Ellen G. White Writings

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The Gathering of Israel, Page 10

When he [Christ] came, ... and his nation rejected him, their probation ended.... The national probation for the enjoyment of the inheritance and kingdom [of God] was at an end. 3Litch, Lecture 2 on Matthew 24, Advent Herald, n.s. 6:292, 293, Oct. 12, 1850 (cf. his next installment, p. 300, Oct. 19). See also note 69. [Matthew 21:43 quoted.]

3. These prophecies picture what might have been if the conditions had been met.

Had they [the Jews as a nation] been faithful to their covenant obligations to their God, it would seem that they would have been blessed finally in a manner similar to the blessings promised in the new earth ....

[After the Babylonian captivity] thorough repentance, and continuance in obedience, would have again secured to them the promise of ... the ultimate state promised to, and forfeited by their fathers. 4[Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 2:180, Jan. 6, 1849.

Had the nation ... accepted Christ, it would not have fallen, but would, as a nation, have had the advantages above all other nations .... If with their fall and diminished numbers the Gentiles have been made rich, how much more would the Gentiles have been enriched if the full number (fullness ...) of the Jews had believed. 5Ibid., n.s. 5:45, March 9, 1850. See also [Bliss?], in Advent Shield, 1:432, April, 1845; Litch, Lecture 2 on Matthew 24, Advent Herald, n.s. 6:293, Oct. 12, 1850.

4. Some of these prophecies were fulfilled to the Jews in the past.

The prophecies which are supposed to hold out to the Jew and to Jerusalem a future hope [include] the prophecies which referred to the restoration of the Jews from the captivity in Babylon. 6“Address” adopted at Boston conference, in Advent Herald, n.s. 5:150, June 8, 1850. See also William Miller, “Review of Smith and Cambell” in his Views (1842), p. 179; also his “On the Return of the Jews,” ibid., p. 229; William Sheldon, in Advent Harbinger, 18:43, Jan. 27, 1849; [Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 5:44, 60, March 9 and 23, 1850.

5. Some will be fulfilled to “true Israel” in the final reward of the saved.

Then [at the resurrection of the just] will be verified the ancient promise, “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, ... and bring you into the land of Israel....” The patriarchs and their true seed will inherit the promised territory when they shall live in the resurrection state. 7R. Hutchinson, “The Kingdom of God,” part 1, Advent Herald, n.s. 6:254, Sept. 7, 1850 (cf. his part 2, ibid., p. 286, Oct. 5). See also William Miller, “On the Return of the Jews,” in his Views (1842), p. 229; Henry Dana Ward, “The Hope of Israel” (1842), reprinted in Advent Herald, n.s. 5:130, May 25, 1850; Litch, Prophetic Expositions (1842), vol. 1, p. 58; [Himes], Editorials, Advent Herald, n.s. 2:181, Jan. 6, 1849; ibid., n.s. 5:44, March 9, 1850; “Address” of Boston conference, ibid., n.s. 5:150, June 8, 1850.

6. The Old Testament prophecies must be understood in harmony with the inspired interpretation in the New Testament.

[Some promises] are explained by the inspired commentators in the New Testament, to be good to all who are of the faith of our father Abraham, to all who are graffed into the good olive-tree. 8[Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 5:44, March 9, 1850.

If we had no inspired [New Testament] expositions of the promises which relate to the inheritance of “Abraham and his seed,” there would be some excuse for applying the promises to Abraham and his seed according to the flesh .... But we should need a new revelation before we should dare to apply those promises to Jews, as such, ... for Paul has applied them otherwise. 9L. D. Mansfield, “The Future Age,” Advent Herald, n.s. 6:398, Jan. 11, 1851 (cf. preceding installment, p. 390, Jan. 4, 1851). See also Miller, “Lecture on the Two Sticks,” in his Views (1842), pp. 96, 97. Himes (unsigned editorial, Advent Herald, 13:97, May 1, 1847) and O. R. Fassett (ibid., n.s. 5:108, May 4, 1850) complained of the error of not using the New Testament interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies.

For all of these arguments against the “Judaizing” interpretation the writers cited various scriptures. It is true that not all of them stayed within the proper limits of Scriptural evidence. Some of them—like, unfortunately, certain of their Seventh-day Adventist successors in later years—went out on a limb and said that since the prophecies did not promise the literal Jews a future restoration as a theocracy, there would never be a Jewish nation in Palestine at all. But some of them, more than a century ago, pointed out the valid distinction between a return as a national, political entity and a return as the theocracy foretold in the divine prophecies.

Chapter 12—Not A Fulfillment Of Prophecy

Take Himes, for example. What would he have said if he could have looked into a crystal ball and seen the establishment of the twentieth-century State of Israel? Would he have decided that the prophetic views of the age-to-come people were right after all? Hardly—no more than he would have swung over to the British-Israel doctrine if he could have seen Allenby entering Jerusalem and the League of Nations setting up the British Mandate in Palestine.

He would have said, presumably, just what he did say as early as 1849, in discussing M. M. Noah’s great expectations: that even if the Jews should be restored nationally in Palestine under conditions of probation, their occupancy of the land would not constitute a fulfillment of the prophecies. The promise, says Himes, was of

“the land ... for an everlasting possession.” ... No mere sojourn in the land of promise could be a fulfillment of it .... As no mere residence in that land, whether as a nation, or as individuals, was the promised possession, so the longer continuance of the Jews, or another restoration of them there, under the same probationary conditions, would or can be no fulfillment of the promise. 1[Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 2:180, Jan. 6, 1849.

Curiously enough, Crozier, in the age-to-come camp, said almost the same thing later. Since he taught the literal restoration of Israel during the millennium, he contended with those who looked for it to begin before the Second Advent. Even if Rothschild should buy Palestine, gather the Jews, and rebuild the Temple, he declared, that would not be a fulfillment of prophecy. 2[Crozier], “Rothschild and the City of Jerusalem,” Advent Harbinger, n.s. 4:45, July 24, 1852.

And that was not new. Already in 1842 Henry Dana Ward had written:

Were they restored to Palestine to-day, they could not have it more than Jeptha [sic], Samuel,

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