Elpis Israel/Chapter 17

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Elpis Israel by John Thomas
Chapter 17 -- The Resurrection of Israel - The Second Exodus - The Millennium - "The End"

IN the previous chapters the reader has been conducted to the crisis that awaits the world at the conclusion of the time of the end. The two great powers of the day-namely, Gogue, the lord of the earth, and the Lion of Tarshish, the king of the sea, have been brought up in battle array in the region of the Dead Sea. This state of things will have been created by the angel of the sixth vial, whose province it is to gather the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable, with their armies, into the land of Israel, which is "the great winepress of the wrath of God (Rev 14:19,20) for a space of 200 miles. This will be brought about upon the same principles as the fulfilment of all other prophecies in ages past-namely, through the policy of "the powers that be," controlled by God. The insurrection of "the earth" in 1848 created a situation, in which the Roman question, the German question, and the Turco-Hungarian question, have become the elements of an inevitable war throughout Europe, which will terminate in the final destruction of the Austrian Empire and the Papacy, and the subjection of the Porte and the toe-kingdoms to the Autocrat.

But without some other element to complicate affairs, things might settle down into a mere substitution of one gigantic despotism for the many lesser ones that now exist. It is necessary, therefore, that some other ingredient be introduced into the mess, in order that the course of events may be directed into an eastern channel, by which the crisis may be transferred from Europe to the Holy Land. This political element is found in the commercial interests of Britain in India; in the importance of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt being in the possession of a friendly people to the preservation of those interests; and in the policy of colonizing Palestine with Jews, and so attaching them to the interests of the country by which they are protected. Thus the ascendancy of the Autocrat in Constantinople and the West, by the jeopardy in which it puts the commerce and dominion of the Lion-power, excites the British Government to the adoption of a policy which, in its application to emergencies as they arise, elaborates the restoration of the Jews, and the resuscitation of the East.

The restoration of Israel is a most important feature in the divine economy. It is indispensable to the setting up of the Kingdom of God; for they are the kingdom, having been constituted such by the covenant of Sinai, as it is written, "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." (Exod. 19:6) The apostles understood this well enough, and so do all who understand the Gospel of the Kingdom. After his resurrection, Jesus conversed with them during forty days, "speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." This was certainly long enough, under the instruction of such a teacher, to enable them to understand the subject well. It took possession of their minds and hearts, and created in them a desire for its immediate establishment. Hence, they put the question to him, saying, "Lord, wilt thou AT THIS TIME restore AGAIN the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:3,6)

It is evident from this, that they regarded Israel as having once possessed the kingdom, and expected the same Israel to possess it again. No other meaning can be put upon their words: for to restore a thing "again" to a party implies that they had once possessed it before. When Israel had the kingdom, they were ruled by Israelites, and not by Gentiles, for a foreigner could hold no office under their law. This was not the case in the days of the apostles, for they were ruled by the Roman Senate, and kings of its appointment. But it will not be so when the kingdom is restored to them again. The horns of the Gentiles will then be cast out of the land, and they will be ruled by "Israelites indeed" who will have become Jews by adoption; for no Jews or Gentiles after the flesh can have any part in the government of Israel and the Israelitish empire, which will embrace all nations, unless their Jewish citizenship is based upon a higher principle than natural birth. The flesh constitutes a Jew a subject of the kingdom, but confers on him no right to sit and rule upon the thrones of the house of David. This is reserved for Christ and his apostles, who "shall sit upon twelve thrones of his glory"; and for all other Jews and Gentiles who shall have become "Jews inwardly," for whom the dorninion under the whole heaven is decreed in the benevolence of God.

There are several strange fancies in the world concerning the restoration of the Jews. Some deny it in toto, and yet impose upon themselves the imagination that they believe the gospel of the kingdom! If any such have followed me through this work, they will, I think, long since have concluded that they have been in error. Others advance a little further, and regard it as an "open question" -- a position that may be disputed, but for which more may be said than against it, but concerning which they are not able to decide. This is tantamount to saying that the gospel is an open question, and that they really cannot say whether the kingdom of God will have subjects or not. There are others who believe that Israel will certainly be restored, but they clog it with a condition which in effect makes its fulfilment impossible, or eternally remote. They tell us that they will not be restored until they are converted to Christianity!

By Christianity they mean the inanity preached from the "sacred desks" of the apostasy -- the pulpit-gospels of the day; "for," say they, "if they abide not in unbelief they shall be grafted into their own olive again." This is quite true; but the fallacy consists in construing this to mean that their restoration is predicated on their believing what the Gentiles teach. The Gentiles themselves are in unbelief. How, then, can they convert the Jews? "Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou, Gentile, standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee;" for "thou also shalt be cut off if thou continue not in his goodness" (Rom. 11:20-23). Both Jews and Gentiles are faithless in the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus. The Jews believe one part of it, and the Gentiles another part of it, but even these several parts they adulterate with so many traditions, that neither Jews nor Gentiles believe anything as they ought. Therefore, as He broke off Israel by the instrumentality of the Romans, so He is now about to break off the Gentiles by the judgments soon to be poured out upon them.

The work of grafting Israel into their own olive belongs to God, who, as the scripture saith, "is able to graft them in again." No one, I presume, will dispute His ability. As I have shown elsewhere, He has assigned the work of restoration to the Lord Jesus, who will graft them in again upon a principle of faith. He will bring their unbelief to an end in a way peculiar to the emergency of the case. When the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, then Israel's blindness will be done away.

The restoration of the Jews is a work of time, and will require between fifty and sixty years to accomplish. When Gogue comes to be lord of Europe, like Pharaoh of old he will not permit Israel to remove themselves and their wealth beyond his reach. His dominion must, therefore, be broken before the north will obey the command to "give up," and the south to "keep not back"; and even then Israel must fight their way to Palestine as in the days of old.

The truth is, there are two stages in the restoration of the Jews, the first is before the battle of Armageddon; and the second, after it; but both pre-millennial. God has said, "I will save the tents of Judah first." This is the first stage of restoration. Jesus has already been "a stone of stumbling and rock of offence" to Judah and his companions for 40 years, that is from the day of Pentecost to the destruction of the temple, so that they need not to be subjected to a like process any more. But the word saith, "He shall be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel" (Isaiah 8:14); now it is well known that this has not been fulfilled in relation to the ten tribes. They did not inhabit Canaan at the time Jesus sojourned and ministered there. The gospel of the kingdom has never been preached to them in his name; hence, they are only acquainted with him as they have heard of him by the report of Jesuits, and the priests of Gentile superstitions -- a report which is incapable of making men responsible for not believing.

It remains, then, after Judah's tents are saved, to make use of them as apostles to their brethren of the other tribes, to preach to them a word from Jerusalem, (Isaiah 2:2) inviting them to come out from the nations, and to rendezvous in 'the wilderness of the people," preparatory to a return to a land flowing with milk and honey, in which Judah is dwelling safely under the sceptre of the Seed promised to their fathers. Judah's submission to the Lord Jesus, as the result of seeing him, will give them no right to eternal life, or to the glory and honour of the kingdom. It just entitles them to the blessedness of living in the land under the government of Messiah and the saints. So with the Ten Tribes; their faith in the word preached will entitle them to no more than a union into one kingdom and nation with Judah; and a participation in the blessings of Shiloh's reign during their natural lives. If any of them attain to eternal life and glory, it will be predicated on some other premises than those which precede their restoration.

There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation, which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth, but more immediately of getting rich in silver and gold by commerce with India, and in cattle and goods by their industry at home under the efficient protection of the British power. And this their expectation will not be deceived; for, before Gogue invades their country, it is described by the prophet, as "a land of unwalled villages, whose inhabitants are at rest, and dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates; and possessed of silver and gold, cattle and goods, dwelling in the midst of the land." (Ezek. 38:11,12,13). Now any person acquainted with the present insecure condition of Palestine under the Ottoman dominion must be satisfied from the testimony, that some other power friendly to Israel must then have become paramount over the land, which is able to guarantee protection to them, and to put the surrounding tribes in fear. This is all that is needed, namely, security for life and property, and Palestine would be as eligible for Jewish emigration as the United States have proved for the Gentiles.

But to what part of the world shall we look for a power whose interests will make it willing, as it is able, to plant the ensign of civilization upon the mountains of Israel? The reader will, doubtless, anticipate my reply from what has gone before. I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and of promoting its colonization by the Jews; their present intentions, however, are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt. The present decisions of "statesmen are destitute of stability. A shooting star in the political firmament is sufficient to disturb all the forces of their system; and to stultify all the theories of their political astronomy. The finger of God has indicated a course to be pursued by Britain which cannot be evaded, and which her counsellors will not only be willing, but eager, to adopt when the crisis comes upon them.

The decree has long since gone forth which calls upon the Lion of Tarshish to protect the Jews. Upwards of a thousand years before the British were a nation, the prophet addresses them as the power which at "evening-tide" should interest themselves in behalf of Israel. In view of this, "the time of the end," he says, "The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind"; or, as it is expressed by another, "and they became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them"; (Dan. 2:35) "Behold," says the former prophet, concerning Israel at this time, "at evening-tide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us" (Isaiah 7:13,14) referring, doubtless, to the overthrow and destruction of Gogue. Now, the invasion of their country by a spoiler at "evening-tide," who robs them, implies their previous return. This finished colonization Isaiah styles, "a present unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled"; for, speaking of "the time of the end," he says, "In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled . . to the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts, the Mount Zion." (Isaiah 18:7) But, then, the question returns upon us, by whom is the present to be made? The prophet answers this question in the first verse, saying, "Ho! to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Khush: that sendeth ambassadors by sea, and on vessels of papyrus upon the waters, Go ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from this and onward: a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers {invading armies (Isaiah 8:7)} have spoiled." Now, the geography of this passage points to the Lion-power of Tarshish as "the land shadowing with wings." Taking Judea, where the prediction was delivered, as the place of departure, the word "beyond" points to the east; that is, running a line from Judea across the Euphrates and Tigris, "the rivers of Khushistan," it passes into Hindostan, where "the Merchants of Tarshish, and its young lions," rule the land. (The British ruled the land "beyond the rivers of Kush" or Ethiopia, in Africa, that is, Egypt, the Soudan, and the far South beyond the Atbara and the Blue and White Nile in 1848 when this publication was written)

But the British power is still further indicated by the insular position of its seat of government; for the "sending of fleet messengers by the sea," implies that the shadowing power is an island-state. Ambassadors are sent from the residence of the Court, and if they proceed to their destination by sea, the throne of the power must be located in an island. The text, therefore, points to the north and east, to England and Hindostan, as the land shadowing Israel with its wings. To Britain, then, the prophet calls as the protector of the Jewish nation in the evening-tide trouble, and commands it to send its messengers in swift vessels because the crisis is urgent, and to plant Israel as "an ensign upon the mountains" (Isaiah 18:3); as it is written in another place, saying, "The Lord shall set 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" (Isaiah 11:12).

When this is accomplished to the required extent it becomes a notable sign of the times. It will then be seen that the political Euphrates is evaporated to dryness, and that Israelis walking in the way of the kings of the east. In view of this, the prophet addresses mankind, saying, "All the inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, tremble, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, shall hear." The ensign being planted on the mountains of Israel by Britain, the Lord will cause the Assyrian Autocrat to "blow a trumpet," summoning the hosts of his nations to war; for He has said, "I will bring thee, O Gogue, against my land." They will "ascend and come like a storm from the north parts, and be like a cloud to cover the land" (Ezek. 38:9,16); but "they shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth; and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall 'winter upon them," for their carcases will lie exposed for "seven months" upon the field. (Ezek. 39:14) Then shall "the present" be brought in full of all the tribes of Israel not previously assembled by "the land shadowing with wings."

But from the subjugation of the Jews for a short time after they have been colonized, the protection of the shadowing-power would seem to have been inefficient. So it will, as far as the mountainous parts of the land are concerned; but, then, it is testified by Daniel, that "Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon, shall escape out of the hand of the king of the north." These countries will be a place of refuge for those who fly from the face of the spoiler, as Turkey has recently been for the Hungarians, who have fled from the same power. The Lion-power of Tarshish being in military occupation of the countries that escape, is enabled to continue their protection efficiently. Hence, the prophet addresses it, saying, "Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadows as the night in the midst of the noon-day; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the Spoiler." The context shows that this has reference to a future time; for, having shadowed them from the spoiler, who, during their coverture in Moab, has met with his overthrow at the hand of Michael, the great Prince of Israel, -- the prophet goes on to announce the good news, saying, "The extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land."

This cannot be said of any period of Jewish history since the prophecy was delivered; nor can it be said of the land in its present state, for the extortioner and oppressor still keeps it in subjection. But what follows shows conclusively that the time referred to is yet future; for, as soon as the deliverance of the land is declared, and the spoiler is no more, the prophet directs the reader's attention to the setting up of the kingdom, as the next event to come to pass, saying in these words, "In mercy shall the throne be established: and HE shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness" (Isaiah 16:3-5; Jer. 23:5; 33:14-15). But Moab's population is vanished, and the country a mere wilderness, whose solitude is only disturbed by the howl of beasts, or the occasional tramp of the Bedoums. For Moab, therefore, to respond to the prophetic exhortation, a power must take possession of the country capable of outstretching its wings for the defence of a people, "whose land the rivers have spoiled," and that power, I believe, is Britain's, the Moab of the latter days.

As I have said elsewhere, the Lion-power will not interest itself in behalf of the subjects of God's kingdom, from pure generosity, piety towards God, or love of Israel; but upon the principles which actuate all the governments of the world-upon those, namely, of the lust of dominion, self-preservation, and self-aggrandizement. God, who rules the world, and marks out the bounds of habitation for the nations, will make Britain a gainer by the transaction. He will bring her rulers to see the desirableness of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba, which they will be induced, by the force of circumstances, probably, to take possession of. They will, however, before the battle of Armageddon, be compelled to retreat from Egypt and Ethiopia; for "the king of the north shall stretch forth his hand upon the land of Egypt, which shall not escape; and the Libyans and Ethiopians shall be at his steps." Hence, these will become the battle-ground for a time, until the seat of war is removed to the mountains of Israel, where, by the Autocrat's discomfiture, the war is brought to an end between the image-giant of Assyria and the Lion of the north and east.

The possession, or ascendancy of Britain in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba, will naturally lead to the colonization of Palestine by the Jews. Thus the proverb will be verified which saith, "The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright." Though generations of the Jews have been stiff-necked and perverse," yet their nation is a "holy nation" which other nations are not, inasmuch as Israelis the only nation God has separated to Himself for a peculiar people. In view of what I have been presenting, Jehovah saith to them, "Fear not, O Israel; for I have redeemed thee : I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name; for I have created Israel for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made Him." (Isaiah 43:1-7)

Thus the Lord disposes of nations and countries as it pleases Him. To "the land shadowing with wings," which shall proclaim their return to the dust of their fathers, He will give Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as their ransom; and enable them, through its power, "to lay their hands upon Edom and Moab"; and to obtain the ascendancy over "the children of Ammon." Thus they will settle in these countries of the Red Sea; to which they will be attracted by the riches to be acquired through their connection with the commerce of the east; which will then resume its channel of the olden time, when Israel and the British, like Solomon's servants and the men of Tyre, will drive a thriving trade between the Indian and China seas, and the nations of the west.

Having thus brought my exposition of the sure prophetic word down to the termination of "the time of the end," I shall conclude my interpretations by exhibiting the truth revealed concerning the things of the transition period during which the God of heaven is setting up His kingdom, and breaking in pieces and consuming all the kingdoms of the world, and transferring their glory, honour, and dominion under the whole heaven to the saints of the Most High. These matters will be set forth in brief under the caption of

THE SECOND EXODUS.

When the Lord has "broken to pieces together" all the parts of Nebuchadnezzar's Image -- that is, destroyed that power which bound them all together as one dominion-the work next to be accomplished in relation to them is to subdue the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron, and the clay -- in other words, the powers represented by them--that they may become "like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors"; so that, being carried away by the tempest of war, "no place may be found for them," and the subjugating power become as "a great mountain, and fill the whole earth."

But a question arises here which must be answered, or our exposition is at fault, and deficient of a very important link in the chain of testimony which connects the kingdom of God with the foundation of the world. It is, By what means are "the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ," after he has dissolved the imperial bond of union among them by the glorious victory of Armageddon? Is it to be accomplished by sending missionaries of the tribe of Judah to the nations, preaching to them salvation from hell by Jesus Christ, as missionaries are now doing among the heathen, and inviting them to submit to the spiritual authority of the Lord, administered through men of like passions with themselves? Or is it to be brought about by burning up the wicked, and leaving none but the righteous to inherit the earth? Or are the existing orders of bishops, priests, ministers, and missionaries to be employed to bring the nations to the obedience of faith, that they may voluntarily surrender all political power into their hands, as the saints of the Most High God?

I answer unhesitatingly, that the conversion of the world to Christ's supremacy will be accomplished by no such fantastical schemes as are implied in these suppositions. The answer to the question is, that the nations will be subdued to the sceptre of Shiloh by the sword, and that the tribes of Israel will be his soldiers in the war. Besides punishing them for their idolatry, and subsequent unbelief of the gospel of the kingdom preached to Judah in the name of Jesus, Israel has been also scattered among all nations, that they may be ready for the work assigned them in "the time of trouble," which intervenes between the battle of Armageddon and their final and complete restoration at the end of forty years. Though the dominion of Gogue be broken, the kingdoms and states "which acknowledge him as their imperial chief will not voluntarily surrender themselves to another lord, any more than the populations of the old Assyrian empire did when the power of Sennacherib was broken in one night. The effect of his overthrow was only to prepare them for subjection to a more civilized and powerful ruler. In this case, the Lord used the Chaldeans for their subjugation: but in the coming strife He will use the tribes of Israel.

The Lord Jesus Christ at his appearing in his kingdom finds Judah inhabiting the land. Not all the Jews, but a goodly number of them. Having gained the victory of Armageddon, he convenes the elders of the people, which as their deliverer he has a right to do. Thus "they look upon him whom they have pierced" (Zech. 12:10) "and one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thy hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends" (Zech. 13:6). The effect of this information upon the people is to cause a national lamentation. They will then discover that he to whom they owe their deliverance from Gogue, is Jesus of Nazareth, whom their fathers crucified. They will therefore "mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and will be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. In that day, there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo" (Zech. 12:10-14). Two-thirds of the people will have been cut off by the war against Gogue, and the third which survives will have passed through a fiery ordeal. It will have been a refining process in which they will have been refined like silver, and tried as gold is tried. Thus prepared "a spirit of grace and supplications" will be poured upon them, and they will call on the name of the Lord, and He will hear them, (Zech. 13:9) and open for them a fountain for sin and for uncleanness.(Zech. 13:1) He will say, "It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord (even Jesus) is my God" (Zech 13:9). Thus will Judah be grafted again into their own olive, and brought to acknowledge Jesus as King of tbe Jews, and to confess that "he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

The New Covenant being made with the house of Judah, the kingdom is established. Not, however, to its full extent. It is but the kingdom in its small beginning, as when David reigned in Hebron over Judah only. The Lord Jesus, as King of Judah, will have to bring the ten tribes and the nations generally to acknowledge him as King of Israel and Lord of the whole earth. What would the reader think of the little kingdom of Greece undertaking to subdue the whole world? Yet when the Lord appears in his little kingdom of Judea, he will undertake to deliver every Israelite in bondage, establish David's kingdom to its full extent, overturn all kingdoms and dominions among the Gentiles, abolish all their superstitions, enlighten them in the truth, and bring them to submit to him joyfully as their lawgiver, high priest, and king. He will begin this mighty enterprise with Judah; for "he hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle : and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded."(Zech 10:3-5) "And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day," saith the Lord, "I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left" (Zech. 12:6).

Such is the illustration of their prowess. The nations will be as wood, or as sheaves, subjected to the action of fire. They may resist, but they are certain to be subdued without further power of resistance. "They shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of their feet" (Mal. 4:3). Their conquests will begin with the countries contiguous to Judea. For when the Assyrian shall invade their land, the Judge of Israel having caused him to fall, "Judah shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he" that is to be ruler in Israel "deliver them from the Assyrian when he cometh into their land, and when he treadeth within their borders. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord" (Mic. 5:1-7).

Having thus conquered the land which God promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession, and made Judah as a bent bow in the hand of the king, the next thing is for the Lord to fill it with Ephraim as His arrow-headed weapon of war.(Zech. 9: 12-16) In other words, "the Lord will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zech. 12:9) under the banner of Gogue; and to accomplish this so as at the same time to bring back the ten tribes to the land of Canaan, He will cause Judah to make war upon Greece, and blow the trumpet to war against the ten kingdoms of the habitable, and the populations of the West among whom "the remnant of Jacob" is dispersed. These scattered tribes will have been "hissed for" or invited to leave the lands of their oppressors, and to make common cause with Judah. They will respond to the invitation; and as "the arrow of the Lord they will go forth as lightning; and they shall devour and subdue" (Zech. 9:12-16) "And they shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine. And I will bring them, saith the Lord, again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and Ephraim shall pass through the sea with affliction and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down; and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away." (Zech. 10:7-11)

Let us, then, attend more particularly now to the relation subsisting between the king of Israel and his ten tribes, designated as Ephraim" and "the remnant of Jacob" in the word. Addressing them, the Lord says by the prophet, "Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war; for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers." This has never been the case since the prophecy was delivered; it remains, therefore, to be fulfilled. With Judah as his goodly war horse and well-strung bow, filled with the Ephraim arrow, and wielding the Israel battle-axe, "The Lord will go forth with the whirlwinds of the south." "The remnant of Jacob will" then "be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver." By such a weapon as this, the Lord "will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard" (Mic. 5:8,15).

This belligerent state of things between the King of Israel and the nations of Gogue's dominion, styled "the goats," will continue for forty years.* The subjugation will be gradual, as Israel is made to "go through" from kingdom to kingdom. "Feed thy people," saith the prophet, "with thy rod, the flock of thy heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old." In answer to this petition, the Lord replies, "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him (Israel) marvellous things." This is forty years; for so long were they in passing from Egypt to Canaan, which was the type of their coming out from among the nations to the Holy Land under the generalship of Elijah, the Lord's harbinger to the Ten Tribes. The "marvellous things" to be shown them will not be performed in private, but will be as notorious as the plagues of Egypt; for "the nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth they shall be afraid of the Lord the God of Israel, and shall fear because of thee" (Mic. 7:14-17).

The more immediate consequence of these exterminating wars will be the cessation of all further resistance in the north, which will have been thus compelled to "give up " the Israelites among them, and to let them go and serve in" the wilderness of the people." They will not march directly into the Holy Land, because the generation of Israelites who leave the north will be no more fit for immediate settlement there than their fathers were who left Egypt under Moses. They would be as rebellious under the government of Shiloh as that generation whose carcases fell in the wilderness, and concerning whom "Jehovah sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest." They must, therefore, be subjected to discipline, and trained up under the divine admonition. But, notwithstanding all the "marvellous things" they will have witnessed, they will prove themselves true to the character of their fathers, who were stiff-necked and perverse, and resistant always of the Spirit of God; so that they will not be permitted to enter into the land of Israel. Their children, however, will come thither from" the land of the enemy," and attain to their own border (Jer. 31: 15-17).

The reader will, doubtless, desire to know upon what ground I affirm these things. This is as it ought to be; for he should set his face like a flint, and refuse credence to anything and everything which is not sustained by "the testimony of God." Turn, then, to the prophet Ezekiel, where it is thus written, "As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face; like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod; and will bring you into a delivering of the covenant and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me. I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel, and ye shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezek. 20:30-36)

While they are in this wilderness it is, that the Lord Jesus becomes "a stone of stumbling and rock of offence to the house of Israel," as he had before been to Judah; and the consequence is that "the rebels among them" are excluded from the blessings of Shiloh's government, and eternal life and glory in the then world to come. Nothing can be plainer than Ezekiel's testimony. If the reader know how the Lord pleaded with Israel face to face in the wilderness bv the hand of Moses, he will well understand the ordeal that yet awaits the tribes to qualify them for admission into the Holy Land. The Lord's power and the angel were with them in the wilderness of Arabia, but they saw not his person; so, I judge, will the Lord Jesus and some of the saints be with Israel in their Second Exodus, seen perhaps by their leaders, as the Elohim were by Moses, Aaron, the elders and by Joshua; but not visible to the multitude of the people, who must walk by faith and not by sight; for, though God is able to graft them in again, He can only do it upon a principle of faith; for the condition of their restoration laid down in His word, is, "If they abide not in unbelief, they shall be grafted in again."

It would seem from the testimony of Malachi, who prophesied concerning the ten tribes, that while they are in the wilderness of the people they will be disciplined by the law of Moses as their national code, while things concerning Jesus will be propounded to them as matter of faith; for it is testified by Hosea that they shall be gathered, and "shall sorrow a little for the burden of the King of princes (Hos. 8:10). The person with whom they will have more immediately to do in their Second Exodus is Elijah. There would seem to be a fitness in this. In the days of their fathers, when they forsook the Lord and abolished the law of Moses, Elijah was the person whose ministerial life was occupied in endeavouring to "restore all things." Though he did much to vindicate the name and law of Jehovah, he was taken away in the midst of his labours. For what purpose? That he might at a future period resume his work and perfect it by restoring all things among the ten tribes according to the law of Moses, preparatory to their being planted in their land under a new covenant to be made with them there (Mal. 4:4-6).

But it may be objected that Elijah has come already, and that John the Baptist was he (Luke 1:17). True, in a certain sense he was. John was Elijah to the House of Judah in the sense of his having come "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17). But John was not the Elijah who talked with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. The latter is Elijah to the house of Israel. The scribes taught that Elijah must precede Christ; which Jesus approved, saying, "Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things." He said this after John was put to death. John did not restore all things; but Elijah will, and that too before the Lord Jesus makes himself known to the ten tribes, whom he will meet in Egypt.

The period of Israel's probation drawing to a close, they will have advanced as far as Egypt on their return to Canaan, as it is written, "They shall return to Egypt" (Hos. 8:13). This is necessary, for it is written also in more senses than one, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." As they are to be gathered from the west, north, and east they will have gone through the countries by a circuitous route to Egypt. They are to be gathered from Assyria, or the countries of Gogue's dominion; but I have not yet discovered in the word the line of march they are to follow in arriving at Egypt. But that they are to be assembled there is certain; for it is written, "I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt." This was spoken some two hundred years after the overthrow of Samaria; and it is indisputable that neither Israel nor Judah have been again brought out of Egypt to inhabit their land: the exodus from Egypt is therefore still in the future.

But in coming out of Egypt they will have to cross both the Nile and the Red Sea; and although their march hither will have been one of conquest, it will not have been unattended with defeat, because of their own rebelliousness. The hearts of their enemies will be hardened to their own destruction to the last conflict. The south will still be disposed to "keep back" Israel from their country. Therefore, leaving Egypt, "Ephraim shall pass through the sea of affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away."(Zech. 10:10,11) The combined forces of Egypt and Assyria shall be broken as the hosts of Pharaoh, and the horse and his rider be drowned in the depths of the sea. For "the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make (Israel) go over dry shod . . . like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." (Isaiah 11:15,16)

They will now sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, who will have given them such a mighty deliverence from all their enemies. Being now "the ransomed of the Lord, they shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads." The prophet "like unto Moses," mightier than Joshua, and "greater than Solomon," will conduct them into the Holy Land, and, having delivered to them the New Covenant, will "settle them after their old estates." Having "wrought with them for his own name’s sake." And by them as his "battle-axe and weapons of war," subdued the nations, and brought them to his holy mountain, he will "accept them there," and "there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land," as one nation and one kingdom under Shiloh "serve the Lord God" (Ezek. 37:21,18).

Thus the little kingdom of Judea will become "a great mountain," or empire, "filling the whole earth." The "Economy of the Fulness of Times" will now have fairly commenced, and the Day of Christ in all the glory of the Sun of Righteousness have opened in all its blessedness upon the nations of the earth. The gospel preached to Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed," will be a reality. The Lord with Judah as his bended bow and Israel for his arrow, having subdued the nations, and "bound their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron" as his conquests progressed, will have transferred their much-abused power to his saints, (Rev. 2:26,27) who shall rule them with a rod of iron which cannot be broken.

Having received his law, (Isaiah 42:4) and experienced the justice of its administration, "all nations will call him blessed," and "daily will he be praised." A universal jubilee will celebrate the admiration of mankind, and their devotion to the King of all the earth. The world will no more resound with war's alarms for a thousand years; and among the highest there will be glory to God, on the earth there will be peace, and good-will among men.(Luke 2:14) The mission of the Lord Christ will have been gloriously fulfilled. He will have raised up the tribes of Jacob, restored the preserved of Israel, and been the salvation of Jehovah to the end of the earth.(Isaiah 39:6) In his days there will be abundance of peace; for the nations will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into scythes, and practise war no more. "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem" as the metropolis of the world: "neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jer. 3:17). The things they now delight in will then be an abomination to them; for" the Gentiles shall come unto the Lord from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things in which there is no profit." (Jer. 16:19)

When enlightened by the Lord, this will be their judgment of the "nations and denominations," Pagan, Mohammedan, Papal, and Protestant, which now as a covering spread over all nations,(Isaiah 25:7) darkens their understandings, and alienates them from the life of God. But when the King of Israel and his Saints shall rule the world, all these superstitions will be for ever abolished, and mankind will be of one faith and practice. They will speak one religious language, and serve Jehovah with unanimity; for, says He, "Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9). This must, indeed, be the Lord's doing, for who among men has the wisdom, knowledge, and power to bring the nations to speak intelligibly on religious subjects, and to be of one religion? The sword only, can prepare the way for this. Mankind must be made to lick the dust like a serpent, before they will consent to change their creeds for eternal truth. Judgment will bring them to reason, and they will say at length, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3). Under such teachings as this the work will be accomplished.

As to Israel, the Lord will have gotten them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame; and have made them a name and a praise among all the people of the earth. (Zeph. 3:19,20) "All nations shall call them blessed, for they shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts (Mal. 3:12). Instead of being a by-word and a reproach, as at this day, the Gentiles will glory in their patronage; for "in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech. 8:23). Yes,the kingdom, and throne of David will then be in their midst again, and Christ the Lord God, and Holy One of Israel, sitting upon it in power and great glory. The gospel of the kingdom will be no longer a matter of hope, but a reality; and those who have believed it, and submitted cheerfully and lovingly to the law of faith in the obedience it requires, and have perfected their faith by works meet for repentance, will be shining "as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever." This is the Hope of Jsrael which is set before men in the Gospel, and for which Paul was bound with a chain. It is a very different one to that exhibited in pulpit-theology; yet it is that which must be embraced as the soul's anchorage, if a man would be saved, and inherit the Kingdom of God.

Such will be the order of things for a thousand years. But though truth and righteousness will have gained the ascendancy and have prevailed for so long a period, sin will still exist in the flesh, and in some instances reveal itself in overt acts of disobedience. This is implied by the sayings: "The sinner shall die accursed" (Isaiah 65:20) and, "Whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, even upon them shall be no rain" (Zech 14:16-19). There will be no occasion to march an army into a country to put down rebellion; it will be quite effectual, to bring it back to its allegiance, to withhold from it the fruits of the earth. This spirit of insubordination will, however, smoulder among the nations until at the end of the thousand years the "enmity" against the Woman's Seed burst forth again into a flame. If the apostle felt the workings of "the law of sin" within him, though obedient to" the law of the spirit of life"; need we wonder that the same "law of nature" should gather force in the hearts of nations subdued by fire and sword to the sovereignty of Israel's King? Man, unrenewed man, is essentially ungrateful and rebellious. The whole history of his race attests it. A thousand years of peace and blessedness will fail to bind him, by the bonds of love and a willing fealty, to the glorious and benevolent, yet just and powerful, emancipator and enlightener of the world.

Some new demon, who would rather reign as Satan than serve in heaven, will arise among the nations, and unfurl the old satanic standard of the Dragon empire, which will be known to the generation of that remote future as the past existence of the Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires is known to us; that is, historically. A giant will this rebel be in presumption and crime, and surpassing in hardihood the pre-millennial Autocrat, whom Michael bound with a great chain and cast into the abyss. But what will not a man adventure inspired with the pride of life! Enchanted thus, he comes the Adversary (Satan) of the King of Glory; and goes forth to the remotest nations, to Gogue's Magogian people, and falsely accuses his administration, by which means he succeeds in detaching them from their allegiance, and in deceiving them into a vain attempt to recover their ancient dominion (Rev. 20:7-10).

The King, instead of nipping the insurrection in the bud, permits the Adversary and Seducer (the Satan and the Devil) to mature his plans, marshal his hosts, and lead them on to an invasion of the land of Israel. The King permits him to come up on the breadth of the land," and to "compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city." Having enclosed the Governor of the world and his ancients in the metropolis, and so hemmed them in as to prevent all escape, with no army in the rear to raise the siege, the sceptre of universal dominion would seem once more to be within the grasp of the Head of the Old Serpent empire. Like our contemporaries, professing to believe the past, but denying that its scenes will ever be repeated, he remembers the overthrow of the former Gogue, as the Autocrat of Russia now remembers that of Sennacherib in the days of Hezekiah, but believes not in the repetition of so terrible a destruction. He will know, doubtless -- and who after that the knowledge of the Lord shall have covered the earth for a thousand years will not know? -- that "he must reign till he have put all his enemies under his feet" : but he will no more believe that it will be so than the Old Serpent, the founder of his dominion, believed that God would subject Adam to death in the day of his transgression though He had declared it. He will persuade the nations that the King of Israel shall not reign for ever, and that the overthrow of his government is possible.

Thus deceived, we find them enrolled under Satan, or the Adversary, and "encompassing the camp of the saints, and the beloved city," full of savage exultation at the expected destruction of the best of kings. But fallacious will be the hopes of the rebel multitude, and dreadful the vengeance to burst upon them. The trembling earth and the blackening heavens warn them of a coming tempest. The dark vapours and thick clouds of the sky, curling in dense and lowering masses, suddenly hiss forth the forked lightning, and the heaven is rent by the deafening roar of the voice of God. Hail, and fire mingled with hail, pour down upon them, and they are destroyed from the face of the land. Thus God will deliver His King; for "fire shall come down from God out of heaven, and shall devour them."

Thus, though corruption of the flesh, natioonally expressed, was restrained by the overthrow of Gogue, the Dragon-chief, at the pre-millennial advent of the King of Israel, it is finally subdued only when the head of the Serpent-power is crushed at the end of the thousand years. After this victory, another enemy remains to be destroyed to perfect the work of the Son of Man. Death is the last enemy. The power of death is the corruption of the flesh, which is the consequence of sin. But, the wicked all being destroyed by fire, there remain upon the earth only the faithful and true, who are rewarded for their fidelity with the inheritance of the ages. The "law of sin," or law of their flesh, is abolished in the change they undergo from corruption to incorruptibility and life. This is the abolishing of death from the earth, so that its inhabitants can die no more. This being brought to pass, the saying will be fulfilled, and the work accomplished, that "the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the Devil" and "him that hath the power of death, that is the Devil."

Such is "the end, when the Son shall deliver up the Kingdom to the Father, that God may be all and in all" (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:3). The separation between God and Man began with the transgression of the first Adam; it continues till the end of the 7,000 years, when sin and death are utterly eradicated, and harmony again established in this orb of His glorious universe. Earth will have been delivered from moral and physical evil by His power administered and displayed through the Lord Jesus Christ, who, though "subjected to the Father," will have the pre-eminence over all "his brethren through the endless duration of ages. The last resurrection, which is employed in the development of "the end," (Rev. 20:6) will bring up from the dust the sleeping dead of the previous thousand years. Those who are accounted worthy of eternal life will receive it, and be added to the saints of the "first resurrection."

Thus a population will have been provided for the earth, which, instead of being destroyed, will be renovated, and all things belonging to it made new.(Rev. 21:5) The earth and its inhabitants will be incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading. God, according to His word, will have made "a full end of all nations," except that of Israel; which will be the sole occupant of the globe, and every Israelite, an Israelite indeed," "equal to the Elohim," and crowned with glory and honour throughout all ages. During the thousand years their nation will consist of three classes, Christ and the saints, righteous Israelities in the flesh, and those who die "accursed": but when perfection comes there will be but one class, and all will be immortal. The purpose of God, in the formation of the earth, will be accomplished; and "the headstone of the creation will be brought forth with shoutings, crying Grace, grace unto it."