THE MASTER’S PLAN
‘When Thy Judgments are in the earth,
of the world will learn righteousness’ ISAIAH 26:9
ALBION S. GAUNT
(First published in 1968)
Edited and corrected by JAH in 2001
- CONTENTS -
1. The Master’s Plan
2. The Background of the Plan
3. The Plan Launched
4. The Plan in Operation
5. The Plan and its Principles
6. The Plan Attacked
7. The Plan and the Gentiles
8. The Plan and the Throne
9. The Plan and Redemption
10. The Plan and the Community
11. The Plan and these Troublous Times
12. The Plan and the Second Coming of Christ
13. The Plan Realised
14. What Does all This Mean to You?
"A tormented mankind stands uncertainly poised between world catastrophe and a golden age."
Bewildering questions must have been raised when the late Sir Winston Churchill uttered these words in the British House of Commons at the time of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. The statement could hardly be questioned, for it truly reflects the startling state of the world today. While the vista of a golden age opening up in the light of modern scientific discovery (1 Tim. 6:20) excites the imagination (Gen. 6:5) of many, men are dominated by fear when they observe these very discoveries being seized upon to increase the war potential of opposing world powers. They fear that the whole of humanity may be destroyed by the mere pressing of a button in an unguarded moment, if not deliberately. There is an unholy mixture of wonder and fear. One ponders the question regarding the way humanity is likely to fall when the poise or balance is lost.
Apart from strained international relationships we have our own unprecedented problems at home. Continual labour unrest has its own unfortunate effect upon the national economy. We make superhuman efforts to balance our world trade accounts, and these add further to the burdens of domestic life. The moral decline, with its mounting crime figures and violence in our streets, alarms us and troubles our consciences.
The question as to how mankind came to be tormented is vexing. Can the darkness and suffering of present world woes be reconciled with our ideas of God? The state of the world, particularly as it concerns Britain, the Commonwealth and the United States of America, calls for explanation. The object of these pages is to seek an answer to these perplexing problems by examining what is believed to be the main structure of a great sovereign purpose working out in history. This purpose is revealed in the Bible. Many do not realise that Bible prophecy has an important message for the world today. It is a message relevant to present conditions, revealing their true nature, their cause and ultimate outcome. It reveals a remedy subject to certain conditions and yet in the ultimate overruling. The coming of a golden age is indicated and it is set forth as superseding the present time of torment.
Some of the great scenes of the Bible are dealt with briefly owing to a desire to keep to the main outlines of the great Plan. The necessity for familiarity with these important outlines can hardly be overstressed. Without a knowledge of them one cannot properly understand the comprehensive message the Bible has to present. Here is true hope. It deals not only with the spiritual affairs of the individual and the Community — it offers a practical solution for all matters concerning the necessities of life, economics, finance, labour, race, as well as national and international relationships. Indeed, the Bible offers the perfect system. It unhesitatingly promises the completion of the Plan on this Earth, the overruling and the entire elimination of all evil, the ushering in of a Golden Age.
THE MASTER’S PLAN
The story is told of an ancient Inca chief, a wise old man of the sixteenth century, who for many years had led his people in the worship of the Sun. One day he astounded his tribesmen by announcing that he could no longer lead them in the act of Sun worship because, for a long time, he had perceived that the Sun rose and set at exact times throughout the year, and moreover, that the Sun repeated that exact routine every year. Thus he had come to the conclusion that the Sun was subject to a law. Behind that law there must be a Supreme Being Who was the Designer and Administrator of that law. He could from henceforth but lead his people in the worship of that unknown but Supreme Being to Whom the Sun was so utterly subject.
There are thoughtful people who feel that there must be some meaning behind the gravity of present world affairs, probably deeper than what is generally conceived. Many of these turn instinctively to the Bible, in search for an explanation of life and its perplexing problems. Here has been found, not only a mine of Wisdom and Knowledge, but an exact description setting forth, with amazing accuracy, the present troubled world situation with vital information concerning the causes of its ills. Even as the Sun is subject to the great Law of the Supreme Being, so the Earth is subject to Higher Laws transcending those of man. As men have swerved from the Higher Law, the Earth has ‘gone out of alignment’ in its relationship with the rest of the Great Design.
Here in the Bible is the Master’s Plan that has operated in the past and which continues to operate through to the present time, a Plan that is working out to a happy and inevitable conclusion. It touches every human event in history and is concerned with those of our present day. It provides the Master Key for the future. Never was a plan conceived so vast and so comprehensive as this, for the whole Universe comes within its scope. Behind the Plan stands the great Personality and Designer, the Lord God Almighty, Who has worked out its details with the very perfection of wisdom.
The spade of the archaeologist and recent discoveries of the scientist are coming to our aid to help us recover our lost faith in the Scriptures, and to re-discover its glorious message of hope. Renewed faith is opening up the sacred pages, and is revealing many secrets of the Plan. It shows how the Divine scheme has developed in the history of mankind and how it has influenced its whole course, and is even now, nearing its consummation.
The promise of the Scriptures guarantees complete world deliverance from every vestige of evil at a time not far removed from the present. This guarantee is sworn to by the faithfulness and righteousness of Almighty God Who has not swerved, nor will He ever swerve, from His unchangeable purposes.
THE BACKGROUND OF THE PLAN
In order that we may understand this great Plan, the Bible narrative, first of all, takes us away back in thought to the remote past before ever the Earth or the Universe existed. The opening words of the Bible simply state, "In the beginning God..."
Logical thinking demands that there must have been what is known as a ‘first cause’ as the beginning of all things that now are. It is believed that this ‘first cause’ had the power of thought and that it was capable of transmuting thought into action; and, in fact, the power of turning thought into substance. The Bible makes the claim that this ‘first cause’ is the mysterious Personality of God, Who Himself is uncreated and eternal, complete within Himself (self-existing - YHWH - "I AM") and possessing all wisdom. David the Psalmist declared, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Ps. 90:2).
Of the substance of His Own Being (Spirit - energy), and from His Own Being, the Father created the Son, who himself is spirit, being of one substance with the Father. There also proceeded forth from the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth. Thus was the Godhead constituted, still one in spirit and unity, but manifested as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The human mind is surely incapable of comprehending the infinite nature of God. Zophar, in the Old Testament - Covenant story, wished to emphasise this fact to Job when he said, "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" (Job 11:7-8). We can but behold the glory of His handiwork in nature and accept, by faith, the Divine revelation which we have been granted, realising that we may spend all eternity still discovering more of His greatness.
"In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Now follows what the Bible calls ‘Heaven’, which became the abode of God, Who created the angelic host, spiritual beings (of light - energy) whose chief attributes are wisdom and strength (2 Sam. 14:20; Ps. 103:20). They also inhabited Heaven. Among the angels there was a higher order of archangels, amongst whom were Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer. Further creative activity by the Godhead followed, in which the Heavens (Universe) and the Earth were made (Gen. 1:1, John 1:1-5, Heb. 1:1-3). This seems to be the divine order, and the Book of Job declares that the angelic host rejoiced greatly at the creation of the Earth, "When the Morning Star’s inhabitants sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7).
While the Son (Michael - Dan. 10:21) sat upon the Throne with the Father in Heaven, the archangel Lucifer (created from energy - Sura 7:12) and his followers were sent to the Earth after the war they had fought against God (Rev. 12:7-9), once it had been created to be the prison for these sinners as a result of the Divine Judgement against them. Isaiah, chapter fourteen, supplies a clue, for here is revealed the story of the great fall of Lucifer who fell through arrogance, and because of his jealousy of the Most High. Thus it is written: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning (Star)! How art thou cut down to the earth, which did weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the North: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like (take the Place of) The Most High. Yet, thou shalt be brought down to hell (Earth), to the sides of the pit (Hell-Fire)." (Isaiah 14:12-15). This passage marks the beginning of evil in the Universe. When Lucifer said, "I will", (his will not God’s Will) sin began.
Here is the beginning of the great controversy (war) that has waged ever since between the forces of good and the forces of evil, involving both Heaven and Earth as its battleground. It is against this background that we must seek to understand the present struggle for world control with all its attendant and varied suffering. Only with this background and knowing our part in it can we understand the great Master Plan, which has as its object, the ultimate defeat of all evil and the complete restoration of the Earth to its former perfection. The first creative act, stated in Genesis chapter one and verse one, refers to the dateless past, and so provides scope for all the geologic ages referred to by the scholar.
Reading from verse two of this chapter, we are informed as to how the earth was renewed and restored from the chaos that had come to it. The only creative acts described here are those of animal life and human life. Thus, man came on the scene as the highest form of creation, being made in unity - human, +being (soul - fallen angel) and spirit to be gradually reformed into the likeness and eventually the image of God (Matt. 5:48). He was placed in the midst of a most beautiful and perfect environment. And God looked upon all He had made, and behold it was good.
The renewed Earth was then marred by Lucifer, now known as Satan ("the Opposer"), seeking to recover his lost control of his followers here on Earth. As a result of Satanic attack, man fell from his perfection and innocency and brought down with him the realm of nature. A death state took the place of eternal youth. A process of change and decay in man and in nature took the place of deathless perfection. Man has had to struggle with death and the curse to this day. After a dreadful run of evil during the first generations of the Adamic race, in which sin multiplied upon the Earth, bringing forth every conceivable form of suffering, the cleansing and correcting measures of the great Master Plan went into action.
"What was buried shall be rediscovered. Truth shall be revealed as being the Seed of Life." - an Aztec prophecy.
THE PLAN LAUNCHED
The Master’s Plan began to take shape in the call of Abraham, when he left his home in Ur of the Chaldees to take up residence in ‘the land of promise’ — Palestine. It was to take form in the creation of a new race to which God would make Himself known in special ways. This race was to come under special training which was to have the effect of making them God-conscious, and to create in them a sense of vocation. In other words, they were to be the basis of His plan to work out world redemption, his instrument people to bring "blessing to all the families of the earth." "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH be blessed" (Gen. 12:2-3).
These promises were later raised to the solemn level of a covenant contracted between God and Abraham in order to satisfy the enquiries of Abraham, who realised how humanly impossible they were of fulfillment, since, owing to his wife’s great age, they were incapable of having a son, let alone a large posterity. This covenant was intended to be completely basic, upon which the whole of the Master Plan would rest. Such was the importance of the Abrahamic covenant to the whole of the plan it was effected without condition on the human side. The Plan was under Divine guarantee. It had to realise its final objective — the emancipation of "all families of the earth." No room was left for any possibility of failure.
In order to realise the fulfillment of the covenant, Almighty God breathed new life into Abraham and Sarah, his wife, and of that miraculous rejuvenescence, Isaac was born. God had revealed Himself to Abraham by the new name of El Shaddai (The Almighty and Breasted One), and as such, God stood as the Succourer and Guardian of the new race which had been brought into existence by Divine intervention.
Some years later, when Isaac had grown up into a young man, God raised the Abrahamic covenant to its highest possible level. This took place as a result of the peak test of Abraham’s faith, when he was called upon to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice to God on Mount Moriah. Abraham’s faith and obedience stood the test and was proved beyond doubt. A ram was then substituted by God in the place of Isaac. Then came the following statement, the great importance of which cannot be over estimated in its relationship to the Master’s Plan. "By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for BECAUSE thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the ‘stars of the heaven’, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; BECAUSE thou hast obeyed My voice" (Gen. 22:16-18).
Careful observers will have noticed the important implications of this statement.
1. The promises given to Abraham were wholly unconditional being bestowed because of the obedience of faith. "BECAUSE thou hast done this thing . . . BECAUSE thou hast obeyed My voice." When the covenant was confirmed to Isaac and later on to Jacob, it was not for any faith or obedience or merit in them, but because "Abraham obeyed My voice." The merit lay in the past. The subsequent conduct of the race could never make the oath of God void. "I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham." It is not now a question of merit, but of covenant.
2. The Abrahamic covenant becomes at once the very foundation of the subsequent superstructure of the Master’s Plan. All world history is subordinate to it.
3. The ultimate blessing of the whole world will be effected by the dealings of the Almighty through the nation that He had chosen and prepared with this object in view. Abraham understood it this way, and so should we.
4. The descendants of Abraham in their generations were dedicated upon the altar that day in the person of Isaac. It could mean nothing less than this — the dedication of a nation.
5. The new race must be multitudinous as the ‘stars of heaven’, and as the sand upon the sea shore, and this especially so in the latter days.
6. They must eventually possess the gate of their enemies, indicating the possession of the strategic parts of the earth.
The great Plan was now well under way. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed by God, at a time of great spiritual and physical crisis, to ISRAEL, "Champion of God." Jacob (Israel) became the father of the twelve sons who, in time, became the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel.
THE PLAN IN OPERATION
The family of Jacob (Israel) had developed into a larger family of seventy souls, when a severe famine struck the land of Palestine. Under the leadership of Jacob’s eleventh son, Joseph, who held high office in Egypt, the whole family removed into the land of Egypt and settled there. Here they grew into a nation so strong and prolific as to become a source of potential danger to the Egyptians. In order to overcome their fears, the Egyptians forced the Israelites into bondage and made them a nation of slaves. In the purposes of God, this experience became a strict training period to equip Israel to carry out the great Plan of God at the right moment. Eventually, God sent them Moses, and under his leadership Israel was delivered by a mighty hand, and so they came out of Egypt. The annual Feast of Passover memorialises that mighty event when God redeemed His servant nation from the bondage of Egypt, and separated it from the nations unto Himself.
At Mount Sinai, in the desert, the Lord performed a number of important matters for Israel that further detailed His Master Plan. There He made Israel His Kingdom on earth. "And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the House of Jacob, and tell the Children of Israel . . . Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My Covenant [the Mosaic], then shall ye 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 an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the Children of Israel." (Exod. 19:3-6). There is but one Kingdom of God, and Israel was, from henceforth, to constitute the earthly or national aspect of that Kingdom.
The Lord also gave to Israel a perfect code of law, known in the Scriptures as "the Law of the Lord." The starry universe above provided an example of the perfection of the Divine Law, each celestial body amongst the countless multitude being kept in its appointed orbit by the eternal Law of its Creator, revealing perfect precision and order. Israel was given a portion of that Law, sufficient to govern the nation in every department of its national and spiritual life. In simple language, God created and trained Israel to be His demonstration people. He gave them a perfect Constitution, and instructed them to enter into and possess the Promised Land (Palestine), in order to demonstrate to the nations of the world what the Divine system could achieve in a nation. "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord."
David, knowing no other constitution when he came to the throne, caused Israel to come under its benign sway. When preparing his son, Solomon, to take the throne in his place, David instructed him in the Law of the Lord and charged him with it. "Now, my son, the Lord be with thee . . . The Lord give thee Wisdom and Understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep The Law of the Lord thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the Statutes and Judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong and of good courage" (1 Chron. 22:11-13).
It cannot be concluded, however, that the nation gave absolute obedience to the Divine Law. Yet, as a result of even a partial obedience, the nation, under the reigns of king David and king Solomon, came to the zenith of its glory in exceeding great blessing and prosperity and peace and security. Such was the effect upon the other nations, that some of them sent representatives to enquire into the secret of Solomon’s great wisdom, and the glory of Israel. The Queen of Sheba was one of these, and what she saw and heard left her quite breathless — to quote, "there was no more spirit in her."
THE PLAN AND ITS PRINCIPLES
Few realise how extensive is The Law of the Lord which was given to Israel at Mount Sinai, providing for Israel not merely the Ten Commandments, and instructions for the divine worship of God, but making provision for every department of national life. It was, in fact, the National Constitution for Israel, dealing with every aspect of national life and order, including economics, property, justice, housing, food, hygiene, agriculture and armed forces of the State. It was designed to bring joy, health, peace and blessing to all or any people who would accept it and abide by it.
This Law is based upon the fundamental and eternal principles of righteousness wrought in the Wisdom and Omniscience of the everlasting God. The Ten Commandments are binding for all time, and without them the well-being of the nation, or indeed, of any human society, becomes impossible. Here is the very heart and secret of the Master’s Plan. We may have but little knowledge of these principles at present, for they certainly transcend far beyond any human conception of law, but we do know that God's Law spreads into, and pervades the whole Universe, keeping perfect harmony and order. As against this, failing human government is in great contrast, for has not man tried to run this world with little or no consideration of its Designer? Have we not reaped disorder and a sense of frustration as is evident today? When our spiritual and political leaders re-discover these Divine principles as they are still enshrined in the Holy Scriptures, and apply them to the nation, then, and then only, can we hope for the abolition of all our woes; then may we expect times of refreshing prosperity and peace. The Lord Christ Jesus made this perfectly plain when he said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
The Law of the Lord is not an untried theory. It is the Will and righteousness of God. It has been put to the test right here on Earth. Its blessing was proved in the days of David and Solomon, kings of ancient Israel. David perceived that Law at work in the heavens, and marvelled at the handiwork of God. He had continual praise for that which the administration of The Law had achieved among his own people. We still sing his testimony in the nineteenth Psalm, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night sheweth knowledge . . . The Law of the Lord is PERFECT*."
* Perfect means that it cannot be improved either by addition or subtraction and any attempt to do so makes it imperfect and worse not better.
The divine Court of Eternal Righteousness, charged with the maintenance and perfection of the Universe, bestows every blessing when The Law is held in obedience, but is necessarily punitive and corrective when a fault occurs. This was expressed in the Garden of Eden. "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," and elsewhere as "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4, 20). Man's fall in the Garden of Eden constituted such a fault, and so the sentence of death fell upon men and a curse upon the earth itself. Thus automatically, the corrective measures of The Law went into effect.
The first two chapters of the Bible give us a glimpse of the pristine glory and perfection of the earth. Similarly, the last two chapters present us with a fascinating picture of restored perfection. In between, we have the sad story of man's fall and his struggle with evil, a story of blood and sweat and tears. But we have also the setting forth of the declared Plan and purpose of God to redeem and deliver man, and to bring the whole earth back to its former perfection and glory, through the power of His great love and omnipotence.
The Law of the Lord as given to Israel falls into two main divisions, thus:
1. The National, or Civil Law, expressed in Commandments, Statutes and Judgments.
2. The Ceremonial Law, expressed in ordinances and ceremonies.
The National Law is eternal, for it sets forth the eternal principles of life itself. When the lawyer recited part of The Law to our Lord, Jesus replied, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt LIVE" (Luke 10:28). Here indeed, is ‘The Way of LIFE’, had man not been born in sin. Alas! no man ever attained to eternal life by keeping of The Law, for declares the Word, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). The only alternative is death, imposed by the same Law "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Here, then, was a standard unattained by those who were under The Law, and who were, by that Law, under the condemnation of death. Provision was therefore made for the transgressor in the Ceremonial side of The Law. The fallen Israelite was instructed to bring an offering, which, as a substitute, would forfeit its innocent life for the sins of the transgressor. Thus was the Israelite redeemed from the sentence of death imposed by The Law.
Each sacrifice was of a prophetic nature in that it pointed to THE COMING LAMB OF GOD, who alone could take away sin, and who himself became the only effective sacrifice for sin. Being sinless himself, he could and did become our perfect Substitute upon the Cross, bearing the penalty of The Law in his own body in our stead. He met every demand in the Court of Eternal Righteousness. Thus, all men, Israelite, Jew, and Gentile, may find eternal life by repentance and personal faith in the atoning work of the Lord Christ Jesus. Indeed, there is no other way, "For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
The sacrificial death of Christ does not do away with the National-Moral Law. How can it, when it is bound up in eternal principles, and, as such, is charged with the running of the whole of creation? The great work of correction is not yet completed, but it will be so eventually. As long as we run contrary to these eternal principles, we shall suffer curse and death. Our Lord made all this clear in the Sermon on the Mount, which was preached to his disciples who had to carry the message to all the world, "Never imagine I have come to destroy The Law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfil. I tell you truly, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a comma, will pass from The Law until it is all in force. Therefore whoever relaxes a single one of these commands, were it even one of the least, and teaches men so, he will be ranked least in the Realm of Heaven; but whoever obeys them and teaches them, he will be ranked great in the Realm of Heaven" (Matt. 5:17-20, Moffatt's trans.)
The first main division of The Law, therefore, remains and is eternally operative. On the other hand, the apostles spoke clearly of the temporary nature of the Ceremonial Law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, which were but types and shadows of things to come, and which, after serving their purpose, were abolished in Christ Jesus (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:15). Christ now covers all the provisions The Law once held out to the sinner. The ultimate and total salvation of mankind, made possible through the only remedy, Christ Jesus, will be found to be the outworking of the eternal principles upon which the great Master Plan is based.
THE PLAN ATTACKED
Unlike the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, including The Law of the Lord, was wholly conditional, containing such terms as, "thou shalt," and "thou shalt not." Nationally, Israel voluntarily committed herself to the Mosaic Covenant, and thus it became binding upon her. "And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord" (Exod. 19:8). Israel was no doubt sincere in her promise to keep her side of the contract. The great enemy of God however, had also his own interest in the proceedings. He had failed thus far to destroy this elect people in many an attempt, and had now failed to prevent Israel from becoming the Kingdom of God on Earth. He therefore planned an offensive against Israel in an attempt to destroy the Kingdom, and so frustrate the great Plan of God. Alas! Israel fell.
Now God had given to Israel a line of kings known as the Royal House of David, whose throne was promised to be an enduring dynasty. This throne was established by an everlasting covenant. This covenant is set forth in the Second Book of Samuel, chapter seven, and also in the eighty-ninth Psalm. "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as ‘the Sun’ before Me."
Towards the close of his reign, king Solomon began to be influenced by his great riches and by his alien wives. He gradually introduced certain forms of idolatry and thus brought upon himself the displeasure of God. The subtle hidden hand of Satan is seen opposing the great Master Plan. When Solomon's son Rehoboam came to the throne in 975 B.C., a serious rebellion resulted in the disruption of Israel.
Ten of the tribes formed themselves into the northern Kingdom of Israel, with the tribe of Ephraim in the leading role (Gen. 48:20). They chose the city of Samaria as their capital, and having revolted against the Royal House of David, they chose a man named Jeroboam as their king. To strengthen his throne, Jeroboam drew ten-tribed Israel away from Divine worship by setting up idolatry, this being an attempt to avoid pilgrimage to Jerusalem of sacred memory. He also set aside The Law of the Lord and replaced it with human legislation. Revolt against the Royal House of David and against the Lord of Heaven was almost complete.
The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained true to the Royal House of David, and retained Jerusalem as their capital. There was no real revolt against Divine worship or against the Divine Constitution, but these were soon sadly neglected and often forgotten. The two tribes became known as the southern Kingdom of Judah. The two kingdoms functioned side by side for some time, but they were never again re-united. The re-union of the twelve tribes is still the subject of Bible prophecy and awaits fulfilment.
The northern Kingdom of Israel continued to exist for some time, but by her disobedience and idolatry she brought upon herself the punitive clauses of The Law. Thus she was condemned to suffer a long period of seven prophetic times of chastisement and banishment from the homeland. It can be shown that:
A "time" equals 360 years (Soli-lunar reckoning).
Thus 7 "times" equals 7 x 360 which equals 2,520 years. Since the main body of the northern Kingdom of Israel was carried away by Assyria in 721 B.C., it follows that the period of Divine chastisement for the Northern Kingdom was completed by A.D. 1800. Of the further history of ten tribed Israel, Bible history leaves us entirely without information. Where Bible history ceases, however, Bible prophecy takes up their story, revealing their movements and the important part they were to play in the great Master Plan.
Over a hundred years later the southern Kingdom of Judah also fell into judgment and was allowed to be carried away captive into Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar took dominion over Jerusalem in the year 604 B.C., which means that their period of chastisement terminated in A.D. 1917. After seventy years of Judah's captivity, a mere remnant of this Kingdom — less than fifty thousand — returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the city and The Temple. It is this remnant only that became the nation of the Jews. This fact is of vital importance and can be well proved from the Scriptures. To misunderstand the Scriptures here is to render the major part of Bible prophecy impossible of understanding and it is to confuse the main pattern of the great Plan. The rest of Judah in Babylon, and the whole of the ten tribes in Assyria became "lost" to Bible history. These never returned to Palestine. The remnant who became "Jews" were the people living in Palestine when Christ Jesus, our Lord, was born at Bethlehem, and were subject to the Romans. Christ lived among them and ministered to them the things concerning the great Plan, but they did not believe him, and in the end they put him to death. Forty years later, in A.D. 70, the Romans sacked Jerusalem, destroyed The Temple again and Jewry was scattered among the nations of the world, but they have never been lost to view.
Another point, the importance of which cannot be over emphasised, is to realise that Divine prophecy always deals with "Israel" and "Judah" as two separate entities, each having quite different functions to perform in the Plan of God. If, in our study of the Master’s Plan, we treat these terms as synonymous, then only hopeless confusion can follow. The ability to define the difference between Israel and Judah, in the Scriptures, is to hold one of the most important keys to the understanding of the whole scheme of God Almighty. In the mind of God there were potentially two separate peoples with two different destinies when Israel came out of Egypt. King David was divinely aware of this, and he wrote, "When Israel went out of Egypt, and the House of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His SANCTUARY, and Israel His DOMINION" (Ps. 114:1-2).
Josephus, the Jewish historian, also referred to these sections of Israel as being two separate entities. To quote: "So he (Cyrus) called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said unto them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem and The Temple of God . . . When Cyrus said this to the Israelites, the rulers of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with the Levites and priests, went in haste to Jerusalem; yet did many of them stay at Babylon, as not willing to leave their possessions" (Josephus: Book 11, Chapter 1, Paras 2 and 3). The Bible books of Ezra and Nehemiah agree that those who returned belonged only to these tribes.
Of the ten tribes, Josephus records the following: "Wherefore, there are but (only) two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the TEN TRIBES are beyond Euphrates till now (A.D. 70 or so) and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers" (Josephus: Book 11, Chapter 5, para. 2).
Much more material could be produced, but let one more testimony suffice. On 26th June, 1950, the following letter was addressed to the Chief Rabbi of Britain:
May I ask for replies to the following questions:
1. Do the Jews, as generally known, represent the whole twelve tribes of Israel?
2. Does the State of Israel in Palestine constitute a union of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms as a united Israel?
Yours faithfully, C.H.L.I.
The following reply was received a few days later, being the official opinion of the Chief Rabbi.
I refer to your letter of the 26th ult. The Jews of today do not represent the whole of the twelve tribes. What happened to the ten tribes who occupied Northern Palestine in Bible times is not definitely known. Various theories have been propounded. Modern Jewry is considered as being descended from the ancient tribe of Judah, and to a lesser extent, the tribe of Benjamin.
Signed J. H. Taylor, Sec.
Leaving Bible history, we must turn to the prophets.
THE PLAN AND THE GENTILES
The southern Kingdom of Judah was subjugated in 604 B.C. by the Babylonians and carried away into captivity, so bringing that Kingdom to an end. The date is of vital importance to the great Plan. Babylon was now Mistress of the known world, and the Empire was now at peace. King Nebuchadnezzar himself, however, was troubled and concerned about the future of his proud achievements. In both the Bible and secular history, Nebuchadnezzar is noted for his military and his building achievements. He was mainly responsible for the build up of the Babylonian Empire. He also won fame for making the city of Babylon what it was, with its fine palaces, its temples, and its famous hanging gardens, the latter being one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In this disturbed state of mind he slept uneasily one night, and dreamed his famous dream. When he awoke he apparently failed to recall the dream, and commanded the scholars of the day not only to recall the dream for him but to explain its meaning. Because they could not give him the necessary information, the king demanded their execution.
Now Daniel, who also came under the execution order, was a prophet of God among the captives of Judah. In answer to his prayers, God granted to Daniel a repetition of the dream together with its interpretation. Standing before Nebuchadnezzar, he was able to recall the dream, and expounded its meaning to the king. "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible." Then followed this description — the head of gold, the arms and breasts of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet of part iron and part clay. A stone was also seen, one which was cut out of the mountain without hands and which came and smote the image on its feet until the whole colossus came crashing to the earth, grinding the image to powder, the stone itself consuming the contents of the image and becoming a great mountain that filled the whole earth.
We have here one of the most remarkable and most important prophecies in the sacred Scriptures. Here is a prophecy, the symbolism of which reveals the nature of world history for a period of 2,520 years. The finest scholarship that Nebuchadnezzar could command stood at the beginning of this great period, and these men had not the slightest notion of what would transpire throughout these centuries. Daniel, however, was a man who knew God, and through Divine revelation granted unto him, was able to reveal the great course history would take. Human knowledge, even in these days, stands in contrast with Divine revelation, for the one, commendable as it may be, is limited, while the other is quite unlimited. The future of the nations, and their place in the world, is not unknown if we hold the key to the Scriptures and the Prophets. If we can but grasp the meaning and nature of the seven prophetic times, called by our Lord, "the times of the Gentiles," we shall be able to understand the innermost meaning of the present world conflict. The object of this particular prophecy is to give us that information.
We are distinctly told the object of the dream. "God . . . maketh known to king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be IN THE LATTER DAYS." The king was, obviously, curious and troubled about the future of Babylon when he fell asleep that night, and the knowledge he sought was about to be revealed to him. But, we ask, was this knowledge merely given to satisfy the curiosity of a conceited heathen monarch? The purpose was surely of greater importance than this. God was about to make an important announcement to the whole world concerning the next stage of His great Master Plan. Nebuchadnezzar was undoubtedly the man to use, for we know that he was in the habit of proclaiming to the world anything of a remarkable character that happened in his kingdom. Daniel, chapter four, is an outstanding example of this. Here is the reason for the miraculous nature of the dream. Nebuchadnezzar had to be greatly impressed, as indeed he was, and the desired effect took place. What then was this announcement to be made to the world?
The northern Kingdom of Israel had been carried away into Assyria over a hundred years previously. In 604 B.C. the subjugation of Judah had also been completed. The national witness to The Law of the Lord had come to an end. Israel was now to be absent for seven prophetic times (2,520 years), save for the mere remnant of Judah and Benjamin who would return under the edict of Cyrus the Persian to become the nation of the Jews. Ruling authority thereby passed into the hands of the Gentiles, who would, during these seven times, run the world according to the whims and fancies of human government. The Gentiles were not given a Divine constitution; they must legislate their own. During this long period of chastisement, Israel, with the rest of the world, must suffer the results of human rule. Israel had enjoyed the glories of Divine government in the days of king Solomon, and the nations had looked on and beheld its great benefits in Israel. Israel had let her great privilege slip away, and the Gentiles had not enquired their way into the blessing of Divine rule. Therefore, both Israel and the Gentiles must learn their own particular lessons the hard way. The Gentiles were given a great opportunity which they could exploit to the full in running the world after their own heart. It seems, that during these 'times of the Gentiles', God would not interfere with that opportunity.
Human government has now had a long run, and Satan has greatly influenced the affairs of the Gentile world. The Devil, on the Mount of Temptation, was able to make the following boast in the presence of Christ, "And the Devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the Devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine" (Luke 4:5-7). While our blessed Lord did not take the short cut offered him, he did not dispute the fact that these kingdoms were Satan's to give. If, therefore, we cannot understand why all this evil is allowed in the world, we should remember that these things are the result of Godless human rule, behind which Satan has taken every opportunity to wreck the handiwork of God. This generation, at least, can be thankful that the long period of the times of the Gentiles is now running out. The year 604 B.C. marked an important date at the beginning of the seven prophetic times, and 2,520 years added brings us to A.D. 1917, marking the end of the ‘times of the treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles’, which was to be followed by a short time of unparalleled trouble, itself being a transitional period, heralding the near approach of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Back in the presence of king Nebuchadnezzar, we find Daniel interpreting the symbolism of the dream. "Thou art this head of gold," that is the world-empire of Babylon. "And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee", this being the world-empire of the Medes and Persians. "And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth", the world-empire of Greece. "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron", the world-empire of Rome.
Then follows the important part of the whole announcement, which concerns the 'stone' in the dream. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure" (Dan. 2:44-45). While the four Gentile world-empires — all of human or worldly origin — would come to an end, enduring only in turn throughout the times of the Gentiles, the Stone Kingdom, of Divine origin, that was not made with hands, was to be an everlasting kingdom. This prophecy informs us that these things were to culminate in "the latter days", that is, during the Christian dispensation. Thus we have an important time indication as to the rise and fall of world empires, and the order in which they would arise. We may also see the role that latter-day Israel would take, for ten-tribed Israel would be due to emerge from her times of chastisement in A.D. 1800 from which time the wonderful provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant could begin to materialise.
This brings us to a fuller consideration of the stone cut out of the mountain without hands. After offering himself publicly, and officially, as Messiah and King, when he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem upon an ass, we find our Lord was rejected by the Jewish authorities. After discussing the matter with them in various ways, Jesus, in his own regal rights, passed the following judgment upon official Jewry. "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, THE STONE which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD, shall be taken from YOU, and given to A NATION bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder: (Matt. 21:42-44). Clearly, Christ refers to himself as the rejected stone, but as the whole passage is closely associated with the prophecy of the dream image, for the nature of the stone is precisely the same in each case, we must conclude that, not only is the King involved here, but his Kingdom as well. In other words, Christ declared to Jewry that day, "You have rejected me as your King, therefore in my own regal right, I take my Kingdom from you (Jewry), and I give it to A NATION bringing forth the fruits thereof." It is impossible to divorce this King from his Kingdom. Honour-bound by the Abrahamic Covenant, Jesus took the Kingdom (nationally) from the one section of Israel known as Jewry, and passed it on to the other section of Israel, the ten tribes, the lost sheep of the House of Israel scattered abroad, to whom the Apostles were sent, that it might remain in the Abrahamic family: for you will remember the unconditional promise, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Thus, the Kingdom that was transferred from Jewry, and the nation that received that Kingdom, were represented by the Stone that belonged to the mountain, hence, the nation from which the transfer was made, viz. Jewry, was of the original stock, or part of the family of Abraham, which part, owing to its unworthiness, had to be rejected, and the Kingdom given to another section of the family. This Kingdom was founded by God Himself at Mount Sinai, and was made without hands. "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine" (Lev. 20:26).
Let us remind ourselves again of the purpose of this dream. Was it not to make known what should be in the latter days, that is, during the period of the seven times, and particularly in these latter days of the Christian dispensation? During this period there were to be four Gentile world empires, not three, nor yet five, but precisely four. This revelation comes from God's perfect foreknowledge. History has well justified this remarkable prophecy; firstly Babylon, then Medo-Persia, then Greece, and, lastly, Rome. Rome? But, surely history goes on to record the rise of the greatest Empire the world has ever seen, larger than all the other four put together. Have there been five ‘Gentile’ empires after all, and not four? Has the prophecy broken down? Is it possible that the Almighty did not know that a British Empire would arise and wax greater than any before it? Nay, but He did know, for He is the Omniscient One, and we, with our limited vision, must be prepared to admit that the great purposes of God are being fulfilled on a far wider and grander scale than many of us have ever imagined possible. We have still to make the solemn and yet amazing discovery that the Celto-Anglo-Saxon peoples are not ‘Gentiles’ but are truly the literal descendants of the, thus far, lost ten tribes of Israel.
Since A.D. 1800, God has been fulfilling many of the details of the Abrahamic Covenant, as well as fulfilling many wonderful prophecies in His 'hidden ones'. For example, making Abraham's seed great, giving it the name ‘great’, securing to it the gates of its enemies (that is maritime power), and making of it "a nation and a company of nations" (Gen. 35:11); making it multitudinous, making it spread abroad and colonise into the strategic parts of the earth, lines of kings out of it, and making it a blessing everywhere. These are but a few of the prophetic marks of latter day Israel, all borne by Celto-Anglo-Saxondom, but not by Jewry, and, being national and material, are not to be found in a universal (Catholic) Church. These were the national and material blessings that were to come to latter-day Israel, in order to prepare her to be God's servant nation, to do His bidding among the nations. When the right moment arrives on the Divine time-piece, God moves, and His Word is performed, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Only these things can possibly explain the present (1968) position of ‘Great’ Britain and the Commonwealth, as also that of the United States of America in the world today. These facts alone explain why Celto-Anglo-Saxondom is being gradually isolated from the Gentile world, for we see the world today dividing itself into two great camps. The Master’s Plan is well advanced in these days, and draws near to its great culmination.
Numerous attempts have been made by Satan to create a fifth Gentile world empire, and thus destroy the whole scheme of this prophecy. Every attempt has failed, and the following are a few of these instances.
Philip II. of Spain, in the sixteenth century, bid well to seize the world sceptre when it fell from Rome, but Protestant England stood in the way. The Invincible Spanish Armada sailed against our shores, and, humanly speaking, we should have been crushed. Spain had come up against the hard Stone of prophecy, and found that "whosoever shall fall upon this Stone shall be broken." Queen Elizabeth, realising that we had been saved by Divine intervention, worshipped God and said, "He blew with His winds, and they were scattered." "That we may have peace in Israel," said Sir Francis Drake.
Another evilly inspired attempt was made, this time by the French under Napoleon-the-Great. The nations of Europe fell an easy prey to his armies, until he, too, came up against the Stone of prophecy, when he was utterly broken upon it. Humanly speaking, we should have been swallowed up as other nations had been, but the Lord God of Israel, once more, delivered His ancient people (Rev. 12:15-16).
The First World War saw a far more serious attempt, this time by Germany, led by Kaiser William II. The time came in those days when Britain prepared for the worst, and, but for divine favour, would have ceased to be an Empire, and Germany would have become the fifth Gentile world empire. Instead, she, too, was broken upon the Stone of prophecy, and by miracles like the ‘Angels of Mons’.
The last attempt was made in the Second World War, by a Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler. Europe melted before his armoured divisions, which poured on, relentlessly, as the nations fell before him like ninepins. He actually arrived at the Channel Ports, and there remained but a narrow sea between him and his most coveted prize, Britain. We had practically nothing with which to meet him, and defeat seemed inevitable. But in answer to our national cry, the Lord God of Israel saved us, and we began to speak about the 'miracle' of Dunkirk, and that of the Battle of Britain, as well as about other miracles. Thus was Hitler broken upon the Stone of prophecy, and is no more. It is a dreadful thing to come into opposition to the great Plan of God. Satan has failed utterly to create a fifth Gentile world empire, and the Word of God stands impregnable. To quote God’s word from the prophet Isaiah 54:14-17, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; . . ."
Will any other Gentile nation compete for world dominion? It is certain that the powers of evil will not cease their activities until they are finally eliminated, according to the Master’s Plan. Satan's final attempt, working through the Gentile world, is clearly described by the prophets, but the final positioning of the nations has not yet occurred. Yet, today, many of these nations are beginning to take their place, and although they may now have different names, they can be plainly recognised by their activities. The whole image seems to be intact at the moment the Stone strikes it on the feet. This action brings the whole system down to its final end. Do we not see the nations today (1968), whose territories once formed part of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman empires, gradually falling behind the "Iron Curtain", to be included in the final prophetic image? It is described as 'terrible' in appearance, and will include all the anti-God world, prepared to challenge God Himself and His people Israel. The challenge is taken up in the midst of 'Armageddon,' scripturally called, "the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14). Almighty God sends forth His Son in His Second Advent to Earth, and fighting for Israel, finally destroys her enemies, destroys war, and all Satanic influences in the earth.
Then will the Lord Christ Jesus take the Throne of David, and, ruling over the House of Jacob forever, he will gather to himself all nations, into the great Kingdom, and the Stone will fill all the earth in one glorious Kingdom of God on Earth.
THE PLAN AND THE THRONE
As the Celto-Anglo-Saxon peoples are the literal descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, then, according to the great Plan, they must possess a throne of the Royal House of David. In the Bible there is a covenant which secures for the Israel nation an enduring royal house and throne. A prophetic blessing was given by the patriarch Jacob to his fourth son, Judah, in the following terms, "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh, come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Gen. 49:8-10). David, a man of great faith in God, who was of the House of Judah, was eventually anointed king by Samuel the prophet (1063 B.C.). He reigned over Judah for seven and a half years, and then was anointed king of all-Israel. Early in his forty-year reign he captured Jerusalem and made it his capital, and later purchased The Temple site. He instituted The Law of the Lord as given by God at Mount Sinai, and he led the people back to the pure worship of God. The Davidic line of kings was to hold that throne until the Abrahamic Covenant had been further fulfilled in the Latter Days. It was known in those days as 'the Throne of the Lord.' "Then Solomon sat on the Throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him" (1 Chron. 29:23).
King David desired to build a magnificent temple for God Who had blessed him and his people with peace and prosperity. On making his wish known, God spoke to him through the prophet Nathan. The king must have been surprised at one of the first statements made in the message brought to him. "Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more. Neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime" (2 Sam. 7:10). This appointed place of the future could not possibly be Palestine, as we know all Israel moved from there at the time of the captivities. An uprooting and a re-planting of Israel is clearly implied. Provision had been carefully made in the Divine Plan for the continuation of the Kingdom and the Throne in a place of safety away from Palestine. Isaiah foretold the escape of Israel from Assyria, and declared, "I will send those that escape . . . to the isles afar off" (Isa. 66:19). The great redemptive and prophetic chapters of Isaiah, from chapter forty onwards, are addressed to Israel in the isles. See also Isa. 49:12, in which the return of Israel is described as being from the North-West (of Palestine). The prophet Jeremiah also refers to Israel in the isles (note well Ezekiel 17:22-23).
Then followed an important covenant made with king David, which being of an unconditional character, depended entirely upon the honour of God. This Davidic Covenant established his Kingdom, and his Throne forever. If his descendants committed iniquity, the Lord would chasten them, but He said His mercy would never depart from them (2 Sam. 7:11-16). "I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him . . . My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips. Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his Throne as ‘the Sun’ before Me. It shall be established forever as the Moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven" (Ps. 89:20, 34-37). "Thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the Throne of the House of Israel" (Jer. 33:17).
The line of kings from David to Zedekiah is recorded in the Bible. Zedekiah was the last king before the final captivity of the Kingdom of Judah, and he was carried away with his people into Babylon where he later died. His sons were slain in another Satanic attempt to wreck the Plan of God by bringing to an end the Royal House of David. Inheritance in Israel was allowed to come down through the female line, The Law being non-Salic (Num. 27:1-11). In this point The Law was in contrast to the heathen Salic law. It is known that Jeremiah took the daughters of Zedekiah to Egypt (Jer. 43:6-7). This took place in 588 B.C. Irish History of the sixth century is rich in ancient records regarding a holy man who came from Egypt via Spain, whose title was Ollamh Fodhla. He brought with him an eastern princess named Tamar "Teia" Tephi, and a great chest or box. Among other things, the party brought with them a sacred stone. The princess was married to Eochaidh the Heremon (head king) of Ireland, from whom the Scottish kings descended, and thence, our own Royal House, which still bears the emblem of the lion of Judah, and the harp of David. There is much evidence to support the foregoing, both in the secular and sacred pages.
The riddle of Ezekiel (17:1-24) may be briefly quoted here: "And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the House of Israel; And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings [emblem of Babylon], long winged, full of feathers, which had diverse colours, came to Lebanon [northern Palestine], and took the highest branch of the cedar [the king]; He cropped off the top of his young twigs [his sons], and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants [Babylon]. . . . Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Say now to the rebellious House [Israel]; Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof [the last ruling monarch of the House of David], and the princes thereof, and led them with him into Babylon." The riddle continues: "Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar [the Royal House of the House of Judah], and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs [his children] a tender one [his daughter], and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain [emblem for national government] of the height of Israel (Jer. 31:10) will I plant it [not in Palestine, devoid of its people, but in the appointed place of safety, in the isles of the North and West]: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar; and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing [all nationalities, as in the British Commonwealth of nations]; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell." Thus, the tender twig was planted, not long after the riddle had been given.
Jeremiah had received a unique commission from God, when he first heard the call to service. The Lord had said: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant" (Jer. 1:10). His was the voice that warned king Zedekiah of a final uprooting of his Kingdom. It was Jeremiah who planted Tamar ‘Teia’ Tephi in Ireland where she married into the Royal House of Ireland, which was, itself, of Israel stock already settled in the appointed place. The Throne of David is pledged by God to maintain its rightful place on the earth, and to have an occupant until the coming of the King of kings, who, as the Lord Christ Jesus, was incarnated in his humanity of the House and Lineage of David, when Mary, his mother, was informed, "Thou . . . shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the Throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:31-33). "The government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:6-7).
The following poignant points stand out: In Bible history, the royal line of kings follows through to Zedekiah, who was the last reigning king in Judah. His sons were all slain and he himself died in Babylon. Bible history leaves us with the king's daughters in Egypt in the sixth century B.C. The British Royal House traces its genealogy back through Scotland to Ireland, to Eochaidh the Heremon, also of the sixth century B.C. Ezekiel's parable of the eagle and the ‘tender twig’ was intended to be an important link or clue. At the very time the Kingdom of Judah was coming to an end, and with its Throne in jeopardy, the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: "Thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the Throne of the House of Israel." The Davidic Covenant was not to be broken or even altered. The only alternative to finding that Throne continuing in our own Royal House is to find some other throne on earth which will comply with the Word of God. During their migrations northwards and westwards, the ten tribes of Israel were to "abide many days without a king," but with gladness they were to be rejoined to the Davidic Throne which would be still in existence in "the latter days" (Hos. 3:4-5). The solemn covenant made with David allows for no gap in its line of kings "until Shiloh come."
THE PLAN AND REDEMPTION
The crowning theme of the Bible is the story of redemption. Here is the very centre-piece of the Divine Plan, the very heart and hub, from which all other important parts range outward to the circumference. Here is the great Designer's only appointed remedy for all the earth's ills, whether these pertain to the individual, the nation, or the whole world. Redemption provides the only ground upon which the earth will be restored to the perfection it once knew in Eden. Here the Prince of Darkness is judged and doomed to final defeat. Wrought out in the Person of His Son, the Lord Christ Jesus, and backed by all that God is, redemption cannot fail in its great objective. We here behold the immeasurable love of God for this prodigal world. Here is the greatest of all good tidings.
In view of the unconditional character of the Abrahamic Covenant, a serious situation arose when Israel broke away from the conditional Mosaic Covenant, thus producing a complete dilemma. On the one hand, God was committed to use the descendants of Abraham as His instrument to bring blessing to all the nations of the world, the words implying salvation and final world deliverance. On the other hand, it was not possible for God to use a nation which was in sin and condemned to death by the edict of The Law it had transgressed. The only answer to this dilemma was redemption for Israel as a nation. The Abrahamic Covenant necessitates redemption, and the prophets are profuse in the promise of such redemption for Israel, it being their main theme. "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (Ps. 130:7-8). "Thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine" (Isa. 43:1).
Thus, in the words of the Apostle Paul, "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, incarnated inside a body miraculously made of a woman, made under The Law, to REDEEM THEM THAT WERE UNDER THE LAW, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. 4:4-5). This was announced by the angel Gabriel, to the Virgin Mary, in the following terms: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the Throne of his father David: and he shall reign OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB for ever; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:31-33). A further announcement was made by Zacharias, the dad of John the Baptist, who, being filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of ISRAEL; For He hath visited and REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: . . . To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember HIS HOLY COVENANT, THE OATH which He sware to our father Abraham . . ." (Luke 1:68-73). This, we must admit, is entirely an Israel passage, promising national redemption, and it concerns that nation exclusively.
The believing remnant in every generation cherished this glorious hope, and their whole expectation was concerned in the sad comment of the two disciples who walked to Emmaus, "But we trusted that it had been he which should have REDEEMED ISRAEL." This explains the attitude of our Lord when he said, "I am not sent but (except) unto the lost sheep of the ‘House of Israel’." (Matt. 15:24). The primary message of His ministry concerned Israel and the Kingdom, for they were the Covenant People, they were an instrument He would never abandon, and one which must be made useable again. Therefore, when he sent forth his disciples to preach "the Kingdom of heaven is at hand," he commanded the twelve, including Peter, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles (which includes Rome), and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel: (Matt. 10:5-6).
We may not brush aside these New Testament statements as unimportant, for they are vital and form an integral part of the great Master Plan. When the Son of God hung upon the Cross, he shed his precious blood for a national cause, as well as for the souls of men. The great Covenant that God had made with Abraham demanded such redemption. This is clearly shown in the terms of the New Covenant, which was expressly made with the ‘House of Israel’, and with the ‘House of Judah’, the two sections of the House of Jacob, of which the Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to the Hebrews themselves, quoting their prophet Jeremiah. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make A NEW COVENANT with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL and with the HOUSE OF JUDAH: not according to The Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in My Covenant [Mosaic], and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:8-12).
The New Covenant provided the means of reconciliation. The Court of Eternal Righteousness had placed all men, and had now placed the national institution of Israel, under the condemnation of death. The penalty was unavoidable and had to be paid. Only in this way could The Law be justified. But the love and mercy of God found a way. The Son of God took upon himself our flesh, and was incarnated of the seed of Abraham, of that section of Judah known as the House of David. As Man, his life was watched by The Law, and it was tested in every conceivable way by the devil, and yet he remained sinless and perfect. As the spotless Lamb of God, he offered himself upon the Cross as the SUBSTITUTE for fallen Israel and sinful men. He took the penalty upon himself and passed into death. We read, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6). So Jesus paid the price of our redemption, and satisfied the demand of The Law, thus setting us free and making reconciliation possible.
The previous evening, "as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of THE NEW COVENANT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:26-28). Jesus took the New Covenant that was made with the House of Israel into his own personality into his own blood, and made it the new life stream for the nation, which, in turn, would take this new life to the nations of the world.
The dilemma was no more, for Israel had been brought back. In spite of the "blindness in part" which "is happened to Israel" (Rom. 11:25), and all that this may imply, God has been able to use Celto-Anglo-Saxon-Israel in the bringing forth of Kingdom fruit in their operation of the Kingdom of God, which they have done very imperfectly (Rev. 11:4-6), solely on the grounds of redemption. Is not this the "nation bringing forth the fruits thereof," to which Christ transferred the Kingdom when he took it from disbelieving Jewry? (Matt. 21:43). Evidence of this is found in the fact that this is the race which has been used of God as the bulwark of the Protestant Christian religion. These people have been the chief means of rescuing the Scriptures from a dead language (Latin), and of publishing them in over a thousand different languages of the world, and sending the sacred pages to the uttermost parts of the earth (Rev. 11:3). They have sent ninety-five per cent. of the world's missionaries to the heathen, and supported this great work with something like ninety-five per cent. of the world's money collected for the missionary cause. Ignorant of their identity, they have paid dearly in the preservation of liberty and justice in the world, as they have also done in setting the captive free, in feeding the hungry, and in clothing the naked. This was Israel's task (Isa. 58:6-8), which has not been performed by Jewry, though true Jewry have yet to perform their part with Israel in the great Plan.
To perform this work of blessing at the appointed time, God has been materialising the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not for the aggrandisement of one nation above another, but for its great responsibility of world service (Rev. 11:3). Some of these promises may be seen as follows:
1. "I will make of thee a great nation" (Gen. 12:2).
2. "A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee" (Gen. 35:11).
3. "The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be . . . above all people that are upon the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6)
4. "Thou shalt (thus) spread abroad to the West (U.S.A.), and to the East, and to the North (Canada), and to the South (Africa)" (Gen. 28:14).
5. "Thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited" (Isa. 54:3).
6. "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth: (Ps. 72:8).
7. "Thy seed shall possess the [sea] gates of his enemies" (Gen. 22:17).
8. "The children which thou [Israel] shalt have, after thou hast lost the other [U.S.A.], shall say again in thine ears, The place is too straight for me: give place to me that I may dwell" [Commonwealth of Nations] (Isa. 49:20).
9. "He [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great [U.S.A.]: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim-Britain] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations" (Gen. 48:19).
Latter-day Israel was thus to become divided into two great peoples (Rev. 11:3), the one to be greater than the other, and the greater to become a multitude or company of nations.
The preaching of the national redemption of Israel has not been taught in this country and so this vital part of God's Word is practically unknown today. Paul was fully aware of its importance and included it in his teaching. "I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew" (Rom. 11:1-2). Anticipating the time when all Israel would be saved, he adds, "Blindness is happened to part of 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 Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away unGodliness from Jacob: for this is My Covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins . . . for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:25-29).
National redemption does not mean individual salvation. As it is the responsibility of the nation to get right with God, so it is the responsibility of the individual, whether Israelite, Jew or Gentile, to find salvation in Christ. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only incarnated Son, that whosoever believeth him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We have seen how death passed upon all men. We have also seen how God in His pity for fallen men allowed His spotless Son to become our substitute upon the Cross, to bear the dreadful penalty in our stead. Salvation can only be realised by our personally turning to God in repentance, and accepting by faith the great work of atonement wrought out for us, through which our sins are forgiven and blotted out. Mental assent to these great truths is not sufficient. There must be a definite act of faith accepting the Lord Christ Jesus into one's heart. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the (adopted) sons of God" (John 1:12). The Saviour, who died on Calvary, rose triumphantly from the dead to make all this real in the believer's experience. This great salvation is the design of Almighty God, and it becomes the very heart of the great Master Plan.
THE PLAN AND THE COMMUNITY
From the beginning there has always been a remnant seeking to worship God. Certain principles were given to men to guide them in their worship. These principles were passed on to Cain and Abel, each of whom brought an offering to God. Abel adhered in simple faith to what he had been taught, and brought of the firstlings of his flock, which was accepted in the Divine favour. His brother, however, sought to come some other way and was rejected. The believing remnant from the time of Abel can be traced throughout the Old Testament. The right approach to God was carefully taught to the nation, Israel. While she observed the ordinances given her, she enjoyed the glory, blessing and presence of God in her midst. The Synagogue/Church, in the Old Testament, was a national assembly, with a priesthood appointed over it under the leadership of Aaron, who, howbeit, was subject to Moses, for Moses governed both Church and State in Israel.
From the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the old Church was removed from the State, and the Community of Christ took on a wider sphere of activity. In this capacity the Community was to continue her independent witness until a reformed Israel nation was ready to take her part. From then on, the Community and Nation would be drawn closer together in the international and individual witness until the coming of the Lord. Then, they would be made one as in the Old Testament days.
We may think of the Community from two angles, the visible and the invisible. The visible Community is the organised society in which the Word of God is preached, and The Laws are administered. Here we have met with much human organisation and consequently denominationalism. The invisible Community is the mystical Body of Christ, composed of all nationalities. It includes believers (Sura 2:213; 3:28) of all ages back to Adam. The Old Testament prophets looked forward to Christ through the shadow of their sin offering, believing in the coming Lamb of God, Who, alone, could take away sin. The disciples of the Christian dispensation look back to Calvary and trust in the same atoning (at-one-ing) work for salvation. The Community of Christ was both the spiritual life of the Israel nation, and the avenue of national contact with God. It represents now the spiritual aspect of the Kingdom of God, while the nation represents the national aspect. The visible Community can only be the Community in so far as it enshrines the invisible. The ground of unity cannot lie in denominations, nor in forms of ministry, nor in a particular creed, because they, by their very nature, are all divisive, but only in an individual and personal faith/trust relationship with God, in Christ, which constitutes its invisible essence. The invisible Community includes all people of whom this is true.
While the work of the Community of Christ is international in character, it is not itself an international body. It is an Israel institution, for the Master’s Plan works only on an Israel basis in all its ramifications. Gentile believers are adopted into the Israel family when they come to Christ. The Apostle Paul sets this forth in his epistle (letter) to the Galatians, chapter three: "They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham . . . If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, (by the adoption of sons) and heirs according to the promise."
How does one become a member of the Community — the true 'Body of Christ'? The Apostle Paul has written, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). This experience is entered into by acknowledging one's need of salvation from sin, and by personally accepting the Lord Jesus, who alone can grant us that transforming life which links us with him. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the (adopted) sons of God" (John 1:12).
For several generations the Community carried its message to the ends of the earth in an attempt to bring all men to the knowledge of eternal life. She worked alone, and bravely faced all the hatred and scorn of men. Meanwhile, the Lord was reconstituting Israel in these isles of the North and West, and by about A.D. 1800 Israel was ready to take her part in the Plan of God. Thenceforth, the Community was no longer alone. The prestige which came to Israel as a result of her influence in all parts of the earth, caused the Community to be sheltered, her interests to be safeguarded, and her personnel to be protected. Thus, the work of the Community not only widened, but was also rendered more effective. In this way both Community and State had their separate function in the great Master Plan.
THE PLAN AND THESE TROUBLOUS TIMES
It has been seen that the main terminal dates for the captivities of Israel and of Judah are as follows:
ISRAEL 721 B.C. (2,520 years) A.D. 1800
JUDAH 604 B.C. (2,520 years) A.D. 1917
When each of these captivity periods was fulfilled, the Great Designer began to accelerate the activities of His great Plan in preparation for the break-up and ending of Gentile rule in the earth, and for the approach of the day of reckoning described in the Scriptures as 'the Great Day of God Almighty'. The year A.D. 1800 ended the captivity of ten-tribed Israel, and began a period famous for the expansion and influence of the Celto-Anglo-Saxon peoples, who now began to inherit the promises made to their forefather, Abraham, for the purpose of world service. As in the year 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar started the subjugation and eventual destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple, so in the year A.D. 1917 the captivity period of Judah came to an end, and that generation witnessed the deliverance of Jerusalem from Gentile (Turkish-Edomite) domination in a campaign conducted by General Allenby and his British-Israel forces (Luke 21:24) on the 9th of December in 1917 (Hebrew date - 24 Kislev 5678 - Haggai 2:18), as prophesied by God (Ezekiel 25:14).
With the end of ‘the times of the treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles’ there began a unique period of transition that was to bridge the narrow space (Rev. 20:3) between the end of the times of the Gentiles and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on Earth. We will remember that the disciples, one day, asked an important question with regard to the ‘End of The Age’: "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?" In his reply, recorded by Matthew (chapters 24 and 25), our Lord spoke extensively about the dreadful nature of this unique period of upheaval. He indicated that certain 'Signs of the Times' would be peculiar to that generation. These signs were to mark the final wind-up of all human misrule and herald the coming again of the Architect of the Master Plan to finally judge all evil and to re-establish His Kingdom on earth.
This important period was to be marked by "wars and rumours of wars" — nation rising against nation. There were to be famines, pestilences and earthquakes — all apparently on an unprecedented scale. He said many would come, saying he is Christ and deceive many using Jesus’ name and false cults, all claiming to be the truth. There were to be signs in the heavens, distress of nations, with perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, for the ‘powers of the heavens’ shall be shaken. Jerusalem, which for 2,520 years from 604 B.C. to A.D. 1917 had been trodden underfoot of the Gentiles, would be delivered from that domination. The 'fig tree', emblem of Jewry, would suddenly blossom forth in leaf, though still in unbelief ('no fruit'). This latter sign (the Jewish State in Israel - 22/4/1948) has materialised in our generation and was further emphasised by the Israeli-Arab War in June 1967. Of this period he said, "And except those days be shortened there would be no flesh saved, but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
The net result of Gentile rule during these prophetic seven times has brought nothing but sorrow, chaos and death. The presence of some relatively good men has not stemmed the tide. Like a cancer, the Babylonish system, as it is now, has forced its devilish roots into every human institution as is evidenced in politics, economics, international finance, international relationships, and into religious organisation itself. Now beyond cure, the great Physician is taking the only course left open apart from actual abandonment, and that course is the performing of a surgical operation, which act is by no means going to be a pleasant experience for the world patient. Evil must, and will be, rooted out, lock, stock and barrel, and with it, all those who seek to destroy the earth. The day of reckoning is at hand. Demolition seems to be the order of the day, and unless we hold the key to the great Plan, we cannot understand the present course of world events in which so many long-founded human standards are crumbling and passing away. These are certainly the days spoken of by the prophets.
In the final crisis, Gentile nations are being banded together behind the 'Iron Curtain' in a Godless confederation which, apparently, must extend until Celto-Anglo-Saxondom is completely isolated. Armageddon is at the doors, but those who believe and are informed by the Word (Truth) of God, are admonished by the words of our Lord: "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).
THE PLAN AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Will Christ come back again to Earth? To some, this will be a startling question. To those, however, who have a little knowledge of the Plan of God, a second coming of Christ is not only certain but is itself the only hope for this world.
That he is coming again is definitely promised over and over again by the prophets of both Old and New Testaments, and by no less an authority than Christ himself. He said on one occasion, "As the lightening cometh out of the East, and shineth even unto the West; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun (the British-Israel Throne of David, Psalm 89:36) be darkened, and the moon (the British Commonwealth) shall not give her light, and the ‘stars’ shall fall from heaven, and the ‘powers of the heavens’ shall be shaken: and then shall appear the ‘sign’ of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the ‘clouds’ of heaven with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:27-30).
The literalness of his return is also emphasised in the following passage which is concerned with his Ascension and Second Coming to Jerusalem: "And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus (Saviour), which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:10-11). This passage, like many others, defies anyone who would try to spiritualise it away. The disciples had just witnessed his literal departure, and they rightly understood that he would return to the Mount of Olives as literally as he went away.
The scene on earth will be that of the world's greatest crisis, a world completely divided into two camps, namely, the Communist and the Celto-Anglo-Saxon, with such lesser camps as those of Jewry and the Arab world. The final invasion will have been launched by Russia and her satellites upon the land in which God chose to launch His Plan and which is yet to be the world centre of His Kingdom. The invasion of Palestine will be the spear-head of an attack upon the whole of the Celto-Anglo-Saxon world with the object of bringing all nations into slavery to Moscow. The scene is described by numerous prophets, through whom we know that Jerusalem will be partly taken. The end of Jewry will appear certain, and Celto-Anglo-Saxondom will herself be caught helpless (Rev. 11:7). Victory for the enemy in this initial stage will seem to be a foregone conclusion. Such is the apparently hopeless situation that a disillusioned and repentant Britain and America unitedly call upon the Lord their God Who has promised to hear and save. Into such a scene as this God sends forth His Son, who comes to earth as the mighty Conqueror and Deliverer of His people Israel and Judah. In the midst of the great conflict "His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives" (Zech. 14:4).
The first effect of the second coming of Christ appears to concern the true Community, which the Bible describes as "the Body of Christ," Christ himself being the Head. To quote: "For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the ‘clouds’, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15-17).
The effect upon the Jews in Palestine is described by the prophet Zechariah, who gives much detail about the siege of Jerusalem in that day. In the heat of the battle, true Jewry will turn to the Lord their God and cry in bitterness for Divine help. But great remorse is still to come as they are suddenly brought face to face with the Saviour (in Hebrew - Jesus). Zechariah predicts, "They shall look upon ME whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for HIM, (Jesus) as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for HIM (Jesus), as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zech. 12:10).
The effect of the events leading up to the climax of the second coming of Christ upon the modern descendants of ten-tribe Israel will be that of repentance and spiritual regeneration. A nation will be spiritually born again in a day (Isa. 66:7-12). "And so all the ‘Elect’ of Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away unGodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11:26).
Like the prodigal son of the famous parable, Celto-Anglo-Saxondom will at that time be at the end of its tether. Reduced from greatness among the nations, having forsaken their Heavenly Father and revelled in riotous living, they had "never had it so good." The 'People of the Book' had turned away from the Wisdom of the Book (Koran; Sura 2:101). They had legislated to their heart's content — legislation which was almost always in direct OPPOSITION to the Divine Law of the Lord. No wonder that trouble came and they began to be in want. No wonder that violence had roamed the streets and that sickness and plague had distressed them. Wealth and the good things in life had taken wings. They had also neglected their true friends in the Commonwealth and flirted with a Europe that despised them for doing so. Yet did they persist in their courtship and copied Continental ways, much as ancient Israel of Old Testament days had copied the nations around her and destroyed herself in doing so*. At last, devoid of all she had held dear, Israel will be faced with annihilation as the final world war burst upon the world in the judgment of Armageddon. Broken and subdued, at last the Israel people will turn again to God their Father, Who, seeing those of them afar off who have truly repented and are returning to Him in total humility, will run to embrace them in wondrous reconciliation. According to the prophet Ezekiel (chapter 36) He will pour out His Holy Spirit upon them and the ‘Elect’ will be completely delivered and restored.
* Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT of her, MY people, that ye take not part in her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
THE PLAN REALISED
"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come" (Hag. 2:6-7). These words describe the terrible judgment of the Lord of Hosts which is to come upon the evil Babylonish system that has dominated Gentile rule and authority these last 2,600 years, or so. As a result of the misrule of man, the nations have reaped an ever-increasing harvest of suffering, sorrow, war, destruction and death, culminating in a full tide of unprecedented chaos and tribulation as exists today. The object of these final judgments is to bring this Satan-dominated system to an end, for as long as it continues to exist there can never be peace and security on the Earth. A final challenge of the powers of darkness brings the Gentile world into opposition to the Almighty Himself, and against the Celto-Anglo-Saxon peoples as latter-day Israel. The climax of this clash brings us to "the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), a battle usually known as Armageddon (Har-Megiddo in Israel).
The desire of the people of all nations is peace and good will among men, and we have sought it diligently by means of disarmament conferences, the League of Nations, and the United Nations Organisation. All these and many other efforts represent man's loftiest attempts to secure peace for all nations, but we have not found that elusive blessing, nor does there seem to be any hope of so doing. We have yet to learn that peace can never be achieved by mere human effort, for the earth can know peace only as it gets into right relationship with its Designer and Maker. He alone understands the true principles of peace since it was He Who brought them and the Earth into being. We have laboured unceasingly for peace, and thought it could be found at peace conferences, but, in reality, peace is not an "it", for permanent peace is personified in the coming Son of God who is truly called "The Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). He is the desire of all nations who is actually appointed by the Father to come right into the Armageddon scene utterly to defeat Satan, the deceiver of nations. Then will Satan and his evil hosts be finally cast out and disposed of according to the Divine Plan (Rev. 20:10). The final struggle is graphically described by the prophets, an example of which may be found in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of Ezekiel.
Then follows the judgment of the nations at an international conference which will be set up and personally presided over by Christ, the great Judge (Matt. 25:31-46). The goat nations will be judged according to their treatment of "these my brethren", and these nations as such will not be allowed to enter into the Kingdom which he will have set up. The sheep nations are also judged, and, as a result, they will enter into the glory of His Kingdom. Thus will the Kingdom of God be set up in the midst of the House of Jacob, and its centre of government will then be Palestine. The City of New Jerusalem, that comes down out of the sky in great glory, will become the world capital, and it is here that the Throne of David will be re-established.
All the Earth is destined to come under the benign reign of Christ. Therefore, ministerial activity will be commenced among the outer nations on a scale never before seen. Practical help for reconstruction will be in bountiful supply. With the curse removed, and all evil influence bound, conditions on the Earth will rapidly improve in every conceivable way. Unfettered nature will bestow plentifully all the necessities of life, and, in the absence of evil, there will be no maldistribution in the perfect administration of the Kingdom. Sickness will also depart, life will be lengthened, and old age postponed beyond all expectation. The animal world will be delivered from the bondage of the curse which came upon it when our first parents fell, so long ago. Ferocity and fear will disappear completely (Rev. 21:8), and perfect harmony will reign between man and beast. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain [Kingdom]: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Hosea 4:6), as the waters cover the sea: (Isa. 11:6-9).
When the Law of the Lord goes forth from Jerusalem, peace will reign serenely, and men will know true joy and contentment in full security. Let it not be thought that these statements are but empty platitudes. They represent blessings that are wholly confirmed by the prophets throughout the Scriptures. They are literal, and will come down on earth as surely as we expect the dawn. This is the glorious goal and object of the great Master Plan, and it will not fail to materialise, for it is backed by the oath and power of its great Designer. "The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:6-7).
The effect upon the outer nations is reflected by the prophet Micah in the following quotation; "many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: For the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it" (Mic. 4:2-4). Thus at last, the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdoms of Our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15).
The full glory of the redemption which Jesus purchased with his own blood will then burst forth, and all men shall see it together and rejoice in its healing beneficence. Abraham will also see the magnificence of the world-wide Kingdom of God, and will remember the day when he was called into partnership with God in the great plan. He will recall the covenant God made with him, as amplified to Jacob. "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Above all, our Lord Christ Jesus shall see the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied, and all creation shall surely join Heaven in singing "Allelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:6).
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO YOU?
What does all this mean to you? Do YOU count for anything in the great scheme briefly outlined in these pages? Indeed you do! There is surely a place for you, a place of no small importance, within the framework of the Master’s Plan. You are an integral part of it, provided you are in right relationship with God. How God has made this relationship possible through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ upon the Cross has been explained in a previous chapter. You may take your place in the Plan and possess everlasting life here and now. "For as many as received him [Christ], to them gave he power to become the (adopted) sons of God, even to them that believe in his identity" (John 1:12). Like the nation, you have been called upon to enter into the blessings and privileges of the Kingdom of God, and to witness to the great liberating message of that Kingdom.
In A.D. 1834, Britain, led by William Wilberforce of Hull, passed an Act for the Abolition of Slavery, setting free thousands of slaves in the British Empire. "Thank God," said Wilberforce, "that I should have lived to witness the day in which England is willing to give twenty millions sterling for the abolition of slavery."
We have concluded that that was the end of slavery. Now (1968), however, the whole world is facing a far more dreadful threat of slavery, with its concentration camps, as Communism gains in power and influence. The scourge is (subtly) ever creeping over the free world, backed by terrible military might apparently unmatched in the West. Free men fear what the situation might be in a few years time. There is only one power that can combat it.
The secret of that power lies in the great Master Plan. The Bible shows that God created and carefully trained a certain race. In the training, that race failed because of sin, but her failure only served to intensify her training. The Lord graciously redeemed her through the death of His Son, and in the latter days He fulfilled in her the wonderful provisions of the covenant made with Abraham, making her a great power and influence in the world. Here was the instrument He had prepared down through the ages, and with which He would destroy all evil in the world, that all nations might come into the glorious peace and liberty of the Kingdom of God on earth. To this end a final call must come to this Israel nation for dedication to such a service, whereupon God has promised to pour out His Holy Spirit upon her, and endue her with dynamic power.
We have, therefore, an important and profound message for our people. It is the message of the prophets calling upon Israel-Britain to awake and seek her rightful inheritance in the God of Abraham. The message constitutes a Divine Crusade that stands for and guarantees the liberation of all men, not only from individual sin, but from the tyranny of evil men and their dictator systems, if they will but yield to the invitation of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The message of this Crusade does not only offer men deliverance from the penalty and power of sin, but it deals intimately with national affairs, and offers the only solution to every world problem. It is a Plan backed by the omnipotent power of God.
Britain and America will yet seek the Lord their God, and in that day they will become invincible against any world threat or power. As Britain was once used to bring slavery to an end, so will she, with her brethren, as Israel, be called upon to be the instrument in God's hands to bring liberty to all men. Are we ready to consecrate our lives to this great Crusade, and bear forth its glorious message to our peoples? God is truly seeking out and training such men and women behind the scenes; Who at the appointed time will bring them forth in His power to be leaders and preachers in Israel.
Simon Peter knew very well the part Israel had to play in the great Plan. He also knew that the death of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost had not altered that Plan, but had rather enhanced it and confirmed it. "Ye men of Israel," he said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Christ Jesus, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began . . . Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities" (Acts 3:12, 19-21, 25-26).
This national message still applies to Celto-Anglo-Saxondom, and it reveals our great responsibility as a nation, for so much depends upon our being in the Will of God (in Arabic - Islam). The words "unto you first" imply the preparation of the nation before it can be fully used, and therefore it has the priority mentioned in this Scripture.
We are living in very strange days, and very strange things are happening around us. To the uninformed, it is very dark and puzzling. Nothing seems to make sense until we turn to the Word (Truth) of God, and see there a perfect scheme in the great Master Plan working out so meticulously all down through human history, and particularly so in the days of our own generation.
"We have also the more sure word of Prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a Light that shineth in a dark place, until the Day dawn, and the Morning Star arise in your hearts . . . For the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:19, 21).