Lost Israel Found Chapter XII

I. Prophecies not yet fulfilled (Ezek. 37): Valley of dry bones; the two sticks; the two kingdoms made one; placed in Jerusalem; hence one king. 2. Gog and Magog, the battle of. 3. The new covenant, its fulfillment yet future. 4. The possession of the land of Canaan by Ephraim and Judah. 5. The building of the temple. 6. The temple service. 7. The waters issuing from the threshold of the temple; how interpreted. 8. The apportionment of the land to the twelve tribes; the priests' portion; tile part for tile temple; the name of the city froth that day shall be, "The Lord is there"

Prophecies not yet fulfilled
(Ezekiel 37): Valley of dry bones.

1. The first unfulfilled prophecy we meet is found in Ezekiel 37: "The valley of dry bones." We have already found the former part of this prophecy now fulfilled at least in part.  The former part of this vision sees "a valley of dry bones."  This is interpreted to represent "the whole House of Israel, i. e., ten-tribed Israel.

And these dry bones God "breathes upon, and clothes with flesh and skin, and they stand up an exceeding great army." It has been shown above, that this part of the prophecy has had its literal fulfillment in the identity of the Anglo-Saxon race with the "lost tribes of Israel;" that the discovery of this wonderful truth seems as strange and incredible as would the story that a certain old graveyard made ages and ages ago has been seen by somebody to be now giving up the dead that were buried therein, and these dead were now coming forth in perfect form clothed with flesh and skin, and, having laid off their grave-clothes, are now clothed in garments of modern form; and these are all veritable living men and women!

The battle of Gog and Magog.

2. The prophecies touching this subject are found in Zech.14:2; Ezk. 38:2, 3; Joel, 3:1,2;  Ezk. 39. These prophecies all point to a time of great warfare in the land of Canaan in the vicinity of Jerusalem; but no one is specific as to the time -- whether before or after some other specified prediction.

Like all other prophecies in the Bible, no one can know the time, the day or or the year of fulfillment, till tile event actually takes place. All prophecies are thus given, so that nothing of a chronological order can be discerned by man. Hence it is found that the same prophet will utter a prediction in the former part of his prophecy, which is found to have its fulfillment far down in the history of the world, while in other parts of the book are recorded prophecies whose fulfillment is equally indefinite. In all cases, no prophecy was ever known as to the time of its fulfillment till just before the actual event, and that only by certain sign which should portend the fulfillment.

This is God's plan, not man's; for if the how or the where, of every or of any prediction were given, how certainly might men conspire to thwart the fulfillment. But, as it is, there is no possibility of doing this, and hence we find that all the divine predictions from the first have come to pass when none were looking for them -- "as in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man."

Every one comes unexpectedly, just as lost Israel has been found in the Anglo-Saxons, where and when no one was looking for Israel to be found.; So, also, of the several unfulfilled prophecies which seem now to be struggling at the very door for entrance. Who can tell which is first to enter, or how long a time each shall require for its fulfillment? God only knows. And in this I, at least, do rejoice -- yea, and will rejoice.

The new covenant, its fulfillment yet future.

3.The new covenant . (Jer. 31:3l-34.) We have seen in our remarks on this prophecy that a very partial fulfillment seemed to have been made in the conversion of every individual after the coming of Christ, and yet to my own mind this is not certain; for David says, B. C. 1000, "Blessed is the man whose iniquity is pardoned, whose sin is covered." Was not the conversion in that day the same as under the gospel? But the promise of the new covenant was made 500 years after David's time. Must not, then, the blessing of this new covenant be something different from anything before known?

In this new covenant the blessing is to be universal. And not only so, but the promise is, "They shall all know me, from the least to the greatest of them;" and to me the promise seems to imply that there will be no more sin.

Again, this new covenant is to be unlike that made at Mt. Sinai -- "which covenant they brake," saith the Lord; but this new covenant is not to be broken, because the fulfillment of it does not depend on man, but on God alone. In this covenant God says, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Now this seems to be something different from what takes place in the conversion of a sinner to Jesus Christ -- different, not so much in kind, as in degree; for in conversion the work of sanctification seems to be begun only, but here this work is completed at once, and that, too, on the whole house of both Israel and of Judah; all of them, "from the least of them to the greatest of them saith the Lord."

So that as yet we have received but the earnest - -the first fruit of the fulfillment of this wonderful covenant. Its greatest blessings must be yet in store, to be poured out when Israel and Judah shall have become united; henceforth to be no more two nations, but one nation, and when they shall have one king to reign over them.; Which king? Can there be any other than Jesus Christ ?

The possession of the land of Canaan by Ephraim and Judah.
(Gen. 15:18, and 13:14-15.)

4. In these two passages is the promise to Abraham and to his seed of the everlasting possession of the whole land of Canaan, "from the River of Egypt to the great River Euphrates." But as the seed of Abraham had possession of this land but a few centuries at most, the fulfillment of the promise is, therefore, in the future. And this fulfillment must imply, i. e., guarantee, the actual possession of this land by the Anglo-Saxons; together with the Jews,

who are to be returned to Zion, "one of a tribe and two of a family," who are the seed of Abraham, and this whole country must thus remain in their possession forever. "For, lo! the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it." (Jer. 30:2.) This promise, therefore, must have its fulfillment in the future. See Ezk. 36:8-12, also verses 24-32. (Ezk. 39:23-29.

The building of the temple.
(Ezekiel, chapters 40, 41, 42, and 43.)

5. The teaching of these four chapters is divine. Ezekiel says that the vision was made to him in the twenty-fifth year of their captivity, i. e., the Babvlonish captivity; which, according to the commonly received chronology was B. C. 574.

Then follows a description of the scene: "In the visions of God brought He me into the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain, whereon was as it were the frame of a city on the south. And he said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall show thee; and declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel."

Here, then, the prophet is charged by the Almighty God himself, to apply his eyes, his ears, and his heart, with their deepest intent, to understand and to declare to the house of Israel all that should be made known by this vision. We must believe, therefore, that the vision is of no trivial importrace, but that it is to make known things that are certain to take place, and in the identical manner in which they are shown. If this is not so, then what can we do? The charge is specific, and the words of the vision are in a language known to the prophet, indeed, it is vernacular, so that there could be no possibility of a maunderstanding.

The location also, is Jerusalem, the city known to him from his youth. And the temple with all its appurtenances, is a material temple, whose size and form, with all its measurements, are specified with the utmost exactness . The measuring rod is declared to be of a certain definite length, viz., six cubits long, and that there may be no mistake, the kind of cubit is specified, viz., a cubit and a hand-breadth, thus making the exact length of the sacred cubit, which is 25 inches.

But the Babylonish cubit is said to have been 21 inches, and this with the addition of 4 inches -- the hand-breadth -- makes 25 inches, equal to the cubit used by Moses in constructing the ark, the tabernacle, etc., at Mt. Sinai. Is it possible, therefore, to err as to the teachings of this wonderful vision?

And then, when we consider further, that all the prophetic announcements, by what prophet so ever, and at what time so ever made, that have had their fulfillment up to this time, these in all cases have been fulfilled literaly. Have we not a right to expect the same fulfillment of this prophecy? (Ezk. 40., etc.)

I am shut up to this conclusion. I see no possible escape. And how much so ever this may go against our previous theories, I still say, I see no possible escape from the truth of a literal interpretation. I cannot bring it to pass -- no man can bring it to pass, but God can; and in this assurance I rest.

The temple service. The ordinances thereof.
(See Ezekiel. 44, 45, 46.)

6. As these ordinances are about to be announced, the prophet is charged again from on high to give the most earnest heed to all the instructions now to be given, and to declare all things to the children of Israel, in the very words given by God to the prophet. Then follow the ordinances for the priests, which are given with the minutest specification. Next the portion of land for the sanctuary. Next for the city -- and for the priests and for the prince, and ordinances for the prince. Chap. 46:1-9, ordinances for the prince in worship, and for the people, v. 16, etc.

Now these ordinances are given with the severest charge to the prophet, that they be established, in every minute particular, in accordance with the letter of the command; no intimation, even, of any deviation or of any figurative interpretation, being given, but the charge is to declare all as made known to the prophet by the Almighty; so that it seems impossible to conceive of an ordinance to be announced with a more perfect literality of meaning than are these ordinances, one and all.

And could the prophet doubt as to the meaning of these instructions any more than Moses did at Mt. Sinai, to make all things according to the pattern shown in the Mount, or than Solomon in building the temple?

The waters issuing from the threshold of the temple; how interpreted.
(See Ezekiel 47:1-13.)

7. This must be interpreted either literally or spiritually. Literally,, if it will admit of no other interpretation, but if it will thus admit, then some other interpretation may be sought. I am inclined to think the interpretation may be both spiritual and literal --literal it certainly must be; and I have no objection to a spiritual interpretation also, if one call be properly made from the text.

The apportionment of the land to the twelve tribes; the priests' portion; tile part for tile temple; the name of the city froth that day shall be, "The Lord is there"

8. The border's of the land, and apportionment of the same to the tribes. The fifty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel is devoted to the description of the land of Canaan, its various boundaries, and the assignment to each of the twelve tribes their portion. In describing the hind it seems that the boundaries mentioned do not differ materially from those given by Joshua, when the tribes had their various lots assigned them at their first entrance into the land of Canaan; that this portion of Canaan thus described is but a small part of the original grant to Abraham, which was "from the River of Egypt unto the great River Euphrates," and extending north and south as far as the eye could reach from that mount of observation from which God pointed out to Abraham the far reaching boundaries of the land granted to his seed by a warranty deed as an everlasting possession.

But the divisioning of this limited Canaan is found to be quite different from that made at the first under Joshua. Here, in Ezekiel. 48, the portions are bounded from east to west, extending the whole length of the tract, the west end of every claim bounded by the Mediterranean Sea; six of the tribes located on the north of the temple, and six on the south of the temple -- the temple being thus in the middle of the tribes as located by their boundaries given by divine command.

Now in this arrangement there is perceived nothing in conflict with the original settlement of this same land. The only difference is in the description of the portion made to each of the tribes; the twelve tribes are all named its at the first, and their several apportions all contained within the bounds of their lots under Joshua.

Can the inquiry, then, now be raised as to the interpretation of this scripture, by which the land of Canaan is to be apportioned out the second time to the twelve tribes of' Israel? Yes, just as reasonably as when the twelve tribes were settled in Canaan by divine command. And there is just as much evidence that the tribes named by Ezekiel will be spiritual beings, as in the days of Joshua, those twelve tribes that he led out of the wilderness and across the River Jordan on dry land, into Canaan, were spiritual phantoms and not real men and women of flesh and blood!

Here we reach the end of the prophetic predictions concerning the future establishment of the kingdom of God in this world. And God himself closes these predictions with the exclamation: "The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is here"!