Revealed in the Scriptures
The "Old Order" is gone; and the old social standards, economic practices, governmental set-ups and religious systems, which have endured for so many centuries, are breaking down before our very eyes.
The issue confronting the world today is not one of saving the "Old Order," but rather of determining what the "New Order" shall be.
World leaders everywhere are zealously striving to make the world over, and all of them are either totally ignorant of, or else completely ignore, the only program which can save mankind from a return to the "Dark Ages," namely, "THE ORDER OF THE LORD."
The complete plans and specifications for this "New Order" are found in the Holy Scriptures; and with world leaders and statesmen bankrupt of ideas, except a return to the old Assyrian system of dictatorship and regimentation, it is high time that we turn to the "sure word of prophecy" for light and guidance.
In the Sacred Record, the prophets have left a pre-written history of the tragic failure of man's attempt to establish peace and security under the jungle law of "Self-preservation as the first law of nature," and every detail of their prophecies has been fulfilled to the present time. In fact, more than 90% of these prophecies have been literally fulfilled and it is only reasonable to expect that the remaining 10% will be equally dependable.
We have now come to the "end of the age," when the "kingdoms of this world" are to be weighed in the balance, and since all of them, without exception, have failed to bring peace and security to the earth, they will all be "found wanting" and be rejected.
In their place will be established the new "Order of the Lord," in which every man "shall sit under his own wine and fig tree, none making him afraid," and in which peace, security, justice and freedom shall be the inalienable heritage of every man.
In the hope that many may be led to "search the Scriptures" to learn of the Lord's Plan of the Ages, which is the only hope for a sin-sick, war-torn world, we are devoting this entire number of the Interpreter to a brief summary of "The Story the Bible Tells."
The Story of the Creation
In the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, we have a complete yet concise story of the creation of the heavens and the earth. Although there has been much argument about the accuracy and authenticity of this record, the fact remains that all that man really knows about creation is included in these two chapters, and that the arguments revolve around man's opinion of and explanations for the things there recorded.
It is not our purpose to enter into this phase of the question, however. All men are agreed that the Universe exists, and we shall begin our study by accepting the creation as we find it.
Law: Underlying Fact in Creation
The basic factor underlying creation, as we know it, is law. Each unit in the Universe, from the smallest electron to the largest celestial body, is subject to and controlled by law. In fact, there is order and stability in the creation only because eternal and unchanging law operates in every realm.
It is because of the immutability of natural laws that the mystic and the poet can hear and sing about the "Music of the Spheres."
Man's Divine Prerogative
Man is an integral part of creation and he is, therefore, subject to law, but there is a fundamental difference between his relationship to law and that of all the rest of the visible creation.
Each unit of the inanimate creation must blindly obey the laws which control it, and the brute or animal creation, although individualized, is controlled by instinct, which is in reality only the medium through which the law works. Man, however, is endowed with the faculty of free-will and he can, therefore, objectively meditate upon and choose his own course of action.
It is obvious that man does not have absolute free-will. He cannot create a universe no matter how much he might desire to do so, nor can he seriously interfere with the functions and operation of the existing creation.
But while man is limited and circumscribed as to his potentiality, he is, nevertheless, within the sphere of his limited potentiality, free to choose his own course of action and can therefore decide for himself whether or not he will obey the law of his being.
It is in this prerogative of free-will, limited though it may be, that man is most nearly akin to Deity. It is in this respect that man was created in the image of God, and in this respect he differs radically from all the rest of the visible creation.
The Celestial Creation
The Scriptures definitely tell of several orders of angelic and celestial beings who live and function in a realm or plane not discernable to the limited perceptive faculties of men. Many people, therefore, doubt the existence of such orders of creation and some even categorically deny their reality.
The fact, however, that man, with his limited powers of perception, cannot objectively and directly perceive or know of their presence, is not proof that they do not exist.
All the facts, as we know them, and even common sense itself, make it improbable that the creation of sentient beings stops with man, and it is not only possible, but also very probable that many celestial orders exist and function as a part of creation.
In the 14th chapter of Isaiah and in Ezekiel 28:14-15, we are told how Lucifer, the "Day Star," and one of the most exalted members of the heavenly hierarchies, rebelled against the authority of the Lord and set out to make himself master of-the earthly creation.
Being, undoubtedly, endowed with the divine prerogative of freewill, within the limits of his own potentiality, it would be possible for him to do this. Functioning on the celestial planes, his influence and power are much greater than man's, but he is still only a finite creature and is in no sense equal in power or majesty with the Lord.
In Job 1:6, we read that Satan presented himself with the other sons of God, and the word Satan means "The Adversary" or "The Contrary One." When Lucifer rebelled against the Lord, he became Satan.
The First Step in Lucifer's Program
Before he could hope to succeed in his avowed purpose, it would be necessary for Satan to control or dominate Adam and Eve, the apex of the visible creation, and when, through "the Serpent, who was more subtle than any beast of the field," he beguiled them into substituting their own "knowledge of good and evil" for the "command" of the Lord, the first skirmish was won.
The Lord's Promise of Restitution
When Adam and Eve "fell" into sin or separation from the Lord, becoming subject to death, and under the domination of Satan, the Lord made His first great covenant of restitution, declaring, "I will put enmity between thee (The Serpent) and the Woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."
We cannot, because of limitations of space, go into details in considering the symbolism of this covenant. The serpent was Satan's agent, and we find the serpent symbolism used throughout the Scriptures. The "Woman" is also used symbolically to the end of Revelation; and as we proceed with our study, its meaning will become clear.
The "seed of the Serpent" represents that branch of mankind descended from Cain, who was spiritually at least the son of the Serpent.
The "enmity" declared in this covenant is the central theme of the whole story of the Bible.
Chaos and Anarchy Follow the Fall
Having no higher criterion than man's finite "knowledge of good and evil" by which to judge life and action, each individual naturally became a law unto himself, and his own self-interest the greatest good. Thus the jungle law of "self-preservation" became the first law of nature.
According to Gen. 6, conditions finally became so bad that the flood became inevitable.
Satan Establishes His Kingdom of the World
Realizing then some system of regulation and control over men would be necessary to prevent a recurrence of the conditions which produced the flood, Satan set up a complete World Order with provisions for all phases of social, economic, governmental and religious relationships on the earth.
To head his System on the earth, Satan selected Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, one of Noah's three sons.
Sacred and secular records agree that Nimrod, or Nirus, as he is often called, founded the first Babylonian empire, and many authorities believe he also founded the Assyrian empire with its capital at Nineveh.
The "Targum of Jonathan" (the Chaldee version of the Old Testament), the "Jerusalem Targum," and Josephus, in his "Antiquities of the Jews," all declare that Nimrod's Kingdoms were set up in opposition to the Program of the Lord.
From this beginning have come all the "Kingdoms of this World" based on man-made laws enforced by the armed might of man.
Back of the whole set-up of course, is Satan, who has in the past and who now is, seeking to establish his dominion on the earth through these "Kingdoms of the world."
The Lord Begins Revealing His Kingdom Plan
To Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham, the Lord begins revealing the first steps in His program to re-establish His Kingdom on the earth. The unconditional promises and covenants made to Abraham and recorded in chapters 12 to 22 in the Book of Genesis, are so important that every student should completely familiarize himself with them. In Gal. 3:29, Paul says, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Surely if in Christ we become heirs to the promises made to Abraham, it is vitally important to know what these promises are.
Space will not allow us to make a detailed examination of these covenants in this article, but the essential features can be summarized as follows: (1) Abraham is to have a multitudinous seed; (2) which is to become "a great and mighty nation" and "a multitude of nations;" and (3) to whom the Lord gives a title deed forever to the land from the "river of Egypt to the Euphrates," including the land of Canaan. The Lord further declares that He will "establish His covenant with Abraham and with his seed after him."
In Gen. 18:17-19, the Lord says, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him."
In chapters 17 to 35 we are told how the covenants and promises made to Abraham are confirmed to Isaac and Jacob and their seed.
The Children of Israel Called as a Family
Up to the time of Jacob, the Lord has been preserving the "seed of the woman" and confirming His covenant with one individual from each generation of the "seed" line. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, the Lord, in addition to confirming His covenant, begins revealing His Plan to use their seed as the nucleus for the citizenry of His Kingdom on the earth.
Therefore the Lord calls the whole family of Jacob—Israel, setting it apart as His Chosen People, and He passes on the inheritance to, and confirms His covenant with, them and their children collectively as a race.
The importance of this call to the children of Israel is indicated in Psalm 105:6-11, "0 ye seed of Abraham, ye children of Jacob His chosen. He is the Lord our God, His judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance."
It should be noted that these covenants are absolutely unconditional and are not to be confused with the mutually binding agreement made with the children of Israel at Sinai.
The Children of Israel Formed into a Nation
After bringing the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, the Lord brings them to Mount Sinai, and there one of the most momentous events in all history from a national standpoint takes place.
Through Moses, the Lord outlines the fundamental laws of His Kingdom, and He then offers to make the children of Israel His Kingdom on the earth at once "if" they will "obey His voice" and "keep His covenant."
The children of Israel by popular referendum unanimously vote to accept the offer, saying, "All that the Lord hath said we will do." Moses then "returned the words (or vote) of the people to the Lord," and the agreement was ratified.
Several important features of this compact should be carefully noticed. Salvation is neither offered nor demanded nor are "repentance" and "new birth" required for admission to citizenship. Every child born in Israel becomes a citizen of the kingdom, and even strangers can be naturalized under its laws.
On the other hand, absolute obedience is demanded; and in return for such obedience, specific blessings are promised; and for disobedience, a curse is pronounced.
The essence of responsibility and opportunity under this covenant is summarized in Deut. 5:31-33: "But as for thee (Moses), stand thou here by Me, and I will speak unto, thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: Ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess."
The Law Covenant and the Covenant of Promise
So many sincere Bible students have been confused by what seems to them a conflict between the Law and the Gospel of Salvation and Justification through faith, both of which are given a prominent place in the Lord's Revelation. We shall consider these questions more fully in future articles, but we would at this time briefly show the essential difference between the Covenant of Promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which they accepted by faith, and the Law Covenant made at Sinai, under which the blessing could only be realized through works.
The Law Covenant is typified by Hagar, the bond woman, and her son Ishmael could inherit only under his natural right as a son of Abraham; the Covenant of Promise is typified by Sarah, the free woman, and her son Isaac inherited under the Promise of the Lord, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and not through his right as a son.
When the Lord "promised to bless Abraham and his seed" and to use that seed for the accomplishment of His Purpose, Abraham believed THAT promise and acted accordingly. The Lord did not reveal to Abraham how this promise would be fulfilled nor did He explain forgiveness, atonement, regeneration, etc., all of which are essential to the fulfillment of the Lord's Promise. Abraham simply believed that the Lord could, and would, do all that was necessary to make good His Promise, and he did his part by blindly obeying the instructions of the Lord.
Under the terms of the Law covenant, the Lord did not ask the children of Israel to "believe" Him; He simply asked them to "obey His voice." In the Sinai covenant, there is no place for salvation, redemption, repentance, new birth, etc. The children of Israel were offered the blessing in return for obedience to the Law while they were still in Adam. Had they been able to "obey His Voice" and "keep His covenant," a Saviour would have been unnecessary for them.
From the words of Moses and the other prophets, it is clear that the Lord knew, even before the covenant was entered into at Sinai, that the children of Israel would fail to keep the covenant, and many students have been puzzled as to why He made the agreement, knowing that the Israelites would not, and in fact could not, keep it.
The reason becomes evident, however, if we remember that the children were "chosen" as His people under the covenant of promise made to their fathers long before the Sinai agreement was entered into. Therefore their real inheritance is in the covenant of promise, which is dependent solely on the Lord's will and power to do what He has promised.
From the beginning, it was the Lord's purpose to "save" mankind from the consequences resulting from the "fall," through Jesus Christ, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;" but before man would "accept this free gift," it was necessary to prove to him that He needed a Saviour.
Before the children of Israel could become God's Kingdom Nation, through whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed, it was necessary that they become new creatures who would willingly obey His Law, as sons and "free men."
Therefore the Lord gave them the opportunity to "try" to be His Kingdom Nation by "willing" in their own strength to obey His voice. The Law, however, has no power to create the "faith" necessary to will to obey: it can only punish for disobedience, and its blessing comes "only" through obedience. Obedience, therefore, becomes "bondage" and slavery as long as the "heart and mind" are separated from the Lord. The new creature in Christ, however, freely and willingly "obeys" the will of the Lord through love, rather than through the bondage of fear of punishment.
Paul therefore sums up the whole reason for the giving of the Law covenant, in Gal. 3:24, when he says, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." In other words, the law was given to the children of Israel to bring them to Christ, in whom the Lord called them as His servant people under the covenant of promise to Abraham. (See Gal. 17).
The failure of the children of Israel, therefore, to keep the Sinai covenant could not, and did not, affect their inheritance under the covenant of Promise, unconditionally given to them as an "everlasting covenant."
It should be remembered also that the covenant of promise to the children of Israel was not primarily a covenant of salvation nor even of justification by faith, but the promise of an inheritance as the Lord's Kingdom on the earth. This inheritance can be appropriated only through faith in the Lord's promise to make full restitution and the reality of the fulfillment of that promise in Jesus Christ. Paul again gives the epitome of the whole matter in Gal. 3:29: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
The Kingdom of Israel
Was God's Kingdom on the Earth
A kingdom consists of: (1) a King; (2) a People; (3) a Body of Law; and (4) a geographical location.
In the Kingdom of Israel, the Lord was King. (See Deut. 33:5; I Sam. 8:7). And in Ex. 17:16, according to the marginal rendering for that verse, we are told that the Lord had a throne in Israel.
The children of Israel were called to be the citizens of the Kingdom. In II Sam. 7:23-24, the prophet Nathan said, "What one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name--For Thou hast confirmed to Thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto Thee for ever.”
The Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments of the Lord were given to Israel as a national constitution and body of Law.
And to the children of Israel was given a title deed forever to be the territory between the River of Egypt and the River Euphrates. An even broader land grant is found in Deut. 32:8, "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He met the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel."
The Kingdom of Israel, therefore, meets all the requirement of a kingdom, and since the Lord is Lawgiver, Judge and King, it is certainly His Kingdom.
The Law as Given to Israel
The Law of the Lord as codified, in terms of everyday human relationships between men, in the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments was the same Law which always was, and always will be, the Law of the Kingdom of God on the earth. It is perfect in every respect.
Jesus Christ summed up the Law of the Lord thus, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." In Deut. 6:4-6; 10:12-13; 11:1; and Lev. 19:18, 34, Moses in identical words revealed the essence of the Law, as given in the Commandments of the Lord to Israel for a national law.
Thus we see that the weakness in the Sinai Government did not consist in any error or fault in the Kingdom itself, into which the children of Israel were inducted, and of which the Lord Himself was Lawgiver and King; neither was the Law as given to them faulty in any way; but the real weakness lay in the people who were the citizens of the Kingdom.
To remedy the condition, then, it is not necessary to change either the King or the Law, but it is absolutely imperative that the citizens be changed so that they can "will to will God's Will," and that is just what the Lord declares that He will do, as we shall see as we proceed with our study.
Satan seeks to prevent the accomplishment of this purpose, however, because only by keeping mankind in his "Kingdoms of this world," can he achieve his objective of world dominion.
The enmity declared in Gen. 3:15 therefore continues the "serpent" or "dragon" system functioning through the "Kingdom of this World," and the "Woman," Israel, who is the bride of the Lord (see Jer. 3:14); and between the "seed of the serpent," who are the "children of this world," and the "seed of the woman," who are the "children of the Kingdom."
The Law and the Ceremonial Ordinances
Just as the Lord's Kingdom Program was progressively revealed to the children of Israel and through them, of course, to the whole world, so the Lord's Plan for the regeneration of the whole Adamic race is progressively revealed.
Regeneration includes forgiveness and atonement for sin and the new birth in the spirit. Forgiveness was declared from the beginning; but before sin can really be forgiven, it must be atoned for by rectification of all the wrongs for which it is responsible, and the atonement was at first revealed only in type through the sacrifices and offerings instituted under ceremonial ordinances. Such offerings and sacrifices in and of themselves were of no effect in the matter of making atonement, but they did point to the supreme sacrifice of Him who came to reconcile the world to the Lord by making full restitution for the sins of the whole world.
These ordinances were of course "nailed to the cross" with Jesus Christ because when He had actually come and made the atonement, the types were no longer necessary.
The Law itself, however, as given in the commandments, Statutes and Judgments, had nothing to do with salvation or redemption, and it was in no way affected by the coming of the Saviour. The relationship of the children of Israel to the Law was radically changed, however. Having fallen under the "curse" or punishment of the Law, through their inability to keep it, and yet bound to it by their own voluntary vow, their only hope lay in the "promise" of the Lord, under His new covenant (see Jer. 31-33), to write the law in their hearts.
With the Law written in their hearts, together with the atonement for their sins completed, they were no longer under the "curse" for the disobedience to the law. Nor were they any longer under the "covenant of bondage" to the law made at Sinai. Having become "children" of the Lord in the spirit, they are "heirs of God (to His promises), and joint-heirs with Christ."
Their "vow to keep the Law" was fulfilled in Christ; but what is even more important is that in Christ they obey "the voice of God" through love and thus receive all the promised blessings.
Thus we see that far from destroying the Law, Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not only for Himself, but also in and for His "children" forever.
The History of Israel as a Nation
The atonement of Jesus Christ and regeneration through His Spirit is the free gift to all men, and as far as the individual, whether Israelite, Jew or Gentile, is concerned, this free gift is the only hope of salvation from sin, death and the power or dominion of Satan. In this respect, the children of Israel have no advantage over any other son of Adam.
However, the children of Israel were "chosen" collectively as a family to become the Lord's servant Nation, and that "call" has never been abrogated or changed. We shall, therefore, briefly consider the history of this set-apart race while it functioned as God's Kingdom Nation.
After wandering 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai, as a preparation for becoming a Nation, they are brought to the land promised to them through their fathers. There they were established as a Nation in their own land, and the law was administered by Judges selected by the Lord.
We have previously shown that the Lord was the King and that He actually had a Throne in Israel. In Gen. 49:10, we are told that a representative from the house of Judah was to wield the "sceptre" on this Throne until Shiloh, who is none other than Jesus Christ, comes to take it for Himself.
David was the first member of the tribe of Judah to occupy this "Throne of the Kingdom of the Lord over Israel" (see 1 Chron.28:4-5). This Throne is called "the throne of the Lord" in I Chron. 29:23.
Many students of the Scriptures have difficulty reconciling the Lord's promise to Judah with the fact that such a long time elapsed before the throne was actually given to a descendant of Judah.
The answer to this puzzle is found in Deut. 23:2. The line of Judah was tainted for ten generations under the law there given, because of the circumstances of the birth of Judah's sons, Zarah and Phraez. David was the tenth generation from Judah, and his generation was, therefore, the first one eligible to occupy the throne.
The Lord's Division in the House of Israel
In Ps. 114:1-2 we read, "When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion." Thus we find that there are two divinely appointed groups in the family of Israel and that each has its own specific function in God's Plan.
Failure to take this fact into consideration has blinded the eyes of most Bible students to the plain story of the Bible.
In Gen. 48:16, we are told that when Israel was blessing the two sons of Joseph, he said: "Let my name be named on them." Thus they inherited the name of "Israel" in a special sense. In the same chapter we are also told that the birthright was given to them.
In I Chron. 5:1-2 we read, "His (Reuben's) birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethern, and of him came the chief ruler (Prince); but the birthright was Joseph's."
The birthright was, of course, the inheritance in the "Promise" of national blessing made to the children of Israel, and this was given to Joseph and his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to whom also the name of Israel was given.
From Judah was to come the ruling line which included, of course, the Lord of Lord's and King of King's, Jesus Christ Himself.
The actual division of the family into these two groups is shown by the way the census figures were totaled. In the tabulations, the figures for Judah were always totaled separately, while the totals for Israel Included all the figures of the other 11 tribes added together.
The Kingdom Divided
During the reigns of David and Solomon, the two divisions were united, but when Solomon's son, Rehoboam, came to the throne, the 10 northern tribes rebelled. The Tribe of Judah remained loyal to the Royal Line of David, and the tribe of Benjamin was loaned to Rehoboam.
There were thus two kingdoms; (1) the 10-tribed northern kingdom, called the Kingdom of Israel; and (2) the two-tribed southern Kingdom, called the Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah were never united, but continued as separate nations until they were overthrown by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The northern kingdom was fully entitled to the name of Israel, and all the kingdom blessings were inherited by them; for Ephriam and Manasseh were the dominant tribes in the kingdom and to them had been given both the birthright and the name of Israel.
The tribe of Judah, on the other hand, supported by the tribe of Benjamin, was the sanctuary for the Royal Line, the Throne, the Temple and the Oracles, until provision had been made elsewhere for them as we shall see.
Israel Rejected as God's Nation
When the ten-tribed Israel rebelled, they did so against the House of David and not against Judah. This is made very clear in I Kings 12:16-17 and II Chron. 10:16-17. They selected Jeroboam, a son of Saul, a Benjaminite, to occupy the throne of the Kingdom.
The full significance of this action becomes evident when we remember that the Lord had reserved the throne in Israel for Himself to be occupied by the one selected by Him to sit on it. The right to hold the sceptre had been given to Judah, but when the throne was given to David, who was of the tribe of Judah, and hence entitled to hold it under the first promise, the Lord made the line of David a new house and limited the kingship to that house. (See II Samuel 7 and Psalms 89). From this time on, the rest of the tribe of Judah had no right in the throne. They were still the Lord's sanctuary, however.
Since this throne was the "Lord's throne" reserved for "Shiloh," the Kingdom of Israel really rejected the Kingship of the Lord when they rebelled against His throne.
The second step by the Kingdom of Israel away from the Lord was made when Jeroboam set up two golden calves and induced the people to adopt them as their national gods. (See I Kings 12: 25-33).
Later, during the reign of King Omri, the "statutes of Omri" were substituted for the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments of the Lord as the national law. (See Micah 6:16).
While the children of Israel had often grumbled against their kings, they had not, since the accession of David, completely repudiated the Lord's throne, until they rebelled against Rehoboam and set Jeroboam on the throne.
Also while both the kings and the people had often worshipped false gods, they had done so as individuals, and had not nationally rejected the Lord until Jeroboam set up the golden calves and established the new national worship.
And finally, although both king and people had personally disobeyed the Law of the Lord, they had not until the time of King Omri substituted man-made statutes and ordinances for the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments of the Lord ss the national law.
By doing these things, the Kingdom of Israel had rejected the Lord as King and as God and had repudiated the Law of the Lord. Thus they were no longer the Lord's Kingdom. They had become like all the other "Kingdoms of this world."
Therefore the Lord says, "Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will utterly destroy it from the face of the earth." The children of Israel, who had so gladly voted to "obey the voice of the Lord," had come to the end of the road. They had brought upon themselves the punishment of exile among the nations for seven times as pronounced by the Lord for disobedience. (See Lev. 26). They were divorced by the Lord, (see Jer. 3:8; and Isa. 50:1). The kingdom was destroyed and the people carried captive into the land of the Medes by the Assyrians. Israel had proven that she needed a Saviour.
The Kingdom of Judah Broken
The Lord had mercy upon His sanctuary, Judah, however, and she continued as a nation under the throne of David for approximately 130 years after Israel had been overthrown. (See Hosea 1:7). But Judah also departed from the Lord (see Jer. 3:8-10) until finally the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Kingdom and took its people to Babylon. Judah, too, had proven that she needed a Saviour.
Israel and Judah to Be Restored
Although the House of Israel, including both the children of Israel and the house of Judah, had forfeited all right to blessing under the covenant made at Sinai, their failure did not abrogate nor nullify the Lord's unconditional covenant made with them through the fathers, nor did they forfeit their inheritance, which was given to them by "promise."
If the children of Israel are to receive their "inheritance," it will be necessary that they be "regathered" and restored as a "nation" in the land promised to their fathers as an "everlasting possession," and that is just exactly what the Lord, through His prophets, promises to do.
All the prophets, without exception, agree that when their "times" of exile and punishment expire, they will be regathered and restored as a nation over which the Lord Himself shall reign. All such promises of national restoration are addressed only to the children of Israel and no such promises are ever made to the house of Judah or to the Jews, except in so far as they share in the promises, as part of the family, with all the other children of Israel. The kingdom of Israel which was overthrown by the Assyrians is the kingdom which will be restored. The Kingdom of Judah was permanently broken and will never be restored as a kingdom again. This is definitely shown in Jer. 19, where Jeremiah is told to break an earthen bottle, which cannot be put back together again, in the sight of the ancients of the people and the ancients of the priests and then to tell them, "Thus will I
break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again."
The Lord did make many specific promises to Judah, however, but these promises have to do with her restoration as the Lord's sanctuary and not as His dominion. Judah, as one of the tribes of Israel, will, however, have a part in the restored Kingdom as one of its tribes. Hosea 1:11 shows this as does Jer. 3:18, which reads, "In those days the house of Judah shall walk to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers."
Neither is there any promise of national restoration ever made to the Jews. The Nation of the Jews set up by a remnant of the captives of Jerusalem taken to Babylon, was in no sense a restoration of the Kingdom of Israel nor the Kingdom of Judah. Daniel 9:24 shows that, the Jews were to be established for 70 prophetic weeks in the Holy City for certain specific purposes, all of which were fulfilled in Jesus Christ during His first advent as Saviour; and Paul tells us that to the Jews were committed the Oracles (or Word) of the Lord. (Heb. 3:2).
Remembering that Judah is the Lord's sanctuary, it becomes plain that the Lord used the Jews, who were of Judah, the sanctuary tribe, to receive the Lord in the flesh and to preserve the Scriptures, while the rest of the children of Israel were wandering among the nations, worshipping false gods; who were not known as, and who themselves did not even know that they were, God's people.
Had it not been for the Jews, there would have been none of "His own" to whom Jesus could have come, nor would the Scriptures have been preserved. Thus we see that a portion of Judah carried out its work as the Lord's sanctuary.
When this task was finished, the task of the Jews as a people was ended. There is therefore no promise to the Jews, as distinguished from the rest of Israel, either as a nation or as the Lord's sanctuary. In fact, there is not one single "inheritance" promised anywhere in the Scriptures to the Jews as "Jews." As members of the family of Israel, they must receive their inheritance by taking their place with the rest of the children of Israel. The only way they can do this is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour, Redeemer and King; and when they do this, they are no longer Jews, for they then become "fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God."
The Children of Israel in Exile
Although the children of Israel were to be scattered among the nations for seven times (Lev. 26); without mercy (Hos. 1:6); during which time they would be blind to their own identity and responsibility (Isa. 1:1-4); worship false gods and idols (Deut. 4:28; Jer. 16:13); and would not be known as the Lord's people (Hos. 1:9); they would not be hidden from the Lord (Jer. 16:17). Through all of His prophets, the Lord declares that He will gather them from the nations and restore them to the land promised to them as an everlasting inheritance, when their seven times of punishment shall have expired.
It is therefore only reasonable to expect that the Lord would, in some way, indicate where they were, and what they were going through, during the time they were in exile, and when we examine the record, as
given by the prophets, we find that the Lord did "mark" His people so that when the "Great Round-up of the Nations" takes place, at the end of the age, His "Chosen" servant people can be identified.
Since it is primarily our purpose to outline the Bible story rather than prove who the modern children of Israel are, we shall not devote much space to this phase of the question. We shall therefore content ourselves with simply giving such incidental evidence as automatically comes to light as we follow the story of the Lord's record of and His dealings with His people.
The Children of Israel Can Be Traced in Secular History
History, both sacred and profane, records that the children of Israel from the northern Kingdom were taken by the Assyrians into the land of the Medes in the territory to the southwest of the Caspian sea.
It is now a well established fact that the Assyrians called the children of Israel "Beth Kumbri" and "Beth Sak," and by derivatives of these names they can be traced to the present time.
Esdras, in the Apocrypha, and Josephus, in his "Antiquities of the Jews," tell us that the children of Israel moved from Media into the territory between and around the Black and Caspian seas. In the Crimea near Sebastopol, one of the largest Hebrew cemeteries- in the world has been discovered. More than 700 of its tombstones have been deciphered, and every one identifies the grave of a descendant of the children of Israel taken into captivity by the Assyrians. None of these tombstones marked the grave of a Jew.
The children of Israel were called "the people of the Lord," and from the ancient records we know that the Persians referred to them as the "Guta-Thiuda," which means the "Great God's Troops."
Having thus found that the captive Israelites were called "Beth Sak," "Beth Khumri," "Guta-Thiuda," etc., we can by these names and their equivalents in various languages trace the trek of the tribes of Israel.
Historians tell us that in the very territory where Esdras and Josephus place the children of Israel, there lived peoples known as the "Gimiri or Cimmeri," the Sakai, the Sacae, the Scythians, the Getae, the Massagetae, etc.
Sir Henry Rawlinson, who deciphered the Behistun Rock, says, "The ethnic name Gimri occurs in the cuniform writing of the time of Darius. It is equivalent of the Greek Cimmeri, and of the Danish Cymbri, and of the Welsh Khumri." He also expressed the opinion that, "we have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared in the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century, B. C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock nearly two centuries later, as identical with Israel."
Herodotus traces the "Khumbri" in the Crimea and the "Scuths" located at Arsareth on the Black Sea (where Esdras placed the children of Israel), from Media. Pliny says that the "Crimmerians," later known as
the "Cymri," came from Asia Minor and the same writer also says, "The Sakai were among the most distinguished people of Scythia, who settled in Armenia, and were called Sacas-Sani."
Ptolemy finds that the Saxons were a race of Scythians, called Sakai, who came from Media. Albinus writes, "The Saxons were descended from the ancient sacae of Asia." Sharon Turner says, "The Saxons were a Scythian nation, and were called Saca, Sachi, Dacki, Sacksen, etc."
In the same way we can trace the "Guta-Thiuda" of the Persians through the "Gatae" down to the "Goths," and the march of the Saxons, Angles and Goths into northwestern Europe and the British Isles is a matter of historic record.
M. Paul de Chaillu, the French historian, made extensive investigations of the old records in all the northern countries of Europe, and in his great work, "The Viking Age," declares that the modern Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples are descended from the more ancient Sacae, Scythians, Sakai, Cimmeri, Getae, etc.
We shall not devote more space to consideration of this question, but if any student desires to make a more thorough study of the matter, we would refer him to the many excellent works devoted to this subject.
National Status of the Children of Israel in Exile
We have previously pointed out that Abraham was told by the Lord that his seed should become "a great and a mighty nation," that he was to be the "father of many nations," and that Jacob was promised that his seed should become "a nation and a company of nations."
Furthermore, when Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, after he had adopted them as his sons, he declared that Man-ass eh should become a "People" which was to become "Great," and that Ephriam should become "a multitude or a company of nations."
These prophecies were not fulfilled when the children of Israel were in Palestine, and they have not been, nor can they be fulfilled, by either the Church or the Jews. We must, therefore, look for 'their fulfillment following the expiration of their seven times of punishment, and it is certainly reasonable to do so, when we remember that Jacob called his sons together to tell them what should "befall them in the last days." (Gen. 49:1).
Seven times of prophetic reckoning is equal to 2520 years, and since more than 2520 years have elapsed since the children of Israel went into exile, there must be a people in the earth today who are now, and who have in the past, fulfilled the prophetic destiny of the children of Israel.
Somewhere there must be a "People" who have become "great;" and a "Nation" whose name is "Great," which grew into a "Company of Nations." From the same racial stock must also have developed "Many Nations," and remnants of the same people must be scattered in all nations.
Only among the Celto-Anglo-Saxon and kindred peoples and nations can we find all of these prophecies fulfilled.
Manasseh Becomes a Great People
The half tribe of Manasseh, together with the tribes of Reuben and Gad, were taken into captivity by Tiglath-pileser about 745 B. C., and we must naturally look for the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Manasseh becoming a "Great People" 2520 years later.
2520 years from 745 B. C. takes us to 1776 A. D., and in that year the 13 American colonies declared their independence and became a nation, which in its Constitution and other national documents calls itself "The People."
This in itself would be a striking coincidence, but it becomes even more striking when we find that Nathaniel Norton, in his "New England Memorial" (1669) wrote, "The praise of the Lord. That especially the seed of Abraham His servant, and the children of Jacob His chosen, may remember His marvelous works in the beginning and progress of the planting of New England, His wonders and the judgments of His mouth; how that God brought a Vine into his wilderness; that He cast out the heathen and planted it.....And not only so, but also that He hath guided His people by His strength to His holy habitation and planted them in the mountains of His inheritance."
W. J. Cameron writing of Morton's history, says, "That is how the first Americans wrote history. And that also is why the later Americans cannot write History--they have lost the key."
Geo. Washington called America "the second Land of Promise," and Abraham Lincoln said that he was but "an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, His almost chosen people."
Benjamin Franklin proposed a design for the reverse side of our Great Seal showing the children of Israel safely crossing the Red Sea, and Thomas Jefferson offered one showing the children of Israel led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
These are only a few of the many facts which go to show that the pilgrim fathers and the founding fathers of our nation recognized that our destiny as a people and as a nation is bound up in the Plans and Purposes of the Lord. Volumes of evidence can be compiled proving that their knowledge was based on factual evidence and not on mere theory and superstition; but again lack of space prevents our going into this matter more fully.
Ephraim Becomes "A Great Nation"
Ephraim and the rest of the tribes of Israel remaining in Palestine at the time were taken into captivity by the Assyrians in the year 721 B. C., 2520 years from that date takes us to 1800 A. D., when England, Scotland and Ireland were joined and became "Great Britain."
The word "British" is made up of two Hebrew words, "Brith," meaning "Covenant," and "ish" meaning "man." "British" thus literally means "Covenant Man." Since "ain" means "land," "Britain" equals "Covenant Land."
The Lord told Abram (Abraham), "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee (or it), and make thy (or its) name great." (Gen. 12:2). In the British Nation, with its name "Great Britain," we have a literal fulfillment of this promise.
The heraldry of Great Britain, as well as that of the U. S. A., is made up largely of Israelitish symbols. In the Royal Coat of Arms are found the "Unicorn," which was one of the signs of Joseph (Deut. 33:17; Num. 24:8), and also "the Lion and the young lions" (Num. 23:24; 24:9). The "bull" was also a sign of the tribe of Joseph, and we call Britain, and especially England, "John Bull."
The ensign of Britain is the "Union Jack," and when James I had joined the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, thus forming the Union Jack, he said, "This is the Union of the House of Jacob."
It is also interesting to note that the ritual used during the coronation of the British kings is identical with that used for the crowning of the Kings of the Royal Line of David, as given in II Kings, and in II Chron. 23.
Ephraim Becomes a "Company of Nations"
The descendants of Joseph were to be great colonizers (Gen. 49:22; Isa. 54:2-3), and no people have been more successful in their colonizing efforts than the Celto-Anglo-Saxon peoples. Ephraim-Britain has been particularly active and successful along this line. She has planted many colonies throughout the world, having literally fulfilled the Lord's injunction to "break forth on the right hand and on the left;......and make the desolate cities to be inhabited."
These colonies have grown and prospered until they have become great nations or dominions in their own right; and in 1931, under the Statute of Westminster, these "young lions" were united with Great Britain as the "Commonwealth of British Nations." This Commonwealth (or Company) of Covenant-men Nations literally fulfills the prophecy that Ephriam should become a "company of nations."
Destiny of Britain and the U.S.A.
As the inheritors of the "birthright" given to the sons of Joseph (Gen. 48; I Chron. 5:12,) Britain and the U. S. A. have received the "national blessings" and have carried on the earthly functions of the house of Israel. True, they have done this blindly and imperfectly and in practically complete ignorance of their true identity and responsibility.
They have, however, "stretched forth the curtains of their habitations; lengthened their cords and strengthened their stakes" (Isa. 54: 2); and have been "a light to the nations" (Isa. 49:6); served as the Lord's "Battle ax and weapons of war" (Jer. 51:20); and "pushed the people together to the ends of the earth." (Deut. 33:17).
In fact, from the prophecies in the Scriptures for Ephraim and Manasseh, we can get a general picture of the history of Great Britain and the U. S. A. as nations.
Blind to their real identity and unmindful of their great heritage and responsibilities, these servants of the Lord have not performed their "greatest task," however, and they will never realize the great blessings in store for them until they willingly take up that task.
Before considering this "task" specifically, it would be well to call attention to two statements by the Lord as to land division.
First in Deut. 32:8, "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance,.....He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel," and secondly, in II Samuel 7:10, "I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more."
The first shows that even at the time when the Lord "separated the sons of Adam," the territorial requirements of the children of Israel were taken into consideration, and the second quotation shows that a definite reservation of a portion of the earth's surface is reserved as a "place" of their own for the children of Israel.
This last quoted promise of the Lord cannot apply to the land of Canaan or Palestine, which had been given to the "seed of Israel," for at the time when this promise was made, the children of Israel were a prosperous nation in that very land. It must therefore apply to the time when the children of Israel were fulfilling their destiny as "A Great People," "A company of Nations," etc.
The problem is answered when we turn to Isa. 49, where the Lord says, "Listen, 0 Isles, unto Me; and hearken, ye People, from far." We have shown how Ephraim in the British Isles became first a "Great Nation," which developed into a "Company of Nations," and how Manasseh "far" across the sea became "The People." When the Lord says "Listen, 0 Isles, unto Me; and hearken ye People from far," He must be addressing Britain and the U. S. A.
In verse 3, the Lord continues, "Thou (0 Isles and Ye People) art My servant, 0 Israel, in whom I will be glorified." In Ezek. 36:22-23, the Lord says that His great purpose is to glorify and sanctify His name in the house of Israel, and here the Lord says that the "Isles and the People" are His servant Israel in whom He will be glorified.
In verse 6 the Lord tells how His servant, (the Isles and the People) will glorify His name, "It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the preserved (or desolations—Margin) of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the nations, that thou mayest be (or bring) My salvation to the ends of the earth."
Having established Ephraim in the "Isles" as Britain and "brought a Vine into this wilderness" as "The People" of the U. S. A., the Lord declares that it is their task to "raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the desolations of Israel" and bring His salvation to the ends of the earth.
In the past, both Britain and the U. S. A. have been havens of refuge to which the "tribes of Jacob" could flee, and they have also sent out more missionaries to spread the "Gospel of Salvation" to the ends of the earth than all the rest of the world put together.
Because of their blindness, this work has not been as well done as it could have been, and during the past decades they have united themselves so completely with the "kingdoms of this world" that their "great task" in Israel has been completely ignored.
The "day of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:5-7) has therefore come upon them, but they "shall be saved out of it," and when they turn to the
Lord they will again assume the responsibilities of their "great commission" and truly become a "light to the nations" and a blessing to all the families of the earth, and "all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob." This is clearly shown in the Lord's message to Britain and the U. S. A. as found in the 49th chapter of Isaiah.
Israel to Become "Many Nations"
In addition to the "Company of Nations" and the "Great People," the children of Israel were also to become many nations, and the Celto-Anglo-Saxon and kindred peoples have literally fulfilled this prophecy, too.
When the seven times of punishment had expired, these Celto-Anglo-Saxon-Israel people established several independent nations founded upon and motivated by the same fundamental principles of freedom and justice as were the U. S. A. and the Commonwealth of British Nations.
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, etc., are examples of such nations who have been fulfilling the prophetic destiny for modern Israel peoples.
These nations as "the children" of Israel are now "prey of the terrible" of the nations, and according to Isa. 49, the U. S. A. and Britain will have a great part to play in "delivering and saving them from destruction."
Israel to Be Restored Under a "New Covenant"
The fact that the children of Israel are to be restored as the Lord's Kingdom Nation on the earth is so generally declared by all the prophets that we shall not at this time devote space to proving it. The Lord's method for fitting them for citizenship in His Kingdom and the details of the fulfillment of His purpose do, however, require some consideration.
After the children of Israel had "broken" their mutual covenant with the Lord, entered into at Sinai, they, of course, forfeited all rights and privileges under that agreement. Their only hope then was the Lord's unconditional "covenant of promise" made with them and their fathers long before the Sinai covenant was entered into. This "covenant of promise" under which only the Lord was obligated, could not, of course, be nullified by the failure on the part of the children of Israel to keep the "law covenant."
To carry out His unconditional covenant and further His own purpose, the Lord, therefore, promises to make a "new covenant" with the house of Israel.
In Jer. 31:31-33, the Lord says, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord; but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days (of exile and punishment), saith the Lord, I will put My law in their in-
ward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
In Ezek. 36:25-27, the Lord explains how this will be brought about, "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean.....A new heart also will I give you.....And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and
It should be noted that these promises are not made to a "few individuals" taken at random from the world nor are they made to the world' in general. They are addressed to the "house of Israel," the same literal house of Israel which was taken into captivity. Furthermore, the purpose to be accomplished under this "new covenant" was not that the "house of Israel" was to be taken to some far away heaven in the sky after it died. Verses 35 to the end of chapter 31 show clearly that the house of Israel is to be restored as a nation on the earth, and verses 29 to the end of Ezek. 36 tell the same story with such promises as these: "Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers.....! will multiply the fruit of the tree, and increase the field.....! will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, etc."
While the blessings under the new covenant are identical with those promised under the old, there is a very vital difference between the covenants themselves. Under the old, the Lord promised "if" the children of Israel "obeyed" the laws as contained on the "tables of stone and the book of the law;" while under the new covenant, the "law will be written in their hearts," making them willing and able to "walk in the Lord's statutes" and thus receive the blessing.
It was by doing this that Jesus Christ became the Redeemer of Israel. We shall go into this redemptive work more fully when we shall consider the first advent of Jesus when He came as Saviour of the world and the Redeemer of Israel.
"New Covenant" Made with the Whole House of Israel
Many sincere Christians and Bible students have erroneously ascribed the temporal blessing for Israel, under the "covenant of promise" and the "new covenant," to the Jews as the modern representatives of the children of Israel after the flesh. And this in spite of the fact that never once in the Scriptures are the covenants and promises made to the house of Israel transferred to the Jews.
In Ezek. 11:14-20, where the Lord explains how the "new covenant" will be fulfilled, the question as to what branch of Israel it applies is definitely told.
Verse 14 reads, "Again the word of the Lord came unto me (Ezekiel)." Before going on with the passage, a little word of explanation will help to make the whole matter more clear. At the time "the word of the Lord" came to Ezekiel, the children of Israel from the ten-tribed northern Kingdom of Israel had long since been scattered among the nations by the Assyrians, and "the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths," had been carried away by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 24:1). These "good figs" (Jer. 24:5) were the "brethren" of Ezekiel with whom he was
taken into captivity. The "inhabitants of Jerusalem" were those who remained in Jerusalem under Zedekiah and are known as the "bad figs" (Jer. 24:8).
Now let's turn back to Ezek. 11:14-20, "Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Son of man, thy brethren (the good figs), even thy brethren, the men (of Judah) of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly (those of the kingdom of Israel who had been scattered among the nations), are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem (the bad figs) have said, "Get you far from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession."'
In other words, the "inhabitants of Jerusalem," in Ezekiel's time, said to the house of Israel in dispersion and to the "good figs" of Judah, "You have no further claim to this land and the promises. It all belongs to us."
This is the same claim made for and by the Jews today, and the present day Jews can only claim descent in Israel from the "inhabitants of Jerusalem," who were taken to Babylon when Zedekiah was overthrown and who later returned to Jerusalem and set up the Nation of the Jews.
Now let's see what the Lord has to say about this claim, "Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them (the house of Israel wholly) off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come." Surely this shows that the Lord has not completely cast off these children of Israel.
"Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God: I will even gather you from the people and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.....And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be My people and I will be their God." No further comment on our part is necessary.
Jesus Christ Comes as Savior and Redeemer
Christians have always recognized and acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, and such He truly was. In Him the "free gift" of salvation from sin, death and the power of Satan if offered to all men. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive'.' "As by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
This "justification of life" through Jesus Christ is the only hope for every son of Adam for righteousness and it must be appropriated through faith. In respect to personal salvation from sin and death and righteousness before God, there is absolutely no difference between "Israelite, Jew or Gentile." Paul sums this matter up in Rom. 3:20-23, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Contrary to the quite prevalent belief among Christians that this means that the law is done away with, it means exactly the opposite. Men become sinners because of disobedience to God's law and thus come short of His glory. Having come under the condemnation of sin, they cannot again be justified by the very law which condemns them. A Saviour then becomes necessary, and the only way that such a Saviour can save the sinner is to Himself be free from sin or offense against the law. In other words, He must always have obeyed the law. Had He ever broken it, He would Himself be a sinner and need a Saviour.
By fulfilling the law for every man, in other words, by rectifying all the breaches of the law ever made by all men, Jesus Christ made atonement for sin and justified mankind before the law. The next step is the regeneration by the "new birth" in the spirit which makes it possible for man to "walk in the Lord's statutes, and keep His judgments and do them."
This "common salvation," which is a free gift to all men, did not change the Lord's covenant with the house of Israel as His Holy Kingdom Nation. True, the individual Israelite must accept this free gift before the house of Israel collectively can fulfill its function, but its destiny as a Kingdom of priests and a Holy Nation is still the same.
The Lord gave His law to the children of Israel to be "a schoolmaster to bring them unto Christ." Then under the new covenant, He promises to restore them as His People after they have become justified in Christ and become new creatures with the law of the Lord written in their hearts.
In fulfilling this new covenant, Jesus Christ was truly the Redeemer of the Kingdom of Israel, of which the house of Israel is the nucleus and of which the aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel become fellow-citizens with the saints.
In fact, the establishment of His Kingdom on the earth is the Lord's primary purpose; and individual salvation from sin, death and the power of Satan is His method for preparing the "fallen" sons of Adam for citizenship in that Kingdom.
Satan's "Kingdom" Given a World Charter
To prepare the children of Israel for their "great task" required time because they must voluntarily come to the Lord, for the Lord wants them to be "free" citizens of His Kingdom and not slaves. That they will finally so turn to the Lord is definitely declared in Ezek. 36:37, "I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them."
As a part of their preparation, the children of Israel were compelled to remain under the dominion of the "kingdoms of this world" for seven times, and during this period of exile for the children of Israel, a charter for world dominion was given to the Babylonian Succession of Empires.
Not only had Satan seemingly succeeded in thwarting the Lord's plan to establish His Kingdom on the earth, when the Kingdom of Israel was broken and its citizens carried into captivity, but the Lord even gave
dominion to Satan's "kingdoms of this world" under the charter to Babylon.
In Jer. 27:6-7, we are told that control of all lands was given to Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and his son's son, until the very end of his land be come," and that "all nations" should obey him. In Dan. 4, where Nebuchadnezzar typifies the whole Babylonian Succession of Empires, we learn that the charter shall continue for seven times.
Dominion under the charter passed from Babylon to Medo-Persia, then to Greece and finally to Rome. In Dan. 2, we are told that the fourth kingdom (Rome) was to be divided; and history records that the Roman Empire was divided into an eastern kingdom with its first capital at Constantinople, and a western division with its capital at Rome.
The official title of the Babylonian rulers was "Zar," and this title gives us one of the easiest clues to follow in tracing descent of power under the charter.
Thus we see that the rulership in the eastern Empire moved northward and finally was held by the "Tzars" of the Russians. The western kingdom developed into the Holy Roman Empire under Austrian control, and finally the Hohenzollern Dynasty held the power under the "Kaisers." This title is also derived from the Babylonian "Zar," coming down through the Latin "Caesar," which became the title of the Roman Emperors when Attalus III of Pergamos willed his kingdom and all his titles to Rome.
The Babylonian charter became effective when Nebuchadnezzar became sole ruler of Babylon in 603 B.C., and seven times or 2520 years brings us to 1918, when the charter expired. By the end of 1918, both the "Tzar" and the "Kaiser," the last two kings to hold power under the charter to Babylon, were dethroned, and the dominion of the Babylonian Succession was ended.
The Great Day of the Lord Begins
In Dan. 7:9-10, the prophet declares, "I beheld till the throne (of the last Babylonian "beast" kingdoms) were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit..... (and) the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
The fall of the Babylonian thrones marked the beginning of the "Great and Terrible Day of the Lord," during which the "kingdoms of this world" will be brought to judgment, and the children of Israel will go through "The Time of Jacob's Trouble."
When this "Great Day of the Lord" is ended, the Lord's Millenial Reign of Righteousness will begin.
The Assyrian Revived
During the seven times that the Babylonian charter was in force, "all nations" were under its dominion, but we are told in Rev. 17 and Dan. 2 that following its expiration, "ten" dictators should arise of which three should become dominant. History verifies this prophecy. Following the First World War, the governments of all the nations which had been under Babylonian Dominion at the beginning of the war, were overthrown and dictatorships substituted.
The First Babylonian and Assyrian Systems, as originated by Nimrod, were absolute dictatorships. The Second Babylon, to which the charter for world dominion was given, was on the other hand based on a system of laws, from which the "Civil Law" of Rome was evolved. The Code of Hammurabi held the same relationship to this Second Babylonian Succession as the "Code of Moses" did for the Kingdom of Israel.
The dictatorships which followed the First World War were revivals of the Old Babylonian and Assyrian Systems, and in prophecy are referred to as Assyria.
Three of these Assyrian revivals became dominant, namely, Communism, Fascism and Nazism. In Dan. 2 we are told that "one" of the dictatorial kings should subdue the rest, and Isaiah is particularly specific in declaring that a dictator shall arise, whom he refers to variously as "the terrible of the nations," "the waster," etc., but he more often calls him "The Assyrian." Daniel also calls him "The Desolator."
In II Esdras 12:23-27, we read that after the "three" dictators have been set up, one of them shall be eliminated, and then the two remaining ones will fight until one of them is "slain."
We have already seen how Mussolini and Fascism have been reduced to vassalage by Hitler, and now Stalin and Hitler are engaged in a great conflict from which one of them will emerge as "The Assyrian of Prophecy."
The Time of Jacob's Trouble
This revived Assyrian will again afflict the modern of Children of Israel but only for "a little while" until the indignation be finished.
The 20th Chapter of Ezekiel gives us the details of the extent, and the purpose, of this affliction. In this chapter we find the epitome of the history of the children of Israel from the time that the Lord "chose Israel, and lifted up His hand unto the seed of Jacob," until He shall "be sanctified in them before the nations."
In verse 37 the Lord says, "I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant." This "Rod" under which the children of Israel must pass "to bring them into the bond of the covenant" is identified in Isa. 10 as the Assyrian, and we can already see the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy.
The necessity of such a "Time of Trouble" coming upon the house of Jacob becomes evident when we review the history of the children of Israel since they came out from under the dominion of Babylon, when their seven times of punishment had ended.
We have previously shown how, in fulfillment of their prophetic destiny, the modern children of Israel became "The Great People" of Manasseh; "The Great Covenant Nation" and the "Commonwealth of Nations" of Ephraim; and the "Many Nations" which the seed of Abraham should become.
These Israel nations and peoples did not turn to the Lord and His Laws, however, and according to His repeated admonitions they must do so before they can truly become "the Lord's Servant People" in establishing The Kingdom of Heaven on the earth.
It is only to bring the Celto-Anglo-Saxon-Israel peoples and nations into the bond of His Covenant with them to make them His Kingdom on the Earth, that the Lord permits the Assyrian to afflict them. As soon as "The Great People" of the U. S. A. and the "Commonwealth of Covenant-men Nations" seek "the face of the Lord and acknowledge their offense," their enemies shall be removed far from them, and "by the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down."
The Lord's Controversy with the Nations
Joel tells us that during the "Great Day of the Lord," the nations of the world shall be gathered for war and "shall beat their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears," and we are surely witnessing the literal fulfillment of this prophecy in the world, and even within our own nation, today.
In Rev. 16:13 we read that "three unclean spirits like frogs out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" shall "go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." This, too, is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
The 25th chapter of Jeremiah gives a word picture of this terrible time when "all the kingdoms of the world" shall drink of the "wine cup of fury at the Lord's hand." This world conflict is called the Lord's controversy with the Nations" and the Lord declares that "evil shall go from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth."
According to Joel, the conflict will finally culminate when the nations are brought to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, to the east of Jerusalem, where the Lord will sit to "judge the nations around about."
The Lord Comes to Judge the Nations
The Scriptures tell us that while this conflict is in progress, the Lord will return to judge the nations preparatory to setting up His Throne and establishing His Kingdom throughout the whole earth.
In order to outline the working out of this program, it will be necessary for us to consider briefly the relationship of Jesus Christ to the whole picture.
Jesus Christ as King
When the angel came to Mary to inform her that she was to be the mother of the Saviour, he said, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: AND THE LORD GOD SHALL GIVE UNTO HIM THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID: AND HE SHALL REIGN OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB FOREVER: AND OF HIS KINGDOM THERE SHALL BE NO END."
Practically all Christians and Bible students have recognized that Jesus Christ was a King, but very few have realized that He has a literal throne on the earth reserved for Him and that the house of Jacob is to be the nucleus of His Kingdom.
We have previously pointed out that the Lord had a "throne in Isra-
el" and that it was given to the Royal Line of David forever. In II Sam. 7 the Lord sets the house of David apart as the Royal Line to occupy the throne in Israel for ever. Verse 16 reads, "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established forever." In Psa. 89:35-36, the Lord says, "Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me."
We can, of course, trace this throne down to the time of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, but from that time on, it has been lost sight of historically. If the Lord's promise means anything, however, that throne must still be in existence ready to be taken when Jesus Christ returns.
Space will not permit us to go into details, but we shall give a few of the many clues which enable us to identify that throne today. More detailed proof will be found in the list of books appended to this article.
Zedekiah was the last king of the line of David to sit on the throne in Jerusalem; and in the 21st chapter of Ezekiel we are told that the diadem is to be removed from Zedekiah's head and the crown taken away. It is then to be "overturned, overturned, overturned," and be no more moved "until He comes whose right it is."
Through legends, history and the clues given to us by the prophets, we can trace the three overturnings from Jerusalem to Tara, Ireland, from Ireland to Scotland and then to London, where it still remains and where the Kings of Ephraim-Britain are still crowned upon the same "Stone of destiny" used by the children of Israel in Palestine.
These positive statements are made on the evidence furnished by many of the world's leading historians and genealogical authorities.
"He Whose Right It Is"
"For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it with judgment and with justice from hence forth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isa. 9:6-7).
"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Jer. 23:5-6).
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
The above are samples of the words of the prophets declaring that from the line of David shall come "One" who shall sit on David's throne, ruling over the house of Israel, and exacting Judgment and Justice in the earth, and it is self-evident that the "One" referred to can be
none other than Jesus Christ. The promise made by the angel to Mary is definite proof of the fact that it was of Him that the Lord was speaking through His prophets, and that Jesus Christ will literally establish "His Kingdom on the earth."
The Church Called to Reign with Christ
Failure to differentiate between Israel and the Church has resulted in much confusion and misunderstanding in interpreting the Bible story.
The children of Israel were called to become a Nation, and in none of the "Covenants" made with them did the Lord promise to make them "a Church."
The "Church" is the Lord's "New Creation." It was not in existence until the Lord Himself "builded" it, when He came as Saviour and Redeemer .
The "Church," which is Christ's body, does not need salvation nor redemption because it never "fell" or departed from the Lord.
Those "chosen" by the Lord Himself become members of His body and they shall "rule and reign with Him." If they are to "reign" with Him they must reign "over the house of Jacob." Jesus promised His apostles that they should "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
The "free gift" of "justification to life" was offered to all the sons of Adam for "all had sinned." Acceptance of this offer does not, however, make one a member of Christ's body. We are told that "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." These are the multitude whose "robes have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb."
Jesus, however, calls His Church a "little flock," who "have not chosen Me but I have chosen you."
The children of Israel are also to be as "numerous as the sands of the sea" when they turn to the Lord and become "the sons of the Living God." They are to be purged, cleansed and restored as the "bride" of the Lord.
If the Church is the "body" of the Bridegroom, it cannot also be the "bride;" and conversely: if Israel is the "bride," she cannot also be the "body."
The whole matter may be summarized as follows: (1) "The Great White Host" is made up of those of the whole Adamic race who have been justified and regenerated through Jesus Christ by the "free gift" of life. The call for this "common salvation" is given to all men and those who accept it become "fellow-citizens with all the saints in the Kingdom of God; (2) The children of Israel are all the descendants of Jacob-Israel, who as a family were called by the Lord to become the nucleus of His Kingdom on the earth. When they turn to the Lord for personal salvation and as a race voluntarily "seek His face and acknowledge their offense," they will be restored as the Lord's Kingdom Nation to whom will be joined the "Great White Host" who in Jesus Christ have
been prepared for citizenship in the Kingdom of the Lord; and (3) The Church is the "little flock chosen by the Lord Himself to rule and reign with him over His restored Kingdom.
We shall now proceed to outline the climactic events which from all indications will soon come on the earth during the Great Day of the Lord.
The Lord's Coming for His Church
The Scriptures definitely tell us that a group of people will "be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and be caught up to meet the Lord in the air."
This is evidently the “little flock" or His Church, who are the members of His "Body" and who are to rule with Him. Nowhere in the Scriptures when the restoration of Israel is described is any indication given that they will be "caught up in the air."
We shall not attempt to explain how or when this rapture of the Church will occur, nor who will be among those caught up. We shall simply accept it as a fact and go on with the rest of the story of the establishment of the Kingdom.
A Remnant of Israel to Be Re-Gathered First
Rev. 16:15-16 shows us that when the "battle of the great day of God Almighty is in progress, the Lord will come "as a thief" for those whose garments are on and He will "gather them into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon," where they will remain during the time that the seventh angel pours out his vial of wrath upon the nations.
We are well aware of the popular interpretation that "Armageddon" is to be the final battle, and we have no desire to enter into any controversy over the matter. We agree that the final battle of the Lord's day will take place in Palestine, but the whole prophetic picture indicates that at least a remnant of the children of Israel will be in a place of security during this last battle.
In Isa. 11 this seems clearly indicated. In the 10th chapter Isaiah has told of the tribulation coming on Israel and the world, when the Assyrian is given a charge to plunder and destroy.
The llth then begins: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." The prophet then describes the conditions of, and blessing to, all men when the Lord's Kingdom is established. In the 10th verse he again returns to the coming of the "root of Jesse," and verse 11 reads, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people." The manner of this gathering is shown in Isa. 27:12, "and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel."
That only a representative group will be first brought to Jerusalem is shown in Jeremiah 3:14 when the Lord pleads, "Turn, O back-sliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you pastors (from Heb. "raah" meaning to feed) according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understand-
ing." Verse 17 shows that this nucleus will be used for establishing the Kingdom, for we read, "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord."
In Jer. 23:3 a similar statement is made, "I will gather a remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their own folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase."
The gathering or sealing of the 144,000 out of all of the twelve tribes of Israel also fits into this picture. These "servants of God" cannot be the "Church," for they are sealed only out of the tribes of Israel, and nothing is said about their being taken up to meet the Lord in the air.
Just when this "gathering of the Remnant" will occur in relation to the sequence of events for the end of the age, it is difficult to determine exactly, nor is it essential that we do so.
The Kingdom Established at Jerusalem
When this remnant is brought to Palestine, the Lord will undoubtedly take the throne, which is His by "right" and establish it in Jerusalem. (Jer. 3:17).
Jer. 3:18 tells us that following the establishment of the throne, "In those days the house of Judah shall walk to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given them for an inheritance." In Jer. 50:4-5 we read, "In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping, they shall go, and seek the Lord. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.”
In other words, when the Lord has established his throne and restored His Kingdom, the U. S. A., Britain, and the other Israel nations and peoples will voluntarily become part of that Kingdom. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy found in Ezekiel 37:22, "And I will make them (the children of Israel) one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one King shall be King to them all.....And David My servant shall be King over them; and they shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them."
Many Nations Shall Join Themselves to Israel
In Isa. 2:2-5 is a very interesting prophetic picture of the foundation of the Lord's League of Nations, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
Zech. 8:20-22 also indicates that many nations and peoples will voluntarily join themselves to the Kingdom, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to an-
other, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek., the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord."
Jesus Christ to Judge the Nations
The climax as far as the nations of this world are concerned comes following this voluntary union of many nations and peoples with the Lord's Kingdom. In Isa. 2:4 we read, "And He (the Lord) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people." In Joel 3 the story of the judgment of the nations is also told. In-verse 12 the Lord says, "Let the nations be weakened, and come to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about."
Jesus also spoke of this judgment in Mat. 25:31-32. "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats."
In the 19th chapter of Revelations we find a very complete outline of the whole story allegorically told. Here the restoration of Israel as the Lord's Kingdom Nation is pictured in the marriage between the Lamb and "His Wife who hath made herself ready." This wife is the same one whom the Lord "divorced" but whom He said that He would purge and cleanse and betroth her to Himself again.
Following this marriage, the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS comes on a white horse, with His armies "upon white horses, clothed in linen, clean and white," and He shall "smite the nations, and shall rule them with a rod of iron."
The Millenial Reign of Christ
When the Lord has triumphed over all His enemies, and all the prophets agree that they will be many (Esdras saying that even those who had been fighting between themselves shall all join together against the Lord), and when beast and the false prophet are taken prisoners, then Satan shall be bound for one thousand years.
During this thousand-year period, Jesus Christ and His saints shall rule over the entire earth, and all men must obey the laws of the Lord. Then justice will be executed for all men, peace and security will exist universally, and "every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
Satan Loosed for "A Little While"
Many people have been at a loss to understand and explain why Satan should be loosed once that he has been bound, but when we consider the essential features of the Lord's purpose and methods, as revealed in the Scriptures, the difficulty disappears.
First of all, we must remember that the Millenial Reign of Christ is not the final Kingdom of God on the earth, as we shall soon see. Secondly, we must realize that the Lord neither wants, nor will He compel, anyone to remain permanently in His Kingdom who does not voluntarily choose to do so for himself.
Having given man the opportunity to attempt to establish his own order on the earth so that he might prove for himself that suffering, misery and death would be his inevitable lot, the Lord will establish His New Order of Righteousness and Justice throughout the earth and maintain it "with a rod of iron" where necessary.
Man, having thus had the opportunity to see both systems in operation, will, at the conclusion of the Millenium, be given the chance to decide for himself which System he prefers. Therefore Satan will again be permitted to recruit a following if men still wish to follow him, we are told that the number of those who choose to do so will be "as the sands of the sea."
At first glance it would seem impossible for Satan to get even one person to follow him after men had experienced the blessings and benefits of living under perfect righteousness and justice. However, unless man has been "born again in the spirit," he does not want absolute justice and righteousness. He is primarily interested in advantage for himself and in the Kingdom of the Lord it will be absolutely impossible for him to take advantage of even the weakest citizen of the kingdom. Strange as it may sound, life, in the New Order of the Lord, will be "hell" for all those who have not put on the "heart and mind which was in Christ Jesus," and during the Millenial reign of Christ there will be many who have not accepted Him.
It is from among these that Satan will gain his tremendous following and they will attempt to re-establish the Old Order on the earth again.
Their attempt will end in dismal failure, and then Satan will be prevented from ever again interfering with those who have voluntarily chosen to "walk in the way of the Lord."
The Final Judgement
When Satan's last abortive rebellion is ended, the final judgment of all men takes place. This is not a judgment of Nations but of individuals, and all those who are ready will be permitted to enter the Kingdom of God.
Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be cast "into the lake of fire," we are told. Just what their state or condition will be is not revealed and we shall not attempt to answer that question. We can be sure, however, that they can never get beyond the reach of the love and justice of the Father, and so we leave their fate to Him who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
"The Restitution of All Things
In the last two chapters of Revelations we have a detailed picture of the conditions which shall obtain on the earth "when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
"The restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began," is now finished and the "seed of the woman" has bruised the head of the Serpent.
The Tabernacle of God Is with Men
When the Lord made His Kingdom Covenant with His Chosen People at Sinai, He promised "If ve walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them.....I will set My Tabernacle among you.....And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people." (Lev. 26:3-12).
When the children of Israel "broke" this covenant and failed to receive the promised blessings, the Lord made His "New Covenant" with them under which He unconditionally promised, "I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be for an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Ezek. 37: 26-27).
And John, on the isle of Patmos, was given a preview of the fulfillment of this promise, when he saw the "new heaven and the earth" and beheld the "New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven," while "a great voice" spoke, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is h men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself, shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:1-4).
The Individual and
"The Gospel of the Kingdom"
Many people have asked, "Where do I fit into the Kingdom picture until the Kingdom is finally established?"
Peter, in the first chapter of his Second Epistle, deals with this question, and in verses 10-11 says, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail: For an entrance shall be ministered unto you unto the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
Many people have been confused as to just who is "called" to citizenship in the Kingdom, but the Scriptures are very clear in the matter.
First of all, the Lord has called every child of Adam to "justification of life" in Jesus Christ, who has taken upon Himself the sins of "all men" and has made atonement for "all" sin.
Secondly, the whole family of Israel has been called to become the nucleus of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and under the "New Covenant" He has promised to write His Law in the heart of each Israelite who will turn to Jesus Christ.
But while every Israelite has a natural birthright of Kingdom citizenship when he turns to Christ, every non-Israelite can, in Jesus Christ, become a citizen in the same Kingdom by adoption; for we read that all of those who, in the flesh, were "aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise.....in Christ
Jesus.....are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." (Eph. 2:11-19).
The third call, which is much more limited, is to membership in the Body of Jesus Christ to "rule and reign with Him." This Body is Christ's "new creation" and is a "little flock" to whom He said, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you."
Thus we find that while "all" have not been called to "rule and reign with Christ," every son of Adam has been called to citizenship in the Kingdom.
It is of the glory of citizenship in the Kingdom that David sings in the 84th Psalm, "How amiable are Thy tabernacles, 0 Lord of Hosts .....Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house.....For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."
Since the "gifts and calling of God are without repentance," and since all men are called to citizenship in the Kingdom of God, each one of us can make "our calling and election sure" by accepting the "free gift" of "justification of life" and regeneration in the Spirit through Jesus Christ, and believing that the Lord is willing and able to fulfill all of His covenants and promises made to us. We can, then, like Abraham, look "for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
"Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with such a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before" us, walking "worthy of God, who hath called us unto His Kingdom and glory," and "as long as we are in this tabernacle, stir others up by putting them in remembrance of these things."