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The Cleansing of Israel.
"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you. and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you." Ezek. 36:24-28.
"Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them; so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: . . . and they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children and their children's children, forever: and my servant David shall be their prince, forever, . . . my tabernacle shall also be with them: yea, I will be their God and they shall be my people." Ezek. 37:2327.
"And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise to David a, righteous Branch and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute Judgment and Justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'" [Jehovah, Tsidkenu,] Jer. 23:3-6.
"And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it." Ezek. 34:23-24.
Nothing has ever yet been built like the temple which Ezekiel describes in chapters 40 to 48, and this infchrdes a definite description of the location of each tribe, as they shall be settled in this great future restoration. See Ch. 48.
Confusing Israel with the Church.
It would seem that such overwhelming testimony would convince every fair-minded reader, that there is a glorious future restoration in store for Israel. And yet, many say, that we must interpret all this Scripture "spiritually," and they fritter away the point and the force of such explicit declarations, in attempting to apply them to the persecuted Church.
This is a very great error, and we believe it has arisen, principally, from a misunderstanding of Paul's arguments in his epistles. He does not confound Israel with the Church when he says, "They are not all Israel which are of Israel." Nor does he confound the Church with Israel when he makes us children of Abraham by faith; but he demonstrates that we all stand by faith alone. In 1 Cor. 10:32,17 he makes a clear distinction between the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church of God.* There are special blessings for the Church, and special blessings for Israel. He plainly shows that not all the natural seed are true Israelites. He only is a Jew who has circumcision of heart in the spirit.18 And though multitudes of Israel have passed away in. unbelief, still Paul distinctly declares that there is a remnant Which Shall Be Saved.19 He so loved them that he could sacrifice himself, and even be separated from Christ for their sakes.20 He saw their future glory, as the
*The Jews who accept Christ in this dispensation become part of the Church. See page 88.
(17) 1 Cor. 10 :32. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.
(18) Rom. 2:29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
(19) Rom. 9:27. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though
the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.
Rom. 11:5. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
(20) Rom. 9:3. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. natural branches yet to be grafted into their own olive tree, which should be nothing less than life from the dead.21 Jesus said, in Luke 21:24, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." And Paul understood this mystery, that when "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in," "there should come out of Zion the Deliverer, who should turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Rom. 11:25-26\
And this is fully confirmed by the following: In Amos 8 and 9, we read of the awful calamities which should come upon Israel. And not until they had been Sifted Among All Nations would the Lord gather and plant them, and raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen. When the apostles and elders were gathered in the first council at Jerusalem, considering this same question about Israelites and the Church, the Holy Spirit directed the mind of James to this very prophecy in Amos, to show that during this sifting of Israel, God was to Take Out of the Gentiles a people to His name, and After This to build again the tabernacle of David. Acts 15:13-17. So we see that these restoration prophecies can not be applied to the Church, which is first to be Taken Out before Israel and Jerusalem are to be restored.
Again, one of the most specific prophecies of their restoration is addressed, not to the people, but to the MounTains Of Israel, which leaves no possible doubt as to the Literal Meaning intended.22
(21) Rom. 11:15. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
(22) Ezek. 36:1. Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:
8. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to
my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
9. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
10. And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and tho wastes shall be builded:
11. And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: The Day of Jacob's Trouble.
Surely Israel Shall Be Restored; but there is an Awful Time OP Trouble awaiting her. Their sins are mountain high. Upon them is the guilt of innocent blood, even the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Mat. 27:25.
The faithful prophet saw it when he wrote:
"And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
"For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
"Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness.
"Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." Jer. 30:4-7.
"Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations." Ezek. 36:31.
Yes, they shall repent and loathe themselves.
They "shall pass through the sea with affliction."23
Many shall die, but the third part shall be saved.
and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
(23) Zech. 10:11. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.
Ezek. 7:1. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2. Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel ; An end, the end is
come upon the four corners of the land.
3. Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.
4. And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
8. Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee; and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense
"And I will bring the Third Part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name and I will hear them; I will say, it is my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God." Zech. 13:9.
All this is intimately connected with the coming of Christ, not at the Rapture, but at the Revelation. (See diagram page 72.)
For we read, "When the Lord shall build up Zion, He
SHALL APPEAR IN HIS GLORY." Psa. 102:16.
It is when He appears with His saints (the Church) in flaming fire to execute judgment (2 Thes. 1:7-10; Jude 14) upon the nations and upon Israel, who are the third party in Mat. 25:36, etc.,24 and who are not to be reckoned among the nations. Nu. 23:9. It is when He sits as a refiner and purifier.
"Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
"But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap.
"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
"Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
"And I will come near you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts." Mai. 3:1-5.
"He shall indeed refine Israel in the furnace of af
thee for all thine abominations'.
9. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.
(24) Mat. 25:40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.