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An Address to the Public, and Especially the Clergy

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    THE MANNER IN WHICH THOSE PROMISES ARE TO BE FULFILLED

    They are to be fulfilled at the resurrection.APEC 47.1

    1. The promise of the possession of that land was given to Abraham personally, in connection with his seed, for an everlasting possession. But Abraham has never possessed it at all. But when Moses at the bush called the Lord “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” he taught the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and especially the fact, that those patriarchs would live again, and enjoy the fulfilment of the promise made them. See Luke 20:34-38. In that state they die no more, and may enjoy an eternal or everlasting inheritance; neither do they marry or are they given in marriage, but are equal to the angels. Among Abraham’s seed there shall be “neither male nor female.”APEC 47.2

    2. Abraham offered up his son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called;” “accounting that God was able to raise him from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Hebrews 11:17-19. Is it not more than intimated by the above text, that it was only by a resurrection of the dead Abraham expected the covenant of God to be fulfilled to him and his seed?APEC 47.3

    3. Paul, in his plea before Agrippa, Acts 26:6-8, declares, “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” He taught the same thing, Acts 24:21, where he declared it was the hope of the resurrection for which he was called in question. From this text we learn that, in the estimation of the apostle, the promise of God to the fathers was a promise of the resurrection; and, furthermore, that the twelve tribes so understood it, and served God with the hope of gaining that blessed state, not a literal earthly inheritance. Other evidence of the same fact will appear in the subsequent pages.APEC 47.4

    The second point is, to examine those texts which are supposed to predict the restoration of the Jews to the land of Canaan, and show their agreement with the original promise.APEC 48.1

    The first text which presents itself on this point, is Isaiah 11:11, 12: “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, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”APEC 48.2

    From this text it is argued,-(1.) “That it promises a restoration of the Jews. (2.) That restoration was not their deliverance from Babylonish captivity, because that deliverance was from Chaldea; this, from the four corners of the earth. (3.) That it was to be subsequently to the Mosaic dispensation, when a root of Jesse shall stand for an ensign to the nations, and to it the Gentiles shall seek. But no restoration under the gospel dispensation has yet taken place; therefore it is yet future.”APEC 48.3

    These three points I admit; and will now show that the promise is to be fulfilled in a state of future blessedness and glory.APEC 49.1

    1. It was to be fulfilled, not when the rod out of the stem of Jesse became the Mediator of the world, but when he became the Judge. Isaiah 11:1-4: “With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” But this separation and destruction of the wicked is not to take place until the end of the world. Matthew 13.APEC 49.2

    2. It was to be fulfilled when a state of perfect peace and purity existed all over the earth. See from verse 5th to 9th. “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Such a state we are not to look for until, at the coming of the Son Of Man, the dominion under the whole heaven is given to him. Then will be introduced the “glorious rest” promised verse 10th, and not before. But,APEC 49.3

    3. The Gentiles as well as Jews are to share in that glory; and for all the nations, as well as for Israel and Judah, the ensign is to be set up. From these considerations, it is evident this text predicts a state of everlasting glory in the kingdom of God; and thus perfectly harmonizes with the original promise to the patriarchs.APEC 49.4

    Passing over, for the sake of brevity, several texts in Jeremiah, the next which will claim attention is the 36th and 37th chapters of Ezekiel. This prophecy is decidedly the clearest and strongest passage in the Bible, bearing on this point. And if the doctrine of a literal and temporal gathering of the Jews to Palestine is taught in the Bible, it is in those two chapters. The following are some of the promises in the above-named chapters.APEC 50.1

    Ezekiel 36:8, 10: “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it. And I will settle you after your old estates.”APEC 50.2

    Again; verses 24 and 28: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and will gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave unto your fathers”, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,) and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”APEC 50.3

    Once more; chap 37:21, 22: “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and will bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all,” etc.APEC 50.4

    As the above texts are the strongest evidence the Bible affords of the return of the Jews to Palestine; so, also, when taken in connection with, their context, are they a conclusive argument that God will fulfil his ancient promise to the patriarchs, in the resurrection state, and in a world of everlasting blessedness.APEC 51.1

    This fact is very clearly illustrated in the 27th chapter, where the prophet was presented with a vision of a valley full of dry bones, and was asked if those bones could live. He was then commanded to prophesy to them, “and say, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” So he prophesied as he was commanded, first to the bones, on which they came together, and flesh and sinews covered them; then he prophesied to the wind to breathe on them, “and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”APEC 51.2

    The vision was then explained, and the prophet was told what those bones and their resurrection represented. The bones represented the whole house of Israel. Their revivification represented, not a mystical, but a literal resurrection of “the whole house of Israel” “from their graves,” verses 11, 14. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live,” etc. I know it is said this is only a strong figure, to denote the utter desolation to which the Jews have been brought; and also to express the magnitude of the work of their restoration; that it is as great as it would be to raise them from their graves.APEC 51.3

    But I deny the right thus to dispose of the subject: there is not a precedent in the Bible for such an interpretation. I admit that the first ten verses are a figurative representation of some future event; but the four succeeding verses give a true and literal exposition of the meaning of those figures. Daniel 8:20, is an example of the same mode of communicating prophetic knowledge. “The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia.” The 3rd and 4th verses of Daniel 8. were figurative or symbolical representations of future events; but the twentieth verse is a literal explanation of these symbols. So in the present case; the first ten verses represent, by symbols, what was to come in futurity, and the four succeeding verses explain literally and truly what those symbols mean.APEC 52.1

    Examples of the same kind might be multiplied to any desirable extent; and among them all we shall not find a single instance, where the explanation does not give the literal meaning of the symbols. “The whole house of Israel” are therefore to be raised “from their graves, and brought into their own land;” “the land which God promised to their fathers,” etc. But who are TheIsrael” to whom this promise is made? Not all the literal seed of Jacob; “for they are not all Israel, who are of Israel;” that is, the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God. But the children of the promise are accounted for the seed, Romans 9:6, 8. “The house of Israel” and “the seed of Abraham” are, therefore, all the children of God, in or by faith in Jesus Christ. At the second coming of Christ, then, all that are his shall be raised from the dead; “For if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:2, 9.APEC 52.2

    That the prophecy refers to an eternal state, is clear from such expressions as the following:—APEC 53.1

    “And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children’s children, forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever.” Verse 25.APEC 53.2

    “Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them and multiply them, and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore,” verse 26. The eternity of that state can be expressed no more fully than in those texts. They cannot have their fulfilment in time, however long the period. And it is equally evident that the prophecy is to have its accomplishment in the heavenly world. Let the following verse, Ezekiel 37:27, “My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” be compared with Revelation 21:3: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of god is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” If this last text introduces us to an eternal state, so also does the former; for the one cannot be fulfilled without accomplishing the other. And it can be shown with equal clearness, that every text in the Old Testament, which is generally quoted to sustain the doctrine of the restoration of the Jews, refers to the same glorious event, the everlasting glorification of the righteous. But it will be unnecessary in this place to enter into an examination of them.APEC 53.3

    There is, however, one text in the New Testament, frequently quoted, which demands a passing notice:—APEC 54.1

    Romans 11:25, 26: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written, There shall come out of Zion a deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”APEC 54.2

    Remark 1. The time when all Israel shall be saved: When “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” “Fulness of the Gentiles” signifies the full complement of Gentiles. When, therefore, all the Gentiles who are to be saved, have come in, and not before, “all Israel shall be saved.” It cannot take place, therefore, until Christ comes in the clouds of heaven to gather his elect from the four winds. See Luke 21:24-27. “And they [the Jews] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The Jews cannot, therefore, return and rebuild Jerusalem until the Gentile day is ended. No more Gentiles will be brought in after that. But the Saviour continues, and tells us what shall take place when the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.”APEC 54.3

    So that the Jews will never be gathered from their dispersion, nor Jerusalem be rebuilt, until Christ comes to gather his elect. And then “all [spiritual] Israel will be saved.”APEC 55.1

    Remark 2. The Jews were cut off or cast away From their exclusive church privileges, for the reconciling of the world. For while they remained the exclusive church, as before Christ they were, the Gentile world could not be brought in and share those privileges and blessings. And that is the only sense in which the Jews have been cut off, or cast away. For they have always had an equal chance with the rest of the world to obtain and enjoy gospel blessings, and a remnant have always been in possession of them. And in this light the apostle, with great propriety and force, inquires, Romans 11:15, “If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?” As if he had said, If the Gentile world could not be reconciled or brought within the pale of the church, without rejecting or casting off the Jews from exclusive privileges, how can they ever be restored until they rise from the dead, without again cutting off the whole world beside?”APEC 55.2

    Finally; If the text, “All Israel shall be saved,” has any reference to the Jews, as such, it asserts the final universal salvation of all the tribes of Israel, and it is impossible to disprove it. But the Lord Jesus Christ did assert, that while the Jews should see some, from the east, west, north, and south, sit down in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they themselves should be thrust out. Luke 13:28, 29. Paul also testified that there was no respect of persons with God. But to every one who does good he will award eternal life; to the Jew first, then also to the Gentile. But tribulation and anguish to every one that doeth evil, to the Jew first, and then also to the Gentile.APEC 55.3

    It must therefore be spiritual, not literal Israel, who will “all be saved” when the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. May we all be of that happy number.APEC 56.1

    I have now done what I proposed, viz., to show that those texts which are supposed to refer to a future and temporal restoration of the Jews, do perfectly harmonize with the original promise made to the patriarchs, of a resurrection from the dead, to possess an eternity of blessedness in the New Jerusalem.APEC 56.2

    The two most formidable objections having been disposed of, the way is now open to proceed to the evidence of the near approach of the kingdom of God. For if there is to be a temporal millennium, and the Jews are to be restored, such a kingdom as that predicted by the prophets, Jesus Christ, and his apostles, cannot be near. But it has been shown, above, that no such millennium or restoration of the Jews is promised, or to be looked for; therefore we may look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”APEC 56.3

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