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istan and the Soudan, and into the former the Bible has already gone in great numbers, and missionaries stand at the doors waiting the privilege of entering in.
Is it not impressively significant that the missionaries sent forth during this century have seemingly without any human supervision, been impelled to go to every land, island, nation and tribe of the earth.
"Oh, Church of Christ, behold at last
The promised sign appear;
And lo! the King draws near.”
VI. Rich Men.
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. . . Ye have heaped treasures together for (in) the last days.” James 5:1, 8. The accumulation of riches, in the hands of a few men,
is specially characteristic of the present times.
It is needless to mention the financial kings who, through trusts and various manipulations, continue to add to their enormous estates.
If Adam had lived to the present time and accumulated $10,000 additional wealth each year of his life, this vast aggregate would not equal several individual fortunes which have been amassed in recent years.
What limit these colossal estates shall attain by joining "house to house” and “field to field,” none can tell. But we know that “woe” has been uttered concerning it,” and that it is distinctively a sign of the last days.
VII. Israel. God's sun-dial.
If we want to know our place in chronology, our position in the march of events, look at Israel.
God says of Israel: “I will make a full end of all the
(5) Isa. 5:8. Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
9. In mine ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.
nations whither I have scattered thee, but I will not make a full end of thee.” Jer. 30:11; R, V.
Like Tennyson's brook they can sing, nations come and nations go, but I go on forever. They are the generation which pass not away.
Israel shall be restored to Palestine and no more be pulled up out of their land.
Hundreds of prophecies affirm this dispensational truth. Like the red thread in the British rigging, it runs through the whole Bible. Prophecies to the people like Ezek. 37, and prophecies to the land like Ezek. 36.
The title deed to Palestine is recorded, not in the Mohammedan Serai of Jerusalem nor the Serglio of Constantinople, but in hundreds of millions of Bibles now extant in more than three hundred languages of the earth.
The restoration was summed up at the first council of the apostles in Jerusalem, as their conclusion based upon the words of the prophets.?
As the fig-tree which Jesus found bearing nothing but leaves, Israel hath been set aside for a whole (aion) dispensation,
(6) Amos 9:15. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.
(7) Acts 15 :13. And aiter they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14. Simeon bath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the
ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17. That the residue of nen might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
(8) Mark 11:13. And seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
14. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever (an aion). And his disciples heard it.
Jerusalern was to be trodden down until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.9
But note carefully that a little later Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree (and all the trees): when her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. So likewise, ye, in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” Mark 13:28; Luke 21-29.
In Ezek. 31 the trees are used as symbols of the nations.
“The fig-tree was THE JEWISH PEOPLE full of the leaves of an useless profession, but without fruit.”—Dean Alford.
Now if Israel is beginning to show signs of national life and is actually returning to Palestine, then surely the end of this dispensation "is nigh, even at the doors." This brings us to speak of
Zionism, the present movement of the Jews to return to the land of their fathers.
Zionism is a modern term expressing the national hopes and sentiments of the Jews.
These sentiments, however, are based upon widely different vieis, as held by the most extreme sections of the parties into which the Jews are divided.
As is well known the Jews have, in the past fifty years, become divided into three great sections, viz.: the orthodox, the status quo, and the reformed.
The orthodox hold to the Old Testament Scriptures, as interpreted by the Talmud, as the literal Word of God, and also to the hopes and heritage of their ancestors founded thereon. They believe in the oft repeated utterances of the prophets, that some day they shall return to Palestine and become permanently settled as a holy and happy nation, under the sovereignty of their coming Messiah.
(9) Lu. 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem
sball be trodden down of the
These hopes are the very core of their intensely religious life, and are embedded in the most solemn devotions of their prayer-book.
Every morning, throughout every nation and clime, whither they are scattered over this whole world, the orthodox Jew lifts
prayer: "Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together and deliver us from the nations."
"May it be acceptable unto thee, Eternal; our God and the God of our Fathers, that the sanctuary may be rebuilt speedily in our days and our portion assigned us in thy law. There will we serve thee in reverence as of old, in days of yore."
In that solemn service of the Passover they cry out,
“At present we celebrate it here, but the next year we hope to celebrate it in the land of Israel," and again,
"O build Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed art Thou, O Lord !"
With such faithful and earnest prayers have these orthodox Jews kept alive the fires of devotion and the glorious hopes of restoration, while being driven up and down the earth with the rods of enmity, ostracism and banishment. But for over seventeen centuries, while they have thus fervently prayed, they have made no effort to return to Palestine, believing that they should wait until God Himself, brought about their restoration by supernatural means.
About 200 years ago the persecutions began to abate, and in the eighteenth century they were gradually emancipated from these various disabilities. With this coming of liberty, there was a noise and a shaking and the dry bones of Ezek. 37 began to come together. 10
(10) Ezek. 37:1. The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
2. And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the opan valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3. And he said unto me Son
of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
4. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, o ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD,
5. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones, Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live :
6 And I will lay sinews upon
The Universelle Israelite Alliance was organized in Paris in 1860, and later the Anglo-Jewish Association in England. Through these powerful organizations the Jews can make themselves felt throughout the world. within a few years, there have been organized Chovevi (lovers of) Zion and Shova (colonizers of) Zion societies, mostly among the orthodox Jews of Russia, Roumania, Germany, and even in England and the United States. This is really the first practical effort they have made to regain their home in Palestine.
In a few words, followers of the status quo are striving to reconcile the genius of Judaism with the requirements of modern times, and in Western Europe are in a great majority.
The Reformed Jews or Neologists have rapidly thrown away their faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures. They have ilung to the wind all national and Messianic hopes. Their Rabbis preach rapturously about the mission of Judaism, while joining with the most radical higher critics in the destruction of its very basis, the inspiration of the Word of God. Some have gone clear over into agnosticism.
Strange to say, from these agnosties now comes the other wing of the Zionist party. And not only have they joined this party, but they furnished the leaders, viz. : Dr. Max Nordau of Paris, and Dr. Theodore Herzl of Vienna.
The orthodox Jews who have enlisted under the Zionist banner, are animated by the most devout religious motives. But the agnostics aver that this is not a religious movement at all. It is purely economic and nationalistic. Dr. Herzl, its founder and principal leader, espoused it as a dernier resort, to escape the persecutions of anti-semitism, which has taken such a firm hold of the masses of the Aus
you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
7. So I prophesied as I was
commanded : and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking and the bones came to. gether, bone to his bone.
See also verses 8 to 14.