THE TWO-FOLD ASPECT OF PROPHETIC ISRAEL
The multitude of people which was predicted for the house of Joseph never was realized while they dwelt in Samaria, their Palestinian home; but the increase of the Saxon race is acknowledged to be phenomenal. National statistics show that Russia doubles her population in 140 years, Spain in 142 years, France in 150 years, Turkey in 555 years; but that England doubles her population every 45 years, and that the United States doubles theirs in 25 years. This is a wonderful vindication of the truth which we are bringing, for the word of truth declares: "Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation: thou hast removed it far unto all the ends of the earth," Isa. 26:15. The fulfillment of this prophecy is today called "Imperialism."
One of the first national characteristics mentioned in prophecy concerning Isaac's seed is, that they shall possess the gates of those that hate them. Gates are entrances. National gates are now called "ports." Since the acquisition of the Sandwich Isles, Porto Rico and the Philippines by the United States, the Saxons control nearly all the national gateways of the world. For, prior to that time, England and America controlled all the ports of the North American continent, and England possessed, not only all the ports of the British Isles and those in Australian waters, but also Gibraltar, Suez Canal, Malta, Alexandria, Cyprus Island, gates into China, the German Ocean, the Cape gate into the Indian Ocean, and all the gates of India, gates along the east and west coasts of Africa, and the Cape Horn gate from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean. In the face of such foretold facts as these for the house of Joseph, need we be surprised that God, who declareth the end from the beginning, should include in the blessings of his birthright man, "the deep that croucheth beneath” his vessels?
The Lord also says of Joseph, "He shall push the people together, to the ends of the earth: and they [who together are doing the pushing] are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." This seems to imply an alliance, offensive and defensive, on the part of these brother nations, the outcome of which will be that they together shall push the rest of the nations to the ends of the earth. This alliance would be but natural, for while it is true that brothers are apt to quarrel and fight among themselves, it is also true that one of these brothers is not going to stand by and allow a stranger to jump on his brother and thresh him. And while we write, the talk of just such an alliance is in the air, and we are sure the result will be as God hath said.
God also further says, "Behold, the people of Israel shall rise up as a great Lion, and lift himself as a young lion; he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink of the blood of the slain. He hath as it were the strength of an Unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones and pierce them through with his ARROWS." We have requoted this Scripture, concerning the eating up of the nations, so that our readers may see that, when this time of the destruction of the nations comes, the Lion of Judah, which is with Ephraim, the Unicorn of Ephraim, and the Arrows of Manasseh are together, i.e., England and America.
The Lord also says of this same people, "The portion of Jacob is not like them [destroyed]; for he [God] is the former of all things: Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name. Thou art my BATTLE AX and WEAPONS OF WAR: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms," Jer. 51:19-20. "There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun [symbol name for Israel], who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone," Deut. 33:2, 27.
This is undoubtedly to be the final outcome of Israel's history, and yet, prior to this, and while they are dwelling in the midst of other nations, it is said of them: "The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass." And yet it is in the very next verse that the prophet says of this same people, that they are the strongest power on earth, "Who, if they go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver," Micah 5:7-8.
Here, to say the least, is a twofold aspect, or two characteristics of the same race; that is, a people who are as the refreshing and fruitful showers, and as dew from the Lord to the nations around them; and yet they are a people whom none of those nations who go to war with them can conquer. This double phase of character is due to the fact that they are that portion of the elect race with whom are those who also belong to the election of grace. This is both the national and the spiritual character of the Christianized house of Joseph, for the Lord does say of Ephraim-Israel, whom he says is in the isles afar off, whom he also calls the nations, of whom he says, "Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria," that they FOUND GRACE in the wilderness; even Israel," Jer. 31. We are told that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and since the Divine word which was sent to Jacob lighted upon Israel, even Ephraim, we know that the grace which they received in their far away home was the Grace of the Gospel of the Son of God. The wilderness where these people received the grace of God is that country whither they went when they were cast out of the land of their fathers, which at that time was unknown and uninhabited, hence a wilderness. The fact that this people received the Gospel, while cast out and lost, is also a fulfillment of the prophecy by Jeremiah in which the Lord says that he will send many fishers, Gospel fishers, and they shall fish them. This is also why we are told that "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?"
"But," questions one, "are there no Gentiles who have become Christians except these nations which are of the birthright kingdom of Israel?" Our answer is, Yes; but each of these also, like Ephraim and Manasseh, needed to be adopted. This is why we are told, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to THE PROMISE." This adoption is necessary in all cases where the persons are of non-Israelitish nations, for the covenants, the promises, and the adoption are Israelitish, and belong to none who are not of the seed of Abraham. Those who are thus adopted become flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. It is for this reason that Jesus took on himself the seed of Abraham, for it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren. This involves many questions which cannot be discussed here, but we take time to say that, in order to belong to the election of grace, the adopted son is BORN of the spirit, and the home-born must also be born of the spirit. It is the conquering, literal, fleshly Israel that is a type of the conquering, literal, spiritual Israel. It is the literal, fleshly adoption into national Israel, which is the earthly family of God, that is a type of the literal spiritual adoption into the heavenly family of God, of whom Jesus Christ was the first-born among many brethren, both in the flesh and in the spirit, and who is also the first-born among many brethren in a two-fold sense, for he was not only the first among those who are both sons of God and sons of Abraham, but he was also the first out of the many who shall yet be "the children of the resurrection."
The fact that Joseph-Israel becomes Christianized while cast out of their land is the reason for the following: "Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there, and then Assyrian oppressed them without cause." To be redeemed without money is certainly a new covenant truth, and one that is heralded from our pulpits everywhere. On Mt. Zion, inside the walls of Jerusalem, the city of David, were the royal dwellings; hence, Zion becomes one of the generic names for the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph or Judah. This captive daughter of Zion, who the Lord declares shall be redeemed without money, went first to Egypt, and was also oppressed by the Assyrian. It was the Birthright people who were led captive into Assyria.
It is the barren woman, the desolate, the woman forsaken, the one who knew the reproach of widowhood, the wife of youth, who had been divorced, of whom the Lord declares, that she had more children than when married, and to whom the Lord says: "Enlarge the place of thy tent [dwelling] and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations, spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles." "Imperialism" again. But it is this same woman to whom the Lord says, "Thy maker is thine husband . . . for a small moment have I forsaken thee . . . In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. . . . In righteousness shalt thou be established; and great shall be the peace of thy children. . . . Whosoever shall gather against thee shall fall for thy sake. . . . No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper [be this weapon against either the election of grace or against their nation] and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage [national and spiritual] of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord," Isa. 54th chapter. "For the transgressions of MY PEOPLE was he [he is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter] stricken.”
Jesus said, concerning his Church, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"; and concerning this one-time cast-off and forsaken people, this promise is given:
"Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken." Why? Because "the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and until them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and the words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nol out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever," Isa. 59:20-21.
The failure, hitherto, to identify the Gospel promisel as belonging to that branch of the Abrahamic posterity which has the accompanying national characteristics, has been the cause of untold confusion, untold harm, untold skepticism, as well as much loudly-told infidelity, both within the pale of Christian denominations and out of them.
Tom Paine boldly asserted that he was led into in fidelity because he saw that the Jewish people never had fulfilled and never could fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. In 1898, Fay Mills, the one-time Spirit-filled evangelist, said, "In the fourth place, the prophecies of the Old Testament [to Israel] have not been realized. Today," he says, "the Bible is no more inspired than the Koran."
"The Lord of Hosts bath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have proposed, so shall it stand," Isa. 14:24.
Prof. Rawlinson, in his Homiletics on the above text, says: "It is weakness on the part of man to need any confirmation of a promise which God makes. When He condescends to swear that his promise shall hold good, it does not really add to the certainty of the thing promised, since the certainty was absolute from the first. But man is so accustomed to mistrust his fellows that he will even mistrust God, as though with him were 'variableness or shadow of turning’." And yet this same Prof. Rawlinson when writing of the ten-tribed Kingdom of Israel, says: "They ceased to exist." It is painful to find men who will speak so highly of God at one time and so belittle him in regard to his promises to Israel. Well may the Lord say, "Thus have they despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them."
The Rev. Baring Gould tells us that "God's first purpose has been partially frustrated. The church has taken Israel's place as the body."
Dr. Ladd, in The Doctrine of Scripture, Vol. I, page 442, says: "The Christian church has taken the place of the Jew to receive in different form the substance of the salvation which they expected for themselves. The Christian church is the true Israel, the seed of Abraham, the inheritor and recipient of the Messianic prophecies."
Opinions, similar to these, are held generally throughout the Christian church; while others hold that we are a sort of modern Israel of whom the Bible is silent, and yet both schools appropriate to Christianity all the good things which are promised to the Lord's chosen people, and pile all the evil things upon the Jews. As if the Lord were guilty of making promises to one people and fulfilling them to another.
To be in harmony with the facts, Dr. Ladd should have defined the situation as follows: "The Christian church is the true Israel of God which has received, in the same form and substance, that salvation which the Jews refused, for it is composed of men who are born of the spirit and who belong to the material Israel, the seed of Abraham, the inheritors and recipients of the Messianic prophecies, upon whom lighted the Divine word -- he whom the Jews rejected."
In the chapter on the heraldry of Israel and the Saxons, we explained that the Lion, the young Ox, and the Eagle were the camp standards of Israel. But we gave no explanation concerning "The Man," which was also one of these four camp standards. The reference to the man in Ezekiel 1:10 cites us to Numbers 2:10, which reads: "On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben." Concerning these symbols, Dr. Seiss says: "Jewish writers tell us that the standard of each tribe of Israel took the color of the stone which represented it in the High Priest's breastplate, and that there was wrought upon each a particular figure -- a lion for Judah, a young ox for Ephraim, a man for Reuben, and an eagle for Dan. These were the representative tribes, and all the rest were marshaled under these four standards (Num. 11); Judah, on the east, with Issachar and Zebulon; Reuben, on the south, with Simeon and Gad; Ephraim, on the west, with Manasseh and Benjamin; and Dan, on the north, with Asher and Naphtali. In the center of this quadrangular encampment was the tabernacle of God, with four divisions of Levites forming an inner encampment around it. It was thus that Israel was marched through the wilderness, under the four banners of the lion, the young ox, the man, and the flying eagle. These were their ensigns, their guards, their coverings, the symbols of power by which they were protected and guided. They were parts of that divine and heavenly administration which led them forth from bondage, preserved them in the wilderness, and finally settled them in the promised land." These facts were undoubtedly known to the compilers of our reference Bibles, hence the references from Ezekiel's vision to the outward, material and earthly aspect of the people to whom Ezekiel was sent, for he was sent to the ten-tribed kingdom, and remained among them seven days. (See former chapter.)
We know of no Old Testament Scriptures which will show why the ensign of Reuben was a man except that the name Reuben means "Behold a son," or "See ye a son." Genesis 29:32 settles that forever. A son presupposes a man. The sons of Benjamin were the men of Benjamin, as we have shown. Also, a son of Israel is a man of Israel. It is certainly fitting that the ensign of Reuben should have been a man, for he was the firstborn of Israel. An expression like this: "Who raised up this righteous man from the east?" as applied to the nation of Israel, may have had some reference to the ensign of the man of Reuben. But, if this be so, it would be next to an impossibility to trace it positively, for the word man is in such general use that, should we undertake it, we should soon get lost in the mazes.
But we are sure of this one thing, namely: that the ensign of that first-born of Israel was a type of another first-born, of whom the prophet declares, "Unto US A SON is born, and my people Israel, even Ephraim, shall know." Also, when this son of Abraham was led out to be slain for the sins of that people, Pilate said: "Behold the MAN."
Joseph inherited the first-born blessing which Reuben forfeited and the ensign of the cross in the hands of the people who are the inheritors of the blessings of the Gospel of the grace of the Son of God, declared, in the arbitrary language of signs, "Behold the man.” Thus it seems that the "Double Portion" of Joseph was a type of his double blessing, i. e., the blessing of the Abrahamic Birthright and the Gospel of Grace, for they certainly are the recipients of both.
It is for this reason that the Lord says: "They," Joseph-Israel, "shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the Double (i.e., two portions in the land) : everlasting joy shall be unto them . . . And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people; all that see them shall acknowledge thern, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed," Isa. 61:7-9.
This word double gives that whole prophecy in the context to Joseph. The next verse is as follows: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, and as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornoments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
Truly "God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." Among that people who received "grace in the wilderness" none may have a clean heart except those who trust the blood of atonement; i.e., the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.
Prior to the crucifixion of this man, this first-born Son of God, Caiaphas, in the heat of discussion concerning the interests of their nation, said: "Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And thus spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he [unconsciously] prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." The children of God that were scattered abroad at that time were the ten tribes of the Birthright kingdom of Israel, and we say, without the possibility of being successfully contradicted, that the restoration of Israel is in the atonement, and that Jesus not only died to fulfill Isa. 53:8, but also that he might perform that good thing which he had promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah; i.e., the gathering, the return, the restoration of his chosen people, with all its glorious results.
This is why Paul said, "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, HOPE TO COME. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews," (Acts 26:17). This is also why he says, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto HIM." It was because this restoration is all through the words of Moses and the prophets, and because Jesus had died to accomplish it, that, after his resurrection, and just before his ascension, the last question which his apostles ask is, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" He did not tell them that there was to be no restoration. He simply told them that they were not to know the times or seasons which the Father bath put in his own power. Later they understood that it was to come, with the second coming of Christ, at which time he is to gather Israel, and reign over the house of Jacob forever.
Thus, on the day of Pentecost, when men out of every nation under heaven were assembled together, Peter said: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath unto him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would RAISE UP Christ. to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ," (Acts 2:29-31).
According to this reasoning, David did not expect Christ to sit on his throne until after he shall have been raised from the dead, and we know that he is not on David's throne now. He is sitting at the right hand of God on his throne, for "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince [a Prince is a coming king] and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins," (Acts 5:31). Hence, Peter, after telling the Jews that this Prince whom they had killed, was both Lord and Christ, very kindly says, "And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it [God help Christians of today to be thus, or even more charitable], as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should SUFFER) he hath so fulfilled." Thus we see, that the apostles only claimed, for others of them were with Peter, that those things which were written concerning the sufferings of Christ were fulfilled. So, Peter continues his discourse, saying, "And he [God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began," (Acts 3:17-21).
Mark that, please! "All things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets," and nothing else, but surely all that which God hath spoken. Just that, nothing more, nothing less, can vindicate. Nothing more is necessary, but it is absolutely essential for the complete vindication of God and his Christ that all which God hath spoken be so fulfilled.
All the suffering phases concerning this rejected one, as recorded by all the prophets, have in like manner been fulfilled. The despised and rejected Man of Sorrows came. The oppressed, afflicted and grief-stricken man with the marred visage has been smitten. The stripe-beaten back has been bared and has borne its heavy load. The prison, the judgment hall, the trial, the mocking, jeering, insulting, spitting, raging mob are come and gone. The dumb Lamb, whose heart broke and melted like wax within him, has been led to the slaughter. In company with criminals, he has poured out his soul unto death, and the mutilated body has been laid away in its foretold rich man's grave. But that grave could not hold its holy treasure, for his prophet Father had said, "Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
These and many other things which were foretold by the prophets he hath so fulfilled; but Jesus, himself, said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law [word], or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [these]. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law ["to the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to thy word, it is because there is no light in them."] till all be fulfilled."
The heaven and the earth are still held in their place, all that is written in the prophets has not yet been fulfilled, but IT SHALL BE. For Gabriel said to Mary, Thou shalt conceive in thy womb [she did], and bring forth A SON [she did], and shalt call his name JESUS [that was his name]. He shall be great [Prophet, High Priest, Prince, and Saviour], and shall be called the Son of the Highest [God, himself, opened heaven, and said, "This is my beloved Son”]; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David [that throne has not yet been given to him], and he shall reign upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice [elements which it now lacks] from henceforth even forever (the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this) over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Thus we see that these promises concerning David's greater Son were fulfilled only in part at his first coming. When Jesus comes the second time, he will come as SHILOH. Unto him shall the people gather, and he will then sit on the throne of his father David, and reign over the house of Jacob forever. For it is written: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH."
It is of the fact of this coming King for the kingdom of David that, when the apostles and elders of the newly founded church were in counsel, James spoke:
"Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people [the remnant of grace] for his name [i.e., that they might become his bride]. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle [royal dwellings, and palaces] of David, which are fallen down [those on Mt. Zion]; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up," (Acts 15:13-16).
Jesus died to confirm the promises made to the fathers, not to transfer them. "He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep," (Ps. 121:3-4).