Since our past articles do not nearly cover the prolific writing of Pastor Russell, we are reproducing more from his pen, which is as up‑to‑date today as is the Bible from which he gained his knowledge. We are quoting excerpts from Volume One and Two of the Studies in the Scriptures, as well as some from the Reprints and Question Book, with which some of our readers are acquainted. However, we do this not only to stir up their pure minds, but also for those that have no knowledge of his writings.
We begin with Volume 2, first published in 1889: “In previous chapters the fact has been referred to, that God’s dealings with the nation of Israel were of a typical character; yet few have any adequate conception of how fully this was the case. It has doubtless been observed by many that the apostles, particularly Paul, in instructing the Christian Church, frequently refer to some striking features of type and antitype in the Jewish and Christian dispensations. But a closer attention to the Apostle’s teachings will show that he does not only make use of a few illustrations drawn from the Jewish economy, but that in his close reasoning he calls up the whole Jewish system, as Divinely instituted (ignoring entirely the ‘traditions of the elders’ which were no part of that system), and shows that in all its features it was typical of the then dawning Christian dispensation, mapping out most clearly the course of the Christian Church in the Gospel Age, as well as pointing out its glorious work in the Millennial Age. (p. 201)
“Paul says that God has cast off the fleshly house from favor, during the time of the selection of the spiritual house; and that when the spiritual house has been selected, God’s favor will return to the fleshly house. He says: ‘I would not, brethren [the Church, or spiritual Israel], that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to fleshly Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.’ (Rom. 11:25) As it is written: ‘There shall come out of Zion the [promised] Deliverer [the Christ, our Lord, the head, and the remnants or faithful few, of both the nominal houses of Israel, which shall compose His body, the Church], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And so all Israel shall be saved for this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel [the High Calling], they are enemies [cast off] for your sakes [that you may have the preference and inherit the choice, the spiritual parts of the promises]; but as touching the election [by which they were chosen to receive special earthly favors from God, promised to father Abraham and his natural seed], they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes; for the gifts and calling of God are not things to be repented of.’ (Rom. 11:26-29) What God has promised is sure of fulfillment. Knowing the end from the beginning, Jehovah never made a covenant which He would need or wish to break. (pp. 210 and 211)
“All these prophetic points in the past are clearly marked, and we should expect some evidence of God’s returning favor to Fleshly Israel, Jacob, in or about AD 1878. This we do find, in the fact that the Jew is now permitted privileges in Palestine denied for centuries past. And it was in that very year, 1878, when their double was full, and God’s favor was due to return to that people – that the Berlin Congress of Nations was held, in which Lord Beaconsfield, a Jew, then Prime Minister of England, was the central figure and took the leading part. There England assumed a general protectorate over the Asiatic provinces of Turkey, among which is Palestine; and the Turkish government amended its laws relating to aliens, which ameliorated the condition of the Jews then residing in Palestine, as well as partially opened the door for others to locate there, with the privilege of holding real estate. Previously, the Jew was but a dog, to be cuffed, kicked and abused by his Mohammedan ruler, and was denied the most ordinary privileges of existence, in the land sacred to him with memories of the past, and with promises touching the future. (pp. 218,221)
“But we must remember that the year 1878 was but the turning point of returning favor to Fleshly Israel. We have already learned, from our study of The Times of the Gentiles, that Jerusalem and its people will continue to be trodden down, controlled and oppressed by the Gentiles, until the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, and hence, though favor was due and began in 1878, the Jew will not be received back into full favor until after 1914. [Not until the Gentile governments are “trodden down” in this “Time of Trouble” – and not fully until the inauguration of the New Covenant, after the Gentile rule is destroyed.] Their rise again to favor will be gradual, as was their fall from it. (p. 221)
“As none but our Lord Jesus knew the import of the end of the Law Age and the beginning of the Gospel Age (the apostles know only in part until after Pentecost), so we can expect only the Body of Christ, anointed with the same spirit, to clearly see the end of the Gospel Age and its weighty import. [Quite a few of the consecrated of both Jews and Gentiles, who are not of the Body of Christ, can now see the grand “steppings of Jehovah.” Too, there are quite a few of the nominal Christians who realize that this is the “Time of Trouble,” and are predicting Armageddon. Since they are ignorant of the grand Plan of the Ages, their predictions are erroneous.] The poor Jews and many professed Christians do not yet know of the great dispensational change which occurred at the First Advent, the end of the Jewish Age and the start of the Gospel Age, and that 1878 marked so important a point as it did. Nor was it intended others than the faithful few should know, and not be in darkness with the world. To you it is given to know, said our Lord.” (p. 224 ‑ published in 1889)
The following is from Volume One of the Studies in the Scriptures: “The time of trouble, as it will affect the world [since 1914, and most particularly during the past few years], will be after Babylon has begun to fall and disintegrate. It will be an overturning of all human society and governments. During the time of trouble, fleshly Israel, which was cast off until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, will be restored to God’s favor, and the Gospel Church, or spiritual Israel, will be completed and glorified. During the Millennial Age Israel will be the chief nation of earth, at the head of all on the earthly plane of being, into oneness and harmony with which all the obedient will be gradually drawn.
“Their restoration to perfect human nature, as well as that of the world in general, will be a gradual work, requiring all of the Millennial Age for its full accomplishment. During that thousand years’ reign of Christ, the results of Adamic Death will be gradually swallowed up or destroyed. Its various stages – sickness, pain and weakness, as well as the tomb – will yield obedience to the Great Restorer’s power, until at the end of the Age will be complete... Israel after the flesh, including only Israelites indeed, will be at the head of earthly nations; then the world of men will be restored to perfection of being, like the head of the human race, Adam, before he sinned. This restoration will be accomplished gradually during the Millennial Age – the ‘times of restitution.’ (Acts 3:21)” (p. 241, published in 1886)
This will finish the quotations from Volumes 1 and 2 of the Studies in the Scriptures, although it is a small part of Pastor Russell’s teaching in the six volumes. But it is enough to prove that our dear Pastor taught these things, with Scriptural support, long before the world began to see that we are now in the “Time of Trouble,” and many who realize it have a very imperfect view of the holocaust we are facing, and the Kingdom blessings that will follow.
We will now take up some of his voluminous teaching as given in the Watch Towers before his demise:
HATRED OF THE JEWS
“Benjamin Disraeli, better known as Lord Beaconsfield, wrote a political biography which is attracting considerable attention. Goldwin Smith thus refers to it: ‘It is natural that in the course of this political biography Disraeli, who had witnessed the exclusion of Jews from the House of Commons and who had found and was still finding his own Israelite descent an almost insuperable bar to advancement, should diverge for a moment from the main current of his narration to consider the grounds of the disabilities to which the Hebrew race had been so long subjected in Christian Europe. He begins by reminding us that the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt have adopted most of the laws and many of the customs of the Jews, together with all the latter’s literature and all their religion. The former are, therefore, indebted to the Israelites for much that regulates, much that charms and much that solaces existence. The toiling multitude rest every seventh day by virtue of a Jewish law; they are perpetually reading, that they may be taught by example, the records of Jewish history; they are continually singing the odes and elegies of Jewish poets; and they daily acknowledge on their knees with reverent gratitude that the only medium of communication between the Creator and themselves is the Jewish religion. Yet, at the hour when Disraeli wrote, the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt were accustomed to treat that race as the vilest of generations; and, instead of looking upon them logically as the channel of human happiness, they were accustomed to inflict upon them every term of obloquy and every form of persecution. Had it not been for the Jews of Palestine the good tidings of our Lord would have been unknown forever to the northern and western races.
“‘The first preachers of the Gospel were Jews, no others; the historians of the Gospel were Jews, no others. No human being has ever been permitted to write under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit except a Jew. They nursed the sacred flame of which they were consecrated and hereditary depositories. When the time was ripe to diffuse the truth among the Gentiles it was not a senator of Rome nor a philosopher of Athens who was personally appointed by our Lord for that office, but a Jew of Tarsus, who founded the seven churches of Asia. That greater church, great even amid its terrible corruption, that has avenged the victory of Titus by subjugating the capital of the Caesars and has changed every one of the Olympian temples into altars of the God of Sinai and of Calvary, was founded by another Jew, a Jew of Galilee. From all which Disraeli concludes that the dispersion of the Jewish race, preceding as it did for ages the advent of our Lord, could not be for conduct which occurred subsequent to his nativity, and that they are also guiltless of that subsequent conduct which has been imputed to them as a crime, since for him and his blessed name they preached and wrote and shed their blood, as witnesses.
“‘Disraeli says: The creative genius of Israel, on the contrary, never shone so bright; and when the Russian, the Frenchman and the Anglo‑Saxon, amid applauding theaters or the choral voices of solemn temples, yield themselves to the full spell of a Mozart or a Mendelssohn, it seems difficult to comprehend how these races can reconcile it to their hearts to persecute a Jew. In the course of the same remarkable chapter Disraeli refers to the futility of persecution in the case of the Jew. Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyrian kings, Roman emperors, Scandinavian crusaders, Gothic princes and holy inquisitors have alike devoted their energies to the fulfillment of this common purpose. Expatriation, exile, captivity, confiscation, torture on the most ingenious and massacre on the most extensive scale, and a curious system of degrading customs and debasing laws which would have broken the heart of any other people have been tried, and in vain!’
“‘The Jews, after all this havoc, are probably more numerous at this late date than they were during the reign of Solomon the Wise, are found in all lands, and prospering in most. All which proves that it is in vain for man to attempt to baffle the inexorable law of nature, which has decreed that a superior race shall never be destroyed or absorbed by an inferior. Disraeli adds that all the tendencies of the Jewish race are conservative. The bias of the Jews is toward religion, property and natural aristocracy. For which reason Disraeli pronounces it for the interest of statesmen that this bias of a great race should be encouraged and their energies and creative powers enlisted in the cause of the existing social orders. (Watchword)’“ (Reprints 3881, 3882, October 15, 1906).
It is an appropriate supplement to the above to quote from the Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 3, p. 270:
“Lord Shaftesbury of England said recently: ‘There is a great jealousy of that wonderful people who are now coming to the front. And what a sign of the times it is, that, wherever the Jews are, they are either the most prominent people to be persecuted, or the most prominent people to take a lead in all the various professions!’ A prominent citizen of Berlin was asked, ‘What is the history of this strong anti‑Jewish feeling which you have in Berlin and throughout Germany?’ He replied, ‘I will tell you: These Jews, if they go into commerce, become the first merchants; if they go into the banking line, they become the first bankers; if they go into law, they become the first lawyers; or if they go into literature, they beat us all. Whatever career they undertake, they drive out the Gentiles; and I tell you, sir, we won’t stand it.’“
Alas, Disraeli’s efforts didn’t stop a Hitler, et al, although the Jewish Hopes still continue; and will continue until the fruition of their hopes is accomplished after this “Time of Trouble” upon all Gentile governments, which affects Palestine, and Jews in general. But God’s promises are sure, When they are replanted on their land they will NEVER be uprooted – even though it takes Jacob’s last trouble to bring them to the understanding of what God will do for them.
“The attempt of the Law Covenant to bring forth the natural seed first was abortive – a failure. First must come the spiritual Christ, Head and Body, partaker of the Divine nature, heir of all things. Then God’s favor will return to natural Israel. But since the Law Covenant completed its purpose and was demonstrated to be unavailable for them, because of the weaknesses of the flesh, God purposes to make with that nation, and with that nation alone, a New Covenant. Not a single statement of Scripture identified the New Covenant with the Gentiles. [This eliminates the Campers Consecrated of the LHMM, as well as the Great Multitude of dedicated Jehovah’s Witnesses.] On the contrary, it is Israel’s New Covenant given to displace the Old or Law Covenant. Let us note well that the great mass of the early Church were Hebrews and that the Apostle’s references to the New Covenant are almost exclusively in his epistle to the Hebrews. One exception is in Rom. 11:27, where the Apostle, although addressing Christians of Gentile birth, tells them that natural Israel was cast off for their sakes, but is still beloved for the fathers’ sake, and is again to have Divine favor, under a special covenant. The other (2 Cor. 3:6) refers to the royal priesthood as able (qualified) servants of the New Covenant – dying with Christ for its sealing. (Mal. 3:1)
“The more closely we investigate the New Covenant, the more we must be convinced of this fact – that it belongs to Israel alone, including the two nations into which they divided at the death of Solomon – Israel and Judah. Note the statement of the Prophet, ‘Behold the days will come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant [the Law Covenant] which I made with them when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt.’ (Jer. 31:31,32) The Apostle, endeavoring to prove to the Jews that they could gain nothing under the Law Covenant, points out this prophecy, and tells them that the fact that God speaks of this as a New Covenant implies that a preceding (Law) Covenant had become old, valueless, and was preparing to pass away – ‘In that he saith, a New Covenant, he hath made the first old; now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.’ (Heb. 8:13)
“The Oath-bound Covenant Sure — Heb. 6:17-20: The New Covenant is to take the place of the old and unsatisfactory one. There were two old Covenants, the Grace, or Sarah Covenant, and the Law, or Hagar Covenant. Which did the Apostle mean had grown old, valueless, and would pass away and give place to the New Covenant? Surely there can be no doubt for misunderstanding on this point. He meant the Law Covenant, for he says so. He did not mean the original Grace or Sarah Covenant, for he points out that our claim to relationship to God is under the original covenant, as members of the Body of Christ, members of the bride of Christ, joint‑heirs with Him... They did not need to wait for the New Covenant, the provisions of which apply only to those on the earthly plane.
“We come now to the other part of the question: What provision has God made for those Jews who bound themselves under the Law Covenant, from Moses’ day down to the First Advent; and for those who since then have not discerned the death of the Law Covenant and who will not be made aware of it until after the spiritual seed shall have been completed and glorified? If they have NOT LOST ALL SHARE AND PRIVILEGES IN CONNECTION with God’s special mercies, where do they come in? We answer that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others before the Law Covenant were not bound by it, yet were not in the fullest sense justified to life until the Abrahamic Covenant had been established at Calvary. Their faith, then, entitled them to a share in the merits of that sacrifice. Likewise throughout the period of the Law Covenant, before it was annulled at the cross, there were Ancient Worthies who lived above the masses of their time, and who, although bound by the law, had above it a living faith in the original Oath‑bound (Sarah) Covenant of Grace... Although they lived while the Law Covenant was alive, they foresaw its death and trusted not in it, but in the superior Covenant of Grace.
“Thus the Scriptures account for the faithful ones of the past under the Covenant of Grace. But what now shall we say respecting those earthly Israelites, who lived not on that higher plane of faith, but of whom the Apostle says, ‘Our twelve tribes instantly serving God day and night hope to come’ into this promise. (Acts 26:7) Were they all deceived? Will they get those special blessings?
“God’s gifts and callings sure — Rom. 11:29-32: Nay, we answer, the gifts and callings of God are things not to be repented of. He who knew the end from the beginning knew exactly what Israel would be and do, and was not disappointed, and all of the plans and promises to that nation were made from the standpoint of this knowledge. Although the chief feature of the Sarah Covenant was secured by our Lord Jesus as a trophy of His victory over sin and death, and although He laid down His human nature completely to this end, nevertheless, the Divine arrangement is such that the blood of Christ, the merit of His sacrifice of earthly things, must accrue to the benefit of the natural seed of Abraham, because it all goes to seal the New Covenant, which belongs exclusively to fleshly Israel.
“Thus while natural Israel had been counted enemies for our sakes, for the Gospel’s sake, our only opportunity for gaining the great prize is in connection with the sealing of a New Covenant between God and Israel. How beautifully the features of the Divine program balance! Their loss was our gain, and our gain through sacrifice becomes their gain; and, altogether, the Lord will be glorified!
“The New Covenant will be the Law Covenant over again, only that it will have a better Mediator — The Christ, Head and Body, who will be able to make allowances for the imperfections of Israel’s heredity. The sins of the past will all be forgiven, their physical blemishes waiting for restitution. They will be dealt with according to what they are, allowances being made in each individual case, and each will be required to heed the voice of antitypical Moses. ‘And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not heed that Prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people.’ (Acts 3:23)
“Since God’s favors are thus marked out for the heavenly and earthly Seeds of Abraham, it follows that the blessings of other nations will come about through their affiliation with these. In other words, we may understand that the Divine government established in Israel in the hands of the Ancient Worthies will be the center of Divine favor, and the people of other nationalities must come to this center for their supplies of truth and grace. Thus the Prophet represents the matter, saying, ‘Many nations shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth from Mount Zion [the spiritual kingdom] and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem [the center of the earthly kingdom].’ (Micah 4:2)
“‘For this is my Covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the elect, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.’ (Rom. 11:27,28) There is no room to doubt that the Apostle here is referring to Israel’s covenant, the New Covenant, which God will make with them after this Gospel Day.” (Excerpts from Reprints 4319, 4320, 4321 and 4322, January 15, 1909)
“This expression, New Covenant, is not used in connection with any others of mankind than the Jews, because it is not true that God will make a New Covenant with the remainder of mankind. As the Apostle suggests, the word ‘New’ here implies a previous covenant which was counted Old, and this Old Covenant was not made with other nations or peoples than the Jews, of whom God declared that He ‘took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, which my covenant they brake.’ (Jer. 31:32) Hence, we should understand that all references to the New Covenant are references to God’s arrangement with the Jewish people to supplant the old arrangement under Moses, under the conditions of which they are still condemned and bound. By this new, substitutionary covenant, God will shortly release the Jews from the condemnation of the Old Covenant.
“It will be in an incidental way that other nations will be granted the privilege of coming under the same laws and arrangements with natural Israel in the blotting out of sin and in being restored to the Divine image and thus to full harmony and fellowship and covenant relationship with God, which relationship all may maintain, if they will, throughout eternity.
“We are not necessarily to understand the blotting out of sin to signify the blotting out of the recognition of sin. We may rather assume that through all eternity this great insurrection or rebellion — the reign of sin and death for over 6,000 years upon this earth – will be a standing lesson to all of God’s creatures throughout His universe. True, it is said of Israel, ‘Your sins and iniquities will I remember no more’ (Heb. 10:17), but this should be understood as signifying that their sins will be remembered no more against them in a condemnatory sense.” (Reprints 4659, August 1, 1910, excerpts from top, columns 1 and 2)
“The Jewish Question: Some one may say, We do not see the Jews back in Jerusalem yet. Is Jerusalem still trodden down of the Gentiles? [Written in 1914] In reply, we ask, What do you think our Lord meant when He said that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled? Do you think that the walking over the stones and streets in Jerusalem was what the Lord meant by the treading down of Jerusalem? If so, you were very foolish in your thought. Jerusalem represents the Jewish polity, government, institution, people. The Jews had already been trodden down for centuries before our Lord’s remark – in fact, they were under the heel of the Romans at the time Jesus uttered those words; and they would continue to be under the dominion of those Gentile governments ‘until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ [More about the Gentile Times later in this article.]
“Gradually the Jewish people have been emerging from their down‑trodden condition – persecuted for eighteen centuries. The time is here when the message has been and is still being delivered to them, as recorded in Isa, 40:1,2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’
“This prophecy was fulfilled, as pointed out in the Studies in the Scriptures, in the year 1878; and ever since that time, the star of Judaism has been rising; the Jews have become more prosperous ever since, as they themselves realize. Nowhere have they been so prosperous as in the United States, where they have received their greatest blessings.” (Reprints 5568, col. 1, Nov. 1, 1914)
One might say, even though they now have their own polity, government, etc., that they are still in much difficulty with the Gentile governments. And so they are, but it is not due to the fact that her “warfare” is not accomplished – as Israel is not now suffering because of her past sins. However, we are now in that great “Time of Trouble” in which the Gentile governments are being trodden down; and Israel is suffering the same as the rest of mankind during the process. But Jerusalem will never be completely trodden down by Gentile governments, although she will have one last trouble during Anarchy, in which she will call upon the Lord, and He will fight her battles like in the days of yore. The Lord will hear their cry, and deliver her – and praise be to God, that will be the last of the great “Time of Trouble.” The next will be the inauguration of the New Covenant, in which the Jews will be the chief nation; in fact, by the end of the Kingdom, all will be part of that Jewish polity and will receive the blessings of the New Covenant, first made with the natural Jews. (Jer. 31:31 — also see Psa. 107:17‑20)
Now we will quote some from Pastor Russell’s Question Book:
“Question (1909) – Kindly give us some idea regarding the Jews returning to Palestine, and in what numbers are they returning, and is the land more productive than it used to be?
“Answer – The Jews are not going back very rapidly, but they are making ready to go back, and the land is becoming more productive. The prospects are that the new Turkish government, which has a kind of control over Palestine, will be more favorable to the Jews than the former Turkish government was, and so we look for something in that line before long.
“You remember when we pointed out in the Dawns about the return of the Jews to Palestine, they themselves had not found it out. It is not coming as fast as we might have been inclined to expect. The Jews are to be re‑established in Palestine, not that all Jews that are in this country are going back, for many are better satisfied here. Those likely to go there are the ones called ‘orthodox’; and their hearts are turning toward Jerusalem. No doubt but that when the land shall be open to them, then Russia will thrust them out of their country, and they will then go back in large numbers.” (Bottom of p. 354, and top of p. 355)
“‘Before I Was Afflicted I Went Astray’ (Psa. 119:67): During the ‘Seven Times,’ then, the Jews have had severe tribulation and discipline. All of God’s people, of every Age, have needed chastisements for their correction and development, some more and some less. God says to Spiritual Israel, ‘For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? If ye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards (spurious) and not sons.’ (Hebrew 12:8) And so it has been with the House of Servants, Natural Israel. Because they were God’s Covenant people, therefore He dealt with them; and He has really given them, during these 2,520 years, experiences which will prove favorable to such of them as will incline to do right. Those bitter experiences proved so favorable that when Jesus came they, as a people, were the holiest in the world; and at that time they had suffered only a small portion of these ‘Seven Times.’
“So we find that the preaching of the Gospel by our Lord and His Apostles found about five hundred of the Jews ready to believe and accept Jesus as Messiah. And soon afterwards, just after Pentecost, there were quite a number of thousands who believed. These, we are told, were Israelites indeed in whom there was no guile. It is very remarkable that there was so large a number in Israel ready to receive the Messiah. This would not have been the case had they not been passing through disciplinary experiences. These experiences were all such as would tend to keep them separate from the Gentiles, keep them from mixing with any of the peoples of the earth.
“If the Jews had prospered under the various governments – Babylon, Medo‑Persia, Greece and Rome — they might have intermingled with these other peoples and have ceased to be Jews altogether. And the same is true of their prosperity since their national overthrow under Titus, AD 70. In God’s providence the Jews have continued to have such tribulations throughout this Gospel Age as to have kept them separate from the rest of the world; and thus their minds have been kept in that condition of humility in which they will be best prepared for the Lord’s service when the time of their complete restoration to favor shall come.
“Our thought is that when the proper time arrives the Israelites will be more ready for the Kingdom than any other nation. The afflictions through which they have passed, their obedience to the Law, etc., will have prepared them for the Kingdom. We are not, therefore, to consider this long period of their suffering and affliction merely as tribulation, as punishment. For their ultimate good the Jews were to be trodden down of the Gentiles until the full Gentile dominion.” (pp. 356, 357)
ISRAEL’S DOUBLE – This article would not be complete without giving some explanation about Israel’s double. Four times in the Old Testament there is emphasis placed upon Israel’s double. One of these is Isa. 40:2: “She hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” The double in this text is from the Hebrew kephel, and means a thing folded in the middle, as when we fold a piece of paper exactly into two pieces, each half is exactly the same. This same double is given three other times in Isa. 61:7; Jer. 16:18 and Zech. 9:12. It is translated from the Hebrew mishneh; and means a second portion, a repetition. The words kephel and mishneh are not synonymous, although they are almost identical in meaning.
Thus the question properly arises, What do these words mean in relation to Israel? They tell us Israel is to receive this double “for all her sins.” Thus, the double of punishment must apply to the double of favor which came to Israel. In Amos 3:2 we are told, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” When Moses read the Law to Israel at Sinai he gave them something no nation before or since ever received directly from the Lord God. However, the Jews did not actually become a nation until the death of Jacob in 1812 BC, at which time they were banded together – the twelve tribes – as a unit; and God dealt with them as such. His blessing was with them so long as they tried to keep the Law Covenant, and they were punished when they failed to do so. But even those punishments were a blessing to them because they brought them to repentance and an earnest desire to have God’s favor once more.
During all those years God dealt with them much as a father deals with his children. It should be stressed here that during all that time they never persecuted any of their heathen neighbors because of their religion; their wars were never because of that. But they shamefully mistreated their own prophets. Why? Because those prophets gave them stern reproof for their transgressions – truths which they would not hear. And Jesus reminded them of this in Matt. 23:31; Luke 11:49,50; 13:34. Then He told them God had finally sent them His own son – surely, they would hear Him! But what did they do? They crucified “the Lord of Glory.” Adding 1812 BC to AD 33 (their final and most shameful act) was a favorable period of 1845 years; and the texts we have given say they would receive a punishment of the same length of time; namely, 1845 years; and adding 1845 to 33 (the year of the crucifixion) would bring us to 1878 when their double of disfavor would cease.
And do we find this true? Most certainly, as we have pointed out, Disraeli gained for them concessions at the Berlin Congress of Nations which they had not previously enjoyed, although they had used their wealth, their keen intellects, even their armies, to secure such rights for 1845 years, but had been unable to so do. And since 1878 favor has been visibly returning to them; thus, they are now established as a nation once more in their beloved Canaan land, offering to our minds indisputable proof that “her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.” (Isa. 40:2) And may our reader be strengthened and encouraged by this “Present Truth.” (2 Pet. 1:12)
Our Pastor has treated on the Jewish promises and prospects voluminously, and he was consistent in all he presented, as he gained his knowledge from God’s Word, and continued therein until his demise. It is little wonder that many Jews have fondly called him their Pastor, as no other man since the days of the Apostles has done more for the Jews than he. It is our purpose to renew and revive as many of our brethren as we can reach, by reproducing the teachings of this wonderful man of God.
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” (Psa. 89:34) “O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psa. 34:8)
Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
(Reprint No. 341, November 1983)