Though written by many pens at various times, under different circumstances, the Old and New Testaments exhibit a singleness of pattern that makes them one. They furnish us with reasonable, philosophical and harmonious statements of the cause of evil in the world, its only remedy and the final result as seen by Divine Wisdom, which saw the end from before its beginning.
The teaching of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, that Adam was tried in a state of original perfection, that he failed, and that the present imperfection, sickness and death are the results, but that God has not forsaken man, and will ultimately recover him through a redeemer, born of a woman (Gen. 3: 15), is kept up and elaborated all the way through the Old and New Testaments. The necessity of the death of a redeemer as an Atonement‑sacrifice for sin is pointed out and illustrated in the Old Testament by the acceptance of Abel’s offering; by Isaac on the altar; by the death of the various animal sacrifices by which the patriarchs and prophets had access to God, and of those animal sacrifices instituted under the Jewish law and perpetuated throughout the Jewish Age.
All the prophets mentioned the eventuality of laying sins upon a person instead of a dumb animal, and in prophetic vision they looked down the stream of time and saw Him, who was to redeem Israel and the entire human race, led “as a lamb to the slaughter,” that “the chastisement of our peace was upon him,” and “by his stripes we are healed.” They pictured Him as “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” and declared that the “Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:3‑7) They told where He would be born (Micah 5:2) and when He should die, assuring us that His death would be “not for himself.” (Dan. 9:26) The prophets mentioned various virtues concerning Him ‑ that He would be “righteous,” and free from “deceit,” “violence” or any just cause of death (Isa. 53:9,12); they declared that not a bone of Him should be broken (Psa. 34:20, John 19:36); and though He should die and be buried, His flesh would not corrupt, neither would He remain in the grave (Psa. 16:10; Acts 2:31).
The New Testament writers studied the prophecies and found the fulfillment of all these Old Testament predictions in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, and by Scriptural evidence and logical reasoning they show that such an Atonement as He gave had already been predicted in the Law and by the Prophets (Isa. 1:18). They trace the entire plan of redemption in a logical and forcible manner, appealing neither to the prejudices nor to the emotions of their hearers, but to their enlightened reason and intelligence alone (Rom. 5:17‑19 to 12th Chap.).
Moses, who stood out preeminently as a deliverer, prophet, lawgiver and ruler, pointed to a blessing of Israel under a great Ruler and Deliverer, whose power and authority he declared shall be “like unto me.” (Deut. 18:15,19; Acts 3:22) The promised Ruler and Deliverer “like unto” Moses was to bless not only Israel, but by and through Israel He was to “bless all the families of the earth.” (Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4) The holy prophets continue the same strain, declaring that Israel’s Messiah shall be also “for a light to lighten the Gentiles” (Isa. 49:6; Luke 2:32); that the Gentiles should come to Him “from the ends of the earth” (Jer. 16:19); that His name “shall be great among the Gentiles.” (Mal. 1:11)
The New Testament writers, though biased as Jews to think of every blessing as limited to their own people (Acts 11:1‑18), were enabled to see that while this great Lawgiver and Deliverer, “like unto” Moses, would bless Israel, that “all the families of the earth” would be blessed also, through them. They could see that Israel’s Messiah was the center and seal of the promises made to Israel and through them as a Chosen People to bless others. They point out the harmony of this view with what is written in the Law and the Prophets.
The thought of a Messiah as a ruler of not only Israel, but through Israel, also of the whole world, suggested in the books of Moses, is the theme of all the prophets. The thought of a universal earthly Kingdom established by and through Israel was also uppermost in the teaching of the apostles; and Jesus taught them to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.”
The Old Testament abounds with promises and prophecies in which the Kingdom of God on earth and Israel’s Messiah figure as the very center. It was the hope of every Israelite (Luke 3:15) that, as a Chosen People, God would exalt their nation under Messiah, and when Jesus came, He presented Himself to them as their Messiah, their Deliverer and Lawgiver “like unto” Moses, to establish through them the long promised Kingdom of God on earth. Not only was the Kingdom the topic with which Jesus began His public ministry, but it was the main topic of all His preaching (Luke 8:1; 4:43; 19:11), other subjects being mentioned merely in connection with or in explanation of this one subject. The majority of His parables were illustrations of the universal Kingdom from various standpoints.
In His talks with His followers, Jesus strengthened and encouraged their expectation of a Kingdom, saying to them, “...ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:29,30) And when, instead of being crowned and enthroned, their King was killed, His disciples were sorely perplexed and disappointed. As previously stated, they expressed their disappointment to a supposed stranger while on their way to Emmaus. In discussing Jesus they said, “We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel” – delivering them from the Roman yoke, and making of Israel the Kingdom of God on earth in power and glory. But they were sadly disappointed by what had happened a few days previous. Then the supposed stranger, whom they later discovered to be the resurrected Jesus, opened their understanding by showing to them from the Old Testament prophecies that His atoning sacrifice was necessary first of all before a universally righteous Kingdom on earth could be established (Luke 24:21).
That in pointing out and explaining the prophecies, Jesus revived His disciples’ hope that Israel would yet be established as God’s Kingdom on earth is evident from the answer which He gave to their question as He was leaving them. They inquired, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” His answer, though not explicit, coincided with their hope that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel, but that it was not expedient at that time for them to know the time of its establishment. He said, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath, put in his own power.” (Acts 1:6‑7) Thus He left no doubt in their minds that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel, but he gave them to understand that it was not for them to know the exact time when it should be set up and put in operation.
Jesus always held forth the doctrine of a Kingdom, a righteous government to be established on earth with Israel, and to rule among men. And He not only inspired in His disciples a hope for a share in the Kingdom, but He taught them to pray for its establishment – “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.”
To the Scripturally ignorant, but worldly‑wise leaders among the Jews, Jesus seemed an imposter and a fanatic; and they considered His disciples mere dupes. His wisdom, His tact, and His miracles, they could not gainsay, nor reasonably account for; yet, from their standpoint of unbelief, His claim that He would establish with Israel the promised Kingdom on earth which would eventually rule the world, and that His followers, all of them from the humbler walks of life, would be joint‑rulers with Him in that Kingdom, seemed too absurd for consideration. Rome, with its disciplined warriors, its able generals and immense wealth, was the master of the world, and was daily growing more powerful. Who, then, was this poor Nazarene? – and who were His followers, these fishermen, without money or influence, and with but a meager following among the common people? Who were these that they should talk about establishing with Israel the Kingdom long promised to be the grandest and mightiest Kingdom earth had ever known?
The Pharisees, hoping to expose the supposed weakness of Jesus, claim, and thereby to undeceive His followers, demanded of him: When will this Kingdom, which you preach, begin to make its appearance? – When will your soldiers arrive – When will this Kingdom of God appear? (Luke 17:20‑31).
The Pharisees, in their ignorance of the Scriptures, were not aware that the prophets taught that before the Kingdom of God could be established on earth in permanent peace and everlasting righteousness, there must first be a complete cancellation of sin; there must first be a full and final Atonement. The necessity of an Atonement was illustrated by various animal sacrifices in the Old Testament Scriptures. And since “the blood of bulls and goats [were only types, and] can never take away sin” (Heb. 10:4), the only way to blot sin out and abolish its penalty once for all was by man’s equivalent – man – who alone could atone to Divine Justice, completely satisfy its claim, and thus cancel the penalty. We note that when God declared to Abraham, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3), He illustrated to Abraham that before the blessing of “all the families of the earth” could come, there must first be a full and final Atonement for sin. This was illustrated to Father Abraham in a most significant way; his son, Isaac, (“In whom thy seed shall be called”) was required to be a sacrifice. And after Isaac had been figuratively sacrificed, Abraham received him back from the dead in a “figure.” (Heb. 11:19) In that “figure” God illustrated to Abraham that “the blood of bulls and goats can‑never take away sin”; that to atone for sin and to abolish its penalty forever required a “better sacrifice.” (Heb. 9:22‑24) Thus God gave Abraham a physical demonstration of this fact. Isaac’s figurative death was a shadow or type which pointed to the necessity of a human Atonement – one who should die for the cancellation of sin before “all the families of the earth” could be permanently and everlastingly “blessed,” and before God’s Kingdom could be established in righteousness and His will “done on earth as it is done in heaven.”
At this point a question may arise: How can God be the Author of the one‑man Atonement theory which conflicts with His established Law of Justice which demands an exact equivalent – “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, foot for foot, life for life”? (Deut. 19:21; Exod. 21:23‑25) How can the law of equity and justice accept the life of one individual as being sufficient to atone for the sinful lives of millions of people? – how can the sacrifice of one human being be an equitable Atonement and complete satisfaction for the sins of the whole world?
In considering the above question, we shall show in a subsequent chapter how the unalterable Law of God ‑“life for life” – was logically, lawfully, and Scripturally fulfilled by the death of one Man as a “Ransom for All.” (1 Tim. 2:6)
(Chapter One, This Is The Millennium, by Shelah Ben‑Hanan – In due course, we will publish chapter two, which will answer the above question.)
WHAT KIND OF A MAN IS SADDAM HUSSEIN?
Our political and military leaders are asking this question, “What kind of a man are we fighting?” The answer to this question was written in the Bible about 4, 000 years ago. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac: Ishmael by Hagar, an Egyptian, when Abraham’s wife Sarah was unable to conceive. Some years later God performed a biological miracle and permitted Sarah to give Abraham a son Isaac, the “seed of promise.” These two sons of Abraham each had twelve sons which became two mighty nations which later’ became known as the nation of Israel and the Arab nation or Ishmaelites.
The Arabs or Ishmaelites are described in Genesis 16:12 (Rotherham): “But he will be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every one, and every one’s hand against him yet in presence of all his brethren shall he have his habitation.” In Genesis 16:10, it states that Ishmael’s seed, the Arabs, “shall not be numbered for multitude.”
The Ishmaelites and posterity have lived by prey and plundering, robbers by land and pirates by sea. Genesis 16:12 states that Ishmael would dwell in the presence of all his brethren ‑ viz., Moabites, Edomites and Israelites. They have been continually at war with the rest of the world and yet never defeated. They did not acknowledge Alexander the Great as conqueror. Alexander objected to this insult and determined to punish the culprits but died before he could accomplish his mission.
When the Romans invaded the East and subdued adjoining countries, they were never able to reduce Arabia to a Roman province. Time after time enemies sought to invade but were always forced out.
About the 7th Century AD, Mohammed appeared on the scene and set the desert and the Mid East aflame. Ishmaelites under Mohammed strengthened and extended their power. Under his successors these Arabs, imbued with their new and false religion and their hereditary thirst for blood and pillage, developed into a ferocious horde and carried the Islam banner throughout Asia, Africa and even into Spain.
Since the fall of their Muslim empire, the Turks have made repeated attempts to subdue these Arabs, but instead of succeeding they have been obliged for several centuries to pay them yearly tribute, to permit the converted Turkish Moslems to have a safe passage to Mecca, the “Holy City” where Mohammed the Ismaelite was born.
Others, Gallas, Trajan, Pompey and Augustus, have been unsuccessful in conquering the Arabs – the Ishmaelites. Emperor Severus, a Roman, laid siege and even made a breach in their defenses, but insurrection broke out in the ranks. As an unseen power protected these Ishmaelites, Emperor Trajan sought to conquer them in about AD 110. Whirlwinds, swarms of flies, lightning, thunder, hail, apparitions in the sky, heat and thirst all helped to repulse these Italians every time they attacked. And so down the stream of time God’s hand seems to have been on the Ishmaelites. In spite of commerce and intercourse with others, they remain the same fierce, savage, intractable people like their ancestors.
This people, with the Jews excepted, have for 4,000 years withstood the enmity as a distinct people from their beginning with Ishmael.
Compare Arabs and Jews:
(1) Both descendants of Abraham; (2) Both practice circumcision; (3) Both originally had 12 patriarchs or heads of tribes and (4) Both marry among themselves.
A contrast: Israel scattered – Deut. 28:64; Ishmael stayed at home – Gen. 16:12.
The land promised to Abraham and his seed is given in Genesis 17:6‑8: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be‑ a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Also in Genesis 22:16‑18: “And said, By myself have I sworn saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” The stars of the heaven and the sand which is upon the sea shore indicates a heavenly and earthly phase of Christ’s Kingdom. In Jeremiah 31:31 God promised to make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. When this covenant is established with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, He will bless them and through them “all the families of the earth.”
The Ishmaelites too will be blessed thru the nation of Israel. “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” (Gen. 17:20)
In Isaiah 2:2,3 we read: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house 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.”
The Jews are to be gathered from the four comers of the earth where they have been dispersed until God gathers them by the hunters and fishers’. (Jer. 16:16) “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.” (Isa. 11:12)
The headquarters of the Kingdom will be Jerusalem and from there flow throughout the world
God did not promise Ishmael and his seed the land of Canaan. Isaac and his seed were promised the land from “the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Gen. 15:18‑21; Ex. 23:31; Deut. 1:7,8; 11:24; Ezek. 48:1‑29)
A similar picture is presented in the two sons of Isaac: Jacob and Esau. Saddam Hussein will be defeated eventually because God has promised Canaan to the Jews. “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23)
(Reprint of SPECIAL No. 419‑A, by Brother Roy Ekroth)
END OF AN EMPIRE
“‘Welcome to England. The sun has set on the British Empire because of what we did to the Jews.’ With this candid confession from a young English Christian leader, Norma and I began eight intensive days of teaching God’s promises concerning Israel and the Jews.
“We were in Cheltenham, a couple of hours west of London, at the invitation of Ken Webb and Mark Surguy. In a few days, we would hear the gong over Hong Kong, with the last major outpost of the British empire and colonialism quietly slipping away. The ‘Empire Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’ is now reduced to a beautiful island in the Atlantic, a few miles from the continent of Europe, and concerned that it is about to be swallowed up in European personality, promise and problems.
“How refreshing to hear the truth from English Christians. How the British promised Jews a homeland and then reneged. How the Balfour Declaration calling for Jewish independence in then–Palestine became the White Paper with its call for a staunching and them a stopping of long lines of Jews who could still escape Europe’s building hate. How the British rulers of Palestine used their gunboats to turn away Jews fleeing Hitler, forcing many to remain in Hitler’s Fortress Europe with its ghettos, genocide, and gas-powered cremation ovens.
“We could make this article a book by going on. Like how the British powers in Palestine armed and trained their Arab clients for war against the Jews – while disarming and jailing any Jew caught with a weapon. But it was these very acts that caused desperate Jews to fight – and beat – the British colossus and send the Crown’s military might scurrying for home. That setting of the sun on London’s Mideast rule was like a loud voice to those in Britain who took God seriously, ‘I will curse those who curse you.’ And the payment for such British contempt for the Lord’s plan for a restored Israel? From Crown to footstool – reigning world power to just a footnote – respected monarchy to a castle that is the butt of jokes – separate from Europe in power and prestige to now being forced into Europe for survival.
“Now England has been humbled. And with humility always comes hope. My English brothers and sisters welcomed us with open hearts and arms. ‘Teach us what God would have us know,’ they said. They are determined to pay the price to be God’s extended hand of unconditional love to Israel.
“Part of our teaching each other took in the lessons of the blessing or the curse meted nations and individuals in their treatment of the Jews. And we couldn’t avoid America – now proud as the world’s only ‘superpower,’ rich beyond imagination, immoral as ancient Rome, and politically inclined to protect the oil flow at the expense of Israel. The White House and State Department offer hypocritical lectures to Israel to bow to American bigness, while a Congress that respects the U.S. Jewish vote won’t offer Israel too much more than rhetoric. And most of U.S. media and religion are often unashamedly anti‑Israel.
“Only a remnant of serious students of the Scriptures seem aware of the shaking that is coming. The sun has set on the British Empire. Now America looms on the horizon seemingly believing it is destined to enjoy sunrise forever. And God’s hit list continues...
THE TRUTH SLIPS OUT
“Arab dictators excel at the big lie – even blaming Israel for starting the 1967 war. David Dolan, in Jerusalem, has pointed out an interesting statement by Morocco’s King Hassan (made in 1993 to a French journalist) concerning Israel’s fears for survival.
“What did we expect when the Jews kept hearing people like Achmed Shukeiri (the first PLO leader) declare that ‘We shall throw the Jews into the sea and burst the wombs of pregnant women and crush the babies with our feet’? asked Hassan. The King said he warned the PLO in 1968 that it would never succeed in destroying Israel.
“‘Indeed it won’t,’ adds Dolan, ‘since He who keeps Israel is none other than the mighty God, who ‘neither slumbers nor sleeps.’ (Psalms 121:4)”
(By Frank Eiklor, Front Lines Report, Volume 21, February 1998)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
A recent letter from a beloved friend, Virginia Cornwell, who lived in Israel for 19 years until her devoted husband died a couple of years ago, has so impressed me that I want to share it with you, having first received her approval. Would that all the followers of Jesus could be as enthused and inspired about Israel as is this dear Christian friend. Here are some excerpts from her letter:
“God is so special that He makes all the difference in our lives. He is doing some awesome things in my life just in the last month. It is so exciting! Let me tell you...
“I was sending a card to Yehada and Yona (owners of the fantastic dude ranch in the Galilee where Virginia and Ray worked and. lived for 19 years) and so gave it to my daughter Mary to write on it. She wrote: ‘Mother and I are coming to Israel in September, 1998. 1 can only stay two weeks but Mother can stay longer.’
“Oh, hallelujah, isn’t the Lord awesomel! I am so excited I could talk non‑stop. I try to console myself – everyone isn’t as interested as I am... I would shout it to the house tops... I must write or call or go up on a mountain top and shout”
Casimir and I first met Virginia and Ray Cornwell when they visited their son Mark here in Paradise many years ago. Mark arranged for us to meet and the four of us became fast friends due to our love for Israel and our love for the God of Israel. When we took tour groups to Israel after that we invited Ray and Virginia to speak to them about their experiences in Israel. We also became fast friends of Mark and Jeanette Cornwell and their delightful family here in Paradise. By the way, Virginia now resides with another son in Washington State.
Love from Elva ------- CALIFORNI
Beloved Emily: SHALOM!
Your good letter with enclosure of Nos. 493 and 494 is received, which I read with deep interest. Congratulationsl Also received the chart.
Yes, I still have ever ready THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, which you gave me in 1984. YHVH’s Plan is being fulfilled daily in part until Zechariah, Chapter 14 fulfills itself – soon!
Deepest love, David ------- (NEW YORK)