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    July 5, 1888

    “The True Israel” The Present Truth 4, 13.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The throne of David is the only throne promised to Christ; therefore the dominion, the receiving of which is described in Daniel 7:13, 14, must be the kingdom of Israel. It was declared that his everlasting dominion should be over the house of Jacob, yet the prophet, after telling of the destruction of earthly monarchies, says: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27. Therefore it must be that all the saints of God will constitute the people of Israel, over whom Christ shall reign. This truth has been referred to before, but now more extended positive Scripture proof is in order.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.1

    1. The promise is: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21. Now the word “Israel” signifies, “a prince of God,” or “one who prevails.” It was given to Jacob after he had wrestled all night with the angel, and had gained the victory. The Lord said to him: “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:28. Therefore an overcomer is an Israelite; and the promise is that to these who are Israelites; and the promise is that those who are Israelites Christ will grant to sit with him on his throne.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.2

    2. The natural descendants of Abraham were never considered as the true Israel, and heirs according to the promise, unless they were, like him, righteous. When Christ told the Jews that if they believed in him they should know the truth and the truth should make them free, they replied, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man.” John 8:33. But Jesus showed them that they were in a worse bondage than any human slavery, namely, the bondage of sin (verse 34); and to their repeated statements that they were the children of Abraham, he replied: “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.” “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” Verses 39, 40, 44.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.3

    In like manner, also, John the Baptist told the wicked Pharisees and Sadducees not to flatter themselves that they were the children of Abraham, because God was able of the very stones to raise up children unto Abraham (Matthew 3:7-9), plainly implying that sooner than fulfill the promise to such unworthy descendants as they were, God would raise up children unto Abraham, out of the stones. That this was not a new idea, is evident from the fact that even in the wilderness, from the very time that the promise was renewed to the Jews, at the exode, the stubborn Jew who refused to humble himself before God, and confess his sin, on the day of atonement, was cut off from among his people (Leviticus 23:28, 29), while a stranger was at any time permitted to identify himself with Israel by circumcision.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.4

    Circumcision was the mark of Jewish citizenship. The man who was circumcised was known to be an Israelite; yet, as has been stated, this rite was administered to foreigners, after which they were considered the same as those that were born of Jewish parents, thus showing that the natural descendants of Abraham did not comprise all Israel. More than this, we have evidence to show that the Lord never regarded the outward mark of circumcision, whether in the person of a native Jew, or a foreigner, as evidence that that individual was really an heir of Abraham. In Romans 4:8-11 we learn what circumcision implied:-PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.5

    “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.”PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.6

    Abraham received circumcision as a sign that he had obtained “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ.” Circumcision was, therefore, a sign of righteousness. If a person was circumcised, but was not righteous, he was no more a child of Abraham than any other man; and whoever was righteous, like Abraham, was really his child. So Abraham was the father of all that believed, whether circumcised or uncircumcised. That outward circumcision did not make an Israelite, unless a man was righteous, is plainly declared by Paul in Romans 2:25-29:-PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.7

    “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.8

    This was true, not simply when the apostle wrote, but from the beginning of the history of the Jewish nation. When the Lord gave laws to his people, from Mount Sinai, he said that if they disobeyed him he would bring desolation upon their land, and they should perish among the heathen; but,-PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.9

    “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” Leviticus 26:40-42.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.10

    And so it was in the days of Moses, as well as in the days of Christ, that “an Israelite indeed,” was one in whom was “no guile.” John 1:47.PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.11

    In Romans 11 the apostle very forcibly illustrates the way in which the promises to Israel could be fulfilled, even though all the literal descendants of Jacob should forfeit their right to the inheritance. In the first and second verses he declares that God has not cast away his people. This might lead us to suppose that literal Israel are yet the chosen people of God, if he did not say in verse 5 that those that remain are “according to the election of grace.” Then he represents Israel by an olive tree. Some of the branches have been cut off, and the Gentiles, a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. This grafting is contrary to nature, for the grafts partake of the root and fatness of the tame olive tree into which they are grafted, and bear the same kind of fruit. He warns those who are thus grafted in not to boast, since they stand only by faith, and that as the natural branches were broken off because of unbelief, so they may likewise be removed. The Jews, the natural branches, may become part of the tree, but if they do, it will not be as original branches, but as spiritual grafts. Thus the people of Israel are only a spiritual people,-those who are Christ’s,-“and so all Israel shall be saved.”PTUK July 5, 1888, page 196.12

    E. J. WAGGONER.

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