My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In Rom. 2:10 St. Paul makes this statement: “Glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” Since we entered the tribulation period in 1914 the Jews have been the object of much and varied controversy; and we may logically expect more of it before lasting peace is established in the earth. This uproar has not only been by way of armed conflict, but the literary conflict has kept pace with it. And, as should be expected, much of the literature has been badly tainted with error – an epidemic of it; so it seems timely to offer an analysis of some of these contentions.
ANGLO-ISRAELISM: The Theories of this organization have received rather wide acceptance in some parts of society, the kernel of the teaching being briefly this: The real Jews are not those claiming to be such, but the real ones are actually the British nation. They tell us that the name is from two Hebrew words – Brith and Ish the meaning of which is Chosen Man, which is a fitting description of the British people. And, as may be expected, they produce Scripture to ‘prove’ their point: “Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee (this was especially true after the Reformation uprising shook off the papal yoke, and England became one of the chief targets of Roman opposition), I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou also shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings (Up to 1914 it could be properly stated that England’s sun never sets. Its far-flung empire was a special source of pride to the English people; they were a dominating force throughout the world.); and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver (the revenue from places such as India, South Africa, etc., was exceptionally great), and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors (revenue collectors) righteousness.” (Isa. 60: 15–17) Rotherham’s translation of verse 16 is even more emphatic: “Thou shalt derive sweet nourishment from the nations, Yea on the bounty of kings thou shalt be sustained.”
Additional ‘proof’ is produced from Isa. 61:6: “Ye shall be named the priests of the Lord: men shall call you the ministers of our God: Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” It needs no argument that the general import of these Scriptures did seem pertinent to England up to 1914; London was the financial center of the world. Most of the financing of the nations was done through English banks; none dared offend them lest their credit be cut off.
Be it noted that the Anglo-Israelites do not claim that the English represent the whole twelve tribes of Israel, but merely the ten “lost” tribes – that part called Israel after the revolt separated the ten tribes from the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin when Solomon died. Jeroboam was the first king of the ten tribes, and he proceeded immediately to corrupt their religion; and he and succeeding kings proceeded to deprave the ten tribes much more than was true in the two tribes. Therefore, the Lord finally sent Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, to wage war against them; and he completely defeated them in 739 B. C., at which time most of the ten tribes were carried away into Assyrian captivity. (2 Kgs. 18:9–11) To replace the captives the Assyrian King sent a horde of heathen Babylonians, who corrupted the Jews that remained and introduced their heathenish religion in the land. This conglomerate multitude became known as Samaritans; and were much detested by the two tribes.
By the time the two tribes were carried off captive to Babylon (133 years later) the ten tribes had become widely scattered – so much so that history does not give a clear account of what became of them. Thus, they became “lost”; and the contention is that they finally settled in what is now England, that the English people presently are the true descendants of those ten lost tribes; and are in fact the real Jews. The word Jews occurs for the first time in the Bible in 2 Kgs. 16:6. It is a distortion of the word Judah, which eventually was pronounced Joods, then Jews. Thus the two tribes are Jews, not Israelites; and, say some, Jesus made this clear distinction to the Apostles in Matt. 10:5: “Go not in the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” From this Scripture they contend Jesus was telling His disciples to find the ten “lost” tribes (lost sheep of Israel).
Just a superficial examination of this last text should convince any unbiased mind that Jesus did not mean anything like what this cult now tries to read into it, because not one of the Apostles ever went to England; and some of them certainly would have done so had Jesus told them to do it. In fact, about the first authentic date in history for England is established at 55 BC, at which time Julius Caesar invaded the Island; and that was just 85 years before Jesus began His ministry. Furthermore, the undisputed records tell us that the first conversion to Christianity in England was in Kent in 597 AD by St. Augustine. That was about 500 years after the last of the Apostles died. Therefore, any one who would try to use Matt. 10:5 to prove Anglo-Israelism must be in desperate straits for something to say concerning the error.
Here is a quotation from one authority on the subject: “Jew – One belonging to the tribe or to the Kingdom of Judah. Then the meaning was extended, and the word was applied to any one of the Hebrew race who returned from the Captivity (in 536 BC—JJH); and finally it comprehended all persons of that race throughout the world (Matt. 2:2).” Matt. 2:2 says Jesus was “King of the Jews” – not King of the Israelites. And Rom. 2:10 says “to the Jew first” – not to the Israelite first. Thus, if we would make any discrimination at all between the ten tribes and the two tribes, we would be forced to conclude that it is the Israelites who are not Jews. But it is well established that parts of all twelve tribes returned from the Captivity in 536 BC, although the larger number were from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Another publication attacks the Jews from a different angle: “Any student of the Scripture knows that Jesus Christ was not a Jew. He is a Galilean and an Israelite. The apostates which crucified our Lord and perpetuate the hate for our Lord were identified by Jesus when He said: “If ye were the children of Abraham, ye would do the works of Abraham, but ye are of your father the Devil, a liar from the foundation of the earth.” Taking figurative statements of the Bible and attempting to apply them literally has wrought no end of confusion throughout Christendom during the entire Gospel Age. Certainly, those people who were bantering Jesus did not actually have the Devil as their father; they were human beings the same as the rest of us, except with different characters. Rev. 5:5 specifically says Jesus is “The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David”; and Heb. 7:14, Dia. is even more to the point: “It is very plain that our Lord has sprung from Judah.” Thus, when they say “any student of the Scripture knows that Jesus Christ was not a Jew,” it is clear enough that they study only such Scriptures as can be applied to their own ideas. Any Scripture that contradicts them is blithely ignored – as though it did not exist.
These same people also declare that Jesus Himself was an outstanding Jew hater; so we offer another pertinent Scripture that directly contradicts that thought: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven.... If you love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matt. 5:43-45) And further in 1 Cor. 2:8: “Had they (the Jews) known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.”
Yet more: This same group contends that the Jews are the Antichrist. Clearly enough, they do not understand the meaning of this word, which actually means “in place of Christ,” rather than “against Christ.” Once the real meaning of the word is understood, we then have no difficulty in connecting it with St. Paul’s words in 2 Thes. 2:3,4: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God... so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Of course, St. Paul wrote the foregoing many years after Jesus had been crucified, so it could not possibly refer to the Jews. He does say that this great Apostasy (this mystery of iniquity) “doth already work,” yet its real force would not be felt until some future time. This same publication leans heavily upon Martin Luther in support of their anti–Jewish contentions; yet here is what Martin Luther himself said concerning Antichrist: “The faith and the Church are at stake. I rejoice to suffer in so noble a cause. I am not worthy of so holy a trial. I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is Antichrist... I hope none but the papists will stain their hands in my blood. Antichrist reigns... All the articles of John Huss were condemned by Antichrist and his apostles in the synagogue of Satan... On the left Christ is washing the disciples’ feet. On the right Antichrist, the pope, is having his toes kissed by monarchs.”
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES – This organization also adds its loud voice toward castigation of the Jews, because the Jews generally will have no part of their teachings. They do not advocate violence against the Jews, or revile them politically, but they do predict extreme violence for them in the approaching Armageddon – at which time they forecast the extermination of all people – including the Jews specifically – that have not joined their organization by the time the holocaust arrives.
In this they mimic the Antichrist, who also contends the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church; and during their counterfeit reign from 799 to 1799 they were very vociferous that there could be no salvation outside their church. And we may observe here that those who make such claims go more and more into error – “outer darkness.” This is well typified in the attempted construction of the Tower of Babel. Men said, “Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven” (Gen. 11:4). They would have insurance against another flood (in spite of the promise that “the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh”––Gen. 9:15); they would build Bab–El (Gateway to God). As retribution for this affront, the Lord confused their tongues; they could no longer understand each other. Thus, the effort became known as Babyl, meaning confusion – the same being typical of the efforts of the Roman Church, and presently in our day of the Witnesses, to build a “Gateway to God”; that is, WE are the one true church – no salvation outside of us – no other access to God. And just as the Roman Church lost all important Biblical truths as presented by St. Peter, so the Witnesses have also lost the great majority of that system of truths that was left with them by their so-called founder, Pastor Russell.
THE LAYMEN’S HOME MISSIONARY MOVEMENT – Here is another group that attempts to downgrade the Jews – though it must be said of them that they do not approach the same degree of abnegation toward them as do the Witnesses. Whereas, the Bible clearly teaches that the Jews will be first and foremost – “beloved for the fathers’ sake” – the LHMM is now contending that those who become Campers Consecrated will be first and foremost – although they produce no Scripture to prove their point. Neither can they produce anything in the writings of the two Messengers to sustain their position; although we have given copious citations in past papers to prove our assertions.
And with all of these groups who would now have preeminence over the Jews, not one of them is making any effort whatever to return to the Holy Land, which God promised to Abraham: “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.” (Gen. 17: 18) In all of this we are pointedly reminded of the words of Jesus: “Wisdom is justified of all her children.” (Luke 7:35) But a wrong foundation will most certainly produce a faulty building. The present-day Jew is no more responsible for crucifying Jesus than are we present-day white Americans responsible for the slave trade of the past.
The time is now with us for the manifestation of persons, principles and things in a way never before done in the history of the human race. “The Lord will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of hearts.” (1 Cor. 4:5) And, while we have no thought of success in stopping present inequalities and erroneous teachings, we can warn those who have “an ear to hear” not to be partakers of such sins. The evils of “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4) will continue apace with the sound exposures until the Lord’s Prayer is fulfilled: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.” “Expecting and hastening the presence of the Day of God, on account of which the Heavens (the present ecclesiastical order) being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements (various political, labor and social organizations) burning intensely will melt. But we, according to His promise, are looking for new Heavens (a universal truth-motivated religious order) and a new earth (new social order), in which dwells righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:12,13, Dia.)
THE TRUTH ON THE JEWISH SITUATION
Beginning with p. 243 in Parousia Vol. 3 of Studies In The Scriptures, there is a chapter on The Restoration of Israel, some of which we shall quote, or paraphrase, with some additions of our own:
Among the relics of antiquity that have come down to our day, there is no other object of so great interest as the Jewish people. The Adversary and his blinded dupes have sought to destroy and eliminate the Jews – just as many of them have also tried to do with the Bible (“My two witnesses – the Old and the New Testament – shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and threescore days – the papal supremacy from 539 to 1799 – in sackcloth”––Rev. 11:3) suppressed and depressed as those that mourn for the dead. But the very fact that the Jews are here today, as a people distinguished from other peoples (in keeping with the commandment of the Lord given to them more than 2,500 years ago: “Separate yourselves from the people of the land” (Ezra 10:11), should cause any God-fearing person to realize that even in their “cast-off” condition God has overruled their preservation – just as He has preserved His inspired Word
Let us emphasize once more that all the Bible writers were Jews; and St. Paul makes a capital point of this in Rom. 3:1,2: “What advantage then hath the Jew?..... Much every way; chiefly, because unto them were committed the oracles of God.” And this statement is complemented in Rom. 3:29: “Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles?” Further in Gal. 2:15: “We who are Jews by nature.” Here St. Paul tells us that he himself is a Jew; and he wrote a large part of the New Testament.
Let us emphasize also that at the time of the Exodus from Egypt the Jews were the only nation that worshipped but one God. “Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deu. 6:4) The various heathen nations had a multiplicity of Gods – a god of war , a god for love, a god for vegetation, etc. And with all of their gods combined they could not even remotely approach the idealism that came to the Jews through their “one Lord.”
The searchers after ancient lore have untiringly questioned every inanimate object that could give a mite of historic or scientific information. Monuments, altars, tombs, relics of public and private edifices, paintings, sculptures, hieroglyphs and dead languages have all been appealed to; and some have even tried patiently to discover the line of actual truth that probably inspired the many fanciful traditions, legends, songs, etc., that have come floating down the centuries in order to learn all that is possible to know of human origin, history and destiny. But a most interesting relic, and one whose history can be most easily deciphered and understood, is the Jewish people. In them we have a monument of antiquity of inestimable value, upon which are recorded, in clearly legible characters, the origin, the progress and final destiny of the whole human race – a living and intelligent witness of the gradual outworking of a wonderful purpose in human affairs.
As a people, they are marked as distinct and peculiar by every circumstance of their history, and by their common religious faith, as well as by every element of their manners and customs. A forceful proof of this was to be observed in the war that began in the Fall of 1973 on their Atonement Day – a day in which ordinarily the orthodox Jews refrain from food and water. Under the heat and the strain of the battle that day many of the Jewish soldiers became dehydrated and well-nigh exhausted, yet they persisted in their abstinence – although their leaders had granted them freedom from the age-old custom. Thus, some of them at least still try to adhere to the Law of Moses and the Covenant which Moses mediated for that nation almost four thousand years ago. The national characteristics of many centuries ago are still prominent, even to their fondness for the leeks and onions and garlic of Egypt, and their stiff–necked obstinacy. As a people, they truly had much advantage every way, in having committed unto them “the oracles of God,” developing among them poets, lawyers, statesmen and philosophers, and leading them up step by step from being a nation of slaves in Egypt to be – as in the time of Solomon (the zenith of their glory) – a people distinguished and honored among the nations, attracting the wonder and admiration of the world. (1 Kgs. 4:30-34; 10: 1-29)
Since they cast off and condemned the Just One and said, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children” (Matt. 27:25), they have again suffered, even moreso in many instances, than they did in their Old Testament stripings. This had its horrible beginning in the year 70 AD, when the Roman Army under Titus captured Jerusalem, destroyed their temple, and scattered them throughout the Gentile world. In their treatment of Jesus, God took the Jews at their word: When Jerusalem finally fell into the hands of the Romans, there was a circle of crosses around the City, with a dead Jew hanging on every one of them. Prophetically it has been written of them, “Fools because of their transgression (when they crucified the Lord of Glory), and because of their iniquities (their violations of the Mosaic Law), are afflicted.” (Psa. 107:17) Present-day instances of this are to be seen in the terrible treatment they have received in Germany, Russia, etc.
Israel has been a nation scattered and peeled – driven as exiles from country to country, from province to province, and have been deprived of almost every right and privilege which other men enjoyed. Rejecting Christianity – in its corrupted as well as in its true form – they became the objects of the contempt and relentless persecution of the Church of Rome. Thus estranged from God and from their fellow-men of every nation, sad and pitiable indeed has been their miserable condition. During the relentless Papal persecutions of the Dark Ages, they have suffered in common with the saints and martyrs of Jesus – the Christian for his rejection of Antichrist, the Jew for his rejection of both Christ and Antichrist.
The treatment accorded them forced a marked change in their way of life. Canaan was a goodly land – “a land flowing with milk and honey” – so that a large segment of that people were engaged in farming and animal husbandry. But such things could not be carried with them as they were chased from nation to nation; and this forced them into businesses of various kinds, and into the money markets. In this manner their “quick assets” (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) could be carried with them, so that today it is an oddity of the first rank to see a Jewish farmer. Almost all of them are in the cities, pursuing their professions or marketing their various wares; they no longer take the chance of having to leave their farms behind them as they moved on.
Nevertheless, whether they are still blinded to God’s promise to deliver them once more, as He did from Egypt, and from their various captivities, God is faithful that promised: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the House of Judah (this certainly includes all twelve tribes): Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Jer. 31:31–33)
God has not made this new covenant with Israel yet, but we can be sure that they never again will be entirely driven out from Jerusalem. He has planted them back in their own soil – in the land promised to Abraham, to him and to his seed after him forever – and even though we see them greatly oppressed, we can be sure that no one will drive them out of that land. The promise of God is to natural Israel – to be planted again in their homeland; but “all Israel” includes only those faithful covenant-keeping Jews: the others are counted as the heathen. And it will be through those faithful Jews that all the families of the earth will be blessed. “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel (the good news) unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) And we may be sure that those faithful covenant-keeping Jews who have continued in their faith during the harrowing experiences meted out to them during their “cast-off” condition, will with alacrity and joy walk up the Highway of Holiness (Isa. 35:8) under their New Covenant meliorating conditions.
Up to the time of their casting off by Jesus, the Jews were the only nation that had covenant relationship with God. “O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt.. You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:1,2) Any of the people of other nations who would come into relationship with God had first to become proselyte Jews. And the same conditions will apply when the New Covenant is instituted – any who will be the recipient of those blessings must first become Jews.
So it was with the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles – the gospel was first presented to the Jewish nation; and the message of Christian salvation has come to us through them. Cornelius was the first Gentile convert (Acts Chapter 10); but he had to wait for 3½ years after Jesus’ death before God would give to him the Holy Spirit. Since that time the gospel has been open alike to Jew and Gentile, although very few of the Jews have become Christians. “Blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Rom. 11:25) Nevertheless, it should be emphasized here that the blessings and privileges of the Mosaic Law were offered “to the Jew first”; likewise, the blessings and privileges of Christianity were also offered “to the Jew first.” Also, the blessings and privileges of the New Covenant will be “to the Jew first.” A “New Covenant” necessarily carries the inference of an Old Covenant, the same being the Law Covenant given through Moses, of which the Gentiles were not in any way included. Therefore, a new covenant could not possibly be made with the Gentiles, because they have never had an old one. Any Gentiles wishing to partake of the old covenant had to become Jews; and some of them did just that, as instance “Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.” (Acts 6:5) The same limitation will apply with the New Covenant: Any who wish to receive its blessings will have to become Jews.
“These are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah (all twelve tribes are included in this). For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace (which has been occurring since 1948, and will be yet greatly increased)... Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jer. 30:4-7) Jacob is a term often applied to the entire nation of Israel in the Old Testament; but Jacob is never used to designate the Christian church.
That ‘great day’ of the foregoing text is described in more detail in Zech. 14: 1–3: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.”
Outstanding instances of the Lord fighting for Israel in ancient times are given in Ex. 17:8-14, where Amalek and his army were decisively defeated by Joshua; and in Judges 7:15-22, where Gideon with a band of 300 men accomplished the destruction of a Midianitish army “as grasshoppers for multitude; both they and their camels were without number.” See also 1 Kgs. 20:1-21, where Ben–hadad and “thirty and two kings with him” lost “an hundred thousand footmen in one day.” (v. 29)
“Jacob’s Trouble” is yet some years in the future, so we are now privileged to see only the overall picture; but enough is revealed to give us a fairly good idea of the event – in keeping with the words of St. Peter: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn” (2 Pet. 1:19), the dawning day here being the inauguration of the New Covenant with Israel.
Lest any of our readers should draw an overly pessimistic conclusion about Jacob’s Trouble, we would remind them of these facts: At the time they were cast off by Jesus just before His death (“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate”––Matt. 23:37) the Jews, as a nation, began their decline; and they lost their national existence completely in the year 70 AD, when the Roman army scattered them throughout the earth. And from that date onward the Gentile supremacy waxed greater and greater. However, since their restoration to their homeland the Jews as a nation have been on a gradual upgrade; whereas, the Gentile nations have become steadily more shaken and distressed. And this disparity will become much more pronounced in the years immediately ahead. The writing of Isa. 60:1–3 is now markedly pertinent; “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
Summation: – Those who ignore or openly contradict the foregoing interpretations are rejecting large and important parts of the Bible, whether they realize it or not. As instance, the Jehovah’s Witnesses lay great stress upon their Bible ‘proofs’ for what they teach; yet we cannot recall one instance where they have given any comment at all an Jer. 31:31-34, or Isa. 60:1-3, or upon the various statements of St. Paul concerning the Jew.
But the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement follows a more deceptive course: In the literature they distribute to the Jews they don’t mention Campers Consecrated they adhere to the Scriptures and the two Messengers’ teachings, even as we herein teach; although privately they teach that their new adherents will supersede the Jews and as their reward for “denying themselves” and walking a narrow way, they will be “first and chief” Restitutionists in the Kingdom blessings instead of the Jews! However, the Jews could receive these blessings God promised them if they become Consecrated Epiphany Campers. The Jehovah’s Witnesses also grant this favor to the Jews – i.e. if they join them and become one of their “great crowd” they, too, may be “chief” in the Kingdom. But, up to now – so far as we know – the Jews are not joining Epiphany Campers Consecrated or the “great crowd” of these two organizations.
We contend with the Apostle Paul that the New Covenant blessings will be “to the Jew first,” and all others will receive the New Covenant blessings when they become Jews. The New Covenant simply replaces the Old Law Covenant, which was made only with natural Israel – and the New Covenant will be made only with natural Israel. If any Gentile desired the blessings of the Old Law Covenant he had to become a proselyte Jew – and the same condition will exist under the New Covenant.
Neither the Jehovah’s Witnesses nor the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement can produce any Scriptures that support their contentions about the Jews, but we can produce many Scriptures to support our contentions: “And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord God. Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.” (Ezek. 28:25-26)
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.” (Ezek. 37: 12-14)
Psalms 107:17-22 also applies to natural Israel, and also supports our contention regarding “to the Jew first”: “They cry unto the Lord in their trouble (Jacob’s Trouble – second phase), and he saveth them out of their distresses.” (v. 19) These covenant-keeping Jews in Jerusalem will be the “first” to receive the blessings of the New Covenant, and will naturally become the first able and zealous missionaries of the Kingdom. Many will join them, of course – particularly the “repentant and believing” in the finished picture of the Epiphany. “For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say 0 Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” (Jer. 31:7)
“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.” (Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2) We would emphasize, however, that these promises apply only to the faithful covenant-keeping Jews – all others are counted as heathen.
Since “God is faithful that promised” (Heb. 10:23; 11:11), it is our hope and prayer that all God’s faithful people are in harmony with God’s good and perfect will. “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together... There are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee... Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.” (Psa. 122:3-9)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim