THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF
[WITH EMPHASIS PLACED ON MILLENNIAL TRUTHS AND EVENTS THROUGHOUT]
REV. GEO. A. B. CHAMBERLAIN, M.A.
Vicar of Hook, Yorks.*
[*From: Things To Come, Vol. XXI. JANUARY TO DECEMBER, 1915 on
(pages 8-10, 19-22, 29-31, 39-40, 51-53, 63-65, 74-76, 104-106, 112-114, 124-125, 136-137, in FEBRUARY - DECEMBER, 1915).]
THE SUBJECT PROPOSED
With regard to the title of these articles, a word or two may not be deemed amiss.
In the first place, the articles will deal with the Restoration, then Conversion, not Conversion and subsequent Restoration. We call particular attention to this, because in time past - we do not think it has many adherents now - some students of the Word, taking certain passages which seem to imply that Conversion will precede Restoration, insisted that such would be the order of events.
We do not wish to anticipate, by referring to the many Scriptures which assure us of Restoration quite prior to, if not apart from, Conversion, as such will be considered in their proper place.
the second place, we are dealing with the Restoration and Conversion, of
is no need to take up time in referring in detail to the past history of the
Ten Tribes, or House of Israel. We all
know that these tribes were carried away captive by Shalmaneser King of
Assyria: Then the King of Assyria came up throughout
all the land, and went up to
THE TEN TRIBES
the Ten Tribes were carried away in B.C. 611.
But we must remember that, from the same severance of the house of
would lead to the fraternizing of the members of the Ten Tribes of Israel with
Two Tribes of Judah; and so when the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were carried
And though we read in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah the terms People of Israel (Ezra 2: 2); Israel (Ezra 2: 59; 3: 11; Neh. 7: 61; 10: 10; 13: 3); all Israel (Ezra 2: 70; 10: 5; Neh. 7: 73): though 1 Chronicles 9: 2 speaks of the Israelites as first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions, in their cities, that is, after the return from Babylon (see Note in loco in Companion Bible, and particularly notice the statement called Israel although only the return of Judah and Benjamin): though we read in verse 3 that members of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were among those who returned: and though it is true that about sixty-eight years after Zerubbabels arrival in Judea, a small body of Israelites reached Jerusalem under Ezra: STILL we maintain that the Ten Tribes of Israel as distinct from Judah, have never returned to their land in any national or representative number.
Perhaps a reference to secular history in support of our contention may not be thought out of place, though we are reluctant to call in the secular arm when dealing with the truths of Gods Word. Josephus, speaking of the supplementary return under Ezra, referred to above, says: So Ezra read the epistle at Babylon to those Jews that were there; but he kept the epistle itself and sent a copy of it to those of his own nation that were in Media; and when these Jews had [Page 9] understood what piety the King [Xerxes] had towards God, and what kindness he had for Esdras, they were all greatly pleased, nay, many of them took their effects with them and came to Babylon, as very desirous of going to Jerusalem; but then the entire body of that people remained in that country (Media); wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be reckoned by numbers (Antiq. B. 11, c 5, sec. 2).
The fact that a representative number of the House of Israel did not return from Babylon with the representatives of the House of Judah has been insisted on at some length, because there have been, and doubtless are even now, those who would maintain that those Scriptures which prophesy of the Restoration and Conversion of the whole Twelve Tribes, found their fulfilment at the return from Babylon. But such, we trust to prove, is not the case; and that we look for the return of all the tribes of Israel to their own land in the future, and their subsequent conversion to Messiah according to the Scriptures.
there are three questions which naturally suggest themselves, when we treat of
Gods future dealings with His chosen people
(1) Did God promise to the fathers of the Israelites a land,
and also this land to their descendants?
(2) If so, was this land to be held only for a time, or in perpetuity?
(3) What are the reasons for looking for a future restoration?
regards the first (1) we would
merely direct attention to the promise solemnly made by the Almighty to the
three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
To Abraham (or Abram as he was then called) was the promise [of
an inheritance not, as yet, received (Acts 7:
made when he was in
Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee (Gen. 13: 15, 15, 17).
this promise [of
what Jehovah has promised to fulfil in the future millennium, (2 Pet. 3: 8; Rev. 20: 4)] was solemnly repeated as regards the patriarch
himself: I am JEHOVAH
that brought thee out of
[* Messiah Jesus is also described as Abraham Seed; and the Promised Land is part of His inheritance, which is also awaiting His return, and the literal fulfilment of Gods promise and prophecy, after His Second Advent. Psa. 2: 8. cf. Psa. 78. & Psa. 110: 1-3, etc.]
And yet a third time Jehovah assures Abram that He will give the land, not only to him but to his seed after him: And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting [i.e., for as long as this earth lasts] possession: and I will be their God (Gen. 17: 8).
This threefold promise to Abraham is confirmed to Isaac: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee and to thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath (see ch. 15) which I swore into Abraham thy father (Gen. 26: 3).
And also to Jacob: I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac, the land whereon thou liest, to THEE will I give it and to THY SEED (Gen. 28: 13).
So we see the promise of the land was made to the three patriarchs, and not only that they should possess it (this promise implies [transference from Hades (Luke 16: 23, cf. Psa. 16: 10. and Acts 2: 27) at the time if their ] RESURRECTION for they have never yet held [or inherited] the land, but to their descendants also. And that not only for a time, but - as suggested by question (2) - for an everlasting possession (ch. 17: 8), and for ever (ch. 13: 15).* See also Gen. 48: 4; Ex. 32: 13; Josh. 14: 9; Isaiah 60: 21; Jer. 7: 7; 25: 5 in this connection.
[* See NOTE 1 on everlasting and for ever at the end of this paper.]
If it be urged, as it might be by some, that the dispersion of the Israelites is a sign that the Almighty has abrogated His promise of everlasting possession, we would reply that not only has He not done so, but that the dispersion is in itself one of our most potent reasons for believing that their shall be a future restoration of His people; seeing that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; seeing that the former tenure of the land was conditional on OBEDIENCE* (Deut. 28: 1, 15, 64, etc., among many other passages of Scripture) **; and seeing that that conditional tenure of the land had absolutely nothing to do with the promises of occupancy and possession of the land made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
[* Compare with 2 Thess. 1: 6-10: If indeed it is just with God to repay affliction to THOSE who afflict you, 7 so that to you the AFFLICTED, a REST together with us, at the REVELATION of Jesus Christ from heaven with the angels of His power, 8 in the Flame of Fire, dispensing Retributive justice to those not acknowledging God, and TO THOSE NOT BEING OBEDIENT to the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus; 9 who shall pay a just penalty - aionian (i.e., in this context, the Greek word aionian should be translated age-lasting) Destruction from the face of the Lord, and from the GLORY of His strength; 10 when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all those who believe IN THAT DAY .
Is there not here two distinct groups referred to? (1) those who do not acknowledging God; and those not being OBEDIENT to the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus. The former group, being a reference to all the unregenerate; and the latter group, a reference to some disobedient regenerate believers who neglect Gods conditional promises, for entrance into the Land - among many other passages of Scripture?.
** For conditional texts see (1) Rom. 8: 17b, - We are co-heirs with the Christ IF INDEED we suffer with Him! 2 Tim. 2: 12. (2) IF we endure under suffering we shall reign with Him. cf. Matt. 10: 33. (3) IF those who turned away from the Voice at Sinai, escaped not, how much less we, if we turn away from the voice of His Son, Heb. 12: 25. (4) IF not obedient, no entrance into the kingdom (Heb. 3: 18; 4: 5, 6; Matt. 7: 21. (5) IF we do not change and become like little children, no entrance, Matt. 18: 3. (6) IF NOT striving according to the rules, not crowned at last. 2 Tim. 2: 5. (7) IF we are faithless He abides faithful to His promises AND HIS THREATS. Col. 3: 25. (8) We will press on to maturity, IF GOD PERMIT. Heb. 6: 3; 2 Tim. 2: 25-26. See more in G. H. Langs list.]
(3): What specific reasons have we for looking to a future
(1) The unconditional promises of God, already dwelt upon, and the fulfilment of many prophecies of Scripture. It is an axiom of prophetical interpretation that any foretold event or events not having already received fulfilment, must point to fulfilment in the future. And this axiom we shall apply when we consider the numerous prophecies dealing with Restoration.
(2) The occupancy of the land.
But this is not the
So taking the River of Egypt,
the Nile, as our South Western boundary and the River Euphrates as the South
Eastern boundary, instead of a small stretch of land the size of Wales, or two
or three English counties, we have a vast territory of some 300,000 square
miles, a land fully answering the description of a
good land and large. Such is the
future possession of Gods people
(3) A third reason for looking forward to a future
(4) The union of the House of Judah with the House of Israel is another tangible proof for future Restoration. Since the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat conspired, and threw off allegiance to the royal House of Judah, never have the two houses been united. That some pious members of the House of Israel, valuing the pure worship of Jehovah before earthly advantages, threw in their lot with the children of Judah and Benjamin, we have already seen. But this did not entail union of the two separate kingdoms, and we are assured, as we shall see in the course if this union must take place in the future.
(5) And lastly, before bringing this introductory
article to a close, may not the breadth and length and
depth and height of the love of Jehovah for His people [
But how sure and full of love are the words of Jehovah: Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands (Isa. 49: 16). And again Thus saith Jehovah, Which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; Jehovah of Tsebahoth is His name: IF (im, emphatic, to dispel all doubt) those ordinances depart from before Me saith Jehovah - IF (im) My Covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the seed of Jacob: FOR I WILL CAUSE THEIR CAPTIVITY TO RETURN, and have mercy on them (Jer. 33: 25, 26.)
And yet again: For this is as 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 Jehovah that hath mercy on thee (Isaiah 54: 10).
Surely a people that has had such gracious and exceeding [divine] precious promises made to them, however sad their past and present state may be, have a glorious future [upon this restored earth (Rom. 8: 18-22)] before them, and from being lo ammi, not my people, shall become Israel My Glory, and Sons of the Living God.
So many are the divers portions in which God in time past spake unto the fathers by the prophets with regard to the future Restoration and Conversion of their descendants, that it is somewhat perplexing to know exactly where to begin our exploration of this rich treasure-house of Gods revelation. Perhaps the best course will be to take the prophets in their chronological order, and see what each has to tell us in connection with the future dealings with the chosen seed. So we begin with
* * *
I. THE TESTIMONY OF AMOS.
The words which he saw concerning Israel were given to him in the days of Uzziah King of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash King of Israel, two years before the earthquake, B.C. 689-687. He is the earliest prophet, and the burden of his words is the unfaithfulness of the Ten Tribes of Israel. His book closes, however, with some gracious promises of Jehovah, and we may take them as an introduction to the whole of our subject.
It may be as well here to draw the readers attention to the fact that predictions do not always stand in the order of their fulfilment, and it is well to remember this, when considering the various passages connected with our theme. At first glance, for instance, it would seem, from Amos 9: 12, that spiritual privileges were to be restored to Israel before their return to their own land (verse 14); in other words, that Conversion is prior to, and introductory to Restoration. But we shall see from other Scriptures that this is not so, and verse 12 supports our claim that Restoration must precede, for it is assuredly obvious that the captivity of My people of Israel must have been brought again ere they can possess the remnant of Edom and of all the heathen that are called by My Name (verse 12).
Now if we turn to the passage, Amos 9: 11-15, we have certain promises direct from God; and promises which have never yet received fulfilment; and therefore the fulfilment of which is to be still looked for.
(1) And I will bring again the
captivity of My people of
And they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them;
And they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof;
They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them (verse 14).
(2) And not only is this gracious promise of restoration made to them, but the LAND is promised to them in perpetuity, for.
And I will plant them upon their LAND,
And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them,
saith the Lord thy God (verse 15).
(3) And this, again, is followed by the promise of spiritual blessings and privileges:
In that day will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,
and close up the breaches thereof;
and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
That [to the end that, with this object in view,] they may possess the remnant
and of all the heathen which are called by My name,
saith the Lord that doeth this (verses 11, 12).
Taking, therefore, the whole passage, we have promised:
(1) Restoration (verse 14),
(2) Perpetual tenure of the land (verse 15,
(3) The renewal of spiritual privileges (verse 11),
(4) The possession of
(5) Great temporal blessings (verse 13).
And all this IN THE FUTURE.
* * *
We now pass on to
II. THE TESTIMONY OF HOSEA.
The word of the Lord came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel (ch. 1: 1). He began to prophecy in B.C. 689, and was contemporary with Amos, Isaiah and Micah. He was a prophet to the Ten Tribes; and it is important that we bear this in mind, for if we find certain prophecies in his book concerning the return and conversion of those tribes, and know, as we certainly do, that such return and conversion have never yet taken place, we have a sure and certain foundation for looking for those important events in the future. And such we have assuredly reason to anticipate.
At the outset, it is interesting to note how the two
houses or kingdoms of
The Book itself deals at length with the backsliding
and stiff-neckedness of the Ten Tribes. The prophet had warnings for
It is the first three chapters to which we would particularly call attention. Before, however, we consider these, there are two passages in the latter portion of the book, at which we ought to look.
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 He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up; and we shall live in His sight (6: 1, 2).
We know from such passages as Dan. 12: 1, 2, and Ezekiel 37, that RESURRECTION and Restoration are looked upon as closely connected; by some as identical. The early fathers applied Ezekiels thirty-seventh chapter to a literal resurrection. It is also customary with the prophets thus to join together a figurative and a literal resurrection (Dan. 12: 1, 2.
Assuredly in the latter of the verses quoted we have a
wonderful prediction that the third day He will raise
It is certainly impossible in the face of this declaration to limit the passage to Restoration. The belief of the Israelites generally in the resurrection; the use made of the latter part of the verse by the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15: 55): O death, where is thy sting? O grave (hades) where is thy victory? preclude it. It is assuredly a great declaration of victory over death and gravedom, turned into a shout of triumph by the inspired apostle, and finding accomplishment when death shall be swallowed up in victory; when death and hell (hades sheol, the power of the grave [and place in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12: 40), of disembodied souls of the dead]) shall be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 14).
Let us now look at certain passages in the first three chapters. The terrible state of apostasy and departure from the living God is described by the wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms (1: 2). Together they depict a truly awful state if affairs, for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD (1: 2).
Gomer, the adulterous wife,* whom the prophet is commanded to marry (1: 2) becomes the mother of Jazreel, a name having two meanings (1) May God sow (Zech. 9: 10). For historical reference to Jezreel - the place - see 1, 4, 2 Kings 9: 22-37.
* Some students do not find in chapters 1 to 3 so many biographical particulars as this interpretation allows; while others suggest a figurative ** meaning for some of the critical passages.
[** See NOTE 2 at the end.]
After Jezreel Gomer bears a daughter, Lo-ruhamah (not compassionated), so called by the
direct command of God, for I will no more have mercy
upon the house of
Taking the four names together, Gomer, Jezreel, Lo-ruhama and Lo-ammi, we come to
this point, [Page 21] The measure of sin and apostasy is full; I will scatter them (the Ten Tribes); I will not have compassion on them, and they shall not be My people.
And this exactly describes the state of
But this state of things shall not always prevail, for Afterward (no intimation of the length of time intervening) 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; from which we learn that not only shall the children of Israel, as a whole, RETURN, but they shall seek the LORD their God, and this not only in penitence as described in Zechariah 12: 10-14, but with acceptable worship. For all that is implied in the phrase, seek the LORD their God, see Deut. 4: 29; 1 Chron. 16: 10, 11; Ps. 105: 3, 4; 2 Chron. 12: 14; 14: 4; 15: 12, 13, and many other passages.
They shall also seek David their king. Jeremiah tells us the same thing: They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I WILL RAISE UP [meaning by resurrection from the dead, now in Hades. See Acts 2: 27, 34.] unto them (30: 9). Ezekiel also tells us I will set up one shepherd over them, My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd 34: 23). So in verse 24, My servant David shall be king over them; verse 25 And My servant David shall be their prince forever. From all which passages we gather that a certain one here named David [is to be resurrected from Hades, and he] shall rule over the restored and converted tribes.
Just as David, the son of Jesse, ruled in time past
over the united
But we are further told that the children of
In verses 19 and 20 Hoseas manner of predicting the restoration
and conversion of
Temporal blessings are connected with restoration and reconciliation, as we saw they were in Amos 7: 13. Emphasizing the meaning of Jezreel as whom God soweth, Jehovah goes on to say: I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy, and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people, and they shall say, thou art my God. (See quotation as part of this verse by Paul in Rom. 9: 26, and by Peter in 1 Pet. 2: 10). Thus Lo-ruhamah (not pitied) becomes [Page 22] Ruhamah (pitied), and Lo-ammi (not My people) becomes Ammi (My people). A great and glorious consummation. The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready (Rev. 19: 7).
Note on ch.
1: 1. I will no more have mercy upon the house of
Finally, let us glance at Hosea 1: 10, 11. Here, after stating that Israel is not His people, God promises a future great increase of the nation, Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, in which we see a direct reference to the natural seed, for it will be remembered that the Almighty promised Abraham a double line of descendants, a natural seed as represented as the sand of the sea, and a spiritual seed represented by the stars of heaven (Gen. 22: 17). Here we have to do with the natural seed. But not only is multiplicity of posterity assured, it is still further assured that the place of their rejection shall at some future time be the scene of their acceptance. In the place, pointing not to substitution but to locality; not instead of but in the very place - THERE - where you were rejected, you shall be received into favour. Out of some two dozen  references given by Cruden under the heading in the place only one, namely, Gen. 50: 19, Joseph said, fear not, I am in the place of God, can this phrase be taken to mean instead of. All the others refer to locality, and as regards this special reference, supports the view that as it was when Israel was still in the land they were rejected as the people of God, so in the future it will be in the same land that they will be fully received into favour.
Verse 13 goes still further. It tells us
that the children of
Thus we have a picture of representatives of the
tribes, all the tribes, going up out of the land gathered together in one
* * *
III. THE TESTIMONY OF ISAIAH
We should naturally expect that the Evangelical Prophet. as he has been so happily styled, would be rich in predictions [and prophetical truths] of Restoration and Conversion. And such we find to be the case; and not only so, for we have many [unfulfilled and future Divine] prophecies and descriptions of the time when Jehovah Himself judges among the nations, and when the glorious King shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously, over a RENEWED EARTH DURING THE MILLENNIUM of righteous rule, when there shall be universal peace among men and among beasts, when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. It is a grand and splendid Book, this of Isaiah. Well may Jerome have exclaimed: His book is not a prophecy but a gospel, so full is it of Messianic hopes. And it is in connection with these that we find in this book so many Divine titles. By no means the least interesting is that of
This title is given to Messiah in two prophecies of
Isaiah, two of Jeremiah, and two of Zechariah, all connected with the hope of
Jer. 23: 5 speaks of Messiah as a righteous Branch and a King that shall reign and prosper; in this connecting Him with the Gospel of Matthew which is
pre-eminently that of the King of the Jews.
Zech. 3: 8 says: I will bring forth my Servant the Branch; and Mark
places the Lord Jesus before us as the ideal Servant.
6: 12 presents Jehovahs
and Luke puts Him before us as the ideal
Isaiah 4: 2 declares: In that DAY shall Jehovahs Branch be beautiful and glorious;
and it is Johns Gospel that depicts our Blessed Lord as what He is,
absolutely and intrinsically Divine.
We find all this brought out at greater length and in much fuller detail in the Companion Bible, p. 1304. Before passing on, we would call attention to the twelve tribes of the Old Testament, and in the passages here quoted in referring specially to Messiah. It means a sprout from a root, not from a branch. Tsemach is also a name of the brightest star in the Zodiac sign Virgo. (C. B., note Jer. 23: 5). This is most interesting, and in connection full of meaning, but see Dr. Bullingers Witness of the Stars (pp. 31-34) for fuller details.
Now, before we look at any Restoration Scriptures in
Isaiah, it is well to note when the vision and
word of the Lord came to him, and concerning
whom they came. His prophecy begins B.C.
649, and closes B.C. 588. He was partly
contemporary with Hosea, with Micah, and with Nahum. As we have seen that Amos and Hosea spoke of
the Ten Tribes of Israel, the northern kingdom, so Isaiahs vision and word was
We now turn to two the prophecies concerning Gods
future plan for His chosen people
In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious
(margin: beauty and glory).
And the fruit of the earth excellent and comely
for them that are escaped of
From which passages we learn that the Branch, i.e., the Messiah, shall be a glorious
and beautiful sight for
We turn now to Chapter 11. Like the last prophecy considered, this has
to do with Branch. But here the original
word is not Tesmach but Netser, meaning a shoot or scion. It is a declaration that Messiah is the
offspring of Jesse by direct lineage, that He may be regarded as David in
relation to His chosen Seed, And there shall come
forth a ROD out of the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And then follows a beautiful description of
the profound holiness of Messiah, and His justice and His judgment (verses 2-5),
immediately followed by a picture of peace in the animal world, anticipatory to
what is told us in verses 11-16; another instance of the foretelling of events
not standing in the same order as their fulfilment. Verse 10
speaks of the Root of Jesse: In that day there shall
be a Root of Jesse which shall stand as an ensign of the people (peoples): to IT shall the Gentiles seek, and His rest shall be glorious. We see in this chapter, not only a prophecy
of the restoration of
(1) The Lord shall set His hand the second time. Then there must have been a first time recovery.
And this second must refer either to
the return from
(2) Then a word as to remnant. It is generally taken for granted that by the
is meant few out of many. But if
we take the Holy Scriptures explanation of the term, we see that it means, not
the few but the national representation of all the tribes gathered together
into one nation from east and west and north and south to the glory of
Messiahs [millennial] kingdom. Micah tells us what is meant by remnant when
he prophesies of Israels restoration: I will surely
assemble, O Jacob, all of
thee; I will surely gather the remnant
of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep
of Bozrah, as the
flock in the midst of their fold; they shall
make great noise by reason of the multitude of men (2: 12). So by remnant
in this chapter of Isaiah we are to understand all included in the outcasts of
As to the countries whence these recovered ones
Thus we see that from the east and west, north and
south, the four corners of the earth, shall
the outcast and dispersed
return. All bitterness and envy and
animosity shall be laid aside. A united
loving peaceable people (verse 13) shall
once more enter the land given them by God.
Human agency shall help them (verse 14), miraculous intervention shall assist them (verses 15, 16). It shall even be like
as it was to
* * *
III. THE TESTIMONY OF ISAIAH (continued.)
In our last
article we saw very plainly how Jehovah would assemble
the outcasts of
We follow the same line of thought in chapt. 27: 12, 13. It shall come to pass in that day the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream
of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall
come which were ready to perish in the
But before passing on, note how Assyria and
We now look at another prophecy in this truly
wonderful book of Isaiah. And here we
would say that space will not permit us to examine every passage, in this and
other prophetical books, relating to the ingathering of Gods people. Our purpose and object is, under the Divine
blessing, to put before our readers the main and most prominent prophecies. Especially do we feel this laid
upon us at this time when nation is rising against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom, and mens hearts are failing them for fear,
and for looking for those things which are coming on
the earth (Luke 21: 26). The
But to proceed. Chapters 29 to 33 of
Isaiah are looked upon by commentators as a continuous whole. This and the four
following chapters have an immediate aspect upon Sennacheribs invasion
was only natural that the commentators should refer these chapters to this
great event in Judahs history, as not only did Isaiah prophecy regarding the
visit of Sennacheribs emissaries to King Hezekiah, but chapters 36 to 39 are
practically identical with 2 Kings 18: 13 to 20: 18. Also the
two prominent places in Isaiah 30: 31, and 31: 8) the Assyrian is mentioned; therefore again,
naturally, we say, the thoughts of man turn to
See Chapter 29: 1-8. Woe to Ariel,
to Ariel, the city where David dwelt (verse 1).
Who or what is Ariel? The answer
can be but one,
Verses 3 to 8 of this 29th chapter describe a state of siege against the city when it shall be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and shall be utterly abased and humiliated. Yet at the crucial time when destruction threatens the city, Jehovah Himself intervenes; for the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of thy terrible ones (thy tyrants) shall be as chaff that passeth away, yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly (verse 5). Thunder, earthquake, great noise, storm and tempest, flame of devouring fire, these sweep away and destroy the enemy, suddenly, ruthlessly. It is Messiah interposing on behalf of His people till the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition [strong hold R.V.], and that distress her shall be a dream of the night vision (verse 7).
This cannot refer to the overthrow of Sennacheribs
army in the time of Hezekiah, for (1) Sennacheribs army never invested
(2) The destruction of Sennacheribs army took place
at Libnah, not
We turn to the last few verses of Isaiah 30 for further details. Here again from verse
27 we have a description of the overthrow of
Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far - (the idea conveyed is the sudden appearance of the Lord, cp., verse 13, suddenly, at an instant) - burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice (Heb. the glory of His voice) to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of anger, and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones (verses 27, 30).
The whole passage refers to the overthrow of Israels
enemies, and that not quietly, silently, when men slept, as was the case on the
visitation on Sennacheribs army at Libnah, but in the
battles of shaking will He (Jehovah) fight
against them (verse 32). How different it is with the Lords own
But verses 31 and 33 give us more details. Verse 31
speaks of the Assyrian which smote with a rod.
Who is this? The usual
traditional answer is Sennacherib. If, however, we connect these two verses, we
are forced to admit that they cannot refer to Sennacherib, for his end was very
different from the fate of the Assyrian
described in verse 33. Sennacherib was slain by his two sons (2 Kings 19: 37),
the Assyrian meets his end in Tophet. The Assyrian
is one of the twelve titles of
Antichrist, who is the coming Prince, the king of
fierce countenance, the wilful king.
He it is who is the future - it may be the near future - who will lead
the besieging armies against
For Tophet is ordained of old (Heb. from yesterday) yea, for the king it is prepared: he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood: the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
Tophet is situated in the
Chapter 31: 4-9
gives us a greater description of the scene.
Like as a lion, and the young lion roaring on his prey
so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight
As birds flying, so will the
Lord of hosts defend
The Assyrian shall not
fall by human hands. The sword, nor of a
mighty man, and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him. His rock (i.e., confidence, or strength of war) shall pass away for fear, his
princes shall be afraid of the ensign (the open triumphant manifestation
of Messiah), thus the Lord, whose fire is in
Surveying then those three passages of prophecy: 29: 1-8; 30: 27-33; 31: 4-9, we have the following six results:-
hostile peoples will come against
2. Those nations will be frustrated in their purpose,
sifted in the sieve of vanity (30: 28).
3. Their overthrow will be by the immediate interposition of the Lord.
4. It will be unexpected and sudden.
5. It will be with fire, and battle, and great noise.
6. It will be at
But what of
1. There shall be peaceful occupation of
2. Gladness of heart at the moment their enemies perish. Ye shall have a song and gladness of heart (30: 29).
3. Great spiritual blessings as shown in
(a) a right understanding.
They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding (know understanding. Marg.), and they that murmured shall learn doctrine (29: 24).
(b) An uninterrupted possession of good and faithful teachers.
Yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left (30: 20, 21).
(c) A complete change of attitude towards God.
Ye shall defile also the covering of the graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence (30: 22).
Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of
(d) The gift of the Spirit.
Until the Spirit be poured out upon us from on high (32: 15).
4. Also temporal blessings.
Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: IN THAT DAY shall thy cattle feed in large pastures, etc. (30: 23).
We can, though only dimly, picture the joy of the Israelites, when, saved by Messiah from all their enemies, and owning Him as their God and Saviour, they turn to Him with thankful and adoring hearts. Surely such words as those spoken by the Holy Spirit, in Isaiah 12: 4-6, will express their heartfelt joy and gladness
Praise the Lord, call upon His name;
Declare His doings among the people,
Make mention that His name is exalted.
Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things:
This is known in all the earth.
Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of
For great is the Holy One of
* * *
IV. THE TESTIMONY OF MICAH.
Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days
of Jotham, Ahaz,
and Hezekiah, kings of
So in 2: 12 we have the promise of Jehovah:-
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee;
I will surely gather the remnant of
I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah,
As a flock in the midst of their fold:
They shall make great noise by reason of (the multitude of) men.
And again in 4: 6, 7:-
In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth,
And I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
And her that was cast far off a strong nation;
And the Lord shall reign over them in
From which passages we learn that the assembling of
Jacob and gathering of
And still further the promise of this is certain, steadfast, and sure, on the word of Jehovah, -
I will surely assemble thee, O Jacob.
I will surely gather the remnant of
And we would suggest that by the names Jacob and
Be this as it may, we know from the Word that it is Gods purpose to gather together and assemble His nation, His chosen people, in their own land, and that Messiah, the Christ, shall THERE rule over them during a wonderful AGE of blessing and peace. But ere that glorious time comes, His people shall pass through a time of sore and grievous trouble, yea, it will be the time of Jacobs trouble.
As in the past, so in the future.
Now also many nations are
gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let
our eye look upon
But this attitude of the nations arises from ignorance
of Gods purposes in regard to
But they know not the thoughts of the Lord,
Neither understand they His counsel:
For He shall gather them (in judgment)
As the sheaves of the floor
(4: 12; read also next verse).
We shall find this in greater detail in ch. 5. The chapter
begins, it will be seen, with that beautiful prophecy concerning the coming forth of Him that is to
be Ruler in
This, it will be remembered, as the prophecy pointed out to Herod the king by the chief priests and scribes, when he enquired of them where Christ should be born (Matt. 2: 3-6).
How appalling to us at this day seems their stupendous blindness, in that they could point to the sure word of prophecy with respect to the place where Messiah should be born King of the Jews, and yet actually and wilfully reject His claims to their loyalty.
Surely an object lesson, and warning to all of us in the present day, lest we also reject those truths which are revealed to us for faith-obedience. Even the most deeply taught of God needs again and again to send up the heart-felt petition, Open (unveil) Thou mine eyes, that I may behold (see clearly) wondrous things out of Thy Law (Ps, 119: 18).
Now this fifth chapter
not only predicts the coming forth in
Incarnation, but speaks also of the future beneficent [millennial] reign of the
And He shall stand and feed (i.e., tend, or shepherd, as a flock) in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they (Israel, His flock) shall abide; for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth (5: 4).
Another prophecy of the future glories of Messiah, and pointing again to the peaceful and righteous shepherding during millennial times.
Before this, however, comes that time of stress,
anguish, and sorrow. The Assyrian shall come into the land, and tread down
the palaces. When will this be? Even the commentators cannot reconcile the
mention of the Assyrian in verse 5 as
referring to the carrying away by Assyria of the Ten Tribes, which was then
imminent, or the boastful threatenings of Sennacherib against
And this Man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into the land, and when he shall tread in our palaces. thus shall He deliver us from the Assyrian (verses 5, 6).
We look in vain at the history of the chosen people
for any fulfilment of this prophecy. It
certainly did not take place at the taking into captivity of
Who the seven shepherds and eight principal men that shall be raised up against the Antichrist may be, we know not. The time will show, and we must leave it. Certain it is, that Messiah-Jesus Himself will intervene and will vanquish all enemies. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (Isa. 59: 19).
And it is by the sudden appearance of Messiah, and the awful destruction of their enemies that
Look at the words full of trust and joyful anticipation of the loving kindness of Jehovah:-
Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of
His heritage? He restaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.
He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities;
and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Thou wilt perform the truth of Jacob, and the mercy of Abraham,
Which Thou has sworn unto our fathers from the days of old (7: 18-20).
What can these words mean but that in the future the
chosen people will again be reconciled to God?
But assuredly the latter part of 4: 5 places this beyond doubt. Whether we regard the first part of the
verse, For all people will walk every one in the name
of his God, as a supposition or a statement of fact, the latter part
leaves no room for uncertainty.
And we will walk in the name of the LORD OUR GOD for ever and ever (le olam ve ad).
This, we urge, is no hint at conversion, but a firm resolution, a statement of fidelity to God, subsequent to reconciliation to Jehovah, as the passages already quoted fully show.
* * *
IV. THE TESTIMONY OF MICAH (continued).
But not only does Micah tell us of the events and happenings connected with the restoration and conversion of Israel, and the righteous [millennial] rule of Messiah; he also takes us still further, and, if the interpretation of verses 7, 8, following those in chapter 5, which we considered in our last article, be correct, [it] gives us a glimpse of what that people shall become, and how they shall be regarded among the nations of the world, when the Lord shall have dealt graciously with them.
We commend the thought of our readers that verse 7 speaks of Israel as being a blessing to the families of the earth, and we suggest that, by becoming the glad messengers of Gods goodness and mercy to the nations the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. Dew and showers! Both emblems of the blessing of Jehovah. Says dear old Cruden, Dew is a small reign, which, falling on the ground in the morning, doth keep it moist, and make it fruitful. In warm countries, and in places where it rains but seldom, the night dews supply in some sort the want of rain. And, therefore, the bestowing of it is a blessing from God.
It is a symbol of Divine goodness. Thus Gen. 27: 28.
Therefore may God give thee of the dew of heaven,
And of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of corn and wine.
Thus spake Isaac when blessing Jacob.
It was the dew which introduced, if we may so put it, the manna which God gave from heaven (Ex. 16: 13, 14; Num. 11: 9).
Moses, when pronouncing blessing on the tribe of Joseph, exclaimed,
Blessed of the Lord be his hand, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew,
and for the deep that croucheth beneath (Deut. 33: 13).
Brotherly love and concord are compared to dew in Ps. 133: 3. And so
the Lord promises to bless
And showers are always associated with blessing; not devastating relentless torrents of deluging rain, but gentle, quiet, fructifying drops of water, moistening the earth, and causing it to bring forth and bud.
Thou makest it (the earth) soft with showers,
Thou blessest the springing thereof (Ps. 65: 10).
So in the song of Moses (Deut. 32: 2).
My doctrine shall drop as the rain,
My speech shall distil as the dew,
As the small rain upon the tender herb,
And as showers upon the grass.
So, of the Kings Son, the true [and greater] Solomon, the Prince of Peace, we read (Ps. 72: 6), -
He shall come down as the rain upon the mown grass,
As showers that water the earth.
And so in the future restoration of
And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing;
And I will cause the shower to come down in his season:
There shall be showers of blessing (Ezek. 34: 26).
We conclude, therefore, that this seventh verse describes the holy people as they will then be, a blessing to the whole earth, in that it declares that the remnant of Jacob shall be as the dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
If verse 7
describes the peaceful mission of
And all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD, for they shall be afraid of thee (Deut. 28: 10); For the LORD thy God blesseth thee as He hath promised thee
And thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee (Deut. 15: 6).
See also Isa. 49: 23, and this eighth verse of Micah 5.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people,
As a lion among the beasts of the forest,
As a young lion among the flocks of the sheep;
Who, if he go through, both treadeth down,
And teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
But the climax is reached in that wonderful description of the MILLENNIAL condition of spiritual supremacy in chapter 4: 1-3, and Isa. 2: 1-4, both prophecies independent and supplementary. Both testify to
1. The supreme exaltation of Messiahs rule (verse 1).
2. The great desire of all nations for instruction in the way of the LORD (verse 2).
3. The righteous judgment of the LORD, resulting in universal peace among nations (verse 3).
4. Peace and security to
5. A walk in the true knowledge of God implying emphatically thereby previous conversion (verse 5).
And we shall walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever (le olam va ed).
* * *
V. THE TESTIMONY OF JEREMIAH.
We come now to the writings of Jeremiah of Anathoth, to
whom the Word of the Lord came in some fifty-one prophetic portions. Jeremiahs prophecy is dated (1: 2, 3) as being in the days
in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the
days of Jehoiakim [Page 64] the son of Josiah
unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah
unto the carrying away of
He was the last prophet,
therefore, preceding the carrying away into captivity to
We will now look at portions of two chapters, taking them together as they are connected by two references common to each. The first is the glorious Person of BRANCH, The LORD our Righteousness (23: 5 and 33: 16), one of the most gracious of the ten Jehovah titles. But let us look at the chapters themselves.
Take 23: 5-8, Behold the days come, saith the Lord. An expression occurring six times in this book of Jeremiah and always with respect to a time that is still future even in our own, [present] day. Reference to them will show that they speak of
1. The future rule of a king (23: 5).
2. Restoration from all countries (23: 7).
3. The bringing again the
captivity of my people
4. The human and animal inhabiting of the land (31: 27).
5. The New Covenant with the
6. The building of the city from one definite point to another definite point (31: 38).
All this we maintain is still future, and not dependant on the uncertain fallible word [and false teachings] of man, but on the sure and certain promise of Jehovah. In each case the words ate, Thus saith the LORD.
1. Well, the first thing asserted in 23: 5 is that the LORD will raise unto David a righteous ruler. I will raise unto David a righteous Branch (Tsemaach); and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth (eretz).
What can this verse refer to other than the future rule of Messiah [in and over this restored earth, (Rom. 8: 20, 21), and] over the restored and forgiven people? We saw plainly in dealing with the two prophecies of Isaiah concerning BRANCH, that the reference can only be to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, to Whom the Lord God shall give the throne of His father David. And so here He is raised unto David.
The latter part of the verse also emphasizes the fact
that His rule is first and foremost in connection with the LAND. For we venture to
translate eretz (the world here) not earth, but land, and
so bring it into conformity with the parallel passage in 33: 15, where
the word is translated land. For while not for one moment seeming to deny
that in the future Gods Anointed will reign [in manifested glory] over the
whole earth (see Dan. 2: 39; Zech. 14: 9), still it is first and foremost He is
presented to all mankind as the Ruler in Israel (Micah
2: 2). And what can be more fitting and proper than
that the seat of government should be among the chosen Race -
2. The next
particular given to us is that in that future time of blessing
In His days (that is,
in the days of the BRANCH)
Surely this scene depicts a restored and happy people, dwelling in tranquillity and peace. All the past sufferings, many and poignant as they have been, forgotten in the joy of the present. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And the chosen people look back and rejoice in the LORD. Their prayer of sorrow and mourning has been heard: Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. And the gracious and loving God has turned again their captivity, and brought them back from their wanderings among the peoples of the earth. It is a great deliverance, a marvellous restoration. No wonder that the Chosen Vessel should exclaim, What shall the receiving of them be BUT LIFE FROM THE DEAD (Rom. 11: 15).*
also the Apostle Pauls one desire in Phil. 3: 10, 11 and cp.
The two hundred and fifteen years of Egyptian bondage
will seem almost as nothing when compared to hundreds of years of dispersion
and wandering among the nations. Even
the LORD regards it in this light. So we
read: Therefore, behold,
the days come, saith the
LORD, that they shall no more say, the LORD liveth which brought up the
The Lord liveth which brought up the seed of
the house of
But what is the foundation of their joy and
rejoicing? It cannot be the mere fact of
their restoration, for that in itself, apart from the assurance of Jehovah, was
no guarantee that they should not be despised again. Do we not rather find it in the latter part
of the verse which speaks of salvation of
And in bringing this article to a close, let us note how in the person of the glorified LORD and Saviour the Jew and the Gentile meet.
The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is the present joy and hope of His people among the Gentiles.
But Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1: 30).
The glory and rejoicing of His particular people will be when they shall be turned to the Lord, and be found in Him, not having their own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. May God be praised that He is indeed
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS!
* * *
V. THE TESTIMONY OF JEREMIAH (continued)
Let us now turn to some passages in chapters 30-33, taking chapter 33 first, as this has something in common with chapter 23, which we examined in the preceding article. Again we have the Branch and the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS referred to.
In those days, and at that time (i.e., the time at which Jehovah will perform the good things promised unto the house of Israel and unto the house of Judah, the whole twelve tribes, verse 14), will I cause the BRANCH (Tsemach) of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land (verse 15). An almost similar passage to 23: 5, but where we read in the earth instead of in the land; which expression we ventured to translate in the land as here, both being the equivalent of ba-aretz of the original.
In those days
Here we find Jerusalem, once again the holy city, substituted for Israel of 23: 6; and instead of the ending in 23: 6, which attaches the title the Lord our Righteousness to the BRANCH of Jehovah, it is said of Jerusalem, and this is the name by which she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Thus the authorised version, upon which Lowth remarks, Nor is there any greater impropriety in giving the name of Jehovah to a city than to an altar, Jehova-nissi (Ex. 17: 15), and Jehovah-shalom (Judges 6: 24), in token that the Lord was author of those mercies of which the said altars were designed to be monuments. So the servants of God are described in Revelation as having His name written on their forehead (Rev. 3: 12, 14: 1-11).
In this connection also, we refer to a similar
prophecy in Ezekiel 48: 35. And the name of the city from that day shall be The Lord is there.
Just in passing we would direct attention to
1. I will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth (verse 6).
2. I will cause the captivity
and will build them as at the first (verse 7).
3. For I will cause to return the captivity of the LAND,
as at the first, saith the LORD (verse 11).
4. Behold the days come, saith the LORD that I will perform that good thing which I have promised
unto the house of
5. For thus saith the LORD. David shall never want a man
to sit upon the throne of the house of
6. The two families which the LORD hath chosen (verse 24).
7. The seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for I will cause their captivity to return,
and have mercy on them (verse 26).
From which seven passages we glean the following
facts: 1. That
the captivity of
We will now look at Chapters
30 and 31. And we may observe upon these, as upon chapter 33 that the various ways in which Jeremiah
notifies the persons to whom his [divine] prophecy is
addressed leave no room to doubt to what people they must be specifically
30: I will bring again the captivity of My people
And in chapter
31. All the families of
And the prophet is very exact as to when certain events predicted in these chapters 30 and 31 shall take place. The days come (30: 3; 31: 27; 31: 38). It shall come to pass in that day (30: 8). At the same time (31: 1). In those days (31: 29). All which marks the time are bound together by the time-expression of the latter days, which we have already seen refer particularly and exclusively to the Christian dispensation especially in its closing portion.
Beside the reiterated promise of restoration given in these chapters we have also the following important details mentioned.
For thus saith the LORD,
Behold, I will bring again the captivity of
Jacobs tents, and have mercy upon his dwelling
places; and the city shall be builded upon her
own heap and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof (30: 18). To the word heap
the A.V. gives a marginal note of alternate reading little
hill, and the R.V. mound, and
immediately our thoughts turn to that part of
[* See Mark 11: 17: My house shall be called a house of prayer FOR ALL NATIONS. And again in Isaiah 56: 7: even them (foreigners that join themselves to Jehovah verse 6.) will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.]
Nor is this, at the present time, a mere empty dream of the future, for already quite a new city of Jerusalem has arisen on the heap or ruins of the old, a modern city in the fullest sense of the word; building has for some time past being going on extensively, and everything points to the fact that ere long the city shall become a most important metropolis. But a terrible time of stress awaits the true and lawful inhabitants of the city and land. It is
2. THE TIME OF JACOBS TROUBLE. We hope, God willing, in the next article, to bring forth the testimony of Daniel which deals in great measure with the time of Antichrist, and particularly of Jacobs trouble. And therefore here will only put forward what is told us in this 30th chapter, and also mention the fact that by the expression time of Jacobs trouble is meant that fearful test of Israel spoken by Daniel the prophet as a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to the same time (12: 1); referred to by our Lord as the great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt. 24: 21); and described by John in Revelation chapters 13 and 17. And so the prophet Jeremiah here when speaking of it says, Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it, it is even the time of Jacobs trouble (verse 7).
But awful and terrible as that day is, Jacob shall be brought through.
3. BUT HE SHALL BE SAVED OUT OF IT, for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him (verse 8).
And again in verses 23 and 24.
Behold the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing (or cutting) whirlwind; it shall fall upon the head of the wicked. And the fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have done it, and [Page 76] until He have performed the intents of His heart: and in the latter days ye shall consider it.
All over-ruled by God in His loving mercy. Even the awful time of Jacobs trouble. I will correct thee in measure and will not leave thee altogether unpunished (verse 11). I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity, because thy sins were increased (verse 14). Because thy sins were increased I have done these things unto thee (verse 15). And the punishment of their enemies. I will punish all that oppress them (verse 20).
And after the tribulation of that time, and the mighty deliverance by Messiah, a day of brightness dawns, growing more and more brilliant with the glorious things which Jehovah will do for them.
Space will not allow us to quote at length. We would call attention to the twenty-sixth I wills of gracious promise contained in these two
chapters. Particularly read 31: 8-14, with its grand refrain of joy and
they shall come and sing in the height of
4. THE NEW
COVENANT. This is the climax of Gods
Behold the days come, saith the LORD,
that I will make a NEW
COVENANT with the house of
And this shall be the
covenant that I will make with the house of
After those days saith the LORD,
I will put My law in their inward parts,
And write in their hearts,
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people (verse 33).
Such is the New Covenant which God shall make with His
We have another reference to this covenant in Jeremiah 32: 40, where the word olam translated everlasting in this and eleven other places in the Old Testament should be age-lasting or age-abiding. That it is the same covenant as the one referred to as New in chapter 31: 31 is undeniable, for the context (verses 37-44) assures us that God promises the same things to Israel as He does in relation to the New Covenant; to gather them out of all countries, to be their God, to give them one heart and one way, to put His fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from Him. One verse we must quote for it is so pertinent to our subject, Yea, I will rejoice over them and do them good, and I will plant them in this land ASSUREDLY WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND WITH MY WHOLE SOUL (verse 41).
Summarizing, therefore, what we find in the prophecy of Jeremiah just considered, we learn:
1. That the prophecy cannot be referred to the Babylonian restoration.
2. Its times are the times of the BRANCH.
3. That they are termed the latter days.
5. That there shall be a great tribulation - the time of Jacobs trouble.
6. That he shall be delivered by the mercy of God.
7. That Jehovah will make a NEW COVENANT with His people
* * *
VI. THE TESTIMONY OF DANIEL THE PROPHET.
ALTHOUGH the Book of Daniel does not mention the Restoration, nor directly refer to the Conversion of Israel, it is our privilege to glance at certain passages in that book, as they tell us of occurrences which will take place between those two events. It also brings to our notice a personage who shall be instrumental in bringing those occurrences to pass. We have reference again and again to some Great One who shall rule with universal sway, and shall tread down and persecute the people and saints of the Most High.
So emphatic is Scripture as to the individual personality of this great persecuting power that we have no hesitation in looking for a future cruel Lord, who shall fulfil all the prophecies in Daniel and other parts of Scripture concerning him. For this view we feel there needs no apology, though our readers are doubtless aware that many look upon the prophetical portions of Holy Writ regarding Antichrist as referring to one or other truly antichristian systems, with a succession of rulers, either to Papal Rome, with all her abominable superstitions, idolatries, and persecution of the saints of God, or to the Mohammedan power with her bigoted cruelties to Christian and Jew.
That there are and have been many Antichrists is not to be denied (1 John 2: 18); nor, that in the past there have doubtless been partial fulfilments of the things predicted of the future personal Antichrist; but, taking the full scope of the prophecies in the Word, we are fully justified in looking forward to one who shall fill up all that is spoken of the great arch enemy of God and Christ.
We find there are twelve titles given to him:-
1. The Little Horn (Dan. 7: 8).
2. The King of
3. The Assyrian (Isaiah 30: 31; 31: 8; Micah 5: 5, 6).
4. Licifer, Son of the Morning (Isa. 14: 12).
5. The King of Fierce Countenance (Dan. 8: 23).
6. A Vile Person (Dan. 11: 21).
7. The Wilful King (Dan. 11: 36).
8. The Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2: 3).
9. The Wicked (or lawless) One (2 Thess. 2: 8).
10. The Beast with Ten Horns (Rev. 13: 1).
11. The Son of Perdition (2 Thess. 2: 23).
12 The Desolator* (Dan. 9: 27; 11: 31).
* The word translated desolate in the A.V. is in the verbal form meaning the causer of desolation, i.e., the desolator.
The various passages in which these titles occur tell us very plainly hoe the world generally, and Gods people Israel in particular, will fare at his hands, and such an important and terrible part does this great ruler take in the affairs of the future that it will be well for us to learn from the various passages of the Word referring to him, of his personality, character, influence and power.
The Scriptures particularly alluded to are Dan. 7: 8, 23-25; 8: 9-12, 23-25; 9: 27; 11: 21- 12: 1; 2 Thess. 3: 3-10; and Rev. 13.
1. The apocalypse and parousia of the Man of Sin.
Nothing is told us as to his antecedents. He is placed before us as a POWER. He is revealed! He is here! Spiritualism and Theosophy are preparing the way for the revelation of this false Christ. The materialization of spirit forms is a fact, and is no question of possibility that a human mother may have a demon-begotten son. The Order of the Star of the East consists of adherents who are looking forward to a great world-teacher and leader, one understanding dark sentences (Dan. 8: 23), a prodigy of intellectual power, of mighty magnetic influence. When the time is ripe such an one will be revealed.
2. His quiet accession of power. He will not obtain his exalted position by force of arms, for he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries (Dan. 11: 21). In fact, duplicity and deceit seem to be the prevailing principle of all his actions for a time. He seems a past master in cunning. For he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and even by peace shall destroy many (Dan. 8: 25).
3. His conduct as king. But once firmly established on his throne he shows what manner of man he really is. He becomes the king of fierce countenance (Dan. 8: 23). He is a great and diplomatic warrior (Dan. 11: 22-29), and a mighty persecutor (Dan. 8: 24). The only god that he owns or honours is the god of forces (Dan. 11: 37).
4. His arrogance and pride. Like most men with great personal force of character, Antichrist will have a most exalted opinion of himself and his powers; he shall magnify himself in his heart (Dan. 8: 25). And proving himself head and shoulders above his compeers in wealth, position, intellect, and diplomacy, he next arrogates to himself divine honours. First of all he blasphemes God. He shall speak words against the Most High (Dan. 7: 25). He shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods (Dan. 11: 36). He shall not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor any god (Dan. 11: 37). And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (Rev. 13: 5).
The next advance in his career is only what we might
expect. In every particular the vast
superior of his fellow-men, owing allegiance to none, believing in none but
himself, he lays claim to divine worship.
He shall exalt and magnify himself above every
11: 36). He as God sitteth in
Such is the general outline of this wonderful and truly awful personage, the future Antichrist. And those who do not take Gods Word as it is written, or who range themselves on the side of respectable commentators, smile and smile of incredulity and doubt as to these things being possible. And were we tracing the career of any ordinary human being, however great, we should feel we were taxing to its utmost the credulity of our readers. In fact, it is the marvellous description given of Antichrist in the Word, that strengthens beyond doubt our future expectation instead of fixing our attention on a line of Popes or Mohammedan Caliphs however gifted and diplomatic and cruel. The attributes and actions claimed by the Scriptures for Antichrist can apply to no ordinary, or even extraordinary human being, but when we are told whence he derives his [deception and] power, we can at once quite credit all that is revealed.
5. His Satanic power. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (Dan. 8: 24). We immediately ask, Then by whose power? and 2 Thess. 2: 8, 9, tells us of that wicked whose presence (parousia) is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders. When we consider that he is not only specially called forth by Satan (Rev. 13: 1), but invested with all Satans authority and energised by him, then surely we can understand in some degree what a fearful being this Superman is. Gifted, crafty, cruel. blasphemous, antitheistic, persecuting, such is Antichrist, the agent and vicegerent of Satan.
But we would specially see how
6. Antichrist and
Then suddenly comes a
terrible change! The supreme lord makes a
peremptory pronouncement. He declares
that the league and covenant of three and a half years previous, solemnly
signed and sealed, is a mere scrap of paper,
of no account. And
in the midst of the seven he shall break the covenant (Dan. 9: 27). Whatever
national privileges were granted must now end.
The religious services in the
Yet still further Gods people debased and humbled and
scandalized by the overspreading of abominations. Henceforth the
Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Christ Himself as standing where it ought not (Matt.
is mentioned in the synchronous visions of Daniel (8: 13; 11: 31; 12: 11). As if it were not sacrilege enough that the
religious part of the covenant should be broken, the Desolator goes still
further. The scene of Dan. 6 is
repeated. Antichrist himself as God sitteth in the
From this time begins the most awful persecution in
the history of
7. Antichrists final battle. At last he is determined to crush for ever
those troublesome people.
8. The rule and power of Antichrist crushed. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand (Dan. 8: 25). He shall be destroyed by the manifestation of the [bodily] presence of the Lord. He shall be hurled into Tophet, into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Such is the end of the arch enemy of God and of Christ.
* * *
VII. THE TESTIMONY OF JOEL.
We come now in chronological order to the Book of the prophet Joel, which we regard as one continuous prophecy, and claim the entire prophecy as a prediction of events to be accomplished after a coming restoration of the Jews.
prophecy is undated. It seems clear, however, that as Hosea was
appointed prophet especially for the ten tribes of
A perusal of the whole of this short prophecy will be found
edifying, but for our present purpose we would dwell specially on certain
important details given in chapters 2 and 3, passing over chapter
1, which contains a vivid description of the wasting and desolution of
Nor can we apply the particulars here to the Romans
under Titus. The context forbids
this. And it is ever important for
readers of the Word to pay attention to what precedes
and to what follows any passage. That
excellent text book of Scriptural study, How to enjoy the
Bible, by our late much-revered and deeply-lamented Editor, has
a section (pp. 264-303), under the heading, The Context always essential to the
Interpretation of Words. The
same is equally important, in cases perhaps even more so, with regard to
passages, especially those of a prophetical nature. And the immediate context of this description
of the invading armies against
For, following that siege was there any exhortation to
turn unto the Lord your God? Years before had not the Lord Jesus Himself
pronounced the sentence, Your house is left unto you
desolate? Had He not with tears
declared that the things which belonged to their peace were hid from their
eyes? And from this we gather that even
before Messiahs death judical impenitence had settled upon
So that seeing the things predicted in this chapter as following the onslaught of enemies described in verses 2-11, did not occur either in the Assyrian, Babylonian, or Roman invasions, we are forced to the conclusion that they must be fulfilled in [the yet] distant future.
In verses 12-17 we have a glimpse of the religious condition of the Jews after their return representatively to their own land prior to the [coming] advent of Messiah, for we may take it for granted that Joel depicts a people as in their own land, enjoying their religious privileges, having their elders and priests who are exhorted to gather betwixt the porch and the altar, and cry in supplication, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people where is thy God (verse 17).
And what is the response? While they are yet speaking I will hear. Then will the LORD be jealous for His land and pity His people; yea, the LORD will answer and say unto His people, Behold I will send you corn and wine and oil and ye shall be satisfied therewith; and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen (verses 18, 19). Then a further promise follows that the fearful and great army shall be removed (verse 20). Notice, I will remove far from you the northern army, not you shall, remove him by fighting, but I, the LORD will remove them, by My [Page 113] almighty and sovereign power. This northern army comprises those of Dan. 11, Rev. 9. They are the confederate armies under the leadership of Antichrist. This is clear from the statement, he hath done great things, i.e., he magnified himself to do great things. cp. Dan.8: 9-11; 11: 36, &c., and see the article following. This twentieth verse is an epitome of more descriptive scenes of Antichrists overthrow as given in Daniel and Ezekiel and Zechariah.
As is always the case in connection with the future
deliverance of Gods chosen people, blessings temporal and spiritual flow. Fear not, O LAND, be glad and rejoice, for the LORD will do great things.
Be glad then, ye children of
And this is still further followed by a great and
universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not limited as on the day of Pentecost
to those who were gathered together in
That this prophecy was not exhausted at Pentecost is clear, for again, we must read it in relation to the context, both preceding and following, and it is after the subjugation and punishment of Israels enemies, after temporal blessings have begun to be poured out, when in those days, and at that time I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem (3: 1).
And it is this verse which connects and continues the subject of chapter 2 with chapter 3, thus making one complete prophecy. For as in chapter 2: 11 showed us the overthrow of the invading army or armies by the power and might of the LORD, so chapter 3 continues the subject: I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosophat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My LAND (verse 2).
A reference without doubt to the scene in Matt. 25: 31-46, where all nations are gathered before the Son of man, not the description of the last judgment, but the
judgment of the nations for their treatment of
The locality of this judgment is the
Paxton, in his Sacred Geography, p. 338, makes the following suggestive remarks: The term is employed by Joel is considered by the best commentators to be not the name of any particular place, but a figurative allusion to the meaning of the original word, the Lord judgeth, and importing that God would judge the heathen who had oppressed Israel, and in some decisive manner overthrow the power of Antichrist at the restoration of the Jews to Palestine. That this is an important suggestion and worthy of consideration is clear when we carefully look at verse 16, The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; whence we may infer that the valley of decision (verse 14), in which Israels enemies are to be destroyed by the mighty voice of the LORD, is near Jerusalem; and not only near Jerusalem but near Zion, the south-east quarter of Jerusalem; for out of Zion does the Lords voice come; in other words, Joel does give us reason to infer that his valley of decision where we know the place biblically called Vale of Hinnom, or Tophet, will be, for as we have already seen it is certainly at Tophet that part of the invading army will be destroyed, and that Antichrist will meet his doom.
Without dwelling at length on each particular given
here of this great conflict between Israel and their foes, we see the summons
to the mighty conflict in verses 9-14, the command, put ye
in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the
fats overflow: for their wickedness is great
(verse 13), connecting this with the scene
of judgment in Rev.
14: 18, Thrust
in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of
the vine of the earth: for her grapes are fully
the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth,
and gathered the vine of the earth and cast it into the wine-press of the wrath
And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse bridles, by
the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Great and terrible shall be the events of the day of the LORD,
the heavens and the earth shall shake, but the LORD will
be the hope of His people, and the strength of
the children of
To summarize we gather the following particulars:-
1. The prophecy of Joel is one continuous foretelling of events
which shall happen to the restored Israelites.
2. That the people shall be enjoying their religious privileges in their own land.
3. That invading forces shall attack and harass and fight against the restored people.
4. That in two places there shall be a mighty overthrow
the east sea (2: 20); and the other in the south-east of
Tophet, called by Joel the
5. That it is this valley of decision that the LORD will plead for His people, and chastise their enemies.
6. That there shall be a great outpouring of the spirit of the Lord,
not only for a few chosen and elected ones, but on ALL flesh.
7. And that by this marvellous effusion of the [Holy] Spirit, we are not only to understand the blessing of Jew and Gentile, but the true and real conversion of the gathered tribes, thus making it possible
for the LORD
their God to dwell in
* * *
VIII. THE TESTIMONY OF EZEKIEL
The last fourteen chapters (35-48) of Ezekiel contain such clear and concise prophecies concerning the restoration, conflicts, conversion, and establishment of Israel in their own land, on their own soil, that, were there no other testimony in the Word (and we have produced abundance), we venture to assert that no one, except by the most flagrant system of spiritualization, could deny that such restoration either had taken place, or must be relegated to the future. And that it is to be the future we must look for the [literal] fulfilment is certain, for not only have we such events as are foretold never yet happened, but with respect to certain of them, and therefore by contextual reading applicable to all, we are told it will be after many days. in the latter years, in the latter days (38: 8, 16): expressions which point to the future not only in the prophets day, but as regards our own times [also].
The summary of the fourteen chapters referred to is briefly thus:-
Chapter 35. Judgments on enemies as represented by Seir.
Chapter 36. Prophecies unto the mountains
Chapter 37. The vision of the valley of dry bones with emphatic promise of RESURRECTION literal or spiritual, or both, and restoration (verses 12-14); and the object lesson of the two sticks united in one, teaching that the two houses of Judah and Israel shall be one, which has not been so
since the disruption in the reign of Rehoboam.
Chapters 38 and 39. Invasion of
the land and assault upon
and the punishment God inflicts upon them.
Chapters 40-48. A full and careful prophetical description of
the wondrous [Millennial]
which shall be
erected [upon the
same site as Solomons
with its appointments, ordinances, and sacrifices.
Before going further there is one
word used again and again by the prophet which is well worthy of our notice. It is the word
in our versions, a translation of two words in the Hebrew: eretz,
the more common word used so frequently throughout the Bible, and many times by
Ezekiel himself. But some twenty-six
times he uses the word adamah, which means the soil, the
very ground itself, emphasizing the fact that it is that particular portion of
territory to which the people [of
It would be quite outside the scope of these papers to dwell in detail on each of the concluding chapters of the book, much as we should desire it. But to chapters 38 and 39 we would call particular attention for they give us certain details, at which we have already seen other prophets hint, namely, who the marauding hosts are, who under the leadership of Antichrist, shall invade and molest the chosen people.
Chapter 38 begins thus:- And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophecy against him, and say, Thus saith the LORD GOD, Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Meshech and Tubal (verses 1-3).
Now allied with Gog are certain others,
These all conspire to go up and destroy Palestine; I will go up to the land of unwalled villages, I will go to them that are at rest and dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls neither bars or gates, to take a spoil and to take a prey (verses 11, 12).
But there is a decided protest made by certain others
named in verse 13,
Now the question before us is are we able to identify the peoples mentioned in this chapter, and the answer to the question is, we assuredly can. For the following geographical explanations I am much indebted, as also for many other suggestions in these articles to an exhaustive work on the same subject by my dear father in the year 1860.* In that work he devotes a whole chapter of some forty-six large closely printed pages to the discussion of the locality and genealogy of the peoples mentioned in these two chapters. Of course, it would be impossible to put before our readers all the details given, the barest epitome must suffice.
* Notes on the Restoration and Conversion of Israel,
by Walter Chamberlain, M.A., vicar of
In the Hebrews, verse 2
reads, Gog, the
Referring back to Genesis 10: 2-5, we find that some of the names mentioned in Ezekiel are included in the descendants of Japheth, and by these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations (verse 5).
Now, roughly speaking, Japheths descendants inhabited
Europe, Shems Asia Minor, Hams
MAGOG. The country of
Magog is placed by ancient authority on E. and N. E. of the
MESH AND TUBAL. The name Meshech is translated by the Septuagint Mesoch, and from the word the people called Moschi derived their Greek name. The Moschi were, therefore, descendants of Meshech, and inhabited the country round the Moschic mountains lying at the eastern part of the Black Sea Such were the first settlements of Magog, Meshech and Tubal, but their descendants penetrated into the wilds of Scythia, and peopled the dreary regions of the north of Meshech and Tubal are expressions in Ezekiel for that vast country.
GOMER. Originally Gomer and his three sons occupied
at first the land of Asia Minor, but the sons of Gomer soon extended themselves
beyond their original settlements, and now embrace three of the most numerous
and civilized peoples of modern Europe, English, French and Germans. It may be that from the expression, Gomer and all his bands (verse
6), we are particularly to understand united
TOGARMAH. The Jews maintain that in Ezekiel Togarmah here as representing the
Turcoman hordes of Central Asia in the immediate eastern quarters of
PARAS. Little need be said. We take him to be
PHUT inhabited that part of
Such will be the confederacy against my people
And connected with
DEDAN, the name of the city in Southern Arabia, which may
be regarded as the
TARSHISH is mentioned some twenty-one times in Holy Writ, and we know that there were certain places called by this name, three we are sure of, namely, Tarshish in Cilicia (the Tarsus of St. Pauls day); Tarshish in Spain (Tartessus, where the prophet Jonah essayed to flee to), and Tarshish in the Eastern Sea.
According to Gen. 10: 4,
Tarshish was a son of Javan, the son of Japheth,
whose descendants occupied
The writer of the work already referred to carefully
traces the passages and meanings given to Tarshish in the Bible, and shows that
whereas it is the name of an actual place, it is also used in a typical sense,
signifying a maritime, mercantile, colonizing, manufacturing, war-like people
in these last days, among the sons of Japheth, i.e., within the limits
of Europe. And in another shorter work
on prophetical subjects he sums up his arguments in a larger book as following:- Putting all together. Ezekiel
requires us to find in Europe among the isles of the Gentiles, in these latter
times, a mercantile, colonizing, manufacturing, warlike power, such as Tyre, a
great worlds market commanding the trade of East and West; but specially the
trade of Eastern Seas. That power, like Gogs confederates, must be now before the world; and there
is but one power that can answer such a description. It is
Thus we have depicted in this prophecy of Ezekiel the great future struggle which will take
place in the Holy Land, and specially around the city
* * *
THE TESTIMONY OF EZEKIEL (concluded).
In our last
article we traced the countries and localities whence the marauding armies
which shall at some future time overspread and besiege the unwalled villages
Art thou come to take the spoil?
Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey?
Yo carry away silver and gold,
To take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil (38: 13).
Whatever may be the result of that indignant protest, we gather that God will not allow His people to be utterly despoiled. It is with an object that the Almighty has suffered them thus far. God has a set purpose in all that He does, all that He allows to be done. He permits these invading hosts as a cloud to cover the land, to the end that He may magnify His name. It shall be in the latter days, I will bring them against My land that the nations may know ME when I shall be sanctified in thee, O God, before their eyes (verse 16).
And how is this brought about? By a terrible overthrow of
Antichrist and all his allies. There shall be a great shaking in the
The following chapter, the 39th, gives us an idea of the awfulness of the overthrow, and its extent as to number. The word of God to Gog is,
Thou shalt fall upon the
thou shalt fall upon the open field, for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD (verses 4, 5).
The whole chapter is devoted to the description of the
mighty and decisive overthrow. The
followers of Gog shall find graves in the
The birds of prey shall flock to the carnage (verses 17-20). Cp. Rev. 19: 17, 18.
Nor will the tremendous destruction of the anti-christian
hosts be confined to one spot. It must
be born in mind that not only are
speaks of an overthrow between the
Ezekiel tells us that the graves of Gogs followers
shall be in the valley of the passengers on the East
of the sea, the sea here indicated being the
1. The conversion of
2. The reason why Gods people went into captivity. Because they transgressed against Me (verse 23).
3. The fulfilment of the promise of restoration. Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, and I will be jealous for My holy name (verse 25, and in verse 28) I have gathered them unto their own land and have left none of them any more there (i.e., in foreign lands).
4. The great outpouring of the [Holy] Spirit, mentioned more elaborately by Joel (2: 28).
For I have poured out My Spirit upon the house
* * *
IX. THE TESTIMONY OF ZECHARIAH.
some fifty-two years after Ezekiel, and after the return of the representatives
of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin from
We have already had Messiah spoken of as The Branch in Isa. 4: 2, as beautiful and glorious; in Isa. 11: 1 as a descendant of the Royal House of David, A Branch shall grow out of His roots; in Jer. 23: 5, 6, as a King that shall reign and prosper; in 33: 15 as again as the royal house of David, the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and finally in Zechariah as being brought forth by Jehovah, Behold I will bring forth My Servant the Branch (3: 8); and lastly, in 6: 12, 13, as the King-Priest who shall sit and RULE UPON HIS THRONE; and HE shall be a Priest upon HIS THRONE. A King-priest! two great offices combined. They never have been thus blended despite the vaunted claims of the Church of Rome that the so-called Vicar of Christ is a King-priest. No mere man [i.e., none other name (Acts 4: 12, A.V.), other than Messiah-Jesus] can lay claim to this dual dignity. It can only be vested in and will only be fulfilled in the glorified [and bodily manifested] Person of the Lord Jesus Christ [in the age yet to come].
And now to turn to chapters
12-14 for amplified details of what has
already been spoken of by Ezekiel concerning the invasion of
Behold I will make
Surely these verses tell us plainly of a mighty
investiture of the capital of
And His feet shall stand in that day upon the
which is before
[* See Cover Picture of the tract: The Prize of the First Resurrection.]
Oh, wonderful love of God! Oh, the marvellous truth of the Inspired Word! More than two thousand years before, it had been said to a few meek believers in the risen Lord near, if not at, that actual spot, This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. But now He comes as a victorious Conqueror to sanctify and magnify His Name, to vanquish the foes of His own (though rebellious) brethren, to avenge the evil, to set up a rule of righteousness and peace [and, most miraculously of all, to RESURRECT THE HOLY DEAD. That is, to raise those whom He has judged worthy to rise out from dead ones at that time (Heb. 9: 27. cf. Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11-14); who are destined to rule with Him (Rev. 3: 21; Luke 22: 28-30) after the First and Better Resurrection (Rev. 20: 4: 3; Heb. 11: 35b.).]*
[* See note 2]
And what course of events follows that victorious appearing? We have gathered in the course of these papers that the enemies of Gods people shall be entirely vanquished, that antichrist himself shall meet with a fearful doom, that a [millennial] reign of righteousness and justice shall take the place of the worlds violence and greed, that marvellous temporal blessing will ensue, that universal peace among the nations, and the animal creation shall prevail. All those wonderful things, quite outside the thought of ken or man, shall come to pass. They are all written in the Book, and therefore MUST be realized.
But surely exceeding all these - truly marvellous as they are - is the stupendous triumph of divine Grace. To see that this stiff-necked people, resisters of Gods mercy and patience and love for hundreds of years, shall finally, by looking upon Him whom they have pierced, be brought to such a degree of godly repentance that they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for His firstborn (12: 10). For the land shall mourn, every family apart shall mourn. It shall be a very great mourning (12: 11-14).
It is godly sorrow for it is given by God
Himself. And I will
pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of
But even this is not the climax. The whole city, the whole land [i.e. all the earth (Habakkuk
2: 14)] shall become separated to the Lord, and that not in
the spirit of self righteousness as in the past, but in true holiness, which is
of God, and not of man, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD (14: 20).
And yet, while limited in form, each
dispensation is called olamic, or forever. Heb. 1: 10-13. The events of the end time for each, while
limiting the form, do not limit the kingdom itself. The kingdom still goes on. It is everlasting still. And such is the case with respect to the thousand years, or millennial form of the
But, if Messiahs kingdom is
Eternal, it is
also Temporal. If it is unmeasured duration, not merely
indefinite but absolute, transcending all temporal limits, it is no less a
kingdom of measured duration, restricted to temporal limits, and bounded by
great historic events. One
in essence, it is many in forms. Its
organic growth, from a seed to a tree, necessitates this. And this was the Hebrew faith, no less than
the previous view. It is the biblical
view also. The word Olam, Ever, does not, of
itself, and by fixed necessity, always denote the annihilation of time, but as
frequently, in Hebrew usage, denotes simply unbroken continuance up to a
special epoch in history, or to a certain natural termination. It has a relative as well as an absolute
sense, a finite as well as an infinite length. It means Here as well as Beyond, and applies to a kingdom that comes to an End, as well as to one
that has no End. For this reason, a great World-Period, or
Age, is called an Olam, and World-Period, or Ages, are called Olammim, and in
order to express infinite time, the reduplication is used, Ages of Ages, Olammim Olammim. It is therefore a false conclusion to say
that because the term Le Olam, Forever, is applied to the Messianic Kingdom, therefore the
Hebrews contradicted themselves, when they assigned to it limits at the same
time. Messiahs kingdom is Temporal and
also Eternal, and in both senses, Olamic. The bondsmans free
covenant to serve his master lasted forever, but that only meant till
The Levitical economy was established to be forever, but that only meant
till the time of reformation. The Christian
Church is forever, in its present form, but that only means till He comes. True to this view, the Jewish Teachers ever
held to a
CONTRARY TO WHAT IS BELIEVED MY THE MAJORITY OF CHRISTIANS TODAY!
Amongst the various Denominations within Christendom (that is, amongst those who hold to the true Scriptural teachings relative to the Gospel of Gods Grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and the free gift of eternal life (Rom. 6: 23, R.V.) through faith alone in Him; and since the Gifts and Calling of God are without repentance their eternal inheritance in A New Heaven and New Earth (Rev. 21: 1) is guaranteed by His unconditional promise) - there is to be found today multitudes of Bible teachers who reject His unfulfilled prophetical teachings, found in both Testaments of His inspired word! This is, as they suppose, is the correct method of interpretation for those prophecies.
But, most of this activity today, appears to me to be what might be called a Christian cover-up and a justifiable excuse to neglect and consequences of what has been called responsibility truths of the inspired word, as not applicable to regenerate believers! (See, The Rod, Will God Spare It? on this website.)
Following on from this, there are those who interpret the word RESURRECTION as an event which will takes place immediately after the time of a believers Death! They maintain Christians can enter into Gods presence in Heaven at this time; and that it is only the unredeemed body (Rom. 8: 23) which is to be resurrected when Christ returns to resurrect the dead. Hence the unscriptural expression constantly used today: the resurrection of the body! This resurrection of the body, is precisely what a Presbyterian minister said: the Presbyterian Church believe! But, what they, and many other Christian Denominations believe - (relative to what takes place at the time of Resurrection) - is not what our Lord Jesus or any of His chosen Apostles taught!
On previous occasion, (during a short conversation with the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Belfast) and after reminding him of (Gods promise to Abraham of an inheritance on a particular portion of Land upon this earth, see Gen. 13: 15a, 15: 7, R.V.), I asked him to explain what Stephen - (the first Christian martyr, who is described in Scripture as and a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit Acts 6: 5, R.V.) - meant when he spoke to elders and scribes and said: God removed him [Abraham] into this land, wherein ye now dwell: and He gave him none inheritance in it, no not as much as to set his foot on: and He promised that He would give it to him in possession (Acts 7: 4b-5a.)?
No answer from the Moderator was forthcoming, and, (as expected because of his method of interpretation and teaching) there appeared no expression of shock or surprise on his face! But, as soon as it was suggested to him that Abraham is not yet resurrected from the dead or placed back in the land to enjoy his promised inheritance; and that this is because he is presently in the underworld of Hades as a disembodied soul (Luke 16: 23, 31); and that he could not possibly inherit any Land upon this earth until after the time of his resurrection, when his unredeemed body (Rom. 8: 23) and soul will be reunited, he looked into my eyes and replied: The Presbyterian church do not teach that!
The following selected quotations - (in keeping with what we learn from studying the Scriptures) is again taken from the Presbyterian Nathaniel Wests writings in The Thousand Years, Studies in Eschatology in Both Testaments. They indicate how far and for how long that Christian denomination and all others have wandered from truths found in the numerous unfulfilled prophecies and teachings my our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles and Prophets.
Every faithful student of the Scriptures, unbiased by false theories of interpretation, will attest these words as true. What we find in the New Testament as its outcome in respect to the ages and the kingdom, has already lain in the bosom of the Old Testament from the beginning. The closing part of the New Testament is but the full flower of which the opening part of the Old Testament was the precious seed, the kingdom one and the same, in essence, all the way. Nothing appears in the latter revelation that was not hid in the earlier, nothing in John that was not in Moses (pp. 2.)
In chapter 10 of the Authors book, and under the heading The 1000 Years in Ezekiel, we find the following:-
A preliminary word is needed
as to Ezekiel Chapter xxxvii, before discussing chapter xl-xlviii, the
favourite retreat of post-millennarians.
The vast body of exegetes agree that the sublime symbol of the
reanimated Bones in the
[* Note. Bold type is used to highlight the Professors denial of a select resurrection of reward out of dead ones (Luke 20: 35, lit. Gk.), as well as the denial of a literal kingdom of a thousand years (Rev. 20: 4), established by Messiah upon this restored earth after His Second Coming! Ed.]
** Briggs. Messianic Prophecy. 227.
The view that this locus classicus
is not a proof text. for the doctrine of a resurrection of the body, as
Jerome and others taught, is incorrect. While the symbol prefigures
* Kahle Bibl. Eschatol. 136-140. Craven, in Langes Commentary, Revelation, Excurs. 366. I.
[* See Phil. 3: 11 and compare with Luke 20: 35.]
The national resurrection of
Time was, in Jeromes day, when the Church having swerved from her first faith, spiritualized this visio famossissima,
as he justly calls it, and it became a constant lectio,
or reading, in all the Churches.
[* This remark may well be a reference to 2 Cor. 4: 4-6.]
Notwithstanding this, Gods truth, - as a Jew
once said, is mighty and will
prevail, and, as another Jew
said, Gods word is not bound.
In the light of these facts we discover what
damage to the word
of God, and to the [future hopes of] the