or enemies of Christ.  All expositors are agreed that these five virgins represent Christians.



What class will the foolish virgins represent?  Though called “foolish” they were as certainly virgins as the five wise ones.  The term virgin as certainly designates Christian as the terms “elect saints”, and is never applied to the morally impure, or the unregenerate, any more than the term leaven is applied to something pure and holy.  These five and unwise virgins were not enemies of Christ - hypocrites under the guise and profession of friends.  All that is said of them implies that they represent Christians as certainly as the wise ones.  They are called “virgins” by Christ.


                                                                                                        -  J. R. GRAVES.