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THE PARALLEL DISPENSATIONS
The Jewish Age a Type of the Gospel Age--Remarkable Parallelism or Correspondency Between the Two Dispensations--Yet They are Distinct --Superiority of the Christian Epoch, the Antitype--Fleshly and Spiritual Israel Contrasted--Prominent Parallels Examined--Time Parallels Specially Noticed--Period of Fleshly Israel's Favor--Time of Their Cutting Off from Favor--The Period of Disfavor Shown from Prophecy to be Equal to the Period of Favor--Apostolic Testimony that Their Period of Disfavor is the Period for the High Calling of Spiritual Israel--The Length of the Gospel Age thus Shown Indirectly but Clearly--Harmony of the Bible Chronology, Jubilee Testimony, Gentile Times, and Other Prophecies with the Lessons of These Parallels Unanswerable, Conclusive and Satisfying.
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 reasonings 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. <PAGE 202>
Many presume that the Jewish and Christian ages are really one, and that God has been selecting the Christian Church from the very beginning of human existence. This is a serious mistake, which beclouds and hinders the correct and clear apprehension of many truths. Jesus was the head and forerunner of the Christian Church, which is his body (`Eph. 5:23`; `Col. 1:24`); consequently none preceded him as members of the Church. Had any preceded him, he could not properly be styled the forerunner. The "high calling" to become joint-sacrificers, and finally joint-heirs with him, was not made known in other ages. (`Eph. 3:2,5,6`) Good men who lived and died prior to the actual payment of our ransom by the precious blood knew nothing of this "high calling." And since the gifts and callings of God are unmerited favors, no injustice is done to those of other ages, in not offering them the same favor. The call and favor to those of past ages, as they will also be to those of the coming age, were to earthly honors, and earthly glory, and everlasting life as earthly (human) beings; while the call and favor of the Gospel age are to heavenly honors and glory, to a change of nature from human to divine, and to power, honor and dominion in heaven and in earth, as joint-heirs and co-workers with Christ. And since the Church thus called out, separated from the world, and developed during this age, is in the age to come to be the agent of Jehovah in the full execution of his great plan of the ages--a plan which compasses the interests not only of humanity, but of all creatures in heaven and in earth--wonderful have been the preparations made in the ages past for their training and instruction. And no less wonderful has been the care with which these, called to be heirs of divine glory, have during this age been trained, disciplined, guided and protected through the long, difficult, narrow way, first opened up by <PAGE 203> their Lord and Forerunner, in whose footprints they are directed to tread--as he set the example. `1 Pet. 2:21`
Our Lord spent the three and a half years of his ministry in gathering out from Israel, and in training and instructing, the few disciples who should form the nucleus of the Christian Church. When about to leave them alone in the world he gave them the promise of the holy Spirit, which, during the entire age, should guide the Church into all truth, and show them things to come, and bring freshly to remembrance what he had taught--which promise began to be verified at Pentecost. It is also written that the angels are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to these heirs of this great salvation (`Heb. 1:14`), and that our Lord's special care is over them, even to the end of the age. (`Matt. 28:20`) All the writings of the apostles are addressed to the Church, and not to the world, as many seem to think; and they are full of special instructions, encouragements and exhortations, needful only to the saints who during this age are walking in the narrow way. And our Lord's revelation, which God gave him after he had passed into glory, he sent and signified [sign-ified--told in signs, symbols, etc.] to his Church, through his servant John. (`Rev. 1:1`) We are also told that the prophecies given aforetime by holy men of old were given, not for themselves, nor for others of their day and age, but exclusively for the instruction of the Christian Church. `1 Pet. 1:12`
In this chapter we purpose to show that the whole Jewish nation, during that entire age, was unwittingly engaged, under God's direction, in furnishing for our instruction a typical view of the entire plan of salvation in all its workings, even as we have just seen its Jubilees pointing out the final consummation of the plan in the blessing of all the families of the earth. It is by our drawing upon this storehouse <PAGE 204> of truth, so abundantly and specially provided for the Church, that the Spirit of God feeds us and leads us gradually into a more and more nearly complete understanding of his plan, as rapidly as that knowledge becomes needful to us. And from this great storehouse God is now supplying much of the special light and food needful to us in this "harvest" time at the consummation of the age. Since such has been God's care and abundant provision for the Christian Church above all other people of past and future ages, how important in his estimation must that knowledge be to us, and how eagerly should we avail ourselves of it.
While we will not in this chapter or volume enter into a detailed examination of the typical features of God's dealings with Israel, as set forth in the Tabernacle, and Temple, and ordinances and sacrifices, etc., we do now invite close attention to some of the marked and prominent outlines of correspondency between the Jewish and Christian dispensations as type and antitype; for all that the Christian Church actually experiences and accomplishes, the Jewish Church prefigured. And many of these features of correspondency are parallel not only in character, but also in their relative time of occurrence. Even in their national history, and in the history of many particular individuals of that nation, we find correspondencies marked by the Scriptures. Some of these, Christian thinkers have long noticed, and others have been entirely overlooked. Here a beautiful and fruitful field of thought and study opens before us.
Paul designates the Jewish Church "Israel after the flesh," and the Christian Church "The Israel of God." (`1 Cor. 10:18`; `Gal. 6:16`) We may therefore properly designate them Fleshly Israel and Spiritual Israel. The higher plane of the spiritual house is also pointed out by the Apostle when he describes Fleshly Israel as a house [family] of servants, and <PAGE 205> Spiritual Israel as a house of sons. (`Heb. 3:5,6`; `Rom. 8:14`) The fleshly house was the honored servants of the spiritual house in various ways, but chiefly in that they unconsciously, under God's arrangement, furnished pantomime illustrations of spiritual things, which, if studied and heeded, greatly bless and enlighten the house of sons.
In both cases there have been a Nominal Israel and a Real Israel, in God's estimation, though to men they have appeared as one; the nominal and the real not being clearly distinguishable until the end or harvest time of their respective ages, when the truth then due and brought to light accomplishes the separation, and makes manifest which are of the real and which of the merely nominal Israel. Of the fleshly house Paul said, "They are not all Israel which are [nominally] of Israel" (`Rom. 9:6`); and our Lord recognized the same fact when of Nathaniel he said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile," and also when in the time of harvest he separated the real from the nominal, and called the former valuable wheat, and the latter mere chaff-- though, comparatively, the wheat was only a handful, and the chaff included nearly all of that nation. In a similar proportion, and under a similar figure, the nominal and the real members of Spiritual Israel of the Gospel age are pointed out; and their separation, too, is in the time of harvest-- in the end of the Gospel age. Then only the wheat--a comparatively small number, a "little flock"--will be separated from the masses of nominal Spiritual Israel, while the great majority, being tares and not real wheat, will be rejected as unworthy of the chief favor to which they were called, and will not be counted among the Lord's jewels. `Rom. 9:27; 11:5`; `Luke 12:32`; `Matt. 3:12; 13:24-40`
The head of the fleshly house was Jacob, surnamed Israel (a prince); and through his twelve sons he founded the house which bore his name, the House of Jacob, the House of Israel. <PAGE 206> So with the Spiritual House: its founder, Christ, established it through the twelve apostles; and this house also bears the name of its founder--The Church of Christ. In point of time, God called Fleshly Israel first; but in point of favor, and in time of realization, Spiritual Israel comes first. Thus the first becomes last, and the last first. (`Luke 13:30`) The Scriptures clearly mark these two houses of Israel as being the fleshly seed of Abraham and the spiritual seed of Jehovah--the Heavenly Father whom Abraham typified.
Some are blinded to important truths by the supposition that the expression, "both the houses of Israel," refers to the two divisions of Fleshly Israel, after the split in the days of Solomon's son, Rehoboam. Such need only be reminded that after the captivity in Babylon, upon their restoration to Palestine, all Israelites of all the tribes then captives in all the universal domain of Medo-Persia, including the land of Syria or Babylonia, were given liberty to return to their own land if they chose. (`Ezra 1:1-4`) Many of the faithful Israelites of all the tribes, who had respect to the promises of God associated with the holy land and the holy city, returned to the various cities of Palestine. The tribe of Judah, the principal tribe, in which was vested the kingly office, and in whose territory Jerusalem, the chief city, was located, naturally took a leading part in its rebuilding; but after that return from Babylon, Israel was no more a divided nation, but dwelt together as at first, as one people, and were known by the one original name, Israel. See `Neh. 11:1,20`; `Ezra 2:70`.
This is further emphasized in the New Testament. The Lord and the apostles speak of Fleshly Israel as one. Paul says that Israel sought, but that only a "remnant" was found worthy. (`Rom. 10:1-3; 9:27; 11:5-12,20-25`; `Acts 26:7`) Our Lord said that he was "sent to [all] the lost sheep of the [one] house of Israel"; yet when he would not permit his disciples to go outside of Palestine to seek them (`Matt. 10:5,6; 15:24`), <PAGE 207> it is evident that those living in Palestine represented all Israel. Peter, too, speaks of fleshly Israel as one house; and addressing the people at Jerusalem he said, "Let all the house of Israel know," etc. James also speaks of the twelve tribes as one people. (`Acts 2:36`; `Jas. 1:1`) Many of all the tribes dwelt in Palestine, and many of all the tribes dwelt in surrounding nations. Thus Paul met and preached to Israelites in nearly every city which he visited in Asia Minor and Italy, but they were always recognized as one nation, spiritual Israel being the only other Israel.
God has made special covenants or promises to both these houses of Israel. The promises to the fleshly house were all earthly, while those to the spiritual house are all heavenly. Though the promises to the fleshly house were (and still are) grand and precious, the promises to the spiritual house are characterized as "better promises," and "exceeding great and precious promises." (`Heb. 8:6`; `2 Pet. 1:4`) To the fleshly house it was said, "If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." And though all Israel answered and said, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (`Exod. 19:5-8`), and then failed to keep their covenant, yet the faithful among them, who earnestly endeavored in their weakness to keep it, will in the Millennial age be "princes in all the earth," members of the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God. See Vol. I, chapter xiv.
To the spiritual house, on the contrary, it is said, "Ye are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices* acceptable to God by Jesus Christ....Ye are a chosen ---------- *The word spiritual before sacrifices in this text (`verse 5`) is omitted in the oldest Greek manuscript--the Sinaitic. The correctness of this omission is evident when we reflect that not spiritual things are sacrificed, but earthly or human privileges, rights, etc. <PAGE 208> generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now THE PEOPLE OF GOD." `1 Pet. 2:5,9,10`
Fleshly Israel had by God's appointment a Tabernacle made with hands, which was typical both in itself and in all its services. (`Heb. 9:1,2,9,10`) But Spiritual Israel has "the true [the antitypical] Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man." (`Heb. 8:2`) For the services of the typical Tabernacle a typical priesthood was ordained, of which Aaron was the head, which offered typical sacrifices for the sins of the typical people, and accomplished a typical cleansing or justification each year. The antitypical Tabernacle has its priesthood, which offers up better sacrifices (`Heb. 9:23`), which actually and forever cancel the sins of the whole world. And of this priesthood our Lord Jesus is the head priest--the High Priest of our profession [or order]--the Church which is his body being the under-priests. The entire nominal church is not this priesthood--but the true Church, the faithful in Christ Jesus, who follow the footsteps of our great High Priest in sacrifice.
Another marked feature of this correspondency as type and antitype, noted in the Scriptures, is that both the houses of Israel (fleshly and spiritual) were carried away captives into Babylon. This will be more clearly seen when in a succeeding chapter we come to view "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots." (`Rev. 17:5,6`) We merely notice here the correspondence. Fleshly Israel was taken captive into literal Babylon, which was built upon the literal river Euphrates, while in the Gospel age mystic or figurative Babylon, which carried away captive Spiritual Israel, is portrayed as sitting upon the mystic Euphrates. In the type, the golden vessels of the Temple were carried <PAGE 209> away and profaned by literal Babylon: in the antitype, the precious, divine (golden) truths, pertaining to the service of the true Temple, the Church (`1 Cor. 3:16,17`; `Rev. 3:12`), were far removed from their proper places, perverted and misapplied by mystic Babylon. Literal Babylon being built upon the river Euphrates, which materially contributed to its wealth and resources, its overthrow was accomplished by the turning aside of those waters. So mystic Babylon sits upon, is supported by, many waters (peoples, nations), and its fall is predicted, through the turning aside of its supporters and sustainers, the people. `Rev. 16:12`
Shadow and Substance--Type and Antitype
We now come to the consideration of that most wonderful feature of this typical correspondency, viz., the time element, which in every instance sustains and corroborates the dates indicated by the Jubilees, the Chronology, and the foretold close of Gentile Times. And it is for this purpose particularly that this subject is here introduced--that the force of this wonderful parallelism may increase and confirm the faith of God's children in the time element of his plan, as it was evidently intended to do. `Heb. 9:9,23; 10:1`
Of all the prophecies and time-proofs there is none more striking and convincing than this one. The lesson it teaches is startling because of its very simplicity, and carries conviction to the hearts of the humble. Not only were Fleshly Israel and its ceremonies typical, but the Jewish age was typical of the Gospel age. They are of exactly the same length, and correspond to each other; so that, seeing and <PAGE 210> appreciating the Jewish age, its length, and the peculiarities of its harvest or close, we may know the exact length of the Gospel age, its antitype, and may understand what to look for, and when, in the harvest of the Gospel age. But let us now proceed to show this; for though we might take it for granted on general principles, and say that as the various features of the Jewish system correspond to those of the Gospel age, so too the time should correspond, yet God has not left us thus to infer this, but has clearly though indirectly told us so.
Paul tells us 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, then God's favor will return to the fleshly house. He says: "I would not, brethren [brethren of 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 Israel [natural, or fleshly] until the fulness of the Gentiles* be come in. 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 ---------- *None should confound this "Fulness of [or, from out of] the Gentiles" with the "Times of the Gentiles," mentioned heretofore. The "Times of the Gentiles," as has been shown, is the period of time during which the Gentiles are permitted to rule the world; while the "Fulness of the Gentiles" refers to the full number to be selected out from among the Gentiles, to complete the Gospel Church--who, with the "remnant" selected from among the Israelites (which would include the apostles), shall constitute the Church of Christ, the Holy Nation, the Royal Priesthood, the Kingdom of God, to whom the kingdom and dominion of earth shall be committed. <PAGE 211> them) when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel [the high calling of this age], they are enemies [cast off] for your sakes [that you may have the preference and inherit the choicest, 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 their 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." What God has promised is sure of fulfilment. Knowing the end from the beginning, Jehovah never made a covenant which he would need or wish to break.
In this prophecy the Apostle gives an intimation of the length of the Gospel age, by showing that it began with the casting off of Fleshly Israel, and that it will end with their restoration to favor. Placing the statements of Paul and Peter (`Rom. 11:27` and `Acts 3:19-21`) together, we learn that the time for the return of favor to Israel will be in the beginning of the Times of Restitution, at the second advent of our Lord. Paul says the return of favor to that people will be when God shall take away their sins, which Peter says he will do in the times of refreshing or restitution which shall come when our Lord comes the second time, when the heavens no longer retain him.
The date of our Lord's second advent, and the dawn of the Times of Restitution, we have already shown to be A.D. 1874. We should expect, therefore, to see some marks of God's returning favor to Fleshly Israel shortly after A.D. 1874, as one of the first features of restitution work. And, surely enough, we do see favor beginning to return to them. And every fresh evidence of the removal of Israel's blindness, and of divine favor toward them, is, when measured by the Apostle's words, a fresh proof that the Gospel age is closing and that the "little flock" is about complete. But we <PAGE 212> have further proof which furnishes us with the exact date when favor should begin to return to Israel. Thus far we have merely seen that the measure of Fleshly Israel's cast off condition is the measure of the time of special favor to others, for the calling of other people (Gentiles) to be joint-heirs with Christ, which call ends in the beginning of the Times of Restitution; but not (other prophecies show) at the very beginning of it.
But pause a moment--let there be no misunderstanding on this point: When the call to the high privilege of becoming members of the Church, the bride and joint-heir of Christ, ceases, it by no means signifies that all of those already called are sure to be counted worthy, and therefore to be chosen; for "Many are called, but few are chosen," because only a few of the called ones comply with the conditions of the call. Nor does it imply that those not thereafter called to that "high calling" will be offered no other favors. The fact is, that when this "high calling" ceases, it is because the great Designer of the plan of the ages has almost completed that part of his plan intended to be accomplished in the Gospel age--viz.: the selection of the Gospel Church, the bride of Christ. All men were not called to that high honor. We are specially informed that God's design was to select for this purpose only a limited number, a "little flock," as compared with the mass of mankind. After enough have been called and the time for calling ends and it is no longer proper to extend this call to others, it will still be possible for those already called, who have accepted the call, to make their calling and election sure, by faithfulness to their covenant of entire consecration to God, even unto death; and it will still be possible for these to fail of so doing. This call, which must end when enough have been invited from which to complete the favored "little flock," the body of Christ, is far from being the limit of God's love and favor <PAGE 213> and calling. Its end will merely close the heavenly or "high calling." For where this call ends, where this door of opportunity and favor closes, another door begins to swing open--the door of opportunity to enter the highway of holiness, and to go up thereon--not to the divine nature, to which the Gospel Church was called, but to everlasting life and perfection as human beings. See Vol. I, chapters x and xi.
But now for the exact date of the return of favor to Israel, which marks the exact end of the heavenly call--from which date Israel will begin gradually to see, and to have increasing evidences of returning divine favor, and from which date also God's call to heavenly honors will cease, and only these already called will be privileged to win that prize by faithfulness to the close of life:
Fleshly Israel, like Spiritual Israel, was called of God to be his peculiar people, a peculiar treasure unto him above all other people (the one an earthly treasure, and a type of the other, which is a heavenly treasure). Separated from the world, they were the recipients of special favor from God for eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years. This period began with the beginning of their national life, at the death of Jacob, the last of the patriarchs, when they were first recognized as a nation, and called "The Twelve Tribes of Israel," a national name. See `Gen. 49:28; 46:3`; `Deut. 26:5`. These eighteen hundred and forty-five years of national life and favor ended with their rejection of Messiah-- A.D. 33--when, five days before his crucifixion, he presented himself to them as their king, and, not being received, declared, "Your house is left unto you desolate." (`Matt. 23:38`) This, the end of their favor, was the point of their fall, which continued for thirty-seven (37) years, and ended A.D. 70 in the total destruction of their national polity, as well as of their city, temple, etc. It should be noted, however, <PAGE 214> that God continued his favor to individuals of that nation, after the nation, as a nation, had been cut off; for the gospel call was confined to individuals of that nation for three and a half years after Pentecost, after the death of Christ--not reaching Cornelius, the first Gentile so favored (`Acts 10`), until that time. This was the full end of the seventy weeks of favor promised through Daniel, as it had been written, "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." That seventieth week of years began at our Lord's baptism; his cross, as predicted, marked its middle; and favor was confined to Fleshly Israel until its close.
During their long period (1845 years) of national favor, during which other nations were ignored, Israel had chastisements and blessings combined. But even their chastisements for sins were evidences and elements of God's favor and fatherly care over them. He sent trouble upon them, and frequently allowed them to be carried away into captivity, when they forgot and disobeyed him; yet when they repented and cried unto the Lord he always heard and delivered them. The entire history of that people, as recorded in Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Chronicles and Samuel, attests the fact that God did not long hide his face from them, and that his ear was ever open unto their repentant cry--down to the day their house was left desolate. Even on that day, God was forgiving them more than ever, and had sent them the long-promised Messiah, the Deliverer, in the person of our Lord, his Son. The unfitness of that nation longer to be his special treasure, or in any measure to represent God's Kingdom on earth, was manifested in their rejection of the holy, harmless, undefiled one, and their desire of a murderer in his stead.
Thus, because of their unfitness, the day of their greatest favor became the day of their rejection and fall from favor. <PAGE 215> And the great favor of becoming joint-inheritors with Messiah, which Israel, except the faithful "remnant" (`Isa. 1:9; 10:22,23`; `Rom. 9:28,29; 11:5`), thus missed by their blindness and hardness of heart, was offered to believing Gentiles: not to Gentile nations, but to justified believers of every nation--though the favor was at first, for three and a half years, confined exclusively to believers of the nation of Israel. Blinded as a people by national prejudices, the great prize which they were offered first, but of which they were unworthy, goes to a holy nation, a peculiar people, composed of a worthy "remnant" of their nation, with others called out from Gentile nations, whom in their arrogant pride they once despised as "dogs." And God's promised favor will not return to them as a people, to remove their blindness, and to lead them as a first-fruits of the nations into earthly blessings, until the full number of the "peculiar people" have been called from the Gentiles--until the fulness of the Gentiles be come into this higher favor.
Thus, as Paul declared (`Rom. 11:7`), Fleshly Israel did not obtain that for which they sought, viz., the chief favor. Supposing the chief favor to be the earthly blessings, and in their pride of heart claiming that chief blessing as their natural birthright, and as further merited by their works, they blindly stumbled over and rejected it as a favor through Christ. As David had foretold, their table--so bountifully spread with the rich promises and blessings offered them through Christ--became "a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them," because of their hardness of heart. (`Rom. 11:9,10`; `Psa. 69:22-28`) Christ, who came to redeem and who would have exalted them to a position of glory beyond their ability to desire or imagine, was to their pride "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." `Rom. 9:32,33`; `Isa. 8:14` <PAGE 216>
Yet the blindness of Israel was only a "blindness in part," and not a total loss of sight; for the testimony of the Law, the prophets and the apostles was open to all, whether Jew or Gentile; and during the Gospel age any Jew who would resolutely brush away the films of prejudice and pride, and humbly and thankfully accept the favor of God with his Gentile brother, might do so. Yet few have ever been able to do so; and no favor will be granted, and no special effort to convince them as a nation of the truth, or to overcome their prejudices, will be exerted, until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; or, in other words, until Spiritual Israel is complete.
Since their rejection of Messiah--since their house was left desolate--Israel has had no marks of God's favor. Even Jews themselves must admit that their tears and groans and prayers have gone unanswered; and, as foretold by their prophets, they have been "a by-word and a hissing" unto all nations. Though formerly God heard their prayers, and marked their tears, and returned them to their own land, and continually favored them, since then he heeds them not and shows them no favor. Since they said, "His blood be upon us and upon our children," theirs has been one continuous chastisement: they have been scattered and persecuted among all nations, as foretold. These are the facts as all may read them on the pages of history. Now let us turn to the prophets and see how particularly these facts were foretold, and what the same prophets have to say concerning their future.
Through the prophet `Jeremiah (chapter xvi)`, after telling Israel how they had forsaken him, the Lord says: "Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other Gods [rulers] day and night, where I will not show you favor." (`Verses 9-13`) These days came when they rejected <PAGE 217> Messiah. How literally this threat has been fulfilled all may judge, and they themselves must admit. This prophecy cannot refer to any of their previous captivities to surrounding nations--Syria, Babylon, etc. Such an inference is guarded against in the expression, "Into a land which ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers." Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees--Babylonia--and Jacob from Syria. (`Deut. 26:5`) Israel's dispersion among all nations since the close of their 1845 years of favor, and no other of their captivities, fits this pointed expression--a land which ye and your fathers have not known. So then this, together with the no favor, positively marks this prophecy as relating to Israel's present dispersion among all nations.
But though he cast them off from all favor for a while, God will not leave them cast off forever, but says--`Jer. 16:13-15`: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north [Russia, where nearly one half of the Hebrew race resides], and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."
We might multiply quotations from the prophets and apostles concerning the final return of God's favor to Jacob, or Israel after the flesh, after the selection of the full number for "the body of Christ" from the Gentiles, but the student can do so by the use of a Concordance or a Reference Bible. Among the very pointed references to this favor to be restored to Israel, in the New Testament, is that by James, `Acts 15:14-16`, and by Paul, `Rom. 11:26`. But first, they must drink the very last dregs of their chastisement; and thus it is expressed in this remarkable prophecy (`verse 18`); "And first [before the favor will come] I will recompense <PAGE 218> their iniquity and their sin double." The Hebrew word here rendered "double" is mishneh, and signifies a second portion, a repetition. Thus understood, the Prophet's declaration is, that from the time of their being cast off from all favor until the time of their return to favor would be a repetition, or duplication in time, of their previous history, during which time they had enjoyed divine favor.
As shown in the accompanying diagram, the period of their favor, from the commencement of their national existence at the death of Jacob, down to the end of that favor at the death of Christ, A.D. 33, was eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years; and there their "double" (mishneh)--the repetition or duplication of the same length of time, eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years, without favor--began. Eighteen hundred and forty-five years since A.D. 33 shows A.D. 1878 to be the end of their period of disfavor. A.D. 33 plus 1845 = A.D. 1878.
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 A.D. 1878. This we do find, in the fact that the Jew is now permitted privileges in Palestine denied him for centuries past. And it was in that very year--1878 A.D., 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 greatly 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 <PAGE 219>
"BOTH THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL"
JEWISH FAVOR, WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM
1845 + 3 1/2 years
PERIOD OF THE NATIONAL EXISTENCE OF THE
CHILDREN OF JACOB, SURNAMED ISRAEL,
DATING FROM THE DEATH OF
THE PATRIARCH JACOB
A.D. 29 The King came in A.D. 33 A.D. 36
3 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 33 = 40 YEARS
A Time of
CHRISTIAN FAVOR, WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM
During Jewish "Double" -- 1845 + 3 1/2 years
PERIOD OF CHRISTIAN FAVOR AND HIGH CALLING
TO BELIEVERS, DATING FROM MESSIAH'S
DEATH TO THE REJECTION AND
FALL OF BABYLON
A.D. 1874 The King came in A.D. 1878 A.D. 1881
3 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 33 = 40 YEARS
"A Time of
as was not
since there was
A.D. 1915 <PAGE 220> <PAGE 221> 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.
At the same time that the door to Palestine thus opened before them, a fierce persecution arose in Roumania and Germany, and specially in Russia, where it still continues-- increasingly. By one regulation after another they have been despoiled of rights and privileges by these governments, as well as mobbed by their neighbors, until they are being compelled to leave in large numbers. But this persecution is doubtless a favor also, as it will tend, and has already tended, to cause them to look toward Jerusalem and the covenants, and to remind them that they are heirs of certain rich earthly promises.
But we must remember that the year A.D. 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 A.D. 1878, the Jew will not be received back into full favor until after 1915. Thus their rise again to favor will be gradual, as was their fall from it. It is remarkable, too, that these two periods of their falling and rising are of exactly the same length--the falling was gradual, with increasing momentum, for thirty-seven years, from A.D. 33, where their national favor ceased, to A.D. 70, where their national existence ended, the land was desolated and Jerusalem totally destroyed. History thus marks the beginning and ending of their fall, while prophecy marks both ends of their rising--1878 and 1915-- showing an exact parallel of thirty-seven years. This is a <PAGE 222> further part of their mishneh ("double") mentioned by the prophet.
Though the turning points of the Jewish and Gospel ages are thus clearly marked at A.D. 33 and A.D. 1878 respectively, by Israel's rejection and returning favor, yet the work of each of these ages laps over upon the age succeeding it. Thus the turning point of the Jewish age being reached, their age thereafter was lapped upon by the opening Gospel age, just as their returning favor, which is one of the opening features of the Millennial age, laps over upon the close or harvest of the Gospel age. For thirty-seven years (from A.D. 33, the end of their national favor, to A.D. 70, their complete overthrow) Israel, except the faithful remnant, was falling, and the believing Gentiles were rising--the Jewish age was ending and the Gospel age was beginning; and for thirty-seven years (from A.D. 1878 to A.D. 1915) the Gospel age is ending, and woes are preparing and coming upon so-called Christendom, except the faithful remnant, while the restitution work for Israel and all people is preparing. That is to say, the dates A.D. 33 and A.D. 1878 mark when the work of the respective new ages began, though the work of harvesting the preceding age, and destroying the refuse, was allowed to continue thirty-seven years into the new, in both cases. Thus the lap of the dispensations, as well as the end-marks of each, is clearly defined.
A double work belongs to each of these lapping periods: the pulling down of the old and the establishment of the new arrangement or dispensation. And as the Jewish age and people were but the types or shadows, we must expect the results here to be much more extensive than there; and so we shall find them. This twofold work is shown in the statement of the prophet Isaiah--"For (1) the day of vengeance is in my heart, and (2) the year of my redeemed is come." `Isa. 63:4` <PAGE 223>
Nor is it a cunningly devised correspondency, arranged to suit the facts; for many of these parallels, and other truths, were seen from prophecy, and were preached as here presented, several years prior to A.D. 1878--that year being announced as the time of returning favor to Israel, before it came, and before any event marked it so. The author of this volume published these conclusions drawn from Scripture, in pamphlet form, in the spring of A.D. 1877.
The testimony could scarcely be stronger, and yet be kept secret until the present due time for knowledge to be increased, and for the wise [in truly heavenly teaching] to understand. The exact year of Israel's rejection--yes, even the very day--we know; that they were to have a mishneh or double, the Prophet explicitly declares; that this parallel period is eighteen hundred and forty-five years long, and that it ended A.D. 1878, we have shown clearly, we think; and that it was marked by favor is an indisputable fact. And bear in mind, too, that it is since the end of their "double" that Prof. Delitzsch has published his Hebrew translation of the New Testament, which is already in the hands of thousands of Hebrews and awakening much interest. And further, remember that the greatest Christian movement among the Hebrews since the days of the apostles, headed by Rabinowitsch and others, is now in progress in Russia. And it had its start about as long a time after A.D. 1878, where Israel's "double" ended, as the time of the awakening among the Gentiles was after Israel's rejection in A.D. 33.
Now call to mind the Apostle's words which show clearly that they were cast off from divine favor, and from EARTHLY COVENANTS, STILL THEIRS, until the fulness or complete number from the Gentiles has come in--until the end of the Gospel call--and then you will see that 1878 is a marked date, of deep interest to Spiritual Israel--no less important than to Fleshly Israel. <PAGE 224>
However, as none but our Lord Jesus knew the import of the end of the Law age and the beginning of the Gospel age (even the apostles knew only in part and saw dimly until after Pentecost), so we can now expect only the body of Christ, anointed with the same spirit, to see clearly the ending of the Gospel age and its weighty import. The poor Jews and many professed Christians do not even yet know of the great dispensational change which occurred at the first advent--the ending of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age. And likewise now, few know, or will come to know, until outward evidences prove it to their natural sight, that we are now in the end or "harvest" of the Gospel age, and that A.D. 1878 marked so important a point as it did. Nor was it intended that others than the faithful few should see and know, and not be in darkness with the world--"To you it is given to know," said our Lord.
But some perhaps may say, Though Jeremiah was truly a prophet of the Lord, whose testimony as to the "mishneh" or duplication of Israel's experiences should be respected, we should consider the evidence still stronger if another prophet had mentioned the same thing. To such we reply that the statement of one reliable prophet is good and sufficient ground for faith, and that many of the notable proofs at the first advent were foretold by only a single prophet; nevertheless, God, who is rich in mercy and very pitiful, considered our weakness of faith, and has answered the prayer of our hearts in advance, providing more than the one testimony.
Turn now to `Zechariah's prophecy (9:9-12)`. In prophetic vision he walks beside Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem-- A.D. 33--five days before his crucifixion (`John 12:1-12`), and to the people the Prophet cries, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy king cometh unto thee! He is just, and having salvation: <PAGE 225> lowly, and riding upon an ass." Mark the clear fulfilment of these words--`Matt. 21:4-9,43`; `John 12:12-15`; `Luke 19:40-42`. Every item was fulfilled, even to the shouting. When the people shouted Hosanna! the Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke them, but he refused, saying, "If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Why? Because it had been prophesied that there would be a shout, and every item of prophecy must be fulfilled. Let this particularity of detail in prophetic fulfilment give us confidence in the further statements of this and other prophets.
After briefly noting the evil consequences to follow a rejection of their king (`Zech. 9:10`), the Prophet, speaking for Jehovah, addresses them thus (`verse 12`): "Turn you to the stronghold [Christ], ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render DOUBLE unto thee." The word double, here, is the same word used by Jeremiah--"mishneh" --a repetition, or another equal portion. Israel had for years been under the Roman yoke, but they were "prisoners of hope," hoping for a coming king who would deliver them and exalt them to the promised dominion of earth. Now their king, their strong tower, had come, but so meek and lowly that they in their pride of heart could not recognize him as such a deliverer. And much more they were Sin's prisoners, and this Deliverer purposed this greater release also. Our Lord had been with them three and a half years, fulfilling the Scriptures in their midst, and now came the last and final test--would they receive him, the Lord's Anointed, as their king? The foreknowledge of God, that they would reject Messiah, is shown by the Prophet's words--"Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee."
This prophecy not only leaves no doubt about there being a double--a duplication of chastisement added to Israel's <PAGE 226> experience because of their rejection of Messiah--but it also marks the exact day when it began, and makes the conclusions drawn from Jeremiah's prophecy, and fixed by our Lord's words, "Your house is left unto you desolate," doubly strong, exact and clear.
Call to mind our Lord's words at this time and in this connection--"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold! your house is left unto you desolate; for I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say [from the heart], Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (`Matt. 23:37-39`) Also we read that on the last day of their test, "when he was come near [riding on the ass], he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now [henceforth] they are hid from thine eyes." (`Luke 19:41,42`) Thank God, now that their "double" is complete, we can see that their blindness is beginning to be turned away. And this gives joy to the saints on their own account, too, for they realize that the glorification of the Body of Christ draweth nigh.
But our loving Father, who evidently wished to settle and to establish our hearts beyond doubt, upon the small point which decides and proves so much, has sent us word concerning Israel's "double" by another of his most honored servants --the Prophet Isaiah.
This prophet takes his standpoint down at this end, at the time when the "double" (mishneh) has been fulfilled-- A.D. 1878; and, addressing us who now live, he gives us God's message, saying: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her <PAGE 227> iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand DOUBLE* for all her sins." `Isa. 40:1,2`. See marginal reading.
The student of prophecy should notice that the prophets vary their standpoints of utterance, sometimes speaking of future things as future, and sometimes assuming a position future and speaking from that assumed standpoint; as, for instance, Isaiah, speaking of our Lord's birth, assumes to stand by the manger where the babe Jesus lay, when he says, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder," etc. (`Isa. 9:6`) The Book of Psalms cannot be read intelligently unless this principle be recognized. No better illustration of this principle of different prophetic standpoints can be given than the three prophecies relating to Israel's "double" already noticed. Jeremiah foretold that the days would come when God would scatter them among all nations, and that, when they have received "DOUBLE," he would gather them again by a more mighty display of power on their behalf than when they came out of Egyptian bondage. Zechariah speaks as though living at the time of Christ's offering himself to Israel as their king, and tells us that there, in that very day, their "double" began to count. Isaiah stands beside us in A.D. 1878, and calls our attention to the fact that God had a fixed or appointed time for favoring Israel already arranged, and that this fixed time was after a double, or counterpart, of their previous favor; and he tells us that we should now give to Israel this comforting message that her double is complete --her appointed time accomplished. It would be difficult indeed to decide which of these three prophecies is strongest or most important. They are each important, and ---------- *The Hebrew word here translated "double" is kephel, which signifies double, in the sense of a thing having been folded in the middle. <PAGE 228> each would be strong alone; but combined they are a three-fold cord of wonderful strength to the humble, studious, trustful children of God.
The force of these prophetic utterances is increased when we remember that these prophets not only lived and wrote hundreds of years apart, but that they wrote things entirely contrary to Jewish expectation. Surely faithless and slow of heart to believe all that God has spoken by the prophets are those who cannot see in this clear and harmonious testimony the finger and dealings of God.
If any should object, that the Berlin Congress and its actions were not a sufficiently marked beginning of God's returning favor to Israel, we reply that it was a far more marked return of favor than was our Lord's action upon riding into Jerusalem a mark of disfavor. Neither, at the time of its occurrence, was recognized as a fulfilment of prophecy. And today there are thousands more who know of the fulfilment of the double than up to Pentecost knew that the double began back there. Thus we see that the child that Simeon said was set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel (`Luke 2:34`) proved the fall or stone of stumbling to Fleshly Israel as a nation; and we have seen how, as the Head and Captain of Spiritual Israel, he is to be the Deliverer, to raise up again the fleshly house, and to restore all things after their "appointed time," their "double," is complete; and now we see the double complete and favor to Israel beginning. As we note these fulfilments of our Father's Word, our hearts may well sing,
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word."
While thus noting Israel's fall from favor and their consequent loss, and the cause of all this, let us not forget that in this also they foreshadowed nominal Spiritual Israel, <PAGE 229> and that the same prophets have foretold the stumbling and fall of both the houses of Israel--"He shall be for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel." `Isa. 8:14`
Just as truly as there was a casting off and fall of nominal Fleshly Israel, as we have seen, there is also to be a casting off and fall of nominal Spiritual Israel, the nominal Gospel Church, and for similar reasons. The casting off and fall of the one are just as vividly portrayed in the Scriptures as those of the other. And just as surely, also, as a remnant of Fleshly Israel was saved from the blindness and fall through meekness and faith, even so also a similar remnant of nominal Spiritual Israel shall be saved from the blindness and fall of the nominal mass in the "harvest" or close of this age. Thus the last members of the true Church, the body of Christ, are to be separated from the nominal church--to be joined to the Head, glorified. These (the remnant selected from Fleshly Israel at its fall, and the faithful few of the Gospel age, including the living remnant at its close) alone constitute the true "Israel of God." These are the Elect--justified by faith in Christ's redemptive work, called to joint-sacrifice and joint-heirship with Christ, chosen through belief of the truth and sanctification by the spirit of truth, and faithful even unto death. With the completion of the selection of this company, in the harvest of this age, quite a commotion may be expected among the wheat and tares; for many divine favors, specially granted because of the faithful few, will be withdrawn from the nominal mass, when the little flock, for whose development they were granted, has been completed.
We should expect that the order here would be, as in the typical Jewish harvest, a separating work, fulfilling the words of the Prophet, "Gather my saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." <PAGE 230> (`Psa. 50:5`) And as A.D. 33 marked the giving over of the nominal Jewish house, as a system, to disfavor, disruption and overthrow, so the corresponding date, A.D. 1878, marked the beginning of the disfavor, disruption and overthrow of the nominal Spiritual Israel, of which we shall have more to say in succeeding chapters.
Assuming that the foregoing evidence is conclusive and satisfactory, we now proceed to demonstrate chronologically: First, that the Jewish age, from the death of Jacob to where their house was left desolate when their double or second part began to count, was eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years long; and second, that the double ended in A.D. 1878, and favor was due to begin there--proving thus the close of the Gospel age favors.
The second point really requires no demonstration; for it being a fact that our Lord died in A.D. 33, it becomes an easy matter to add eighteen hundred and forty-five years to A.D. 33, and find the year A.D. 1878 to be the year in which favor to Israel was due to begin, provided we can prove our first proposition, that the period of Israel's waiting for the fulfilment of God's promises under his favor was a period of eighteen hundred and forty-five years.
The length of this period is fully set forth in the chapter on Chronology except one item, namely, the period from the death of Jacob to the coming out of Egypt. This period was rather peculiarly hidden, or covered, until recently; until it was noticed the length of the Jewish age was not known; and without it the double of it could not have been measured, even if the prophecies regarding the double had been noticed and understood. The Chronology runs smoothly until Jacob's death, but from that date until the coming out of Egypt, there is no full record. Various <PAGE 231> snatches here and there are given, but no connected thread by which we could surely know. It was for this reason that at this point in the table of Chronology we were compelled to look to the New Testament. There we received aid from the inspired Apostle, who gave us the connecting link. We thus learned that it was a period of four hundred and thirty (430) years from the Covenant, at the death of Terah, Abraham's father, to Israel's exodus from Egypt.
We find the hidden period between the death of Jacob and Israel's coming out of Egypt, exactly, by first calculating the period from the death of Terah to the death of Jacob, and then deducting that number of years from the four hundred and thirty years, the period from Terah's death to the exodus from Egypt. Thus:
Abraham was seventy-five (75) years old when the Covenant
was made with him, at the death of Terah (`Gen. 12:4`), and Isaac was born twenty-five
(25) years after. (`Gen. 21:5`) Hence-- From the Covenant to the birth of Isaac..................
25 years From Isaac's to Jacob's birth (`Gen. 25:26`)............. 60 "
From Jacob's birth to his death (`Gen. 47:28`)...........147 " Total years
from the Abrahamic Covenant ---
to Jacob's death.......................................232 "
From the Covenant to the day Israel left Egypt
(`Exod. 12:41`), at the Passover.......................430 " From this deduct the period from the
Covenant to Jacob's death..............................232 " The period from Jacob's death to the Exodus, ---
therefore, was.........................................198 years
Thus all difficulty relative to the length of Israel's national
existence is cleared away. The hidden period from
Jacob's death to the Exodus was no doubt purposely concealed,
until due to be seen. To this we now add the periods
presented in the Chronological Table, as follows:
Period from Jacob's death to the Exodus................. 198 years
Israel in the wilderness................................ 40 "
To the division of Canaan............................... 6 "
Period of the Judges.................................... 450 "
" " Kings..................................... 513 "
" " Desolation................................ 70 " From the first year of Cyrus to A.D. 1.................. 536 " Total years from Jacob's death to our Anno ----
Domini................................................1813 " From A.D. 1 to the crucifixion, at the Passover
in the Spring of A.D. 33--full years,
Jewish ecclesiastical time*........................... 32 " Total period of Israel's waiting for the kingdom, ----
under divine favor and recognition....................1845 years
To find the measure of their double, when favor was due and began toward them, and when therefore it began to depart from the nominal Spiritual Israel, we count eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years from the Spring of A.D. 33, and obtain the date of the Passover, A.D. 1878. Their rising again from A.D. 1878 to A.D. 1915 (the closing of Gentile Times), under the favor of the King whom they rejected, and whom by that time they will recognize, corresponds in length with their thirty-seven years of falling, from the day their house was left desolate, A.D. 33, until their utter overthrow as a people, A.D. 70.
We have already examined many striking parallels between the Jewish age shadow, or type, and the Gospel age substance, or antitype, and here we have just proved another: The length of the two ages corresponds exactly--the Gospel Church being called during Israel's "mishneh" or double of ---------- *The Jewish ecclesiastical year dated from the Spring; and the Passover occurred on the 15th day of the first month of each new (ecclesiastical) year. <PAGE 233> disfavor. And while other correspondencies are striking, especially so are the closing features of the two ages--their "harvests," their reapers, their work and the time devoted, all serve to give us clear outlines of the closing work to be accomplished in the harvest which is the end of this age. Notice carefully the correspondencies of these two harvests, as we shall briefly recapitulate:
Review of Harvest Parallels
The Jewish age ended with a "harvest," our Lord and the apostles doing the work of reaping fruit, the seed of which had been sown by Moses and the prophets. "Lift up your eyes (said Jesus), and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest." "I send you forth to reap that whereon ye have bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors." (`John 4:35-38`) The end of the Gospel age is also called a harvest--"The harvest is the end of the world" (age). "In the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather first the tares and bind them in bundles,... but gather the wheat into my barn." `Matt. 13:39,40`
John foretold the work and effect of the Jewish harvest, saying (`Matt. 3:12`), "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat [Israelites indeed] into the garner [the Christian Church]; but he will burn up the chaff [the refuse of the nation] with unquenchable fire"--(a trouble which consumed them nationally). Here was the baptism of the holy Spirit and of fire-- the holy Spirit coming upon the "Israelites indeed" at Pentecost, and the fire of trouble upon all others, during the thirty-seven years following their rejection. (`Matt. 3:11`) In that trouble Israel as a nation was destroyed, but not as individuals. The Revelator tells of the harvesting of this age with the sharp sickle of truth, because the time to reap is come, and shows a double work, part of which relates to the <PAGE 234> vine of the earth, as distinguished from the true vine of the Father's planting, Christ Jesus and his members or branches. (`John 15:1-6`) The harvest of this age is said to be of wheat and tares (`Matt. 13:24-30,36-39`): that of the Jewish age was called one of wheat and chaff. And as the chaff predominated largely there, the analogy and parallelism so marked in every other feature implies that the tares will be much more abundant than the wheat in this harvest.
The Jewish harvest, in all a period of forty years, began with our Lord's ministry and ended with nominal Israel's rejection and overthrow, and the destruction of their city, accomplished by the Romans, A.D. 70. And the harvest of this age began with the presence of our Lord at the beginning of Earth's Great Jubilee, in 1874, as shown in chapter vi, and ends with the overthrow of Gentile power--A.D. 1914, likewise a period of forty years--another of the wonderful parallels of the two ages.
While the Jewish harvest began with our Lord's ministry, and God's favor departed from their nominal system three and a half years later, and was followed by thirty-seven years of trouble upon that system, yet special favor continued to individuals of that nation, and the call to the high position of joint-heirship with Christ was given to them exclusively for three and a half years after our Lord's rejection by them and of them--thus verifying the promise to Daniel (`Dan. 9:27`), that favor would be shown to his people to the full end of the seventieth week, in the midst of which Messiah was cut off. This promise was fulfilled to all the true wheat, while the system which held that wheat was condemned and cast off in the midst of the week. The harvesting of the wheat of the Jewish age lasted for several years, beginning with our Lord's ministry, though all the special <PAGE 235> favor ceased three and a half years after the death of Christ. The trouble (fire) upon that nation began to kindle early, but did not reach its terrible fury until the wheat of that nation had been about all garnered.
Similar periods are marked in the harvest of this age now closing, corresponding to the features of that harvest. The fall of A.D. 1874, where the Jubilee cycles point out that our Lord was due to be present, corresponds to the time of his baptism and anointing by the holy Spirit when he became Messiah the Prince (`Dan. 9:25`), and began his work of reaping the Jewish harvest. The Spring of A.D. 1878 (three and a half years after) corresponds to the date at which our Lord assumed the office of King, rode on the ass, cleansed the temple of its money-changers, and wept over and gave up to desolation that nominal church or kingdom; and it marks the date when the nominal church systems were "spewed out" (`Rev. 3:16`), and from which time (A.D. 1878) they are not the mouthpieces of God, nor in any degree recognized by him. And the three and a half years following the Spring of A.D. 1878, which ended October, A.D. 1881, correspond to the three and a half years of continued favor to individual Jews in the last half of their seventieth week of favor. As in the type that date--three and a half years after the death of Christ--marked the end of all special favor to the Jew and the beginning of favor to the Gentiles, so we recognize A.D. 1881 as marking the close of the special favor to Gentiles--the close of the "high calling," or invitation to the blessings peculiar to this age--to become joint-heirs with Christ and partakers of the divine nature. And, as we have seen, this marks a great movement among the Jewish people toward Christianity, known as the "Kishenev Movement." And now trouble is impending over nominal Christendom, but the storm is stayed until the wheat is garnered, until God's messengers seal his servants <PAGE 236> in their foreheads (intellects) with the truth. `Rev. 7:3`
The features of this harvest corresponding to those of the Jewish harvest have been very marked also as regards the preaching done. In the first three and a half years of the Jewish harvest, the Lord and the disciples had for their special text time, and the fact of Messiah's presence. Their proclamation was, "The time is fulfilled," the Deliverer has come. (`Mark 1:15`; `Matt. 10:7`) So it was in this harvest also: up to A.D. 1878 the time prophecies and the fact of the Lord's presence, substantially as here presented, though less clearly, was our message. Since then the work has widened, and the view of other truths has become brighter and clearer; but the same facts and scriptures, teaching the same time and presence, stand unchallenged and incontrovertible. As the favor which was continued to individual Israelites, after their house nominal was cut off from favor, was not intended to convert and reform their nominal church system, nor granted in hope of changing their chaff into wheat, but was intended merely to separate and garner every grain of ripe wheat, so in this harvest the object of the continued and abounding favor (of the light of truth) of the present is not designed to convert whole sects or to work national reforms, but on the contrary to separate completely the wheat class from the tare class. They have grown together side by side for centuries, and a pure, all-wheat sect has been unknown; but now in the harvest the separation must come, and the strain will be terrible. It will mean, in many instances, the uprooting of earthly friendships and the sundering of many tender ties; and the truth will do the separating. The Lord's prediction as to the "harvest" at the first advent will be true again in the present harvest. (See `Matt. 10:35-38`; `Luke 12:51-53`.) As there the truth set the father against the son, the daughter against the mother, and the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, so <PAGE 237> again, a man's foes shall oftenest be they of his own household. This cannot be avoided. They who love peace more than the truth will be tested, and they who love truth supremely will be accepted and approved as the "overcomers" --just as in the Jewish "harvest."
In the Jewish "harvest" the messengers chosen and sent forth as heralds of the King and of the Kingdom at hand were humble, untitled men, and those who opposed the message were the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Doctors of Divinity; and as we should expect we find it here: the blindest are the leaders of the blind, who, like their Jewish types, "Know not the time of their visitation." `Luke 19:44`
The presence was one of the main points of testing there, and the cross was the other. John the Baptizer cried to them, "There standeth one among you whom ye know not." Yet only the Israelites indeed were able to realize the fact of Messiah's presence; and of these many stumbled over the cross; for though willing to accept Messiah as a Deliverer, their pride made them unwilling to receive him as Redeemer, also. So here, likewise, the presence of Christ, the "harvest" in progress, and the rejection of the nominal mass of professors, stumble many; and the great Deliverer, for whose coming and kingdom many have prayed (as did the Jews), they are unready to acknowledge. Again it is true, "There standeth one among you whom ye know not." And again the cross of Christ becomes a test and a stone of stumbling or trial as none could have expected; and many, many are now falling over it, saying, We will accept Christ as our Deliverer, but reject him as our Redeemer or Ransomer.
Surely all who will consider the matter carefully must acknowledge that the evidence that our Lord is now present (a spirit being, and hence invisible) is greater and clearer than the evidence which the Jew had of his presence in the flesh at the first advent. And not only are the prophetic evidences <PAGE 238> of the Lord's presence now more full, complete and numerous, but the signs of the times everywhere about us, showing the harvest work in progress, are much more apparent and convincing, to those whose eyes are anointed (`Rev. 3:18`), than were the circumstances of the first advent, when our Lord Jesus, with a handful of followers, through much opposition and under many unfavorable conditions, announced, "The time is FULFILLED; repent and believe the good tidings"--Messiah has come, the Messenger of the great Jehovah, to fulfil to you all the promises made to the fathers. What wonder that only the humble minded ones could accept of the humble Nazarene as the great Deliverer, or of the humble, untitled men with him as part of his chosen cabinet--as those who were to be princes under him. Only the few could see in the one who rode on the ass and wept over Jerusalem the great King of whom Zechariah had prophesied that Zion would receive him as King with shoutings of joy.
At his first advent he humbled himself, taking the form and nature of man (`Heb. 2:9,14`), thereby to accomplish our redemption by giving himself as our ransom price. He is now highly exalted, and dieth no more; and at his second advent, clothed with all power (`Phil. 2:9`), he will exalt his "body," and then bestow upon the world the blessing of restitution which he purchased for them at his first advent with his own precious blood. Remember, he is no longer flesh, but a spirit being, and will shortly change, and glorify as his members and joint-heirs, all his faithful followers.
To the Jewish house Jesus presented himself in three characters--as Bridegroom (`John 3:29`), Reaper (`John 4:35,38`) and King (`Matt. 21:5,9,4`). To the Christian house he presents himself in the same three characters. (`2 Cor. 11:2`; `Rev. 14:14,15; 17:14`) To the Jewish house he came as <PAGE 239> Bridegroom and Reaper in the beginning of their harvest (the beginning of his ministry); and just before his crucifixion he presented himself as their King, exercising kingly authority in pronouncing judgment against them, in leaving their house desolate, and in the typical act of cleansing their temple. (`Luke 19:41-46`; `Mark 11:15-17`) Just so it has been in this harvest: Our Lord's presence as Bridegroom and Reaper was recognized during the first three and a half years, from A.D. 1874 to A.D. 1878. Since that time it has been emphatically manifest that the time had come in A.D. 1878 when kingly judgment should begin at the house of God. It is here that `Rev. 14:14-20` applies, and our Lord is brought to view as the Reaper crowned. The year A.D. 1878, being the parallel of his assuming power and authority in the type, clearly marks the time for the actual assuming of power as King of kings, by our present, spiritual, invisible Lord--the time of his taking to himself his great power to reign, which in the prophecy is closely associated with the resurrection of his faithful, and the beginning of the trouble and wrath upon the nations. (`Rev. 11:17,18`) Here, as in the type, judgment begins with the nominal church, in condemning to destruction the nominal systems (not the people), outwardly representing the true Church--"the body." Here also is the cleansing of the true temple, the true Church, the body of Christ--the consecrated class. (`1 Cor. 3:16`; `Rev. 3:12`) This consecrated or temple class in the nominal church stands related to the nominal church, as a whole, as the literal temple stood related to the holy city Jerusalem, as a whole. After the city was given up the temple was cleansed: so now the temple class must be cleansed: every selfish, carnal thought and all worldliness must be cast out, that the temple may be clean, the dwelling place of God's holy Spirit--the temple of the living God. <PAGE 240>
The special work since A.D. 1878 has been the proclamation of the King's command, "Come out of her [Babylon], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (`Rev. 18:4`) "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye [the royal Priesthood] clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." `Isa. 52:11`
Another marked point of similarity accompanying the first and second advents is the prevailing sense of the need of a deliverer, and a widespread impression among the nations that deliverance must in some way soon come--the ideas of some even approximating the truth of the matter. But in each case only a few are able to recognize the Deliverer and enlist under his banner in the service of the truth. In the Jewish harvest, there was a going forth of many to meet the Lord when all men "were in expectation" of him (`Luke 3:15`), at the time of his birth, thirty years before his anointing as Messiah at the beginning of his ministry; and so there was a corresponding expectation and movement on the part of many (afterward called Adventists) led mainly by a Baptist brother named William Miller, in this country, and by Mr. Wolff and others in Europe and Asia. This culminated in the year A.D. 1844, just thirty years before A.D. 1874, when Christ the Bridegroom and Reaper actually came, as shown by the Jubilee's teaching. In this we find another striking time-parallel between these ages; for those thirty years corresponded exactly to the thirty years from the birth of the babe Jesus unto Messiah the Anointed-- baptized, and introduced as Bridegroom and Reaper, at the age of thirty. `Matt. 3:11`; `John 3:29`
In both cases there was a disappointment and a tarrying-time of thirty years, during which all slumbered, and only a few in each case awakened at the proper time to a realization of Messiah's presence. The great nominal mass in both <PAGE 241> houses fail to recognize the visitation, because overcharged and lukewarm, neglecting the command to take heed and watch. Thus will be fulfilled the prediction by the Prophet --"He shall be for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel." (`Isa. 8:14`) The fleshly house stumbled because they had made void the law of God through giving attention to traditions (`Mark 7:9,13`), and so had not a proper conception of the manner and object of the first advent. For that reason they were unprepared to receive him in the way he did come, and so stumbled over him and his work of sacrifice. The mass of nominal spiritual Israel are now stumbling over the same rock, and for the same reason. They are blinded by the traditions of men and sectarian prejudices which hinder a proper enlightenment by the Word of God; consequently they have not a proper conception of the manner or object of the Lord's second advent. And here also the cross of Christ, the doctrine of the ransom, is becoming a test to all. It is worthy of careful notice, too, that neither house would stumble or fall over a rock not present. The Rock is now present, and nominal systems are stumbling, falling and being broken to pieces; while now, as at the first advent, the "Israelites indeed" are individually recognizing and accepting the Rock, and by climbing upon this truth are being lifted spiritually far above the stumbling, rejecting masses.
Those who have the eyes of their understanding enlightened do not stumble; but as they climb upon the Rock, from its higher standpoint they see much more clearly both the past and the future of the divine plan--some things not possible to utter, relative to the coming glory of the Church and the gala-day of earth. They who put their trust in the Lord shall never be confounded.
The full force of this parallelism is not obtained unless it is noticed that the Jubilee cycles and the Gentile Times <PAGE 242> mark the periods which correspond so exactly with these in the Jewish parallels. It is not an imagination that the Jewish and Christian ages are type and antitype--the apostles and prophets testify to their correspondency. Nor do we rely merely on the parallels in proof of the harvest work of the Christian dispensation now in progress: this harvest, as already shown, is otherwise marked--both its beginning and its close. The Jubilee cycles prove that our Lord Jesus was due to be present and begin the restitution work in the fall of 1874 A.D. and the parallelism above referred to shows that date (1874) to correspond exactly with the anointing of Jesus as the Messiah, at the beginning of the Jewish "harvest," at the first advent. The "Gentile Times" prove that the present governments must all be overturned about the close of A.D. 1915; and the parallelism above shows that this period corresponds exactly with the year A.D. 70, which witnessed the completion of the downfall of the Jewish polity. A reasonable question, then, in view of all this, is, Are these time-correspondencies mere accidents, or are they of the same divine ordering which we have seen arranged the other affairs of the fleshly house as shadows of the realities of this dispensation?
No, they are not accidental: undoubtedly the same all-wise One who taught us through the Chronology that six thousand years from Adam's creation ended with A.D. 1872, and that the seventh thousand, the Millennial age, began there; who through the Jubilee cycles taught us that the Lord would be present and the Times of Restitution begin in the fall of 1874; and who through the Times of the Gentiles showed us that we must not expect these things to be done in haste, but by seemingly natural means covering a period of forty years, has in these Parallel Dispensations <PAGE 243> marked by Israel's "double" given us evidence which not only itself teaches clearly the Lord's presence, the harvest and the restitution (beginning with favor to fleshly Israel), but at the same time furnishes a proof of the correctness of the other prophetic evidences and of the Chronology. For be it distinctly noticed that if the Chronology, or any of these time-periods, be changed but one year, the beauty and force of this parallelism are destroyed. For instance, if the Chronology be altered but one year, more or less--if we add one year, say to the period of the Kings or the Judges, or if we make it one year less--it would spoil the parallelism. If we should add one year it would make the first of Israel's periods 1846 years long, and the double or other half of it would thus be thrown one year later, while, on the contrary, by such a change of the Chronology the Jubilee cycles would be thrown one year earlier, i.e., A.D. 1873; and it would make the 6000 years end in A.D. 1871, while the Gentile Times would not be affected by it at all. All can see that the harmony or parallelism would thus be utterly destroyed. Or, if one year should be deducted from the chronological reckoning the confusion would be just as great, the changes to the several periods being in an opposite direction. Thus these various time prophecies corroborate each other, while the parallelism of the two dispensations clinches their testimony.
It will be noticed by those at all familiar with the calculations usually made by "Second Adventists" and others, relative to the prophetic periods, etc., that this method of dealing with these subjects is very different from theirs. They usually attempt to make all prophecies end at some one date. Their erroneous expectations lead them to this. They expect that a few moments will witness the entire program which will really occupy a thousand years--the Lord's coming, the resurrection, and the judgment of the world. <PAGE 244> And their expectation concerning those few moments is that they close by the burning up of the world. To appreciate and accept the prophecies which point out various dates for various steps in God's great plan, they would need first to understand the "Plan of the Ages" and the true manner of the Lord's second advent. But the great majority are too much blinded by their theories and prejudices to do this. Their attempts to apply prophecy to their false expectations often lead to twisting, stretching or whittling, according to the necessities of the case, in the endeavor to get all the prophecies to terminate at some one date. These friends should awake to their error in this direction; for one after another their expectations have failed, while we and they know that some of the prophecies they have used cannot be stretched into the future, but are in the past, and are now abandoned by them. They are fulfilled, but differently from what they expected, and they know it not.
On the contrary, the prophecies here presented, and those yet to be considered, are unstrained, and without twisting or whittling. We simply present them as we find them in God's Word; and, having correct expectations from God's great "Plan of the Ages," it is easy for those seeing it clearly to note how the various prophetic chains fit to it and measure it. They mark it, some at one important point and some at another; and to such as see this much, this parallelism of the Jewish and Christian dispensations shows and proves beyond reasonable doubt the correctness of all the others.
The statement of the time-periods of God's plan, furnished in the prophecies, is very similar to an architect's specifications; and the parallels of the Jewish dispensation resemble his outline drawings. Suppose we had an architect's specifications for a house, without any drawings, and were to sit down and make a drawing from the specifications, <PAGE 245> and afterward should receive from the architect his outline drawings of the prospective building--if a comparison of it with our own sketch, made from the specifications, showed all the angles and measures exactly alike, we should be doubly assured as to our correct understanding of the specifications. So here, the drawing, the type or shadow of the Gospel age furnished us in the Jewish age, and the correspondence of prophecies and events with those foreshadowings, give us as strong assurance of the correctness of our conclusions as could be asked, while we still "walk by faith and not by sight."
Other prophetic testimonies yet to be examined will also be found in perfect accord with these parallels. One of them, the Days of Daniel, points out a great blessing upon the consecrated who would be living in A.D. 1875 and onward --a blessing surely being fulfilled in the grand unfolding of the truths of God's Word since that time. To him be the praise who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light!
Remember that the forty years' Jewish harvest ended October, A.D. 69, and was followed by the complete overthrow of that nation; and that likewise the forty years of the Gospel age harvest will end October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of "Christendom," so-called, must be expected to immediately follow. "In one hour" judgment shall come upon her. `Rev. 18:10,17,19`
The reader's attention is directed to the Table of Correspondencies following, which will well repay careful study. <PAGE 246>
"Both the Houses of Israel"
correspondencies of the
Mosaic and Christian Dispensations
ISRAEL AFTER THE FLESH
From the Death of Jacob to the Cross, the Period of Favor to the Nominal House of Servants, 1845 Years,
Followed by the Exaltation of a Faithful Few, and by Casting off, Trouble and Judgments upon the Others
A House of Servants
`1 Cor. 10:18`; `Rom. 9:7,8; 4:16`; `Heb. 3:5`
Founded in Jacob's Twelve Sons
`1 Kings 18:31`
A Kingdom and Priesthood, A Holy Nation
Aaron, Fleshly High-Priest
Circumcision of the Flesh
Law of Sin and Death
`Gen. 13:14-17`; `Acts 7:2-5`
In Captivity to Literal Babylon
`2 Chron. 36:20`
Length of Favor 1845 Years, from Jacob's
Death to Israel's Rejection and the Beginning
of Spiritual Israel, A.D. 33
The Nominal System Cast Off, A.D. 33
37 Years in Falling, to A.D. 70
The end of the age a Harvest of 40 years
Presence of Christ in the Flesh as Reaper
Our Lord's Presence and the Sacrificial
Character of His Death, the Stumbling-stone ---------------------------------------------------------
ISRAEL AFTER THE SPIRIT
From the Death of Jesus to A.D. 1878, the Period
of Favor to the Nominal House of Sons, 1845 Years
Followed by the Exaltation of a Faithful Few, and by Casting off, Trouble and Judgments upon the Others
A House of Sons
`Gal. 4:5,6,7,30,31; 6:15`; `John 1:12`; `Rom. 8:15`
Founded in Jesus' Twelve Apostles
A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation
`1 Pet. 2:5,9`
Jesus, the Spiritual High-Priest
Circumcision of the Heart
Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
`Heb. 9:23; 11:40`
In Captivity to Mystic Babylon
`Rev. 17:5; 18:4`
Length of Favor, 1845 Years, from Jesus'
Death to the Beginning of Christ's Reign
and the Rejection of Babylon, A.D. 1878
The Nominal System Spewed Out, A.D. 1878
37 Years in Falling, to A.D. 1915
The end of the age a Harvest of 40 years
Spiritual Presence of Christ as Reaper
Our Lord's Presence and the Sacrificial
Character of His Death, the Stumbling-stone
He shall be for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the [nominal] houses of Israel." `Isa. 8:14` <PAGE 247>
THEY KNEW NOT THE TIME OF THEIR VISITATION
`Luke 19:44`; `Matt. 24:38,39`
OUR LORD PRESENTED IN THREE CHARACTERS--AS BRIDEGROOM, REAPER AND KING `John 3:29; 4:35,38`; `Matt. 21:5,9,4`; `2 Cor. 11:2`; `Rev. 14:14,15; 17:14` ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
An Advent Movement at the Time of Jesus'
Birth, thirty years prior to His Advent
and Anointing, as Messiah, at Baptism
`Matt. 2:1-16`; `Acts 10:37,38`
Actual presence of the Lord as Bridegroom
and Reaper--October, A.D. 29
Power and Title as King Assumed three
and a half years later--A.D. 33 ---------------------------------------------------------
An Advent Movement in 1844, thirty years
prior to the actual time of His Presence,
to Awaken and Test the Church
Actual Presence of the Lord as Bridegroom
and Reaper--October, A.D. 1874
Power and Title as King Assumed three
and a half years later--A.D. 1878 ---------------------------------------------------------
FIRST WORK OF THE KING, JUDGMENT ---------------------------------------------------------
Nominal Jewish House Rejected; Literal Temple
Cleansed--`Matt. 20:18; 21:5-15; 23:37; 24:2`
Entire Destruction of Jewish Polity, Accomplished
in 37 years After being Cast Off--or
40 years From the Beginning of the Harvest
Nominal Christian House Rejected; Spiritual Temple Cleansed--`1 Pet. 4:17`; `Rev. 3:16`; `Mal. 3:2`
Entire Destruction of Nominal Christendom,
Accomplished in 37 years After being Cast Off
--or 40 years From the Beginning of the
Harvest--A.D, 1915 <PAGE 248>