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[Another outstanding, arresting and inspiring book by the author of The Conflict of the Ages.  In the light of the predictions of the Bible the prospects of the Jews, the Gentiles, the Church and Christendom are masterly unfolded..  Present day world conditions confirm the nearing fulfilment of these forecasts.  Read the startling signs of the times.  The answer to

the age-long question ‘Watchman, what of the Night?’ is given.  The Morning cometh and also the night.

 

Says a reviewer: ‘Your book is a deep study such as few living men could write.’”]

 

 

 

 

WORLD PROSPECTS

 

 

HOW IS IT ALL GOING TO END?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

 

 

ARNO CLEMENTS GAEBELEIN

 

 

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[Page 11]

CHAPTER 1

 

 

Can Man Know the Future?

 

 

Inherent in the heart of man is a deep desire to know the future.  Historians, archaeologists and anthropologists have furnished abundant evidence that this craving to know future events, as well as unseen things which man feels exist, was as marked in the beginning of history, when the human race was in its infancy, as it is in our own times.  The ancient Sumerian records, written in tablets of clay in the language of a dead past which scholars have deciphered, bear witness to it.  The learned Francois Lenormant in his master work, “The Magic, Sorcery, Astrology and Necromancy of the Ancient Chaldeans,” shows what a prominent place these things had thousands of years ago.  The Grecians had oracles in many places which uttered in trance - speaking their mysterious and mystifying sentences, claiming to give guidance and to uncover the future.  It is an undisputed fact that the attempts to know things to come are found everywhere, among all nations.

 

 

Astrology is the supposed art of interpreting the motions of the heavenly bodies as portents of the future.  Ten times the Bible uses this word.  In Isaiah 47:13 astrologers are called stargazers.”  All the other methods by which ancient man tried to make known things to come are mentioned in the Bible:  Divination, Witchcraft, Sorcerers, Enchanters and Necromancers.  The flight of birds, known as augury, the entrails of animals, looking into the liver, consulting images, shooting arrows (Ezekiel 21: 21), the movement of clouds, familiar spirits and a host of other things were used to find out the secrets of the future.  The horrible practice of making a son or a daughter pass through the fire (Deut. 18: 10) was not altogether a form of pagan sacrifice, but it was used to get light, in the form of an omen, of what is to come.  Similar fire-ordeals were practiced by many primitive people.

 

 

While these attempts were used more than four thousand years ago and can he traced among all nations, the twentieth century with its boasted enlightenment and progress, makes [Page 12] the same attempts.  The craving to know the future persists and that not alone among the illiterate, the ignorant and superstitious, but also among the intelligent, the cultured and so-called higher classes.  All the great daily newspapers of our big cities carry advertisements of astrologers, who offer their services to furnish horoscopes for individuals and promise by them to predict what will happen.  But worse than that is Spiritism, misnamed “Spiritualism.”  The enchanters, the wizards, the familiar spirits of ancient times, and the consulters of the dead, are all reproduced in this modern cult.  Men of the highest intellectual calibre have fallen for this delusion.  We mention the Italian scientist Lombroso, the great novelist, the late Sir Conan Doyle, the eminent English scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge, the late W. E. Stead, and hundreds of others - educated and highly-connected persons - who in their superstitious beliefs and practices do not differ at all from the Chaldeans of four thousand years ago.  Some of our leading universities have their circles for psychical research, the polite name for necromancy.  We also mention the trance mediums, on the same level with the oracles of the ancient Greeks, the materializations with their supposed apparitions, palmistry, fortune telling by cards, readings of the fragments in a tea cup, so popular today among the young, and a score or more of similar forms of divination and soothsaying.  All these things confirm the first sentence of this chapter – “Inherent in the heart of man is a deep desire to know the future.”

 

 

What, then, is the origin of this desire?  Man has a future.  Nations have a future and a destiny.  It is a postulate of our consciousness, that human history is heading towards a definite end.  It is more than the question of time or a future of material things.  Man is more than the creature of time, the creature of the dust.  Man has endless being.  He has a body over which the sentence of death is written, Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” (Gen. 3:19).  This is also true of the beast.  But man has a soul, the very breath of the Almighty, and that part can never die.  Man may deny it, but his denial can never give assurance; he is troubled [Page 13] by uncertainty.  Something speaks in his heart, which confirms what his blabbering lips try to deny.

 

 

There is a significant statement in Ecelesiastes, the book in which the natural man makes known his observations, obtained by a close study of human nature and human affairs.  Unfortunately that weighty statement has been not correctly translated.  We read about man, “He (God) hath set the world in their heart” (Eccles. 3: 11).  The meaning is confusing and obscure, how God sets the world into the heart of man.  The correct translation makes it clear, “He hath set eternity in their heart,” i. e., the consciousness of eternal being. This consciousness is the source of man’s desire to know the future.

 

 

The writer remembers a story which he read in his youth and which, in tender years, made a deep impression. A young person was asked by a godly man about what he intended to do.  He made known his desire of procuring a good education to make his mark in the world.  The Christian asked, “What then?”  And the young man spoke of his high ambitions of gaining a great reputation, of securing a high position in life, of having a charming woman for his wife, and sons and daughters, of becoming wealthy and enjoying life and the pleasures of life.  Each statement was met by the same question, “What then?”  Finally the youth said, “Well, I suppose as all men must die sooner or later, I too will have to die.”  Once more his questioner said, “What then?” Yes, “What then?”  Man survives the grave and eternity begins.  It is this consciousness which is chiefly responsible for man’s attempted search of the future.

 

 

In the same passage from Ecclesiastes there is written another sentence of importance, No man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”  In other words, the future is God’s secret; man cannot find it out by searching or in any other way.

 

 

Let us also remind ourselves that God in His Word has forbidden the various attempts to know the future, and has pronounced the death penalty upon all who practice these things (Deut. 18: 10-12).  In the New Testament, witchcraft, [Page 14] a term which covers all spiritistic and occult practices, is classed with murders, fornication and idolatry as a work of the flesh.  If some professing Christian reads these words, one who has fallen into some form of occultism, may this serve as a warning.

 

 

How futile all these attempts are may be learned from a sublime passage in Isaiah addressed to Babylon, Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou has laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels.  Let now thy astrologers, the star gazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee” (Isa. 47: 12-14).  There are two chief reasons why God has forbidden such peering into the future, and warned against it.  The first is that behind all these attempts stand the powers of darkness.  The Canaanitish nations which Israel found in their promised land were steeped in these things, and linked with these satanically controlled attempts of necromancy, soothsaying and spiritism were the most vile practices, so that God as a holy and righteous God could not tolerate them any longer, and commanded their extermination.  And behind the modern occultism and attempts to know the future is the same power.

 

 

The second reason is because these attempts deny the creature’s limitation and assume that which is the prerogative of God alone.  Omniscience is one of the great attributes of God and like Omnipotence and Omnipresence transcends our finite reason.

 

 

God alone knows the end from the beginning.  In a most impressive way this was revealed through the prophet Isaiah.  Here is the challenge addressed to the idol gods and to the astrologers and sorcerers of Babylonia. Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.  Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen; let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things to come.  Show the [Page 15] things which are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together” (Isa. 41: 21-23).  It is a divine irony.  A parallel passage speaks still more positively.  Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46: 9-10).  For anyone who accepts the existence of a supreme Being it is not difficult to believe that He, besides being omnipotent and omnipresent, is also omniscient, that all future was for Him, before all creation, an eternal present.

 

 

And now arises the most important question: Has the eternal God, the Omniscient One, made known, to His creature the secrets of the future?  Has He uncovered what the future holds in store for the human race and for this earth? If so, where is it to be found?  Let us look at two scenes recorded in the Bible.  In the first one we see a young man, just released from prison.  He had been in an Egyptian dungeon, suffering wrongfully.  A great potentate had called for him and hastily he was brought from prison.  In order to look decently he had to take time to shave himself and to exchange his prison rags for suitable raiment.  And now he stands before the mighty Pharaoh.  He had a dream which troubled his spirit greatly.  He called for all the sorcerers, astrologers, magicians, charmers and others who infested his royal Court to give him the interpretation of the dream.  They were silent.  Then that young man was brought into his presence, Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob.  He listens to Pharaoh’s dream.  Before he bears the dream he tells Pharaoh, It is not in me.”  He confesses that he could not know the future revealed in the dream.  Then he adds, God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”  Then we hear the Hebrew youth say twice more: God hath showed to Pharaoh what He is about to do” (Gen. 41: 1-39).  Here are two facts.  A believer in God and His power confesses his inability to know the meaning of a prophetic dream and expresses his faith in God that He is able to do it.

 

[Page 16]

The second scene is staged many centuries later.  Here is another heathen court.  Like the Egyptian Court, the Babylonian palace is filled with Chaldean soothsayers, magicians, astrologers, interpreters of dreams and sorcerers.  Nebuchadnezzar, the great God-appointed monarch of a vast world empire, was likewise troubled about the future.  What is in store for my great monarchy?  This question was uppermost in his mind.  God answered him by a dream.  The king demanded more than an interpretation of the dream.  The dream had been forgotten and the assumed masters of occultism were to make known what the king had forgotten.  It was the acid test of their powers.  They were helpless and, with the sentence of death hanging over them, they despaired.  In that court was another Hebrew prisoner, a God-fearing and God-trusting youth with his three companions.  They too were looked upon as belonging to the same class as the Chaldean impostors.

 

 

What great faith young Daniel manifested when he appeared before the king and boldly stated that the king should give him a little time and he would make known the dream and its meaning!  That night there was a prayer-meeting in Babylon.  The one petition was that the God of heaven should reveal the secret to Daniel. The prayer was speedily answered for the secret was revealed to the seventeen year old youth in a night vision. He believed in God’s omniscience and in His mercy to reveal it unto him.  After a remarkable outburst of praise (Dan. 2: 20-23) we see Daniel once more in the presence of the august monarch.  But we must listen to the choice words with which he addressed Nebuchadnezzar.

 

 

The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king.  But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.  Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these; as for me, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and He that revealeth secrets [Page 17] maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.  But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart” (Dan. 2: 21-23).  Here man’s impossible task to reveal future things and God’s ability to reveal secrets and the future are clearly stated with the refreshing humility of the Hebrew captive, who gives the glory to God.

 

 

What God did through Joseph and Daniel He has done throughout His Word, the Bible.  One of the outstanding evidences that the Bible is supernatural, that its writers were the mouthpieces of God, is the fact of prophecy.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1: 21).  One of the distinguishing features between the so-called “Sacred Writings of the East,” so frequently called mistakenly “The Bibles of Other Nations,” and the Holy Scriptures is that the former know nothing of prophecy and never attempted the forecast of the future, while the Bible contains the most startling predictions as to things to come [hereafter].  The fate of nations, the rise and fall of empires, the onward march of evil, man’s defiance of God and the final victory of the Lord, as well as the future of the earth and its final consummating destiny, all is minutely foretold in the Bible.  And that these [unfulfilled] predictions are absolutely trustworthy and reliable is vouched for by many scores of predictions which have found already their literal fulfilment in the past.  The fact of prophecy in the Bible has therefore drawn the fire of the enemies of the revelation of God.  Porphyry, the great heathen antagonist, and many other pagan philosophers, have done their utmost to discredit prophecy and failed miserably.  Julian the Apostate in order to prove prophecy a failure, attempted the rebuilding of the Temple.  God answered his attempt by what even Gibbon, in his famous “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” mentions as historical facts.  An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption, which [Page 18] overturned and scattered the new foundation of the Temple, are attested, with some variations, by contemporary and respectable evidences.” (Vol. III, page 159)

 

 

And in our own days the liberalists continue the work of Porphyry, the pagan philosopher, and enemy of supernatural Christianity, and Julian the Apostate.  They too deny prophecy and ridicule those who believe that God has revealed the future of mankind and the physical earth.  What has been said about God’s Truth is applicable to prophecy as well: “Truth is like a torch, the more it is shaken the brighter it burns.”

 

 

Can man know the future?  We answer without hesitation, Yes.  We can know the future through the Bible, the Word of God, but never apart from it.  In the pages which follow we shall give some of the most startling facts as to the prophecies revealed in the Scriptures, some of their past fulfilments and the rapidly approaching fulfilment of all prophecy, when finally every mouth will be stopped and a glorious vindication comes.  The writer is deeply convinced that the greatest need of the Church today is not only to examine prophecy, but to put all confidence in it, and walk and serve in the light of coming events, the shadows of which are rapidly lengthening.

 

 

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[Page 19]

CHAPTER 2

 

 

The Beginning of Prophecy

 

 

Prophecy is not confined to certain books in the Bible which are classified as “Prophetic.  The first book of the Bible, Genesis, reveals the beginning of all things including prophecy.  In fact everything in this great inspired historical account is prophetic.  History itself makes known future events.  The first chapter of this great foundation book is in itself prophetic in that it gives a forecast of the different ages.  As the writer has shown in his “Conflict of the Ages”, there was an original creation of God – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  The original earth is seen in the second verse of the Bible in a state of chaos and darkness.  It was submerged in water, symbolical of death.  The six days which followed are not the days of God’s primitive creation, but the days in which God reconstructed the chaotic conditions of our planet.

 

 

But these six days, and also the seventh, are prophetic of another work of God, His work in redemption.  His creature became alienated from Him by transgression.  Sin came and death by sin.  So man needs redemption.  The history of redemption in the different ages, or dispensations, which constitute God’s work-days in producing a new creation, can he traced in the six days of the first chapter of Genesis.  The first man, Adam, is prophetic of another Adam, the Second Man, the Head of that new creation, who will recover the lost dominion, when all things are put under His feet.  Then comes the great seventh day, the day of [millennial*] eternal rest, when God shall be all in all, when the work is finished.

 

[* NOTE. It must be millennial, because it has to do with this sin-cursed earth, (Gen. 3: 17, 18).  God’s ‘eternal’ rest will be afterwards - in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21: 1), after this earth is destroyed, ‘when the work is finished’.  The coming ‘sabbath-rest’ (Heb. 4: 1), is not His ‘eternal rest’.]

 

 

When man had sinned, Jehovah - God Himself spoke in Prophecy.  Genesis 3: 15 is the germ-prophecy out of which all prophecy springs, a remarkable forecast of history. The Redeemer, His suffering and His final triumph over evil, is here for the first time revealed.  In fact everything in the inspired record of the beginning of history is prophetic.  The Lord providing a covering for our first parents; the story of Cain and Abel – Abel’s suffering and tragic death, his [Page 20] acceptance with God, all is prophetic.  Cain, the murderer of his own brother, the vagabond who wanders on with the mark upon him, strangely preserved, is a forecast of a greater tragedy when He, whose blood speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12: 24), was rejected and slain by His own brethren.

 

 

The first recorded age is prophetic of every other age, including our own, the age which is nearing its predicted end.  It was an age of progress and civilization.  This is most wonderfully confirmed by archaeology which has uncovered the highest types of civilization in the remotest times, civilizations which can be explained only by a great primitive civilization which ended suddenly.  During that first age, according to the terse and only record man possesses, cities were built, discoveries were made, instruments invented, industries flourished. Humanity is seen divided into two classes, as it is still: the Cainites, the worldlings, the unbelieving, and the Godly, those who believed and retained the knowledge of God and found grace in His sight.  The age did not improve, but as every subsequent age, it deteriorated.  Civilization with all its “glorious” achievements ended in a tremendous collapse, as ever since one civilization after another has gone the same way.  Moral and religious corruption set in.  The earth was filled with violence; the sons of God came down to marry the daughters of men, and on account of the increasing corruption and vileness the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6: 1-3).  But Noah found grace in God’s sight.  A great coming judgment was announced.  The Ark, a place of salvation and safety was constructed, and finally the deluge came and the age ended.  All this past history is a prophecy of the future.  A student of history has well said, “History repeats itself.”  And Solomon, the keen observer, wrote: The thing that hath been, is that which shall be; and that which was done is that which shall be done” (Eccles. 1: 9).

 

 

Our Lord confirms all this for He said: But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24: 37).  And the Ark in which Noah and his house [Page 21] was sheltered, passing through the judgment waters, is in the light of the New Testament another prophetic type.

 

 

Nor must we forget one Antediluvian who was a prophet, Enoch, the seventh after Adam.  Enoch walked with God; and He was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5: 24).  This brief record is illuminated by statements in two New Testament Epistles, Hebrews and Jude.  From the former we learn how God took him, not by death, but by translation.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death and was not found, because God had translated him, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

(Heb. 11: 5).  In his experience he is a prophetic type of the promised translation of the living Saints before the complete collapse of our present age comes.  Enoch before his sudden translation was a mighty witness. Jude writes:  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord Cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude, verses 14 and 15).

 

 

Enoch announced a coming judgment.  That judgment was the deluge.  Peter reveals in his second Epistle that it is prophetic of another judgment, though not by water.  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.  But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3: 5-7).

 

 

We have given a telescopic review of part of the prophetic element in the opening chapters of the Word of God.  The second definite prophecy recorded in the Bible arrests our closer attention.  It is Noah’s prophecy. Noah had passed through a great judgment.  He and his house were saved out of the judgment.  God furthermore had made a [Page 22] covenant with him and elected him the head of a newly constituted government. But soon man’s failure becomes apparent.  In spite of God’s grace and mercy, Noah sins grievously.  We see him in a drunken stupor and shamelessly exposed.  The new dispensation began with failure and ended with failure.  Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, were the witnesses of their father’s sin and shame.  Ham, the father of Canaan, gloated over it, while Shem and Japheth acted in great modesty and shielded their sinful father.  When Noah awoke and found out what had happened, there came from his lips a striking declaration.

 

 

And he said, Cursed is Canaan, servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.  And he said, Blessed be Jehovah the God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.  Let God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant” (Gen. 9: 25-27).

 

 

This prediction gives a brief sketch of the history of the nations which came into existence during the ages which followed the deluge.  Here is a curse and a blessing.  The curse was pronounced not upon Ham, but upon one of his sons, Canaan.  The blessing rested upon Shem and Japheth.

 

 

According to Genesis 10: 6, Ham had four sons, Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan.  The curse was pronounced upon the fourth son.  No doubt all the descendants of Ham were included in the curse.  Subsequent history confirms this.  Ham means “black”; hence the black races descended from him.

 

 

Perhaps Canaan and his seed was singled out in anticipation of their future occupation of the land of promise. All has found its fulfilment.

 

 

We confine ourselves to a very few of the historical evidences that Noah’s curse and blessing was a prophecy. As to Ham and his offspring, history confirms what Noah said.  As we learn from the tenth chapter of Genesis, Nimrod was the offspring of Cush, Ham was his grandfather.  He became the founder of Babylon in the land of Shinar, so that the ancient Babylonian civilization was Hamitic in its origin.  Mizraim, the second son of Ham, became the progenitor of [Page 23] the Egyptians.  From Canaan sprang the Canaanitish tribes.  Babylon and Egypt flourished for a time and were known for their God-opposition, but both were reduced to servitude by the descendants of Japheth, the Greeks and the Romans and others.  Canaan especially became the servant of Shem, the Israelites.  When Israel was strong, they put the Canaanites to tribute (Judges 1: 28).  Solomon treated the Amorites, which were left in his kingdom, and the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and Jebusites, in the same way, Upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond service” (1 Kings 9: 20).  In Joshua’s day the Gibeonites, who had sneaked in among the children of Israel, were made servants, hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Josh. 9: 27).  The descendants of Ham also populated Africa, and the negro races became the slaves of the descendants of Shem and Japheth.

 

 

Still more interesting is the blessing pronounced upon Shem and Japheth.  The word “Shem” means “the name.”  Noah speaks of the Lord God of Shem.  It is a hint that Jehovah-God would reveal Himself in connection with the offspring of Shem, that in this family, “the Name” should be made known.  Centuries later the Lord said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  He also called Himself their God,” and said to the offspring of Shem: You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3: 2), having chosen the seed of Abraham, a son of Shem, to be His peculiar people.  All divine revelation is Semitic.

 

 

Japheth became the progenitor of the great Gentile nations.  Japheth means “extended, enlarged.”  Let God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem and Canaan be his servant.”  How true this is has been confirmed by past and present history.  The development of government, art, science and philosophy is found among the sons of Japheth, the Grecians, Romans, and the great Aryan races.  They are the domineering nations controlling the affairs of every continent.  The list of nations given in Genesis, chapter 10, the offspring of Japheth, has been pronounced by leading ethnologists as absolutely correct.  By these [Page 24] were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; everyone after his tongue, in their families, in their nations” (Gen. 10: 5).

 

 

But most interesting is the utterance of Noah that the descendants of Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem.”  Through Shem Japheth is to receive and share the promised blessing.  The Gentile nations were without God, without Christ and without hope in the world (Ephes. 2: 10).  After the Name which is above every other name had been revealed among the Jews - when He, who is the son of David and the son of Abraham, as concerning the flesh, had come to His own and His own received Him not, then the salvation which is of the Jews (John 4: 22) passed on to the great Gentile world.  In this way Japheth dwells in the tents of Shem.  But it has a still wider meaning.  As we shall show later, prophecy shows the glorious prospect of an earthly kingdom of righteousness and peace.  Shem’s family, Israel, will receive that kingdom and Jerusalem will be its glorious capital.  The Japhetic races will be gathered into that kingdom, for it is written of that coming day.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa. 60: 3).

 

 

Noah had spoken his curse and his blessing.  Probably he did not know that he had been the mouthpiece of Jehovah.  What followed we mention briefly.  The sons of Noah, their sons and offspring kept together for some time.  They had one language.  This is verified by comparative philology.  They journeyed from the East. The East is in Scripture the Sunrise, as it is in nature.  They turned their backs to the sunrise in another sense. They turned away from God.  God is not mentioned in the beginning of the chapter in which man’s failure and rebellion is recorded (Gen. 11).  They said one to another, Go to, let us make brick” – “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower” – “Let us make us a name.”  Nimrod, the mighty hunter, though his name is not mentioned, must have been the leader, for in Shinar he began his kingdom of Babel.  His ambition was the creation of a world empire in defiance of God.  God had given a definite [Page 25] command to be fruitful and replenish the earth (Gen. 9: 1).  The building of the city and the tower was an attempt to frustrate God’s purpose.  They did not want to be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (Gen. 11: 4).  Self-exaltation, defiance of God and rebellion against God, are the essentials of this first great apostasy after the deluge.  But this God-defying and man-deifying confederacy brought another judgment from above.  The Godhead spoke, answering their “Let us make us a name” with “Go, let us go down, and there confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.”  The confusion of tongues followed.  They were scattered abroad.  What they tried to escape came upon them.  Babel became confusion.

 

 

Here again, is an event in early history which is prophetic.  Babylon later comes into prominence and when we turn to the prophetic history given in the last book of the Bible we find another Babylon, another great leader, as Nimrod was, another confederacy - God-defying and man-deifying.  That final confederacy of rebellion against God and against His Christ is described in the beginning of the second Psalm.

 

 

And as it was over thousands of years ago so it will again be, Let us go down.”  The descent of the Lord Jesus Christ will come to deal in judgment with an apostate and rebellious world.

 

 

We shall now take up in detail the prospects of the world according to God’s own revelation.

 

 

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[Page 27]

PART 2

 

 

THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL

 

 

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[Page 29]

CHAPTER 1

 

 

The Promises Made to Abraham - Jacob’s Prophecy –

The Song of Moses

 

 

In the second half of the eleventh chapter of Genesis we find the generations of Shem.  Ten are given.  We note the shortening years of human life.  The time had now come in which the promised blessing to Shem was to be bestowed upon one of his descendants.  In sovereign grace the Lord called Abram, the son of Terah.  The wandering offspring of Noah’s sons builded cities and founded different kingdoms.  New civilization began to come into existence.  But what were their moral and religious conditions?

 

 

In possession of the writer is a Babylonian cone covered with inscriptions in the cuneiform language used at that remote time.  It was found in the debris of Ur in Chaldea.  The late Professor Clay of Yale University, an outstanding scholar, furnished a translation according to which the cone was made when Libit-Ishtar was king, at the time when Abram was a youth.  The cone was used as a votive object in an idol temple of Ur.  It is an interesting confirmation of the fact stated in the Bible that the offspring of Shem had departed entirely from God whom Shem worshipped and that they became idolators.  The statement confirmed by the Babylonian cone is found in Joshua 24: 9.- “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.”  Out of these surroundings and conditions God called the son of Terah.  The God of glory appeared unto Abraham (Acts 7: 2).  Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will shew thee” (Gen. 12: 1).  He was obedient to this call to separation.  While the other nations continued their wanderings further and further away from God, Abraham, the chosen one, received the revelations from God in a progressive way.  Linked with Abraham’s call and his response are certain promises, [Page 30] which have a decidedly prophetic character.  These promises are unconditional, hence they are of grace.  And I will make thee a great nation, and will bless thee, and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing.  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12: 34).  History answers as to the literal fulfilment of these prophetic promises.  The man of faith became one of the outstanding persons of history, the father of the nation Israel - venerated by his seed at all times, who call him Abraham, our father; venerated by Christians because he is the father of all them that believe; venerated also by the followers of Mohammed.  The promised blessing can be traced century after century, even during the present age in which blindness in part has happened to Israel.”  History bears witness as to the blessing coming upon those who blessed Abraham and his seed, and how the curse has rested upon nations which cursed Israel.  In him and in his seed all the families of the earth are blessed and will be blessed.  A certain theory, which claims that the Anglo-Saxons are the ten tribes of Israel (so-called British-Israel) teaches that it is through the English speaking races that this blessing is realized.  We shall have more to say later about this invention.  The blessing promised through Abraham to all the families of the earth has come through Him who is the promised seed, according to the flesh the Son of Abraham.”  He who said before Abraham was I am.”  There is yet a future blessing in store for all the families of the earth, when Israel receives the fullest glory in the [millennial] kingdom [of their Messiah] and all the nations of the earth will share in Israel’s blessing and glory.

 

 

The prophetic promises given to Abraham expand; they are progressive.  They concern the seed and the land. After Abraham arrived in the land, the Lord told him Unto thy seed will I give this land” (Gen. 12: 7).  After his separation from selfish Lot, his nephew, the prophetic promise becomes enlarged.  The friend of God is commanded to [Page 31] view the land, northward, southward, eastward and westward with the assurance “all the land which thou seest to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever* (Gen. 13: 14-18).  A still greater promise was given as to the future of Abraham’s seed when the Lord made a covenant with him.  Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates” (Gen.15: 18).

 

[* NOTE.  The word “forever,” in this context, should be understood to mean for as long as Abraham’s God-promised inheritance upon this earth will last.  For “He [God] gave him [Abraham] none inheritance in it” - [i.e., the land of promise] - “no, not so much as to set his foot on: and he [God] promised that He would give it to him in possession, and to his seed after him…” (Acts 7: 5, R.V.).  Hence, “forever” should be understood to mean until the end of the Messianic kingdom - that is, after the time of Abraham’s resurrection, and therefore after the God’s promises to Abraham are literally fulfilled.  It cannot be extended beyond that time or be inclusive of God’s new creation - “a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away,” (Rev. 21: 1).  See also 2 Pet. 3: 10-13.]

 

 

The seed promised prophetically is twofold, like the dust of the earth, an earthly seed, and like the stars of heaven, a heavenly seed.

 

 

We must not pass by a remarkable prospect revealed to Abraham in a vision.  And when the sun went down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him, And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in the land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation. whom they shall serve will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance” (Gen. 15: 12-14).  Six future facts were revealed as to his seed.  First, his seed was to be as strangers in a land not theirs.  Second, in that land they were to serve.  Third, their affliction was to continue four hundred years.  Fourth, God would judge the nation which his seed would serve.  Fifth, they were to come out of that land with great substances.  Sixth, Abram’s seed would return to their own land in the fourth generation (Verse 16).  This prophetic vision found its literal fulfilment when Israel sojourned in Egypt, where they suffered affliction.  The first chapters of Exodus show the literal and complete fulfilment.

 

 

But we have to examine two prophecies which give a forecast of the entire history of Israel, revealing the past, the present and the future of the chosen people.  The first one is:

 

 

JACOB’S PROPHECY

 

 

This is found in the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis.  Jacob is upon his dying bed.  He summons his twelve sons – Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that [Page 32] which shall befall you in the last days.”  He is going to speak as a prophet.  His utterances are most remarkable, both in forecast and in fulfilment, so that the destructive critical school, which denies the unity of Genesis and invented a composite authorship, has branded the whole a forgery, a later addition written by some unknown person many centuries after.  We are not concerned with the striking historical fulfilment, but the prophetic forecast occupies our attention.  The twelve sons of Jacob are the progenitors of the twelve tribes, and the [Holy] Spirit of God revealed to their dying father Jacob what their future was to be.  Here then are the prospects of the twelve tribes beginning with Old Testament times, the character manifested by them through the New Testament times, down to the last days when their fullest blessing is to be realized.  There is a significant grouping of these sons which occasionally disregards the order of their birth to bring out this prophetic history.

 

 

Reuben, Simeon and Levi are taken together by Jacob.  What he says concerning them presents a record of evil, defilement and treachery.  He speaks of Reuben Unstable as water;” Simeon and Levi are instruments of cruelty.  He curses their fierce anger and their cruel wrath.  These three present a picture of unrighteousness and defiance of God and His law.  It is the character of Israel as a nation during the age before their promised Messiah came.  They were unstable as water, unfaithful, cruel and wicked.  Hence the dying father prays O my Soul, come not thou in their secret; unto their assembly mine honour, be not thou united.”  He also sees the tragedy which would happen many centuries later.  I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”  It is a prophecy of the division of Israel, when the ten tribes revolted, and the nation formed two hostile kingdoms and their subsequent dispersions.

 

 

In the next place Jacob speaks only of Judah.  This tribe is put by itself.  Judah means praise; the tribe is represented by the lion.  In speaking of Judah he utters a great prophecy. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a law-giver [Page 33] from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”  This is a Messianic prophecy.  Shiloh is one of the names of Christ.  So the Christ is prominent in the prospects of Judah.  Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.”  It reveals Christ’s dominion and His victory.  The lion points to Him who is The Lion of the tribe of Judah who hath prevailed” (Rev. 5: 5).  The tribe of Judah is to remain while the ten tribes are scattered, remain till Shiloh comes.  And much more points us to Christ.  For instance, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of the grapes (See Isa. 63: 1-6).  Here then is the evidence that Judah covers the time of the nation’s history when Christ appeared.

 

 

Zebulun and Issachar come next.  They are not mentioned in the order of their birth. He passeth from his fourth son to the tenth.  And what do we read of Zebulun?  Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.”  No question as to the meaning of this; it indicates commerce.  Zebulun was to be a commercial, a seafaring tribe.  Zidon is in Phoenicia, the land which boasted of a world commerce; they traded with the ancient world known in their days.  Issachar is linked with Zebulun.  Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens.  And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.”  Here we have hints, though faint, of what the nation should become after the rejection of their long promised and expected Messiah.  The dispersed Jews became merchants, carrying on commerce in every nation, and are found in every harbour.  Drudgery is connected with Issachar.  They became the drudges of the Gentiles.  They served for gain and ease and became servants for tribute.

 

 

The third tribe mentioned is Dan.  It is a mysterious saying – Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse’s heels, so that his rider shall fall [Page 34] backward.”  In Zebulun and Issachar we see Israel’s lowest degradation among the Gentiles.  The mention of Dan is interesting and significant.  Judging is connected with Dan as one of the tribes of Israel.  It points to the time when the Jews are restored in unbelief to their land and institute a self-government.  But it will be at that time when Jacob’s trouble begins, the time of great tribulation.  Apostasy and idolatry began with the tribe of Dan, and Dan may well stand for the mass of unbelieving Jews who welcome during the end of the present age the final Antichrist, who assumes the roll as their King Messiah. The words, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way,” indicate this.  It has been the belief of some of the oldest interpreters of the Word of God that the Antichrist, the lawless one, the wilful king of Daniel 11: 36 will arise from the tribe of Dan; many modern exponents of prophecy have endorsed this view.  Nor must we forget that in Revelation, Chapter Seven, where the literal Israel is in view, twelve thousand out of each tribe are sealed, but the tribe of Dan is omitted.  These sealed ones represent the godly, the witnessing remnant of Israel during the time of the great tribulation, but those of Dan are not included, because Dan is linked with the false Messiah.  Jacob’s sudden prayer utterance after Dan’s character is revealed takes on a deep significance.  I have waited for Thy salvation, Jehovah.”  As with prophetic vision the dying patriarch saw this prospect of the final trouble, through the serpent’s power, in store for his seed, he longed for that salvation which he knew would ultimately come, for Jehovah has promised it.  And such will be the longing prayer of the godly remnant of Israel during those dark days before the great deliverer comes.

 

 

That godly remnant is represented by Gad, Asher and Naphtali.  Here we see a great change.  No longer apostasy, defilement, idolatry and wickedness; no longer traffickers and burden bearers, but here is a victorious note.  Gad, a troop shall overcome and he shall overcome at the last.”  It is a prediction of the final conflict and victory over the foe.  The faithful remnant will be victorious over the false Messiah, the man of sin. 

 

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Asher - his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”  Asher means happiness.  In the midst of all the final troubles the remnant will be happy in trusting the Lord and have the abundance in fat bread and royal dainties Naphtali is a hind let loose; he giveth pleasant words.”  The hind and the hind’s feet are in Scripture symbolical of escape. (See Hab. 3: 19.)  The remnant will have a swift and marvellous escape; enduring to the end they will be saved (Matt. 24: 13). Then will be heard the pleasant words, the words which are pre-written in the Psalms, the words of praise and joy.  Thus we see in Gad, Asher and Naphtali victory after defeat, happiness in the face of the fiercest persecutions, and a wonderful deliverance followed by songs of praise.

 

 

The two sons of Rachel Joseph and Benjamin conclude the prophecy of Jacob.  Both, as it is well known, are prophetic types of Christ our Saviour-Lord.  How full and rich is the story of Joseph!  In Jacob’s words there is a reminder of the sin of Joseph’s brethren who sold and delivered him into the hands of the Gentiles.  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him, but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made firm by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob - from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel.” Then there is pronounced a blessing unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills.”  They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separated from his brethren.”  The fullest blessing is upon Him, who is greater than Joseph.  He will wear the crown of undisputed authority.  As Joseph was revealed as the Saviour of his brethren who had hated him, when they came the second time to him, so will the rejected One, the Lord Jesus Christ, be their Saviour in His second Coming.  And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren” (Acts 7: 13).  Benjamin is equally a prophetic type of Christ.  The dying eye of Rachel looked upon him in the hour of his birth and called him Ben-oni - the son of suffering.  But Jacob changed his name to Benjamin,” which means, [Page 36]the son of the right hand.”  It reminds us of the one hundred and tenth Psalm where Christ is seen at the right hand of God till His enemies are made the footstool of His feet.  Brief is Jacob’s prophecy of Benjamin.  Benjamin shall tear as a wolf; in the morning devour the prey, and at even divide the spoil.”  The prophecy concerns the judgment aspect of the coming Lord and Christ.  The fuller aspect is the blessing as revealed in his words about Joseph; both blessing and judgment will come with the return of Christ.

 

 

In Jacob’s Prophecy concerning his twelve sons we have this remarkable forecast of Israel’s History.  (1) Israel’s character during the Old Testament, represented by Reuben, Simeon and Levi.  (2) Israel at the time when Christ came, the Shiloh as announced in connection with Judah.  (3) Israel after Christ has come and was rejected by His own, represented by Zebulun, Issachar and Dan, the time of their dispersion ending in the days of Antichrist.  (4) The godly and victorious remnant seen in Gad, Asher and Naphtali and (5) the coming Deliverer crowned with blessing and glory, but judge as well, under whose feet all will be put - Joseph and Benjamin.  Here then is Israel’s past, present and future history in a nutshell.

 

 

We turn next to another great key-prophecy which reveals the prospects of Israel.  It came likewise from the lips of an old man, about to die.  Moses the great illustrious leader of Israel, one hundred and twenty years of age, before he went to the top of the mountain, to die, as the Rabbis say, under the kiss of Jehovah, sang his last song.  The song of Moses is prophetic.

 

 

THE PROPHETIC SONG OF MOSES

 

 

This great utterance, recorded in the thirty-second chapter of the fifth book of the Pentateuch is marvellous.  It did not come from the mind of Moses, but was the work of the [Holy] Spirit of God.  This song is an expansion of Jacob’s Prophecy and concerns all the descendants of Abraham, the twelve tribes of Israel.  That it is prophetic may be learned [Page 37] from the call which Moses proclaimed.  Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words into your ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.  For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deut. 31: 28, 29).  The song then covers all Israel’s history and reveals what shall befall them in future. days.

 

 

1. We give a brief synopsis.  In the foreground stands the praise of Jehovah.  He proclaims Jehovah’s Name, His greatness, His faithfulness, that He is a just God.  He speaks of Him as the Rock whose work is perfect. Jehovah the Rock is the Son of God, the Rock of Ages (Verses 1-4).

 

 

2. Then, before he speaks of Jehovah’s gracious dealings with Israel, he mentions the nation’s foolishness, that they are a perverse and crooked generation, as so often before their stiff-neckedness and disobedience had been uncovered by their great leader.  Questions are asked to stir up their conscience.  Do ye thus requite Jehovah? Is He not Thy Father who hath purchased you?  Hath He not made thee and established thee? (Verses 5-7).

 

 

3. This is followed by a beautiful description of Israel’s calling and what Jehovah in infinite love and mercy had done for them.  They were the portion of Jehovah and Jacob, the lot of His inheritance.  He had given them a place of supremacy over the other nations, and divided the boundaries of the Gentiles according to the number of the children of Israel.  And how did He deal with them?  He found them in a desert land.  He watched over them; He compassed them about; He kept them as the apple of His eye.  He had sheltered and nestled them, borne them up and carried them in His feathers.  He alone did this, as the expression of His lovingkindness and His loving care.

 

 

4. But what follows?  Here comes in prophecy a description of their future apostasy, their departure from the Lord.  Here Israel is called “Jeshurun,” a loving diminutive derived [Page 38] from “Jasher,” which, means “upright.”  He had loved His beloved Jeshurun.  Prosperity came upon them, they had prospered in all things, the earthly blessings, the lot of an earthly people, had been showered upon them.  Instead of clinging closer to the Lord, they forsook God and lightly esteemed the Rock of His salvation.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”  From the worship of the one God they turned to idols and sacrificed unto demons.  Here are the prospects of Israel, the prospects of apostasy during Old Testament times and the culmination of it in the rejection of the Rock of His Salvation,” when He appeared among them.  How it all came true needs no further mention (Verses 15-18).

 

 

5. This is followed by the forecast of God’s dealing with them on account of their unbelief and apostasy.  His anger burns against them in righteous indignation and wrath.  He hides His face from them and heaps evils upon them.  They shall be wasted with hunger and devoured with burning heat and with bitter destruction. Without the sword and within the terror.  They were to he scattered into the corners of the earth.  But He indicates that no full end of them is to be made, as later the prophet declared in Jehovah’s name: Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” (Jer. 30: 11).  And why?  Lest their adversaries, the nations used in chastisement of Israel (anti-semites) should say, Our own high hand, and not Jehovah, hath done all this.”  Here is the prospect given of their afflictions and sufferings in their sorrowful history covering several thousand years.  Yet He has not given up His chosen people.  He yearns over them.  He deplores their miserable condition.  His heart of sympathy is longing for the day when He can be gracious unto them.  Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end” (Verses 19-33).

 

 

6.  Finally, at the end of their long history of sorrow and tears there comes the day of their calamity.”  What else [Page 39] is this than the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30: 7).  It is the day of trouble seen by Daniel, the prophet and confirmed by our Lord (Matt. 24: 21).  But what will happen in that day of their calamity?  Daniel tells us that Michael the prince will stand up for His people (Dan. 12. 1).  There win be intervention from above.  And in Moses’ song we read: He will repent Himself for his servants, when He seeth their power gone, and there is none shut up or left.”  Then He calls them back to Himself.  He will deal with their enemies.  The rod which He used for their chastisements will be broken.  I will render vengeance to mine adversaries, and I will reward them that hate Me.  I will make drunk with blood my arrows and My sword shall devour flesh; with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the hairy head of the enemy.”  Here is the forecast of the judgment of the nations which will be executed when the King of Israel, our Lord, appears.  The hairy head (the correct translation) no doubt is the man of sin (Verses 34-42).

 

 

7.  Then comes a great Finale of this prophetic symphony.  Rejoice ye nations with His people, for He avengeth the blood of His servants and rendereth vengeance to His adversaries and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people(Verse 43).  It brings to view the great consummation when Israel’s prospects in a kingdom of glory will be realized and all the nations of the earth will rejoice with His redeemed Israel, the time of earth’s jubilee, the time of Peace on earth and glory to God in the highest.”

 

 

The promises made to Abraham and to his seed, briefly mentioned in this chapter, outline the prospects of Israel, which have never yet been realized.  But inasmuch as God’s gifts and calling are without repentance” (Rom. 11: 31), the day will come when every one of these promises will be literally fulfilled.  In Jacob’s prophecy and in the prophetic song of Moses we find the embryonic history of Israel.  Both tell beforehand the apostasy, their departure from God, the judgment which is to fall upon them on account of it. We have also learned that their judgments and the sufferings connected with it are not permanent.  There will come a day [Page 40] of blessing, of victory and glory.  But before we take up the bright prospects of Israel and through them the blessing which will come to all the world, we must examine more fully the predictions as to their past and present condition, we must see how God’s threatenings literally passed into history and also what will happen to Israel before the day of consummation and glory breaks.

 

 

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CHAPTER 2

 

 

Predictions of Judgment and Dispersion.

Their Literal Fulfilment

 

 

Before Moses had intoned his great prophetic song, which all Israel had to commit to memory (Deut. 31:19), the Lord announced through him Israel’s coming apostasy.  This people will rise up, and go awhoring after other gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant, which I have made with them.  Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?” (Deut. 31: 16, 17).

 

 

What the many evils and troubles would be had already been spoken by Moses in one of the most remarkable forecasts of the Bible.

 

 

In Leviticus (chapter 26) is pronounced the blessing which would follow their obedience in keeping the commandments of the Lord.  After that are recorded the threatenings from a holy and righteous God, their God, if they act in disobedience and break the covenant (Verses 16-39).  The chastisements include almost every conceivable disaster.  Physical decline, terrors, consumption, burning ague, defeat by their enemies, a barren land, wild beasts to destroy their children and cattle, famine, pestilences, cannibalism, and waste cities are some of the predicted calamities.  Their dispersion among all the nations is one of the forecasts of judgment. And I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate and your cities waste” (Verse 33).  Still more remarkable are the predictions of Deuteronomy (Chapter 28).  It is one of the most solemn portions of the Pentateuch.  Orthodox Hebrews cover in their yearly synagogical readings the entire Pentateuch.  It is said that the Rabbi still reads [Page 42] this chapter publicly in a hushed voice.  And well may they read it thus for here are the predictions of the sorrowful history of their own people.  In this chapter thousands of years ago the Spirit of God outlined the history of blood and tears of the scattered nation, all their sufferings and tribulations.  Since then many centuries have come and gone and brought a startling fulfilment of all these predictions.  The prospects of divine displeasure and judgment have all come true.  It is an enlargement of the forecast of the above quoted chapter of Leviticus.  We could fill many pages with quoting these prospects and give their verifications in Israel’s history.  But this is not necessary; a few will suffice.

 

 

And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee” (Verse 37).  They have been ostracized, ridiculed and sneered at by the different nations, and so it is still.  The word translated “byword” in the Hebrew is the word “Sheninah.”  It means “a sharp saying.”  We do not know the derivation of the slang word used among Gentiles in speaking of a Hebrew, the word - Sheeny.  Nor do we know how this word originated.  But it is suggestive that they shall be “sheninah” among the nations, and the Gentiles call them by a word which probably is derived from this Hebrew word.  In this chapter we find some most interesting prophecies as to their dreadful future.  It was Rome which was finally used in bringing upon the nation and Israel’s land the greatest calamity.  The Roman power is predicted by Moses and that at a time when Rome did not exist.  The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation, whose language thou shalt not understand” (Verses 49, 50).  The eagle was the standard of the Roman armies; the Jews understood oriental languages and also Greek, but never took to Latin.  Which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.

 

 

It was a Roman practice to kill old people and young children.  And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst [Page 43] throughout all thy land” (Verse 52). fulfiled by the Roman armies.  The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, shall eat her children, for want of all things in the siege and straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates” (Verses 54-57).

 

 

All this was fulfilled in the terrible sieges of Jerusalem, but most of all in the tragedy of the year 70 A. D.

 

 

Not a Gentile but a Jewish historian gives us the striking fulfilment of this prediction.  Josephus was living in the days of the great calamity when the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem and the event which our Lord had announced forty years before came to pass (Luke 19: 43, 44).  Flavius Josephus in his famous “Antiquities of the Jews,” a history of the Jewish wars, in Book VI, Chapter 3, relates the case of a noble and delicate woman who was hard pressed during the Roman siege and finally roasted her own child.  But this is only one case of a large number.  It was a literal fulfilment of the quoted prophecy given 1500 years before.

 

 

As the siege continued and the famine increased horrors upon horrors came.  Josephus gives a full description of what was one of the greatest tragedies in the world’s history.  But this was not the only fulfilment of the curse of cannibalism.  It happened before the Roman siege as we learn from 2 Kings 6: 26-29 and Lamentations 2: 20.  Again we read in this great prophetic chapter: And Jehovah will bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I said unto thee, Thou shalt see it no wore again; and there ye shall sell yourselves unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you” (Verse 68).  When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, all who did not perish (according to Josephus 1,100,000 lives were swept away) were sent to the mines in Egypt, where the slaves were constantly kept at work without being permitted to rest or sleep till they succumbed.  The whip of Egypt fell once more upon them and they suffered the most awful terrors.  Others were sold as slaves.  According to the [Page 44] History written by Josephus, about 100,000 suffered this fate, so that the slave market was glutted and the word fulfilled, No man shall buy you.

 

 

Their world wide dispersion is also predicted in this chapter.  And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.  And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, and there shall be no rest for the sole of thy foot, but Jehovah will give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and pining of soul.  And thy life shall hand in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have no assurance of thy life” (Verses 64-67).  When Balaam looked upon the camp of Israel he uttered a great prophecy which is still true and will always be true:  Lo, the people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Num. 23: 9).  God separated the seed of Abraham, formed them into a nation, and gave them a land to dwell in.  And this peculiar people, living in one of the smallest countries on the face of the earth, has been scattered all over the world, has become a wanderer, without a home, without a land, though there is now a national awakening and a partial restoration.  They are still a nation.  Their national characteristics persist.  Other nations have passed away; this nation has been preserved.  They are found among all the nations, yet not reckoned among the nations.  Like Jonah in the belly of the fish, undigested, so Israel has found a grave among all the nations, yet they have not been able to digest them.  In spite of all these curses and calamities, their world-wide dispersion, we read: And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and break My covenant with them, for I am Jehovah their God” (Lev. 26: 44).  In numerous other passages their miraculous preservation is predicted.  Then, as revealed, the God-given homeland of Israel, the land which once flowed with milk and honey, has become barren and desolate.  Jerusalem, the city of David, [Page 45] is being trodden down by the Gentiles and it will continue to he so “till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  In Jeremiah (22: 7-9) we read: I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons; and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.  And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore has the Lord done thus unto this great city?  Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods and served them.”

 

 

Space forbids to give the fulfilment of all these predictions during the present age, which began with the rejection of the Messiah, David’s Lord and David’s son, our Lord.  He Himself had wept in loud lamentation over Jerusalem.  He saw all what would come upon His beloved city.  When He was led away to be crucified, a great company of people and of women, bewailing and lamenting Him, followed.  What words He spoke to them!  Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children?  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps, which never gave suck.  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall on us and to the hills, cover us.  For if they do these things to a green tree, what shall he done to the dry?” (Luke 23: 28-31).   In His final discourse as recorded by Luke He announced the fate of the Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem.  His prediction covers the entire age.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21: 24).  In this great dispersion, the fulfilment of the words spoken by Moses over three thousand years ago, and re-stated by our Lord, they suffered all the horrors and terrors which we have mentioned before.  Hundreds of thousands were slain in the beginning of the age, but often their punishment was well deserved.  We quote from “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Gibbon:

 

[Page 46]

From the reign of Nero to that of Antonius Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections.  Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which the Jews committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus and Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics whose desire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman Government, but of human kind.”

 

 

In the footnote Gibbon, quoting Dion Cusius, shows that in Cyrene the Jews killed in a most horrible fashion 220,000 Greeks; in Cyprus 240,000; in Egypt a very great multitude.  Many of these victims were sawn asunder, according to a precedent to which David had given sanction by his example.  The same source shows that on account of these horrible outrages committed by the Jews during Hadrian’s wars 580,000 Jews were cut off by the sword, besides an infinite number which perished by famine, by disease and by fire. (Gibbon Volume II, Page 9.22)

 

 

The fires of persecution burned fiercely in almost every century.  During the middle ages they were falsely accused of having poisoned wells and thus producing the “Black Death” by which over twenty-five million people perished.  Then the Jews were burned by the thousands.  All kinds of lying accusations were brought against them followed by terrible persecutions and sufferings.  One of the accusations was the so-called “blood accusation,” wholly unfounded, a pernicious invention of superstitious, if not vicious, persons.  This accusation, that Jews killed “children of Christians” to use their blood in some of their rituals has survived even to recent times.

 

 

Especially severe was their fate in Spain.  We quote again from Gibbon’s work:

 

 

That exiled nation had founded some synagogues in Gaul; but Spain since the days of Hadrian was filled with their colonies.  They pretended they were introduced into Spain by the fleets of Solomon and the arms of Nebuchadnezzar.  The wealth which they accumulated by trade and [Page 47] the management of finances invited the avarice of their masters.  Sisebut, a Gothic king, who reigned in the beginning of the VII Century proceeded at once to the last extremes of persecution.  Ninety thousand Jews were forced to accept baptism the fortunes of the obstinate ones were confiscated; their bodies cruelly tortured.  But they - the secret professed enemies of Christianity - still multiplied in servitude and distress and their intrigues promoted the rapid success of the Arabian conquerors.” (Gibbon Volume IV, age 341)

 

 

Later still greater persecutions broke out against them in Spain.  They were driven out by the thousands, their children were taken away and all their goods confiscated.  The Inquisition acted against them and thousands upon thousands were tortured and burned alive.  But Spain experienced the truth of the ancient promise made to Abraham: I will curse them that curse thee.”

 

 

For many centuries it was literally true – among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest.”  They were driven from nation to nation.  In Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Poland and other countries they suffered the same persecutions.  The 19th Century was one of anti-semitism; everywhere was heard the cry “Down with the Jew.”  Especially terrible were their persecutions and sufferings in Russia where tens of thousands were massacred under the regime of the Czar.  The Russian Revolution, besides the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Christians, also brought great suffering upon orthodox Jews. The vicious Sovietism aims at the destruction of all religious beliefs.  Such Jewish apostates as Trotzky (Bronstein), Zionieff (Apfelbaum); Ltvinoff (Finkelstein) hate true Judaism as much as they hate Christianity. In our own times the darkest clouds are gathering.  Anti-Semitism is stronger than ever.  What it means our next chapter will show.

 

 

Yet here is the miracle.  Nation after nation succumbed to far less persecution and suffering and passed away. This nation never passes away.  Moses saw the bush burning with fire and while the fire raged, the bush remained [Page 48] unconsumed.  It is God’s standing miracle of His power of preservation.  True it is, the threatenings of Jehovah, His judgments, have literally come true.  But at the same time by their miraculous preservation, by their increase in earthly blessings and possessions, by giving them the foremost place in commerce, in literature and science, God bears witness to the fact which Gentile Christendom has almost entirely forgotten, that Israel are still His people, beloved for the Father’s sake.  In 1833 a careful census showed three million Jews living in the world.  After a century of Anti-semitism in 1933 another careful census shows fifteen millions.  An astonishing increase of five hundred per cent!  And why this miracle of preservation?  More than to prove God’s faithfulness and power.  The seed of Abraham has the prospects of a glorious future, a glory which also concerns the whole earth.  For this great purpose He has kept Israel. But before we turn to the great prophecies announcing that day of coming glory, we must examine the darkest hour which is yet to come for the everlasting nation.  It will give us their immediate prospects.  How truly Milman in his excellent “History of the Jews” has said: “Massacred by the thousands, but springing up again from their undying stock, the Jews appear at all times and in all regions.  Their perpetuity, their national immortality, is at once the most curious problem to the political inquirer; to the religious man a subject of profound and awful admiration.”  A great philosopher called them “the enigma of history.”  They are more than that.  They are the greatest witnesses that the Bible is the supernatural revelation of God.

 

 

*       *       *

 

[Page 49]

CHAPTER 3

 

 

The Prospects of The Great Tribulation - The Indications of its Nearness – The Two Classes - The Godly Remnant  and its Future Work

 

 

Moses predicted in his great prophecy that there would come the day of “their calamity,” when their power is gone and when God would rise up in behalf of His people (Deut. 32: 35-42).  Israel has had many days of calamity, but the day of their greatest calamity lies in the immediate future.  Before the long promised morning comes with its blessings, the seed of Abraham, the sons of Jacob, will pass through a horrible night experience. This final calamity was prophetically announced by Jeremiah in that portion of his Prophecy which is filled with the promises of future blessing in store for Israel.  The prophet speaks there of what will precede Israel’s coming glory.

 

 

And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel (note “Israel”) and Judah.  For 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 on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30: 4-7).  Here is the prediction of the travail pains through which all Israel will pass before the new birth of the nation takes place.  The day of Jacob’s trouble is Moses’ day of calamity.  But we must turn to Daniel’s Prophecy to hear more of that day.

 

 

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall he a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time, and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12: 1).  No need to emphasize that it concerns Daniel’s people and not, what a misguided exegesis [Page 50] has read into it, the church.  Not a few expositors of the liberal school which put the date of Daniel into the second century before Christ, have explained this time of trouble as having passed already into history during the invasion of Antiochus Epiphanes.  The context makes such an exposition impossible.  Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”  This certainly did not happen during the invasion of Antiochus.  It is an open question whether this means a physical resurrection, or the resurrection of the nation itself out of the dust, out of their national graves.  But certainly whichever way we take it, it did not happen in the past, nor did the wise among Israel then: Shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”  Therefore this great time of trouble in store for Daniel’s people has not yet been.

 

 

But the confirming evidence of the futurity of this day of calamity, the time of Jacob’s trouble and Daniel’s time of great trouble is furnished by our Lord Himself.  In His prophetic Olivet Discourse He speaks of it. Much misunderstood is the first part of this great prophecy.  It has been applied to the Church, when it has no reference to the Church at all, but concerns the ending of the Jewish age.  He pictures events which will happen among the Jews, restored in unbelief to their own land, telling what will overtake them.  He announces the climax of those evil days.  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24: 21).  Here again the expositor misleads us when he claims that the time of great tribulation of which our Lord speaks was the siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D.  But was it?  The context shows the impossibility of a past fulfilment.  For in verses 29-31 our Lord says that immediately after the tribulations of those days He Himself will return in person, in power an great glory. Therefore Moses’ “day of their calamity,” Jeremiah’s “day of Jacob’s trouble,” Daniel’s “time of trouble,” and our Lord’s prediction of the ending [Page 51] of the age in “the great tribulation” is still a coming event.  The same time of great tribulation is also made known in the last book of the Bible.  The Sun-clad woman with the crown of twelve stars is Israel (Chapter 12).  Satan is the instigator of the great tribulation, but the woman’s seed, the remnant of Israel, will he miraculously preserved.

 

 

This time of great tribulation will not be confined to Israel.  It will be world-wide and affect all the nations, but the storm centre will be Israel and Israel’s land.

 

 

But why does God permit such a time of great trouble to come upon Israel especially?  We answer this briefly. God permits this time of great trouble on account of their apostasy.  While there is in Gentile Christendom an apostasy, as we show elsewhere in this volume, there is also a Jewish apostasy.  It is not a thing of yesterday, but began many years ago.  The so-called reformed Judaism is really rationalism.  It denies and rejects the Messianic hope and sees a salvation for their people in assimilation.  Reformed Judaism denies the supernatural and treats the Word of God just as the Gentile Modernist does.  But this is not the end of the road. Atheism springs up; there is an out and out denial of God.  Linked with it is radicalism expressed in hatred of everything which is sacred to mankind, religion, family life, patriotism and righteous government.  As we have unfolded this in “The Conflict of the Ages,” and shown the relation of the apostates to the program of lawlessness, so prominent in the world today, we do not enlarge upon it.  As a result, these apostates with their program of lawlessness and world-revolution become a curse among the Gentiles, as predicted by Jeremiah (Jer. 29: 18, 44: 12).  Such rebellion against the laws of God and man is an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and He will not tolerate it forever, but deal with it in tribulation and judgment.  It is this apostasy which will bring upon them the day of calamity”.

 

 

Zionism is another reason why this time of trouble will come upon them.  It is frequently stated in Scripture that the land is God’s gift to His people Israel.  The gift was made to Abraham and to his seed.  When they were about [Page 52] to occupy the land the Lord told them a number of times that it is His gift.  It is the land which He had sworn unto them.  They were to understand that it was not given on account of anything they had done. It is the land of promise.  Therefore the land was not to be bought nor sold.  It became a wilderness and the needed former and latter rain was withheld.  But there are many promises and prophecies which give the prospects of a restoration of the land.  It is to become fruitful again.  They are to be brought back to the land, re-gathered and restored.  Several pages could be filled with these bright prospects of the restoration of the land.  We quote but one.  Be glad, then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain” (Joel 2: 23).   But all these restoration promises are conditioned by the repentance of the people and by a whole-hearted return to the Lord.  More than that, these national promises cannot come before the manifestation of the King Messiah.

 

 

Zionism is a national revival, an attempted restoration.  But it does not spring from faith in God and from trusting in His Word.  It is a restoration in unbelief.  There is no repentance.  As a movement it is a delusion, a political scheme.  Zionism has changed the land and tries to bring back by irrigation and colonization its former prosperity.  It is an attempt to bring about the former national greatness by their own schemes and efforts.  They will succeed in these efforts.  But in that coming day of trouble, the tribulation, a great invasion of the land will come and bring devastation and disaster.  The prophet speaks of it in the following words: A fire devoureth before them (the Northern Army) and behind them a flame burneth; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness, yea and nothing shall escape them” (Joel 2: 3).

 

 

This restoration in unbelief, Palestine becoming rapidly occupied by hundreds of thousands of Jews, with no sign [Page 53] of repentance or return to the Lord, is an indication that the day of calamity cannot be far away.

 

 

Then the restoration schemes include more than educational institutions, like the Jerusalem University.  There is an effort on foot to erect another Temple, that is a restoration of the ancient worship of Israel is being planned.  It is said that young Levites are being trained and receive instructions in the Levitical code.  They will again bring their sacrifices.  This is indicated in the last chapter of Isaiah, which is staged in these coming days of Jacob’s trouble.  The building of a house is here mentioned.  But what does Jehovah say about the resumption of sacrifices?  He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb; as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol.  Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations” (Isa. 66: 3).  They reject the one great sacrifice, the precious blood of the true Lamb of God, and the restored worship is an outrage with God, the culmination of their unbelief, an abomination.  And then the Lord says I will choose their delusions and will bring their fears upon them.”  But something worse will happen.  One appears then on the scene who claims to be their Messiah.  It will be the final Antichrist, the greatest counterfeit, the very incarnation of Satan himself.  He will demand worship for himself and sit in the Temple of God, claiming that he is God (2. Thess. 2).  These preparations going on today are the sure indications of the nearing time of their great tribulation.  The increasing anti-semitism which is sweeping Europe and which is rising stronger than ever before elsewhere, including the United States, is another shadow of the fast approaching day of their calamity.

 

 

THE TWO CLASSES

 

 

The seed of Abraham, his natural descendants, has always been divided in two classes.  The Apostle Paul states this fact in the ninth chapter of Romans, For they are not all [Page 54] Israel, which are of Israel” (Verse 6). And before he wrote in the same Epistle, For 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, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom. 3: 28, 29).  This distinction is marked throughout their entire history.  In Old Testament times were those who believed not; they turned from Jehovah, they worshipped idols and Jehovah pronounced judgment against them.  On account of their unbelief they had no share and part in the promised blessings.  They did evil in the sight of the Lord and He dealt with them in judgment.  But there was likewise a remnant which believed.  They also suffered on account of the nation’s departure from God.  Yet tenaciously they held on in faith and did not relinquish the Messianic hope.  The Lord recognized them in a special manner.  He promised to spare them and through His prophets gave them words of hope and encouragement.  We give two illustrations of this fact.  In the ninth chapter of Ezekiel six men, probably angels, are commissioned to execute a judgment among the ungodly Israelites.  Among them is one with an inkhorm by his side.  And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Verse 4).

 

 

Here we have the information that in the apostate city there was a godly remnant, which had no sympathy with the abominations which the ungodly portion of the nation practised.  Then Jehovah told the six men to “slay utterly old and young, both maidens, and little children, and women, but come not near any man, upon whom is the mark, and begin at my sanctuary.”  So the godly remnant, marked, was spared.

 

 

The second illustration we take from the last book of the Old Testament, the Prophet Malachi.  In what a dreadful, indifferent condition the people were then!  Yet in the [Page 55] midst of this indifferent crowd who had no heart for the Lord was a godly company.  Then they that feared Jehovah spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon His Name.  And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Mal. 3).  These illustrations could be multiplied, demonstrating the fact, that not all are Israel who are of Israel,” that among them were the godly and the ungodly, the believing and the unbelieving.  And so it is in our own times.

 

 

We have already shown the apostasy which sweeps over Judaism and how the great mass denies their own history of miracles in the past, and how many are atheistic and fall in line with the forces of ungodliness and lawlessness.  But there is another part of Israel.  Though blindness is upon them, yet they do not give up the Messianic hope and continue to trust in the promises made unto their fathers.  They frequently deplore the prevailing conditions among their own people.  We have met several orthodox Jews who mourned over their sons and daughters who had drifted away from the faith and hope of their fathers, just as Christian parents lament over the worldliness of their unsaved children.  Throughout this age the hope of orthodox, Bible-believing Jews, has never died.  It is alive today.  Their faith in God, the God of Abraham, and their natural promises, honours God, and it will be rewarded some day.

 

 

When ultimately God’s purpose in the present age is accomplished, as we show later, the [Holy] Spirit of God will remove the veil from the hearts of these true Jews, who pray for the coming of the Messiah and through Him expect their salvation and national restoration.  Their eyes are opened and the truth is revealed to them. There will be called a remnant of His earthly people for a great and specific work.  We shall see later what this work is going to be.  This remnant will play a most important part during the time of Jacob’s trouble.  They will suffer, but will be saved out [Page 56] of it.  Their suffering will be on account of their faith in God and in the Messiah.  Many will become martyrs, slain by the Beast.  They will suffer among the different Gentile nations and from their own brethren, the ungodly, who hate and despise them.  In the last chapter of Isaiah, quoted above, we read of this hatred, which that future remnant will experience.  After Jehovah rebukes the unbelief of the Jews who bring again bloody sacrifices, He addresses the remnant.  Hear the word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed” (Verse 5).  Evidently the remnant bears a witness to the coming of the King, the Lord of Heaven.  The ungodly apostates scoff at it and say, ridiculing the believing ones, Let the Lord be glorified.”  Then the assurance is given that He shall appear bringing the joy of salvation to those who have waited for Him and shame to the unbelievers.

 

 

During the time of the great tribulation this godly part of Israel will be fully authorized to pray the imprecatory prayers which the Spirit of God has pre-written in the book of Psalms.  The man of sin, the false Messiah-king, will be their chief persecutor, for they refuse the mark of the beast and to bow to his authority.  He will use the godless Gentiles and the godless Jews as the instruments of persecution.  That remnant will then he used in bearing a great witness among the nations.

 

 

Our Lord predicted in His Olivet Discourse that This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24: 14).  This is mostly taken to be the preaching which is now done by our Christian missionaries among the different heathen nations.  But it could not possibly mean this, for in the next verse our Lord calls attention to the abomination of desolation revealed in the book of Daniel.  The abomination of desolation will be in Israel’s land during the time of tribulation.  It is not there now.  [Page 57] It consists in the manifestation of the Antichrist and the work he does against God.  Hence the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom will be done during the last seven years with which the times of the Gentiles close.  These witnesses are the converted remnant of Israel.  They bear witness to Christ and His soon Coming to judge.  The Gospel of the Kingdom, like the Gospel of Grace, carries with it an offer of mercy for all who will repent and turn to the Lord.  As we show in the part of this volume covering the Prospects of the Gentiles, many nations of the earth will then learn righteousness, for besides the witness of these Israelites, there will be the mighty judgments of the Lord in the earth.  They are familiar with all the languages of the nations so that in a short time the Gospel of the kingdom will be heard everywhere.

 

 

The book of Psalms sheds much light on these final days of tribulation.  The Holy Spirit has given in the Psalms a great prophetic picture of the faith, the work, the persecution and the deliverance of the godly remnant.  Here we read their future prayers for help and salvation, their sighs, Oh, that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!  When God bringeth back the captivity of His people.  Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad” (Psa. 53: 6).  Here also we learn that they know the Lord, who is at the right hand of God for their prayer will be Let Thy hand be upon the Man of Thy right hand, upon the Son of Man Whom Thou madest strong for Thyself” (Psa. 80: 17).  Evidently they know Him, who died for their nation, was raised from among the dead, and is seated at the right hand of God and who will come again.

 

 

The many prayers for help and deliverance found in the Psalms all will then be prayed as well as the sublime prayer of Isaiah 63 and 64: Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence.”  All these prayers will be answered when that future siege of Jerusalem, recorded in the last chapter of Zechariah, takes place when the nations are gathered together against Jerusalem to battle [Page 58] and it seems that all is lost.  Then will appear in the sky the sign of the Son of Man, probably the Shechinah cloud, the cloud of glory which carried Him through the heavens and which will bring Him back.  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him’ and He will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isa. 25: 9).  Then when the Redeemer comes again to Zion, it will come to pass as the same Prophet heralds: “Arise, shine; for Thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isa. 60: 1, 2).  The faithful, saved remnant will be left to enter into the [millennial] kingdom.

 

 

But what will happen to the apostate portion of Israel, to the atheists, the communists, those who fall in line with the beast and worship its image, practising the worst idolatry?  There is a misconception among many Christians who take an interest in Israel and these final events.  They think that all Israelites will share ultimately in the promised blessings and glory.  All Israel shall be saved does not include the idolatrous, God-blaspheming part of the nation.  Upon them falls judgment.  And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me; I will being them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel” (Ezek. 20: 30).  And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die, but the third shall be left therein” (Zech. 13: 8-9).  There is, besides the godly remnant, another part of Israel which will be saved when the Lord returns and shall look upon Him whom they pierced.  This will be followed by a great national mourning and repentance (Zech. 12: 9-13: 1).  He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob according to His covenant and their sins will be taken away (Rom. 11: 26, 27).

 

 

Such are the prospects of Israel in the near future.  All is preparing for it.  Apostate Jews link themselves with apostate Gentiles, forming an unholy alliance.  Both will [Page 59] ultimately follow the false Messiah, the Antichrist, and perish on account of their opposition to God and to His Christ.

 

 

It is said that among orthodox Jews today there is a deepening interest in the expectation of the Messiah, and that not a few seem to have a conviction, that perhaps after all the One whom their fathers rejected is the promised Redeemer.  Several years ago the writer noticed in a Pullman car a young Hebrew who had put on his phylacteries and prayer mantle.  He was devoutly reading his prayers.  After he finished we engaged him in a conversation.  We asked him as to his approach into the presence of Jehovah without a sacrifice.  He was a most attentive listener.  We presented to him the claims that Jesus must have been the promised Messiah and how through him Israel’s hope will some day be realized.  He was a young rabbi, and as we parted he expressed his delight over what he had heard and a desire that all true Jews might hear these truths as the writer had unfolded them.  Who knows but that the Spirit of God may already be beginning the preparation of that remnant.

 

 

*       *       *

 

[Page 60]

CHAPTER 4

 

 

Israel’s Prospects of Future Restoration,

Blessing and Glory

 

 

Our exposition as to the literal fulfilment of the judgments pronounced against Israel is endorsed by all Bible believing conservative Christians.  The fact is, no other exposition, than that the curses and threatenings, the dispersion and the   sufferings, mean literal Israel, and have been literally fulfilled, is possible.  But how strange that the greater part of conservative Christians, including preachers, doctors of divinity, professors and presidents of theological seminaries, deny the literal meaning of the promises of blessing and glory, which God has put alongside of the pre-written judgments.  Yet another application of these promises is an im possibility.  It has been attempted.  The men who rob Israel of her inheritance, and by doing so charge God with having broken His covenant, demonstrating thereby that He has gone back on His own Word of promise, and therefore cannot be trusted, teach, that the predictions of blessing and glory have all been transferred to a spiritual Israel, the Church of Jesus Christ, and are now being enjoyed by the Church.  Israel, if not assimilated by Christendom, must continue under the curse.  They have no hope and no prospects of a glorious future!  But this theological, exegetical invention is illogical, unscriptural and unsound.  One also might ask the question: “Where, all you commentators of God’s Word, is the spiritual fulfilment of the promises made to Israel, to Zion and to Jerusalem?”  The fact is that the true Church, as will be shown later, has her blessings and glory in her glorified Head, and does not need to become a thief stealing Israel’s promises to enrich herself.  And Christendom, which boasts of an assumed Christian civilization, trying to attend to Israel’s earthly calling, departs increasingly from God and His Word and manifests an unbelief which is far greater than Israel’s unbelief.

 

 

We found that Moses had divinely announced the curses which were to fall upon the nation, as well as Israel’s [Page 61] world-wide dispersion.  Immediately after he received another great message, but of a different character.  We must quote it in full, for what He received from the Lord is the foundation of all the subsequent predictions of Israel’s glorious future.

 

 

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord Thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart and all thy soul; that then the Lord will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God has scattered thee.  If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee; and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.  And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day.  And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every good work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good; for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers” (Deut. 30: 1-9).

 

 

We note several outstanding facts in this prophetic utterance.  (1) The future dispersion of Israel among all nations is assumed.  It is not the captivity in Babylon, which lasted for seventy years, after which a remnant returned.  Nor is it the captivity of the ten tribes, but it [Page 62] is the dispersion, which our Lord announced they shall be led away captive into all nations” (Luke 21: 24).  (2) If they return unto the Lord and obey His voice the Lord will have compassion upon them.  (3) He will return.  (4) They will be gathered from all the nations whither the Lord had scattered them; this will be the result of His return unto them.  (5) They will be restored to their own land to possess it.  (6) There will be their national re-birth the circumcision of their heart and of their offspring.  (7) He will deal with their enemies at the time of this physical restoration and their spiritual revival.  (8) That the Lord will bless them abundantly and rejoice over them.

 

 

These eight facts are the basis of all the prospects of blessing and glory announced by all the prophets.  We shall find them expanded.  More and more is added until we have the complete and marvellous picture of Israel’s future.

 

 

It seems that the terse statement will return is the centre of this key prophecy of their restoration. What return is it?  It could not be an immediate return of the Lord to re-gather and bless Israel, for this return of the Lord necessitates their dispersion among all the nations.  Nor is it a spiritual return, but a literal return, which will result for Israel in all these blessings.

 

 

Now when we speak of a person to return, to come back, it means that the returning person must have been there before.  There is a suggestive passage in Hosea, which makes this return of Jehovah very clear.  It is Jehovah who speaks – “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face; in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hos. 5: 15).

 

 

The many promises of the coming of a Redeemer, according to the flesh, the son of David, were fulfilled in the coming of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He came as the Shepherd of Israel to seek and to save what is lost.  He came unto His own, but His own received Him not.  After His sacrificial death, His burial and His resurrection, He returned to His place, and took, in fulfilment of prophecy, His place at the right hand of God. He is waiting there till His enemies are made the footstool of His feet, which will happen in His personal, visible and glorious return.  He is waiting till [Page 63] some of the nation which rejected Him acknowledge their offence and seek His face.  But when will that happen?  The quoted text from Hosea gives the answer – in their affliction.”  The affliction is the time of Jacob’s trouble,” the day of their calamity - the great tribulation.”  If we read the opening verses of the next chapter in Hosea we see what follows when that day of trouble, this affliction is upon them.  We hear the godly in Israel saying – Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten and He will bind us up.  After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord, His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain.”  Here is the prediction of the conversion of the remnant of Israel which turns to the Lord.  The two days have been interpreted by certain Rabbis as meaning two thousand years, and this has been adopted by some Christian teachers.  It has also been applied to the first captivity in Babylon and the larger dispersion since they rejected Christ.  The third day in Scripture is always the day of recovery and resurrection.  Here it is the Day of the Lord which will be a thousand years in which restored and converted Israel lives in His sight.

 

 

That which is so prominent in Moses’s restoration prediction, His return before the great blessing can come, as we learned from the passage in Hosea, is the order in every portion of the Word of God, especially in the prophetic Psalms.  There will be no full restoration of Israel, no national blessing, no fulfilment of the many unfulfilled prophecies of glory, till He whom the nation despised and rejected comes the second time.  All is dependent on this great coming event.  There can be no Kingdom, no peace on earth, no deliverance from the curse, nor any of the many other promised blessings till Christ returns.

 

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Peter in his second address after Pentecost lays down the same prophetic law in the revealed plan of God.  His hearers were not Gentiles.  He addressed them as Ye men of Israel.”  At Pentecost there were not only Jews gathered in Jerusalem, but the other tribes were well represented.  He spoke to the men of Israel and said: Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3: 19-21).

 

 

The restitution of all things in its meaning is not left to the guesses of commentators, it is well defined by what “all His holy prophets have spoken”.  It includes Israel’s restoration and blessing, the promised [millennial] kingdom, the re-gathering of the nations and the removal of the curse which rests upon creation.  According to Peter’s testimony this restitution, or restoration of all things, is linked to the return of Him who has passed through the heavens and who has taken as the glorified Man His place on the Father’s throne.  And He will be sent back to accomplish God’s purposes in Israel when a part of Israel repents and turns to the Lord.

 

 

We find another witness to God’s program in the apostolic age.  It was given during the first general Church council in Jerusalem, which met to decide certain important matters which were troubling the early Church. Peter had given an account of how the Lord had used him in preaching to Gentiles and how they had been saved by believing on the same Christ by whom Jews had been saved.  As their Lord had commanded them, the Gospel witness had been given in Jerusalem, first, in Judea and in Samaria.  But it was not to stop with that. Unto the uttermost parts of the earth was His commission.  It began with Peter’s first sermon to the household of Cornelius.  Then James spoke: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name. And to this agree [Page 65] the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, who doeth all these things.  Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world(Acts 15: 14-18).  In these apostolic words we find all that confirmed which the prophets teach as to the future of Israel.

 

 

But a new fact is stated which was not revealed to the prophets.  The Gentile world is to receive first the Gospel witness before Israel’s hope can be realized.  Out of the Gentile nations there is to be gathered a people for His Name, an out-called company, called the Church.  When this is done, when God’s eternal purpose as to the present age is accomplished, the great, long promised event will happen.  I will return!”  It could not possibly mean anything else but the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  And what will come after that return?  Will it mean, as taught by many, the end of the world?  The inspired declaration of James gives us the answer. The tabernacle of David, which has been in ruins so long, will be set up and built again.  It means the re-establishment of the house and throne of David.  Incidentally, this answers the invention of the British-Israel claim that the throne of David is in existence in Great Britain, that the late Queen Victoria and her offspring are lineal descendants of David, etc.  The throne of David will he set up and a son of David will occupy that throne but not till Christ has come back.  The residue of men seeking after the Lord and all the Gentiles, means the conversion of the world.

 

 

We turn next to a few of the outstanding prophecies in the Old Testament revealing Israel’s hope, destiny and future blessing and glory, still further confirming what has already been said.

 

 

Briefly we mention the testimony of the Psalms.  Christians who use the Psalms only as a devotional book miss much.  They contain some of the most remarkable prophecies of the entire Bible.  The sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow are written here as nowhere else in [Page 66] Scripture.  But the book of Psalms also contains a large number of prayers which reveal distress.  They ascend to heaven from hearts sorely tried. Persecution, affliction, dangers of various kinds, deep soul exercises and death experiences produce these prayers.  True enough, many of them belong to Him who was the man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs,” but many arise from the hearts and lips of persecuted saints, who are hard pressed by their enemies, who are facing troubles of all kinds and death as well.  They are the pre-written prayers of the remnant of Israel which during the day of national calamity turn to the Lord.  They look for deliverance not from earthly sources, but from above.  When their deliverance and salvation comes, it is always through the manifestation of the Lord, the King-Messiah, who is the hope of Israel.  Then, after His manifestation and their deliverance we read in Psalm after Psalm their praise and worship, giving thanks for salvation.

 

 

We give an illustration.  The second part of the book begins with the forty-second and ends with the seventy-second Psalm.  This section corresponds to the book of Exodus in the Pentateuch.  As in Exodus, so in these Psalms we hear a people longing for help and deliverance.  They are away from their homeland.  They pour out their souls; they weep bitter tears; they encourage themselves by calling on the Lord.  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts; all thy waves and billows are gone over me.  Yet the Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me?  Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God” (Psa. 42:7-10). These are the prayers of the Israelites who have turned to the Lord and wait for His salvation.  The two Psalms which follow reveal still greater troubles. While they express their confidence in the Lord and hope for an answer from above they utter their complaint. “Thou makest us a [Page 67] reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.  Thou makest us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the people yea for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter” (Psa. 44: 13, 14, 22).  Then comes the despairing cry for help.  Awake, why sleepest thou, 0 Lord?  Arise cast us not off forever Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies sake!” (Verses 23 and 26).  It does not take much imagination to picture the great distress through which the godly of Israel will pass in the day when nations persecute them and their own apostate brethren under the instigation of the false Messiah heap trouble upon them.

 

 

How will the cry for help be answered?  Who is bringing deliverance?  When comes their deliverance?  The Psalm which follows, the forty-fifth, answers this.  Here the glorious King is revealed, the King from above, who comes to deliver, who comes to judge His and His people’s enemies, who comes to receive the sceptre of the kingdom.  Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, 0 most mighty, with Thy glory and majesty.  And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.  Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby they fall under thee” (Psa. 45: 3-5).  After the Psalm which reveals prophetically the coming of the King, their prayers for help become songs of praise and the glorious results of His return are described.  The forty-sixth Psalm celebrates their deliverance.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved, God shall help her in the dawn of the morning.”  And in retrospect they say: The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved, He uttered His voice, the earth melted” (Verse 6).  Triumphantly the saved remnant shouts The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.”  They look back and see the judgment work which was done by the King of glory – Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth” (Verse 8).  And what has He done, what are the results of [Page 68] His Coming?  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth the Chariot in the fire” (Verse 9).  The forty-seventh and forty-eighth Psalms complete the picture of the results of His return.  There is joy and blessing, for He is the great King over all the earth.  He reigneth over the nations; praises are sung unto the King.  Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the great King” (Psa. 48: 1-2).  These great prophetic messages of the Psalms are repeated over and over again and always in the same order - a remnant of His people turning to Him; that remnant suffers great afflictions and persecution; they cry to the Lord for help; He comes in power and great glory; He delivers His people, deals with their enemies, and the [millennial] kingdom of righteousness and peace is established.

 

 

If we were to quote all the prophets have to say we would have to fill several hundred pages with quotations and then discover how remarkably they all predict the same order of events.  How it verifies the belief of God’s true children, that prophecy and all the Word of God is the work of one Author, the omniscient Spirit of God.

 

 

We give only a fraction of some of the glorious prospects of Israel found in all the Old Testament prophetic books.  We begin with Isaiah.  One of the great Messianic portions in this prophet is found in chapters ten, eleven, and twelve.  The Assyrian invasion, used by God as a rod to correct and chastise Israel, is described in the tenth chapter.  He is permitted to come to the very gates of Jerusalem, and there he is arrested by the manifestation of the power of the Lord in behalf of His people.  This invasion is a prophetic type of the future invasion by the final Assyrian, the power from the North.  That it looks forward to that coming day of trouble may be learned from verses 20-24.  And it shall come to pass in that day (that coming day of the Lord) that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped [Page 69] of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.  For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return; the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.  For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption even determined, in the midst of all the land.”

 

 

The chapter which follows tells us more fully of the Person of the Deliverer and the gracious results of His deliverance.  He will be the rod of the stem of Jesse, a Branch out of his roots.  Thus He is called in the New Testament, The root and offspring of David.”  Upon Him rests the Holy Spirit in all His fullness.  His holy character is mentioned.  Then the Spirit of God speaks of Him and the work He will do in the future.  With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Verses 14).  This passage is quoted by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 and linked to His Return.  As a result of His return we find the gracious results.

 

 

(1) There will he a great change in the animal world which has suffered on account of man’s sin, having become a groaning creation.  It will be restored to its former, Edenic condition.  (2) The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (3) The Son of David, will stand for an ensign of the people, that is, they will gather around Him, whom they rejected.  (4) The Gentiles shall seek Him.  (5) His rest will be glorious.  (6) There will be a re-gathering and a restoration of all Israel.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left from Asyria, 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.”  We have put second time in italics for not a few expositors [Page 70] have stated that this means the return from the seventy years captivity in Babylon.  It does not.  They were not scattered in the islands of the sea.  It is a future re-gathering which can only take place when the Lord returns.  This fact should dispel the British Israel assumption, that England represents the re-gathered Israel in possession of the earthly blessings.

 

 

This great truth, written so large everywhere in the prophetic Word, is also taught by our Lord Himself.  In Matthew 24: 29, 30 He speaks of His personal and glorious return.  Then He speaks of what will happen as the result of His return.  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”  Superficial Bible teachers have made this the gathering of the Church, because the word “elect” is mentioned here.  But the “elect” are the elect [out of the] nation Israel, His chosen people.  The words of our Lord are in full harmony with all we have seen from different Scriptures.

 

 

The next chapter contains saved Israel’s hymn of praise.  What an exhaustless praise it is!  He was angry with them; His anger is turned away.  Jehovah is now their salvation, their strength and their song.  And all because the Holy One of Israel, their King, is in the midst of them.  Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.”  Isaiah’s Prophecy contained in chapters twenty-four to twenty-seven has been rightly called “Isaiah’s little Apocalypse.”  We must leave it to the reader to study these chapters. They describe the coming day of trouble, the trusting remnant and their faith in His promises, the Lord dealing with their enemies and their own deliverance and blessing.  We also hear their songs of praise.

 

 

In the second part of this prophetic book we find the greatest of all the restoration promises of Israel and the coming day of earthly and spiritual glory.  We must point out first of all their relation to that great and much beloved chapter, the fifty-third.  Here we have the picture of Israel’s Messiah, the servant of Jehovah, bearing the sins of His [Page 71] people.  No greater description is found in the Word of God of the substitutionary, sacrificial death of the Lamb of God.  While the oldest Hebrew comments see in this servant the Messiah, modern Judaism rejects this entirely and claims that not the Messiah is the sufferer, but the nation is in view, as the sin-bearer, being afflicted and smitten.  This perversion is also being taught by the modernistic theological seminaries of Christendom.

 

 

We Christian believers, who love this chapter and see in it our own redemption almost exclusively, seeing our spiritual need supplied in Him who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities,” have missed a great lesson.  The chapter is couched in the language of confession.  It is the confession of a people who despised and rejected Him, who esteemed Him not.  And now they discover that after all He bore their griefs and carried their sorrows.  They thought He was stricken and smitten of God.  However, they have found out that He was wounded for their transgressions.  They acknowledge that they were like sheep gone astray and that the Lord laid on Him their iniquity, as upon the scape-goat in the ceremonial of the Day of Atonement Israel’s sins were laid.  The fifty-third chapter is Israel’s coming confession of Him whom they reject, in whose atoning work they did not believe though He died for their nation (John 11: 51).  This confession will come from their lips when They shall look upon Him whom they pierced” (Zech 12: 10).  The results of that confession, after the Lord’s return, is marvellously revealed in the chapter which follows.  In the Bible which we use, we find this heading of the fifty-fourth chapter: “The prophet, for the comfort of the Gentiles. prophesieth the amplitude of their church.”  What confusing nonsense!  Yet it is this misinterpretation which is universally taught in Christendom by men who are woefully ignorant of God’s revealed plans and purposes. No! the promises, the words of comfort and glory, are Israel’s.  What is written here will take place after Israel’s confession of Christ.  The barren nation is commanded to sing; she will have a wonderful increase in her offspring.  She will inherit [Page 72] the Gentiles, who will be gathered into the kingdom, which will be headed by the saved remnant of Israel.  So great will be the blessing that they will forget their erstwhile shame and the reproach of Israel’s long widowhood.  All is changed now.  For thy maker is thy husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called” (Verse 5).

 

 

Could there be anything more beautiful than the following words – For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid my face for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.  For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Verses 7-10).  Then follow words which apply to Jerusalem, the city where He was crucified.  It is to become, at His Return, the glorious capital of the kingdom.  O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations in sapphires.  And I will make thy windows agates, and thy gates carbuncle and all thy borders of pleasant stones.  And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.  In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near thee.”  Surely glorious things are spoken as to Israel’s future.

 

 

The tide rises higher when we turn to chapters fifty-nine to sixty-three of Isaiah.  We must be content to give a brief synopsis.

 

 

The first part of the fifty-ninth chapter gives a vivid picture of the apostate conditions of Israel before their great future will come by the appearing of the Lord.  It is a most striking prophecy in which we can read all the evils which [Page 73] are so manifest in that nation, and for that matter, in apostate Gentile Christendom also.  We sum up a few of the things mentioned.  Their sins separate them from God; their hands are defiled with blood and their fingers with iniquity; lips speak lies and tongues utter perverseness; they trust in vanity; their transgressions are multiplied.  The fifteenth verse gives us a dark picture of the moral condition of the people. It is used in the Epistle of the Romans to show man’s utter helplessness and hopelessness to return to God.  If anything is to be done for them God must do it.  It is so here.

 

 

There was no man and no intercessor.  Then He put on righteousness as a breastplate and the helmet of salvation.  He put on the garments of vengeance.  He rises up in His majesty to save His people from utter ruin and deal with their enemies likewise.  So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood (at the time of Jacob’s final trouble) the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isa. 54: 16-19).

 

 

He appears in behalf of His Israel.  And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord (Verse 20, quote in Romans 11:26).  Here, then, once more stands first the coming of the Redeemer, and the chapters which follow unfold the gracious results of His coming for Israel and Israel’s land.  The glory light, His glory, bursts forth (Chapter 60: 1).  It has been generally applied to His first coming, but Romans 11: 26 makes it clear that it is His second coming in great power and glory.  Then follows the gathering of the nations into the kingdom.  Jerusalem will be called the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel (Verse 14).  Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation and thy gates Praise.  The Sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee, but the Lord shall be thine everlasting light and the days of thy mourning shall be over” (See Isa. 4: 4-6).

 

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Thy people also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”  What wonderful meaning these prospects take on, if we let them stand in their literal and future meaning and refrain from evaporating them by an unscriptural spiritualization!

 

 

It is well known that the opening sentences of the sixty-first chapter [of Isaiah] were quoted by our Lord in the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke 4: 16-20).  Our Lord had received from the rabbi of the synagogue the scroll of Isaiah to read, what Jews call the “Haftorah after the reading of the “Torah,” the appointed portion of the law.  He was expected to read more than the first statements.  When He reached the sentence to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” He closed the scroll, gave it back to the minister and sat down.  Then to the astonishment of all He said, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  And so it was and so it is still fulfilled during this age, for it is the acceptable year of the Lord.  But why did He not continue to read? Because what follows can only come to pass in and after His return.  The next sentence is the day of vengeance of our God.”  This day comes with His return, for of His first coming it is written, “For God sent not His Son into the world, to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3: 17).  In His return He will bring judgment, but that is followed by the blessings and the glory of Israel [and the restoration of this groaning “creation,” (Rom. 8: 19-21)].  This is beautifully made known again in the rest of the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah.  All these chapters contain a continued prophecy, revealing the prospects of Israel [during the millennium].

 

 

So in the sixty-second chapter we hear of the new name by which redeemed Israel is to be called.  What glorious prospects the Spirit of God here unfolds for faith to enjoy!  Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”  No longer will the nation be called forsaken and the land be termed desolate.  Heplizi-bah and Beulah will be the new names.  His delight will be in her; Beulah means “married” – [Page 75] again joined to the Lord from whom Israel had been divorced so long.  Their spiritual blessings are all summed up in the last verse of this chapter.  And they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”

 

 

Another great vision is found in the sixty-third chapter of the same prophet.  Here is One described coming from a battle.  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?  This that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?”  Who is asking this question?  It belongs in the mouth of the redeemed remnant of Israel.  And what does He answer them?  I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”  Again they ask. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?”  Then follows His answer again and that answer contains solemn words.  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all my raiment.  For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me and My fury upheld Me.  And I will tread down the people in Mine anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”  This has been interpreted as meaning His redemption work through the shedding of His own blood.  It does not mean this at all.  It is His judgment work which He will execute in His return.  It is that which Moses had announced in His prophetic song.  It is the answer to the imprecatory prayers of His persecuted Israel, crying for deliverance from the hands of their enemies.  In the great vision of Revelation, describing His victorious return (Revelation 19: 11-16) the same judgment aspect is revealed.  And He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”  Both Isaiah’s vision and John’s vision are written in symbolical terms.

 

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The final chapter of Isaiah, to which we have called attention before, gives the same prospects.  His coming is revealed in this chapter in these words: A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to His enemies” (verse 6).  The preceding verse contains the sneers of the apostate, ungodly ones in Israel.  Here is His answer.  After that comes suddenly the re-birth and deliverance of the nation, and the rest of the chapter is filled with the words of comfort and peace for Jerusalem, the redeemed people and Israel’s land.

 

 

The prophetic books which follow the book of Isaiah contain the same future prospects of Israel, always linked to his visible and glorious manifestation, and always following that event.  All we can do is to point to a few of the outstanding unfulfilled predictions.

 

 

Jeremiah, besides revealing the impending seventy years captivity of Judah and their return from Babylon, also received messages which were not fulfilled in the past.  One of the outstanding prophets is found in the twenty-third chapterBehold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Brance, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is the name whereby he shall be called ‘The Lord our Righteousness’” (Verses 5, 6).  The context shows that there will be a restoration of the seed of the house of Israel.  That such a king, the Branch of David, has never reigned, and does not reign now, is obvious, for Judah is not saved nor does Israel dwell safely, nor has the restoration taken place.  It comes when the prophetic words communicated to Mary of Nazareth, through Gabriel, are fulfilled And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1: 32).  

 

 

Another great unfolding of Israel’s prospects of blessing is found in that part of the prophecies of Jeremiah in which Jacob’s trouble is predicted.  (Chapters 30 and 31).  Here the Lord promises I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity.”  He assures them Though [Page 77] I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” (Verses 10 and 11).  The entire thirty-first chapter is filled with restoration promises.

 

 

Beginning with the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel to the end of that book we find unfulfilled prophecies, some of them most remarkable, but all in fullest harmony with the messages of the other prophets.  They have nothing whatever to do with the present age and the Church of Jesus Christ.

 

 

In the thirty-fourth chapter the predictions are written as to the future work of the Shepherd of Israel.  It is not His shepherd work of the past.  In His first coming He appeared to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel. His message as the minister of the circumcision was not to the Gentiles, but to the sheep of Israel alone.  He sent His disciples, the twelve and the seventy, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10: 6).

 

 

The same Shepherd who was on earth almost two thousand years ago, who came to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel, who was moved with compassion, who gave His life for the sheep, is returning.  Of this the prophecy of Ezekiel gives us the prospect.  For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out.  As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day” (Ezek. 34: 11-12).  And that cloudy and dark day covers the period of their long wanderings and the dark ending in their tribulation night.  Then, after additional promises of re-gathering and restored blessings, we read: Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.”  Then comes the promise of the one shepherd: “My servant David a prince among them, I the Lord have spoken it” (Verses 22-24).  It seems that in the day of Israel’s restoration a [Page 78] descendant of David* will be on the throne in Jerusalem as a vice-regent of Him, who is according to His humanity the Son of David, and who as King of kings and Lord of lords will reign over the House of Jacob and over all the earth.

 

[* Why should it not be King David himself?]

 

 

But who is able to trace the descendants of David?  According to Jewish tradition many centuries ago, the last offspring of David died, we believe, in Spain.  But even this is not certain.  The British Israel assumption that the reigning house of Great Britain is Davidic is so ridiculous that it needs no refutation.  But God knows, for while man can not trace these genealogies any longer, He has kept track of it.  Others have advanced the belief that the ruler, David, the prince, is David himself, raised from the dead.  When the day of fulfilment comes it will be known who this vice-regent will be.

 

 

A covenant of peace is promised to Israel restored and in perfect safety – they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods” (Verse 25).

 

 

Few Christian believers, who sing joyfully – “There shall be showers of blessing” - know that this belongs to Israel first of all, for in verse 26 of this chapter we read – “there shall be showers of blessing.” The great showers of blessing will come upon restored Israel and through Israel to the nations of the world.  The thirty-sixth chapter takes us back to the unconditional promises made to Abraham, the father of Israel.  As we pointed out before they were unconditional, the two words “I will” reveal God’s sovereign grace, which does not permit an “if” a condition.  Here in this prophecy of Ezekiel we find many times God’s sovereign “I will” with no condition whatever.  It is their future national and spiritual salvation accomplished through the Grace of God, and not bestowed on account of their works or character.

 

 

These most precious promises are introduced by the following words: Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, 0 House of Israel, but for mine holy Name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye went.  And [Page 79] I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them, and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (Verses 22, 23).

 

 

Then we hear of these prospects of blessing.  The “I will” of re-gathering out of all countries (Verse 24).  The “I will” of cleansing and of their new birth and the gift of the [Holy] Spirit.  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  And a new heart will I also give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them” (Verses 25-27).

 

 

The promise of sprinkling clean water has nothing whatever to do with baptism, as some have taught.  It is the promise of their national cleansing and the new birth.  Before Israel can enter into the kingdom they must be born again.  Our Lord in conversing with Nicodemus expressed astonishment that Nicodemus was the teacher in Israel and did not know this (John 3: 10).  With this cleansing and the new birth of Israel, the gift of the Spirit is promised which will enable them to be His obedient people.  After these gracious experiences which Israel will make through the Grace of God, it is written Neither will I hide my face any more from them, for I have poured out My Spirit upon the House of Israel, saith the Lord” (Chapter 39: 29).  With all these spiritual blessings returns the fruitfulness of the land.  And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced and inhabited” (Verse 35).

 

 

In the thirty-seventh chapter is recorded one of the most suggestive prophetic visions of the Bible, the vision of the valley filled with dry bones.  The prophet is asked if these bones can live.  He is commanded to prophesy, “0 ye dry [Page 80] bones, hear the Word of the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.”  After the first prophesying there was a noise, and “behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”  It was a reorganization of these bones which were also covered with flesh, sinews and skin.  But there was no life in them.  A second prophesying supplied the life, the breath came, “and they lived, and stood up upon their feet an exceeding great army.”

 

 

What is the meaning of the vision?  Some have read into it physical resurrection* and have built up an unscriptural theory, that of a second chance for the wicked.  Still others attempted to teach a special Jewish resurrection, also for a second chance.  But these dry bones the prophet saw cannot represent the physically dead, for they speak.  Death and resurrection is used here symbolically as elsewhere in the Bible.  The vision itself gives the correct meaning. “Then He said unto Me, Son of Man, these bones are the whole House of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts.”  The dry bones typify the desperate national and spiritual condition of the whole house of Israel, that is, the house of Judah and the house of Israel.  The only hope they have is in the power of Jehovah.  How national and spiritual life will be given is the prophecy of this vision.  Thus saith the Lord God - Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” The graves represent their national death.  They are buried among the nations.  Furthermore the Lord said - And shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you into your own land.”

 

[* And why not?  This is precisely what will happen when our Lord returns – “The dead in Christ will rise first…” (1 Thess. 4: 16b); is this not a ‘physical resurrection’?  Yes, it most certainly is: and the ‘wicked’ dead will have no part in it!]

 

 

The final prophecies of Ezekiel (Chapters 38-48) will be fulfilled after the quoted restoration promises have been accomplished.  The hordes from the North, Gog and Magog, will attempt an invasion, and find then their extermination.  And after that comes the great temple-vision, when in Israel’s land a great central place of worship will be built, the house of prayer for all nations.

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We can mention only briefly the testimony of some of the other prophets, who all reveal the prospects of blessing and glory which are promised to Israel.  Daniel witnesses to it.  The vision of Israel’s blessing and promised dominion is seen in connection with the collapse of Gentile world dominion.  Their deliverance comes through the manifestation of the Son of Man.  Then the great tribulation ends, and Judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”… “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall he given to the people of the saints of the most high, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Chapter 7: 22, 27).

 

 

Hosea bears witness of the future of the children of Israel and contains numerous prospects of restoration and glory.  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim; afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days” (Chapter 3: 4-5).  The term “many days” (Yomim rabbim) means the present Gentile age, during which Israel is in the political and religious condition as given in this prophecy.  The other term in the latter days (B’acherith Ha-Yomim) means the coming days of the Messiah.  Then their return will take place as well as their national restoration.

 

 

Joel received a Prophecy as to what precedes the physical restoration and the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh.  Again it is seen that it will be a time of trouble, which produces the repentance of the people. “Then will the Lord be jealous for His land and pity His people” (Joel 2: 18).  The Lord’s manifestation for the deliverance and salvation of Israel is more fully seen in the last chapter of this prophet.

 

 

In Amos we find the witness given in Chapter 9: 11-15.

 

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Obadiah prophesying of coming judgment upon the opposing forces of Edom concludes his brief utterances by penning And saviours (the witnessing remnant of Israel) shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”

 

 

In Micah, the contemporary of Isaiah, we read the same prospects of hope and glory in Chapters 4: 1-7 and 5: 4-8.  Habakkuk’s ode (Chapter 3) reveals the return of the Lord, Israel’s Messiah, in a majestic way.  And why does He come?  Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed.  Thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked (the Antichrist) by discovering the foundation unto the neck” (Verse 13).  Beautiful are Zephaniah’s words of what will take place after the day of the Lord, the day of His glorious manifestation, has come.  Sing, 0 daughter of Zion; shout, 0 Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, 0 daughter of Jerusalem.  The Lord has taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy; the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.”   This is followed by the assurance of their wonderful restoration (Chapter 3: 14-20).  The three post-exilic prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi all contain the same glorious prospects.  Especially rich is Zechariah in his inspired forecasts in which he shows the same order of events – Israel’s dispersion, the call of a remnant, their suffering, the coming of the long expected Lord and what will follow this great coming event.  Then they will break forth in singing – “for, Lo, I come to dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord, And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts has sent me” (Chapter 2: 10-19).  And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse [Page 83] among the nations, 0 house of Judah, and House of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing; fear not, let your hands be strong” (Chapter 8: 13).  Note that the house of Israel also was a curse among the nations. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and pray before the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men 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” (Chapter 8: 22-23).  In the twelfth chapter is the prophecy of the great mourning in Jerusalem in the day when they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and the final great prophecy of Zechariah brings the future siege of Jerusalem into view.  Then, when all nations are gathered against Jerusalem to battle the Lord shall go forth, and fight against those nations.”  His feet will stand once more upon the mount of Olives, the place from which He left the earth to return to the Heaven from which He had come “and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints [or ‘holy ones]* with thee” (14: 1-5).  The same gracious and glorious results which all the other prophets linked with the manifestation of the Lord follow also in Zechariah’s last prophecy.  Living waters flow forth from Jerusalem; the Lord shall be king over all the earth; the wealth of all the nations round about will be gathered together and nations shall go up to Jerusalem to worship the King.  The last chapter in the Old Testament gives in Malachi’s vision once more the same testimony.

 

[*NOTE. This refers primarily to the angels of God.  If ‘saints’ are to accompany Him, then they are those saints who have been rapt into Heaven before the Great Tribulation, (Luke 21: 34-26).  There must be two translations of living saints – one group rapt into heaven before the end times sets in, and the other at its end.]

 

 

What wonderful prospects these are!  The God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob will keep His oath - bound covenants He made with the seed of Abraham, and, as the curses found their literal fulfilment, so will the promises of blessing.  It will mean more than the blessing of Israel.  Their restoration and spiritual blessings will bring blessing to the whole world to demonstrate anew that “salvation is of the Jews.”  This is Paul’s great argument in the eleventh chapter of Romans.  If the fall of them became the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?  And if the casting away of them became the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”* (Rom. 11: 12-15).

 

 

[* See Luke 14: 14; 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b; Rev. 20: 4-6.]