« הקודםהמשך »
text in the Old Testament, which is generally quoted to sustain the doctrine of the restoration of the Jews, refers to the same glorious event, THE EVERLASTING GLORIFICATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS. But it will be unnecessary in this place to enter into an examination of them.
There is, however, one text in the New Testa-, ment, frequently quoted, which demands a passing notice :
Rom. xi. 25, 26 : “ For I would not, brethren, 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, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written, There shall come out of Zion a deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
Remark 1. The time when all Israel shall be saved : When “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” “ Fulness of the Gentiles” signifies the full complement of Gentiles. When, therefore, all the Gentiles who are to be saved, have come in, and not before, “all Israel shall be saved." It cannot take place, therefore, until Christ comes in the clouds of heaven to gather his elect from the four winds. See Luke xxi. 24–27. “ And they (the Jews] 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." The Jews cannot, therefore, return and rebuild Jerusalem until the Gentile day is ended. No more Gentiles will be brought in after that. But the Saviour continues, and tells us what shall take place when the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled. * And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the
moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.”
so that the Jews will never be gathered from their dispersion, nor Jerusalem be rebuilt, until Christ comes to gather his elect. And then “ all [spiritual] Israel will be saved."
Remark 2. The Jews were cut off or cast away from their exclusive church privileges, for the reconciling of the world. For while they remained the exclusive church, as before Christ they were, the Gentile world could not be brought in and share those privileges and blessings. And that is the only sense in which the Jews have been cut off, or cast away. For they have always had an equal chance with the rest of the world to obtain and enjoy gospel blessings, and a rernnant have always been in possession of them. And in this light the apostle, with great propriety and force, inquires, Rom. xi. 15, “ If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?” As if he had said, If the Gentile world could not be reconciled or brought within the pale of the church, without rejecting or casting off the Jews from exclusive privileges, how can they ever be restored until they rise from the dead, without again cutting off the whole world beside ?"
Finally; If the text, “ All Israel shall be saved,” has any reference to the Jews, as such, it asserts the final universal salvation of all the tribes of Israel, and it is impossible to disprove it. But the Lord Jesus Christ did assert, that while the Jews should see some, from the east, west, north, and south, sit down in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they themselves should be thrust out. Luke xiii. 28, 29. Paul also testified that there was no respect of persons with God. But to every one who does good he will award eternal life; to the Jew. first, then also to the Gentile. But tribulation and anguish to every one that doeth evil, to the Jew first, and then also to the Gentile.
It must therefore be spiritual, not literal Israel, who will “ all be saved” when the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. May we all be of that happy number. · I have now done what I proposed, viz., to show, that those texts which are supposed to refer to a future and temporal restoration of the Jews, do perfectly harmonize with the original promise mads to the patriarchs, of a resurrection from the dead, to possess an eternity of blessedness in the New Jerusalem.
The two most formidable objections having been disposed of, the way is now open to proceed to the evidence of the near approach of THE KINGDOM OF God. For if there is to be a temporal millennium, and the Jews are to be restored, such
sus Christ, and his apostles, cannot be near. But it has been shown, above, that no such millennium or restoration of the Jews is promised, or to be looked for; therefore we may look " for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AT HAND.
A FALLING AWAY AND REVELATION OF THE MAN
OF SIN, BEFORE THE DAY OF THE LORD.
The apostle Paul, in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, and second chapter, instructed his brethren concerning “ the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him.” He warned them not to be deceived by any means, nor to be troubled, as that the day of the Lord was then at hand. He then proceeded to assure them, that that day should not come until after “a falling away," or an apostasy, and the revelation of “that man of sin.” “ Now ye know," he said, “what preventeth, that he (Christ) might be revealed in his time,”--the time foretold by Daniel, when he predicted the same man of sin, under the emblem of a little horn, chapters 7th and 8th of his prophecy.
Although, in the apostle's days, the mystery of iniquity already worked, yet there were circumstances which stood in the way of his full exaltation, and they would continue to hinder it until taken out of the way. Then, when the hinderance should be removed, “that wicked” should be revealed; who should be consumed “ with the spirit of his (the Lord's) mouth, (moral influence,) and be destroyed by the brightness of his coming.” When, then, it can be shown that what is predicted of " the man of sin" has been accomplished, with the exception of the last circumstance, viz. his destruction by the brightness of Christ's coming, we shall have evidence of the near approach of that event. The apostle only brought forward the prediction of the man of sin to assure the world that that day was not at hand until those predictions were fulfilled ; and the only just inference is, that when those predictions are accomplished, the day of the Lord is near.
Allusion has been made, above, to the little horn of Daniel's visions, as being identical with “the man of sin" of 2 Thess. 2d chapter. That they are so, is evident from the fact, that, the same character is ascribed to one which is given to the other.
" That man of sin” was to “exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
The little horn, also, Dan. vii. 25th, was . " speak great words against the Most High, and wear out the saints of the Most High,” &c. Again, Dan. viii. 11th, it is said, “ He magni. fied himself against the prince of the host.” Verse 25th : “ He shall stand up against the prince of princes," &c.
Having thus identified." that man of sin" with “the little horn" of Daniel's vision, I will now,