CAN WE FIND NATIONAL ISRAEL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
IF WE ARE TO COMPREHEND the Divine plan we must take the Old and the New Testaments as a connected whole, not as separate revelations. Our Lord told the Jews: "Ye search the Scriptures " (the Old Testament) "and these are they which bear witness of Me."
Now we know that the Abrahamic covenant was conditional as to Abraham, but we also know that he fulfilled the condition (Gen. 22: 18): "because thou hast obeyed my voice," but it was unconditional to his seed, and because of the oath God swore to Abraham, his seed have not been cast off "For I am the Lord I change not,.therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Also in Jer. 31:35-36, it is stated that as long as the sun, moon and stars give light there is to be an Israel nation. "If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever." This cannot be the Jews, for they ceased to be a nation after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Daniel also assures us that this stone Kingdom of Israel is to endure for ever.
Many objectors think that Israel is not mentioned in the New Testament, but they forget that the new covenant was made by the death of the Testator, our Lord Jesus Christ with the House of Israel and the House of Judah (Heb.
, because of their transgressions under the first covenant (Heb. 9:15). This error arises from the idea that God had finally cast off both Houses of Israel and Judah, and they read this meaning into St Paul's statement in Acts 28 when turning from the Jews who refused to hear him, "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles" (Nations), ignoring his words, "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Rom. 9:4); and again (Rom. 11:1,2), "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid." God did not cast off His people which He foreknew.
If read carefully, it is clear that the Epistle to the Galatians is addressed to Israelites whose fathers had been under the Mosaic Law, for he remonstrates with them for again wanting to be under the law. See chapters 3:23-24 and 4:3,5,9. We have seen that the Epistle to the Romans was written to Israelites, and there is much evidence that the Epistle to the Hebrews was so written.
St James addresses his to the Twelve tribes and St. Peter his to the "Sojourners of the Dispersion," who were undoubtedly the people Israel referred to by Hosea when he told them God would not have mercy on them for a time, but that they were again to be brought into covenant with Him. So that from "Ye are not my people," it should be said unto them, "Ye are the sons of the living God" (Hos. 1:6-10). Hosea was admittedly a prophet to the House of Israel.
Coming to the Gospel of St Matthew (15:24), we have our Lord's statement,"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." In Matthew 10, when our Lord sent out the twelve apostles, He said, "Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," and this injunction must refer to the whole of this dispensation, for it finishes with " Verily, 1 say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" (verse 23), showing how great a nation Israel must have become by that time.
Again Caiaphas, moved by the Holy Ghost, prophesied, "that Jesus should die for that nation ; and not for that nation only (i.e. the Jews), but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" (John 11:51-52). These in Caiaphas's time could only be the cast-out House of Israel.
Our Lord's parable of the husbandmen (Matt. 21:33-46) refers to the rejection and crucifixion, of Christ by the House of Judah and so the "other husbandmen" or the "nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" must of necessity be Israel.
For is not our Lord "the Redeemer of Israel" and the Nation so redeemed must be the one capable of bringing forth the fruits of the Kingdom which was taken from the Jews and to be given to a Nation ?
Cannot we now claim that from Genesis to Revelation God's scheme of rescue from the fall, in the redemption of Israel, is obvious, and that, after that redemption through the revelation given them, they were to carry the Gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. This work was to be done by a Nation (Israel) and history proves that it has been done by Britain.
The Seven Times
THERE IS YET another way of proving where the Nation of Israel must be, that of chronology. The House of Israel was to be punished Seven Times for her sins (Lev. 26:28). Hence students of prophecy would know that the birthright blessings could not be manifest before 2,520 years from the Captivity. The great Seven Times (7 x 360 years) did not commence until 975 B.C. when the separation between Israel and Judah took place. 2,520 years from 975 B.C. would take us to A.D. 1546, the time of the Reforrnation. The first session of the Council of Trent was in 1545.
What great Protestant nation ("Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord and my servant whom 1 have chosen") (Isa. 43:10) in the isles afar off North and West of Palestine then came specially to the fore?
Again reckoning the Seven Times from the captivity date 721-676 B.C. it runs out in A.D. 1800-1845. What nation then became united and rapidly obtained a great Colonial Empire? The British Realm was named the United Kingdom on January Ist, 1800. Again we find her at war with Napoleon, who had attempted to obtain world dominion, which belonged to Israel.
Again there is the sentence of Hos. 6:1-2: "Come and let us return unto the Lord.. ... After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." St Peter gives the clue (II Pet. 3:9): "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years" (see also Psalm 90:4). Now 2,000 years from 721 B.C. runs out in A.D. 1280. In A.D. 1283 we see the union of England and Wales.
The rniddle of the third day brings us again to A.D. 1780 when Israel is being revived, though struggling for life with the whole of Europe.
Let us remember that in 1603, at Queen Elizabeth's death, England possessed little or no land whatever beyond the British Seas, and even in 1650 the population was less than 5.5 millions. Now this small United Kingdom of Isles in the West has grown to over 14.5 million square miles, more than a quarter of the Earth's Surface, and rules over 425 millions of subjects without counting in Manasseh-U.S.A. at all.
Surely, here we have the grand and unique illustration of the Prodigal Son Parable, for ever since 1800, while we were yet a long way off, Our Father saw us and has welcomed us home again.
Again Jeremiah says of Israel, "in the latter days, ye shall consider it" (Jer. 23:20). In the diagram we see these "latter days" are the days after our Lord's coming and before His Second Advent. Hosea says that Israel "shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:5), and Moses cries, "Oh, that they were wise, and that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end" (Deut. 32:29).
It is now universally admitted that "the latter days" is the time between our Lord's First and Second Advent, and is so shown on the diagram. We have considered Hosea's (the prophet of Israel) days and they also are shown on the diagram.
Now let us consider Moses' seven times of punishment. These are seen in the diagram to start at 721 B.C. and of course 2,520 years takes us again to A.D. 1800, since when the British Empire has grown. In the diagram is shown how the various tribes entered England and in 1801, the Union of Jacob being complete, the Union Jack appeared as the Ensign set up for all the Nations.
Now that we have seen the main dates given by the Seven Times or 2,520 years' cycle in the case of the ten-tribed Nation Israel, let us apply the same measuring rod to the House of Judah.
Taking Grattan Guinness's dates, we have the rnain starting-points, 604 B.C., the first taking of Jerusalern by Nebuchadnezzar, 598 B.C.; 590 B.C. the departure of the Shekinah glory from the Temple; 587 B.C. the final captivity of Jerusalem.
The first of these terminal dates runs out in A.D. 1917, when General Allenby freed Jerusalem from the Turks during the Great War, thus fulfilling our Lord's declaration that Jerusalem should be trodden down by the Gentiles till the Times of the Gentiles were complete.
The next date runs out in 1923, when Turkey and Great Britain officially made peace after the war and Turkey gave up Palestine and Great Britain received the mandate for that country from the League of Nations.
The third date ran out in September 1931, when Great Britain went off the Gold Standard: the first step in freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the Mark of the Beast.
And 1936, the last date, should see the beginning of the change of the Kingdom of this world into the Kingdom of our Lord, in the Exodus of Christian Civilization from Economic bondage.
Compare this simple explanation of the finding of the Book with the laboured theories of the Higher Critics.
We have shown in the diagram the Roman occupation of part of England. It is imagined by some that Britain was once part of the Roman Empire and therefore cannot be that separate Stone Kingdom opposed to the Babylonian succession of Empires.
This is not so. Rome fought with Britain for centuries, but never conquered more than part of England, but at that time the Kingdom with its Coronation Stone was in Ireland, and, so the Kingdom was never, even in danger. Although Rome strove with all the might of her worldwide Empire, she never conquered. Finally she withdrew largely through the attacks of the Goths: the main body of God's people who were on their way through Europe.
The date 1844-5 shown in the diagram marked the passing of the Corn Laws, the great Railway development, the passing of the Navigation Act, the Factory Acts, and consequently an enormous growth of the trade, and population of the country.