THE COMING EXODUS
"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers," (Jer. 16:14-15).
Here is a promised exodus which is based upon the exodus of Israel out of Egypt, and which, because of its magnitude, is to so eclipse the one upon which it is based that the former will cease to be remembered.
The blindest of the blind leaders of the blind claim that this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jewish people returned from the Babylon captivity. But such could not have been the case, for the Jews went only to Babylon, and from Babylon they returned! but this oncoming exodus includes the children of Israel, who are to come from all lands whither the Lord has driven them.
When Israel came up out of Egypt they numbered about two and a half millions. This estimate is made from the fact that there were six hundred thousand men of war beside the young men, who were too young for war, and the old men, who were too old for war, and also women and children. This great company was taken out of Egypt in a body by the Lord himself with the greatest manifestations of Divine power the world has ever known -- will ever know, until the exodus in question takes place. But the Jews returned from Babylon in two small companies, without any supernatural manifestation as to their leaving Babylon, while they were en route, or when they arrived at Jerusalem; and the Divinest authority of this earth declares, "The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women," (Ezra 2:64-65).
But "it shall come to pass in that day, when the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign [the ensign of one who is "a root of Jesse"] for the nations [i.e., the nations into which the Birthright people have developed], and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel [or the outcast Israel], and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off [Russia, beware! Roumania, beware! France, beware!]: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim . . . And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian Sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt," (Isa. 11:12-16).
Ephraim-Israel is that portion of the Lord's people which is left from the Assyrian captivity, and Judah is the Jewish portion of the Lord's people which has been scattered to the four corners (or wings) of the earth. These are to return together, and for that reason one shall not vex the other. At one stage of this return, or while they are returning, the Lord is not only to destroy utterly the tongue of the Egyptian Sea, but is also to dry up the seven mouths, or delta, of the river Nile. This was not done, nor could it have been done, when the Jews returned from Babylon, for these places are in diametrically opposite directions.
Another feature of this returning is that "In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping; they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten." This people did forget, and did break the law covenant, but now they are going back to Zion to make an everlasting covenant with the Lord.
Other features of this returning are given as follows: "Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the women with child and her that travaileth with child together with a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born.
"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations [Ephraim, the Birthright people, who, prior to this return, have become many nations], and declare it in the isles afar off [Ephraim now living in the British Isles] and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
"For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all," (Jer. 31:8-13).
When this return is consummated, the Lord will keep his people, as a shepherd keepeth his flock. When the Jews returned from Babylon, they were not thus kept. Also, after this return has been accomplished both Israel and Judah are to sorrow no more. But when the Jews returned from Babylon they had more sorrow than before. This great company sorrows while returning, but when once there they are to "sing in the heights of Zion." The Jews returned from Babylon to "cry from sorrow of heart, and with vexation of spirit."
Furthermore, Babylonia, or Chaldea, of which the city of Babylon was the capital, was an inland empire, and was not in possession of any island territory; neither did they possess the "coasts of the earth." Hence the Jews could have come neither from the coasts of the earth, nor from the isles of the sea, when they came from Babylon.
This return is taught in that wonderful forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, in which there is so much of the history of Israel since they went to the isles, and in which is the following: "Listen, O isles, unto me: hearken, ye people, from far . . . thou art my servant, Israel, in whom I will he glorified . . . . Behold, these shall come from the north and west," i.e., Northwest. But when the Jews returned from the Chaldean empire they came from the east.
Still other incidents of this exodus are, that these people shall come "upon horses, and in chariots [wheeled vehicles], and in litters [marg. Coaches], and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, and to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord," (Isa. 66:20). Also the following: "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first to bring my sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel."
One of the results of this return is given as follows "I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." (Amos 9:14-15.) After the Jews returned from Babylon they were pulled up; but after this return has taken place, both Israel and Judah shall remain in their land forever.
But it is also certain that this return cannot take place until Israel has been lost, increased to a multitude, and then been found. For it is written: "Yet the number of the children of Israel [Joseph-Ephraim] shall be as the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people [lost], there it shall be said unto them, Ye are [found] the sons of the living God. "Then" -- yes, THEN, and not until then -- "shall the children of Judah [the Jews] and the children of Israel [the Joseph-Ephraim Birthright] be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel," (Hosea 1:11).
Zara, or Zera, is the root of this word Jezreel, and means, not only the seed, hut also to sow (the seed), to plant, to fructify. But the word Jezreel means "God wiIl sow" (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). Hence the day of Jezreel is God's time to fulfill the prophecy given by Amos, which we have quoted above, i.e., "I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up," etc.
It is because this day of Jezreel was in prospect that the Lord gave the following to the prophet Ezekiel: "Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel . . . But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded. And I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit; and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel! and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth be bereaved of them," (Ezek. 36:8-12).
When this return has been accomplished, Israel, "all of it," shall do better than at the first. But after the Jews returned from Babylon, although they returned cured of idolatry, they suffered more and did worse than they did before; for they said, concerning that royal Prince of the house of David, "Let his blood be upon us, and upon our children."
Also, when the day of Jezreel comes, Judah and Israel are to appoint themselves one head (rosh -- chief ruler). It is at that time that the Lord will take the two sticks, the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah, put them together, and they shall be one in his hand. At that time the Lord says, "I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king of them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David [the royal line] my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children, forever: and my servant David [they are to gather to an ensign of a root of Jesse] shall be their prince FOREVER.
"Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them [the remnant according to the election of grace have, already, found peace through Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, the son of God]; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten, and I will place them, and multiply them, and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. My tabernacle [dwelling place] also shall be with them. Yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel (the remnant, according to the election of grace, may, by meeting the conditions, be sanctified now through the blood of the slain Prince of David, i.e., the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world), when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore." (Ezek. 37: 22-28.)
This is to be the time of the everlasting possession of the land which God gave to our fathers. Prior to this time it is declared: "The people of thy holiness have possessed it [the land] but a little while." But in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel, prior to the giving of that part of the chapter which we have quoted, the Lord told the prophet that the valley of dry bones was the whole house of Israel, and told him to say unto them: Behold my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land. Then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."
This is to be the time of which the Lord has spoken, saying, "The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow down at the soles of thy feet and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency . . . . Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be righteous; they shall inhabit the land forever; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands; that I MAY BE GLORIFIED," (Isa. 60:12-15 and 20-21).
Great violence has been done to the truth of God by those who have tried to spiritualize these prophecies, instead of seeing in them a time foretold, during which this earth is to see its most spiritual, hence its most glorious, age; for this is but the climax of the Gospel era, which, in the New Testament, is often called "The Day of the Lord." This is the time long foretold when, "the wolf also shall dwell with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the peoples." This is in harmony with Zech. 3:10, which reads as follows: "I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree."
Now, these facts are in perfect accord with the outcome of the new covenant, as declared in the New Testament, of which Christ is the mediator, and which could not begin to come into effect until the death of the testator. So it is recorded in the book of Hebrews as follows: "But now hath he [Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also is he the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For, finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with tile house of Israel and the house of Judah [the two houses]; 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, 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 my people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."
Thus we find that both houses, Israel and Judah -- Joseph and Judah, the Sceptre and the Birthright -- are included in this new covenant, which, when it reaches its climax, must be in fulfillment of that foretold condition, in which every man from the least to the greatest shall know the Lord; together with all spiritual and glorious results, which are described as following such a blessed and holy condition among men. Also, according to this explanation of the Gospel or New Testament covenant, it is understood that our Jewish brother of the house of Judah must come into this covenant before the doors of grace and mercy are closed. That part of the new covenant promises which is quoted by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews was given to the prophet Jeremiah, who also says, in addition to that which is quoted in Hebrews, "I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me . . . . Behold the day will come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David; and he [the Branch] shall execute judgment and righteousness IN THE LAND."
"In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," (Jer. 33:7-14-16).
Still Jeremiah prophesies concerning this time as follows: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Meanwhile Paul asks "What then?" and answers, "Israel hath not obtained that for which he seeketh; but the election [of grace] hath obtained it and the rest were blinded." It seems that the reason that Jeremiah is careful in these prophecies to say that Judah shall be saved in those days when David's son is king, is that Israel is having her opportunity now, and that all in Israel who will turn to God and serve him are doing so in this the dispensation of the Spirit. Excepting, of course, those out of all Israel who will turn to God in the time of the great tribulation, which is also called the time of Jacob's trouble. For that is the time of which it is written, "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced [prior to this the whole house of Israel will have been brought up out of their graves], and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day there shall be great mourning in Jerusalem," (Zech. 12:10-11).
It was because of this time that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said to the house of Judah, "Your house is left unto you desolate, and ye shall see me no more until ye say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." They had said this when he made his triumphal entry into the holy city, for they thought that the promised restoration, and its attendant kingdom "should immediately come," but our Lord gave them the parable of the nobleman's son going to a far country to receive a kingdom and return, and gave the command "Occupy till I COME." Thus we see that that glad hosannah which went up from Jerusalem was but a type. Its great prototype is ahead. Just ahead, as we verily believe.
This work of planting Israel in their own land and keeping them there forever, that the Lord might be glorified, is in harmony with the following: "When the house of Israel dwelt in their own land they defiled it by their own way and by their doings. . . . I poured my fury upon them. . . . I scattered them among the heathen and they were dispersed among the countries. . . . When they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they [the heathen] said of them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God: I do this not for your sakes, but for MINE HOLY NAME'S SAKE, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen SHALL KNOW that I am the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen and GATHER you out of all countries, and will BRING YOU INTO YOUR OWN LAND . . . I, THE LORD, HAVE SPOKEN IT AND I WILL DO IT," (Ezek. 36).
When this exodus takes place, and the gathering to Shiloh is completed -- concerning which there are many things that we dare not mention because we cannot deal with them conclusively -- it will be on such a stupendous, glorious, and supernatural scale, that the Lord called John up into the etherial heaven to give him a revelation of it, the description of which is found in the fourth chapter of Revelation.
Before John was taken up a voice said to him: "I will show thee things which must be hereafter." After he was taken up the first thing which John saw was a throne set in heaven. This signifies a kingdom. Around this throne there was a rainbow, which is a symbol of the promise. "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats [thrones] and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." In Christianized Israel there are twenty-four elders, i.e., the twelve patriarchal sons of Jacob, and the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. "Out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices. These are the symbols of the judgment and in connection with these scenes, we are told that the judgment was set.
Around about the throne were four beasts, or living creatures. The first of these was like a LION; the second like a Calf, or young Ox; the third had the face of A MAN; and the fourth was like a FLYING EAGLE. These, as we have learned, are the national ensigns of the nations of Israel. Some writers oppose the translation of the original word into beasts, and others oppose the translation of living creatures, but both are correct; for beasts are the symbols of human governments, and these governments are made up of living creatures. These living creatures are said to be in the midst of the throne, and also round and about the throne. Hence they represent the nations and the people of Israel, under whose insignia they gather.
Jehovah, by the mighty power of his own right arm, took Israel out of Egypt; and by his own glorious presence guided, protected, and led them through forty years of wandering in the wilderness. But it is written, "With many of them God was not well pleased." Still he withdrew neither his protection nor his manifest presence from them as a nation. Today it might also be written, "With the greater portion of Joseph-Israel God is not well pleased, and yet they are manifestly the people, nationally speaking, whom he has blessed, and to whom he has remembered the word of his oath. On the other hand it is written, "And many of the Jews believed on him"; and yet, nationally speaking, the Jews are the enemies of the Gospel of grace. But when this greater exodus takes place the Jews will join with Christian Israel in shouting the glad acclaim, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!" even as Jesus foretold, when he was weeping over Jerusalem. For it is also in fulfillment of the following: "The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord bath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," (Psa. 118:22-26).
Thus we see that it is the rejected stone unto whom they will cry, "O Lord, save!" and concerning whom they will say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," for this is the time when the Lord himself shall appear the second time in power and great glory. At which time he will have SET HIS HAND AGAIN, the SECOND TIME to recover his people and his manifest presence shall once again be among them.
When Israel was led through the wilderness under the protection of God with those four ensigns flying in the breeze, there were only three wings, or encampments on each of the four sides of the great hollow square, because there were only three tribes on each of the four sides, but in the revelation given to Saint John for each of these four Living Creatures there were six wings. We should expect this, for it is an enlarged view of the double portion of Joseph-Israel. This is the gathering of the House of God, in which also there is the House of God, for it is Bethel, the stone kingdom which the Lord set up in the days of the kings of Chaldea, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Pagan Rome. It is the kingdom which shall smite the image of empire on its feet "and break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms; and it shall stand forever."
In this kingdom are the living stones that are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit, of which Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone. "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church" -- his wife -- who are to be the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, which is to come down from God out of heaven, and which has twelve gates of pearl, each of which has upon it the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob. But in the foundations of this city are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and thus in it also is the double everlasting portion, or the twenty-four elders in Christianized Israel, to whose care was committed the shepherd stone of Israel, who still have it with them, and who will carry it back; for it must yet become the headstone of the temple, of which Ezekiel gives the plan. For in Ezekiel's city there is a temple, but in the city which comes down from God there is no temple.
It seems that one of these cities, Ezekiel's, is to be on the earth, and the other is to remain in the air. Then the following words of Jesus to Nathaniel will be fulfilled: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." Then also will be fulfilled that of which Jacob's ladder was a type.
There is also, in the book of Revelation, the description of a company which is composed of one hundred and forty-four thousand persons who were redeemed from the earth, and who, insofar as their nationality is concerned, are Israelites; for there are twelve thousand out of each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But insofar as the moral character of this company is concerned, "They are without fault before the throne of God." Since he alone who brought grace to their race has power to present men faultless before the throne of God, it must be through the atonement of Jesus Christ that these are made pure.
When this gathering, which is not only the hope of Israel, but also the hope of the Church of Israel, takes place, then the Zarah and Zedekiah branches of the royal family of the Abrahamic people will need to abdicate in favor of "He whose right it is," for he will have come. Prior to the time when the kingdom over Israel was given to David and his sons, the Lord was King of Israel, and after the enthronement of Solomon, we are told that, "Solomon sat on the THRONE OF THE LORD as king instead of David his father." Hence when the Lord returns he will have a twofold right to that throne, i.e., as the Son of David and THE SON OF GOD, who, when he comes, will not only be the Christ for whom the Christians are looking, but will also be the long expected MESSIAH for whom the faithful ones among the Jewish people are looking.
This present age is the dispensation of the Spirit. The dispensation which shall follow this gathering will be THE DAY OF THE LORD.