|Suppose We Are Israel|
What Difference Does it Make?
PRACTICALLY every great discovery has had to travel the rocky road to popular recognition. The truth concerning Ten Tribed Israel is no exception to this well-nigh general rule.
While, ordinarily, that which has been patently revealed cannot he called a discovery, the hiding and bringing to light of what has been revealed can be so classed; especially when it remained hidden from the great body of Bible students and commentators through the centuries. For this reason the discovery of the facts summed up in what is known as "The Israel Truth" ranks among the highest of Biblical attainments in the last one hundred years.
Archeology, Biblical research and modern translations have done wonders in substantiating the validity and in the elucidation of the Word of God. But all of these are subservient to and corroborative of the great discovery that God is a God of order; that He actually devised a plan and program for the redemption of our planet; that, essential to that plan and program, he chose Ten Tribed Israel; and that they are extant on the earth today.But like the prophets of old, this great truth has met with indifference, unbelief and opposition. Even the great evangelistic prophet Isaiah could say of his day: "Who hath believed our report?" Jesus knew that the same spirit would be manifested in our day and accordingly presented the Kingdom parable of the sower; in which He cites four kinds of hearers and warned the disciples that the only kind of hearers which could be depended upon to receive the Kingdom message were the "good and honest hearts." He told His disciples just how it would be in our day when He said:
Noah earnestly proclaimed the coming of the flood but the people of his day "knew not," did not care to know, until the flood came and swept them all away.
The Apostle Peter, also speaking of our day, says:
The veteran Paul describes another type as "Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," and "As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so also do these resist the truth." Some of them do it by outspoken opposition; some, by seeking to thwart its proclamation; some, by engaging in whisper campaigns of criticism.
Of the outspoken opposition, it can be said that they make excellent converts when their spiritual blindness clears away and they see the truth. As for those who devise devious methods and those who work in the dark, Jesus said:
As for the scoffers, multitudes have come to scoff and remained to pray.
There is a great host of conscientious Christians who desire to know the truth but are afflicted with the spiritual blindness described by Paul in Romans 11:25:
Regarding the Jews, Paul said:
But the blindness in Ten Tribed Israel in reading Moses and the Old Testament, Paul says, was to continue "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." The "Times of the Gentiles" closed when General Allenby took Jerusalemin 1917. The "Fulness of the Gentiles" is manifest in the enormity of human perfidy now being displayed by the dictator nations as their cup of iniquity rapidly fills to the brim. - (Joel 3:13) The hour is close at hand, when Ten Tribed Israel will experience the great awakening foretold by the prophets. The blindness will pass away in the spiritual light which shall break upon their souls regarding their identity and their responsibilities as the chosen people of God. Multitudes in our own and many other lands are already awake and taking their places among the cohorts of the Almighty for the closing days of the age. In presenting the Israel Truth, it is therefore wise to heed the admonition of Paul to Timothy:
In this spirit we now take up the study of a special type of evasion of the Israel Truth which is very frequently used by some of our fellow professed Christians. When the truth of Israel's identity is presented and cannot be gainsaid, they propose to pass it all up by saying "Suppose we are Israel. What of it? If I am saved, what difference does it make?" That reply comes so often that it is worthy of consideration, not only for the good of the cause, but for the good of the person who makes it.
The spirit in which the statement is made ranges from mere flippancy to sincere declaration.
With regard to the flippant, each case calls for a decision regarding what should be done. Solomon advises us: ''Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him"; and then in about the same breath he says: ''Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Whether coming from the flippant or the conscientious Christian, the statement "Suppose we are Israel; what difference does it make?" assumes a serious aspect. Few, if any,of those who make it have considered for a moment its true import. We, therefore, would analyse the spirit which prompts the statement and the implications involved. At once it is evident that there exists a very shallow knowledge of the Bible and a careless disregard for its sanctity.There is here the manifestation of an egotism unbecoming a child of God. It smacks of the idea that God set in operation all that is revealed in the Scriptures solely to save the individual, and when that is, accomplished, what else is worthy of consideration? There is also present a form of selfishness. If the individual is saved; what difference does anything else make?
Aside from the mental state which the question in each instance, so eloquently portrays, there is an attitude of heart and soul, thus declared, which should be a matter of serious concern to the professed Christian, when weighed in the light of things spiritual and divine.
Taking for granted, as is here done, that we really are Israel as revealed in the Word of God, the question "What difference does it make?"!
It discloses the want of due regard for God and His Word. That soul needs to learn what Moses learned that day in the desert when the Voice from the bush told him to remove his shoes for the ground on which he stood was holy ground. That soul needs to learn the lesson taught by Uzziah's tragedy; realized by Isaiah, when in the temple, he saw the Lord high and lifted up; exemplified by John on the Isle of Patmos when he beheld the divine messenger and fell at His feet as dead; and proclaimed by the angels when they veil their faces and cry "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!"
The spiritually minded ever remember that God is holy and His Word holy; that man lives by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God; and that the words which He speaks "they are Spirit and they are life," whether found in the Old Testament and the New Testament, whether proclaimed by the eminent divine or the humble scrub woman. No one can wave aside the acknowledged truth of God with "What difference does it make?" without irreverence.
"Suppose we are Israel; What difference does it make?" There is here, plainly implied, the fact that the speaker does not intend to accept or live by it anyway. This assumes the right of the individual to look the Word of God over, select what suits his whim or fancy and discard the balance. But Paul made it very plain to Timothy that
The Bible, as given by God is a complete whole. It stands or falls in one piece. It declares the whole counsel of God and it required nothing short of the whole book to declare it. Otherwise, much of it would not have been written. It must be accepted in its entirety.
It is not, therefore, within the province of man to go through the book, sorting and picking this and that, which he proposes to accept and say with regard to the remainder "What difference does it make", To do so is the height of presumption.
INSULTS, STULTIFIES ONE'S OWN SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE
"What difference does it make?" bespeaks an attenuated idea of the Scriptures and the great purpose of God in furnishing them to mankind; or, a closed mind; or, a spiritual indolence which does not want to be disturbed.
However, in the fact that we are Israel, there is opened up a vast field of Biblical knowledge upon which many eminent scholars have bestowed years of careful study and painstaking research. There is presented, for our enlightenment, a great volume of information, involving the origin and history of the various races of the earth, the divine plan for the ages, the division of the world into the Israel and Gentile nations, the marvelous covenants made by God, the exceeding broad sweep of the atonement, the place allotted the Church in God's world program, the meaning and movement of the present world crisis, who constitute the Kingdom of God on earth, what it will be when it comes, Israel's work for the new age, the new order under the reign of Christ and the ultimate restitution of all things which were lost in Eden.
This is but the briefest outline of the great educational field that lies before the student of Israel Truth, and it certainly is no compliment to ones intelligence to flip it aside with "What difference does it make?"
It made a great difference to the scholars who dug deep into the Bible and human history to bring forth the golden nuggets of truth concerning the people God chose for His name. It makes the difference of being informed or ignorant of God's purposes, the place He gave His elect people in His program and His march down the centuries toward fulfillment. It makes the difference of merely being saved by the skin of one's teeth, as Job put it, and being an intelligent student of the Bible and world events, thus being "thoroughly furnished unto all good works" in our day and generation.
What a difference exists between the mental and spiritual appetite of the evader of truth and that of the prophet Jeremiah when he said:
DISPARAGES THE WISDOM OF GOD
God, in His wisdom, chose Israel to be used by Him in His great plan for the transformation of a lost world. He also wrote a large portion of the Bible to tell us about Israel's part in that plan. Can we not see that to select only a portion of the Book, and that only the portion which pertains to one's individual salvation, is to simply tell God that He was silly in furnishing any more? Can we not see that it sets up the finite in judgment of the Infinite? It practically declares Him to be foolish in doing any more or revealing any more than would get us saved eternally.
REPUDIATES ABOUT FIVE-SEVENTHS OF THE BIBLE
Allowing ample space in the Bible for the presentation of the Gospel to the individual, God wrote about five sevenths of the Bible as His message to the nations. An important integral part, related to almost every phase of this revelation, is the great nation Israel, promised by God to Abraham. Five sevenths is a lot of Bible to scrap, brother. The hypercritical at their worst do not have the temerity to attempt any more; and they are busy all of the time knifing the Scriptures, cutting out and deleting. One of their modern achievements is called "The Polychrome Bible," in which they have made the book an infidel aurora borealis by printing the words they criticise in the various colors of the rainbow.
But the "What difference does it make?" folks throw away five-sevenths of the Bible in one lump. The infidel critics do their work piecemeal, while these believer critics do theirs wholesale. They virtually say: 'This will I accept, enjoy and live; but God's message to the nations -'What difference does it make?'" That statement - literally -
THROWS AWAY THE KEY TO THE BIBLE
Earnest Bible students have found the Israel Truth to be the key which opens up the Bible from the first promise made at the Fall, until Jesus delivers up the finished Kingdom unto God.
It may be likened to a spiritual thread which runs through almost every chapter of Bible history, every doctrine, symbol, type, promise, covenant and act of God: The thread which, when found, makes possible the unraveling of most of the mysteries of the Word. This is the reason that everyone who has conscientiously sought and found the Israel Truth has declared the Bible to be a "new book;" consistent, harmonious, symmetrical, progressive and most satisfying to mind and soul.
Without the Israel Truth, as is evidenced in the commentaries and "helps," the Bible becomes the field of conjectures, an array of wonderful, for the most part, disconnected stories; and a grab-bag of beautiful texts without much of any reference to the context, or where the truth of the text fits in the Divine scheme of things. We recently met a Southern mountaineer who in his droll manner said that which every Bible student should note: "A text, without the context, is just a pretext."
Take the whole Gospel of individual salvation wherever presented in the Word of God, and careful study will almost always disclose the fact that the Israel Truth is the context that makes it plain and sets it in its proper spiritual perspective. The story of the birth of Jesus is a sample of how the Israel Truth is woven into the warp and woof of His life as He fulfilled prophecies and types which had long before been established and proclaimed in Israel. It can therefore be positively stated that no man can understand even Jesus, His mission and His message, without the Israel key which opens up the treasures of His marvelous life and teaching.
BELITTLES THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
If we are Israel, then God has done a stupendous thing. He has kept faith with Abraham. Centuries ago He made an unconditional, irrevocable, covenant with Abraham to increase and preserve his posterity throughout all generations. And now, here we are, many nations of Israel, right here on the planet after almost 4,000 years.
What kind or grade of Christianity is it that can see in that nothing to excite gratitude, joy and praise for a covenant keeping God? The Sweet Singer of Israel wrote some of his most wonderful songs in appreciation of that faithfulness. In the metrical version of Psalm 89:1, he sings:
"The loving kindness of the Lord
Forever I will sing;
Thy faithfulness to every age
My mouth in song will bring."
And in the same version of Psalm 105:8, we find:
"He keeps in mind his covenant
That it may ever stand,
And to a thousands ages He
His promise doth command.
"His covenant with Abram made,
He unto Isaac swore,
Confirmed the same to Israel,
A bond for evermore."
The writers of the four Gospels constantly call attention to God's faithfulness to Abraham. The Apostles, every one of them, gloried in it; - but "What difference does it make?"
REJECTS THE BIRTHPLACE OF RACE
The man who has the blessing of personal salvation is the recipient of a marvelous gift of God in Christ Jesus. He receives what may be called his birthright; by which he becomes heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ; one of those to whom God says:
Bound up in the bundle of life with God and Jesus Christ, there is no spiritual blessing for time or eternity that is not included in the rights of his rebirth - the birthright of grace. Endless ages will never conclude our praise of God for that blessing. But this does not for a moment warrant the despising and rejecting of the other God given birthright - the birthright of race; which is always done when a man says: "Suppose we are Israel; What difference does it make?"
It made quite a difference to Esau who despised his birthright of race. Afterward he found no place for repentance, although he sought it with tears. The die was cast, his descendants became the Turks of today.
The birthright of race made quite a difference to Ishmael, the son of the bond woman, Hagar. His descendants are the Arabs.
The birthright of race also made quite a difference to the sons of Keturah, whose descendants are the Brahmins of India.
"Suppose we are Israel," then we are the lineal descendants of Abraham through Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. There is a world of difference in the blessings of race, country, enlightenment and opportunity bestowed upon the descendants of these and that which was bestowed upon the Brahmins, the Arabs, and the Turks.
While there is no place here for race pride, there is a large place for grateful joy in the arbitrary goodness of God, and for appreciation of the gifts bestowed by God upon us as a race. The conscientious Christian is certainly among those who follow after righteousness and who seek the Lord. Isaiah 51:1, 2 was written for him. In that Scripture, God directs him to take two looks of appreciation, joy, thanksgiving and encouragement in birthright of race. Thus it reads:
"Suppose we are Israel;" then we are the recipients of the only God ordained royal blood on this planet through Abraham, the divinely appointed father of kings, and through Sarah, the Princess, mother of Kings - (Genesis 17:6, 16) And, if we will receive it, that royalty accounts for many of the racial characteristics of the Israel nations, which stand out so clearly today in contrast to the Gentile dictator nations.
"Suppose we are Israel," then we participate in the great covenant made by God with Abraham, so comprehensive that it included all the covenants which followed it, both temporal and spiritual. In fact, if we be Israel, then that covenant of God was made directly with us; for God definitely stipulates:
Note that the "seed" of Abraham in this promise is plural.
Can it be possible that it means nothing to the believer to be chosen of God as an heir of that covenant, which, in all of its ramifications, God unfolds through the remainder of the Scriptures? Is it a light thing to be the heir of the grand legacy made certain to the Israel people through God's oath to Abraham? Well, as the present world conditions come toward their conclusion, there will be a mighty multitude who will rejoice that they live under the provisions of that gracious covenant.
"Suppose we are Israel," then we are members of the Kingdom of God on earth. He established that Kingdom at Sinai. Constituting that Kingdom was twelve-tribed Israel. Matthew 21:43 tells us plainly that He took the Kingdom from the Jews and turned it over to a "nation" (Greek, "Ethnos" which never could mean church). That nation was to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. Those fruits are both political and religious.
The Israel nations, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, the British Commonwealth and the United States of America are the only nations on earth which have made the law of God, the Ten Commandments, the common law of the land; the only nations which have established their form of government after the model given at Sinai with its constitution, laws, statutes and judgments. Does the fact that a man is saved eternally, preclude the possibility of his appreciating the civil blessings which he enjoys under the Abrahamic covenant in these Israel countries? A short sojourn in the Gentile lands of the dictators would show the difference and be quite convincing.
The other fruits of the Kingdom of God on earth which were to be brought forth by the Israel nation were religious. True to Christ's assignment, the Israel nations, lead the world in evangelistic work, home and foreign missions, church extension to the ends of the earth, Bible translation, publication and distribution. The United States and the British Commonwealth hold the record for fully ninety per cent of this work. Is it possible that all of the civil and religious freedoms and blessings vouchsafed by a covenant keeping God to these countries have never impinged themselves upon the heart and soul of a man because, by the grace of God, he was saved? What must the God of Abraham think when such a man flouts the whole of it and says "Suppose we are Israel what difference does it make?" Well, brother, it is not good Bible Christianity to hug the covenant of grace so close to our heart that we have no room for God's covenant of race. That sort of thing,
SPURNS THE HONOURS CONFERRED BY GOD
The man who has his eyes on the skies in contemplation of the glories, honors and emoluments which God will confer in the life to come, cannot serve God or his own highest spiritual welfare by spurning the honors which God has bestowed upon him, here on earth, as one of his Israel people.
It does not require great research to find a host of texts in which God reveals the exalted position given to his chosen race. A few, however, should suffice:
God has certainly lavished the honors and blessings upon Israel and, in the few texts cited, there is enough to give the Israel Christian abundant reason for joy and thanksgiving. Note the honors conferred: He chose them, redeemed them, claimed them for his own, separated them, calls them precious, his peculiar treasure, his special people, his inheritance above all the peoples of the earth.
Think of any believer reading all of that and then turning upon his heel and saying "Suppose we are Israel: What difference does it make?" Well, let us suppose again. Suppose the king of a great empire assembled his armies on the plain, thousands upon thousands of them, and, as they stood at attention, he should call out of the ranks one man and announce that he had chosen him to be his intimate aide de camp; and, in the presence of the vast multitude, he should pin upon his breast the badge which signified the honors, titles and emoluments conferred. Suppose that young man responded to all of this by simply taking the medal and nonchalantly flicking it into the air. We can easily imagine the consternation it would cause in the king and in the ranks. Yet this is the treatment God receives from those who say: "Suppose we are Israel: What difference does it make?"
REJECTS GOD'S COMFORT FOR THE LAST DAYS
When we go through the Scriptures, and find the blessings promised by God to Israel, it is most remarkable that, in very many instances, the blessings foretold are for the last days, the very hour in which we are now living. For us, upon whom Paul says, the ends of the age have come.
The blessings pronounced upon Abraham were to culminate in the last days. The blessings pronounced by Jacob upon his sons were for the last days. The farewell blessings proclaimed by Moses upon twelve-tribed Israel were to befall them in their latter end, the last days. It is very evident that God was quite anxious that His Israel people should have a clear vision of all that was to come to pass in these trying times, and consequently, sent prophet after prophet, telling of world conditions which we would experience in our day.
But right along with the cataclysmic upheavals foretold, there is always a word of cheer, consolation and encouragement to His people Israel. Though they may be chastened sore, yet, he says, "I will not make a full end of thee." God will not forget His covenant to Abraham, though the nations rage, the earth quake and the seas roar.
Therefore, it is the universal testimony of all who have sincerely studied the Israel truth and accepted it, that there has come upon their minds and hearts, like a divine benediction, a peace, a calm, a comfort and an encouragement in the present world crisis, such as they had never known before.
To collate all of the statements God made to Israel for the last days, would furnish a soul fortification against all that is transpiring, which few Christians know anything about. In the very day when men's hearts are failing them for fear, and they are leaping from windows, shooting themselves or passing out by monoxide gas; God, in His mercy, intended that we should have the benefits of knowing what He is doing in the world, what the world events actually mean, how he is going to make it all work out to the good of His people Israel, and through all that is happening bring in the Kingdom of God on earth.
But all of this falls upon listless ears to the man who says "What difference does it make?"
TURNS DOWN THE HIGH CALL OF GOD
The high call of God is not only to accept Christ and to build a Christ like character, but to gain a broad, genuine, comprehensive Biblical knowledge, in order to be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. It is not simply to preach the Gospel in obedience to the Mark 16: 15 commission; but also in obedience to the Luke 9: 2 commission- "Preach the Kingdom of God."
The Kingdom of God on earth, lost in Eden and to be restored by Christ, is the one theme of the Bible. It was the one theme of all that Jesus preached. It has a message for the individual. Matthew 6: 31, 33 is also the great message of God to the debauched, broken, floundering nations of the world today.
The laws of that Kingdom of God established at Sinai contain the only answer to the problems which now confront the nations, whether those problems be political, economic or social. In fact, the Gospel of the Kingdom sweeps the whole field of human relationships, the family, the church, the business world, the social world, the state, the nation, and international relationships. There is no phase of human life that it does not cover and command; for "His Kingdom ruleth over all."
After years of acquaintance with the whole field of Gospel preaching, we have no hesitancy in saying that the Israel Truth comprehends the Gospel in its fullness. The Israel movement takes the Bible as it finds it, with no denominational tenets to promote, and preaches what it finds; without fear or favor. It is enlisted to declare the whole counsel of God whether men will hear or forbear; the Gospel of Christ in its fullness; the Old Testament Gospel, the New Testament Gospel, the Gospel of Sinai, the Gospel of the Prophets and the Gospel of the Apostles; the Gospel for the individual with salvation for body and mind as well as soul; and the great neglected Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God on earth.
God chose the Israel people as His servant race and appointed them His witnesses to set up the ensign of divine truth to the nations of the world. If there ever was an hour when such a work was needed, it is now, as the nations wade in their welter of woe.
That Christocracy which God set up at Sinai with its constitution, law, statutes and judgments is the sunrise for which the world is now waiting. Brother, Sister, can you conscientiously face your Master and say: "I'm saved. Suppose we are Israel; what of it? What difference does it make?" To use a street term; "Come out of it." The world is languishing in its national sins as well as its individual sins. The great Divine climax of the ages is about to break upon the nations. God, in His mercy, has given the great Gospel of the Kingdom of God on earth, not merely to be held but to be heralded in these closing hours of a dying age. Now is the time to earn your "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," promised in that great Kingdom parable.
DR. JAMES S. McGAW
Dr. James S. McGaw, the author of this tract, was a Scots Covenanter. He was a life-long minister in The Reformed Presbyterian Church. For seventeen years he represented the National Reform Association, which took him on speaking engagements into 46 states. It was his interest in Christian civil government which laid the foundation for a ready acceptance of the national message of the Bible.
His conversion to this great truth was occasioned by a Jew who owned a haberdashery store in a small mid-western town. Dr. McGaw stepped into the store to make a purchase on his way to the depot. Attracted to Dr. McGaw by his mannerism, the Jew guessed he was a minister, which resulted in a friendly conversation on religion. Becoming interested, the proprietor called his son from a back room of the store to take charge while he took the doctor to the train.
Indebted to the Jewish merchant for his graciousness, Dr. McGaw took this opportunity to speak to the man concerning the claims of Jesus Christ. One approach after another failed. So finally in a final desperate attempt to win the man before the train arrived, Dr. McGaw said, "The Jews are God's chosen people, and Jesus was a Jew, therefore you ought to accept Him as your own personal Saviour."
''Ah, ah," said the Jew, "this is where you are mistaken."
Taken back by this retort the doctor said, "Well if the Jews are not the chosen people, I'd like to know who are." The Jew answered, "If you really want to know who the chosen people are, read Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright, by Bishop Allen." Dr. McGaw gulped for breath at this sudden turn of events, which blasted all his theological training. So he determined to get the book and read it. It was almost a year before he was able to secure a copy. Then in the quietness of his room, the first night with the book and his Greek and Hebrew text beside him, he became so intrigued with its message that he could not lay it down until he was suddenly confronted with the breaking rays of the morning sunrise. As the sun arose he finished the book with the light of a new truth in his soul.
Subsequent studies made him a master of the NATIONAL MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE, and one of the strongest speakers on the American platform, always speaking with authority in his discussions. His two studies, "Outline Studies in the Covenants of the Bible,"and "The State Religion of Israel, or Symbolism of the Old Testament Ritual,"have never been equated in their comprehensiveness and lucidity. His own testimony as to the value of this truth is stated in the following words:
|< Prev||Next >|
"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"
MAYNARD G. JAMES