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The Oath-Bound Promise to Abraham the Hope of Jews, Christians and all Mankind. “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s Seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29

The issues of life, death and a hereafter are all in the power of the Lord. He took counsel of none of us, and holds Himself fully responsible, declaring that all of His purposes shall be accomplished, and that His Word that has gone forth shall not return to Him void, but shall accomplish that which He pleases.

Isa. 40:10, 11. He owed us nothing in the beginning, and will be under no obligations to us in the end. God gave our race life in Adam, but, as he had foreseen, they lost it by disobedience and came under the penalty death.

A ray of hope came with the giving of the Oath-Bound Promise to Abraham, which declared “In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 22:18.

ASSURANCE OF ALMIGHTY’S OATH

Doubtless Abraham and all of his family, Israel after the flesh, drew a certain amount of blessing and encouragement from this Covenant or promise and the oath of the Almighty,which doubly sealed it, and which gave double assurance of its certainty of accomplishment; but the Apostle Paul intimates that God’s special design in giving that Covenant and in binding it solemnly with an oath, was to encourage Spiritual Israel to give us a firm foundation for faith. He says (Heb. 6:13-18), “That by two immutable things (two unalterable things), in which it was impossible for God to lie, we (the Gospel Church) might have a strong consolation, (we) who have fled for refuge (to Christ), to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” The context show distinctly that the Apostles and the early Christian Church drew comfort from the Oath-Bound Covenant, and clearly implies that this same comfort belongs to every true Christian down to the end of this age.

God well knew that, although 3,000 years from His own standpoint would be but a brief space, “as a watch in the night,” nevertheless to us the time would appear long, and the strain upon faith would be sever; hence the positive statement and the still more deliberate oath that bound it. We cannot but wonder at such condescension upon the part of the great Creator that He would stoop to His fallen creatures and, above all, that He should condescend to give His oath on the subject.

Our Lord Jesus was the great heir of the Abrahamic promise, and the faithful of His consecrated people of this Gospel Age are declared to be His joint-heirs in that promise, which is not yet fulfilled. For its fulfillment, not only the Church is waiting, as the Bride or fellow-members of the Body of Christ, to be participants with the Lord in the glories implied in the Promise, but additionally, the whole creation (the entire human family) is groaning and travailing in pain together waiting for the great fulfillment of that Oath-Bound Promise or Covenant. Romans 8:19-23.

Those who follow the Apostle’s argument and realize that all true Christians are still waiting for the fulfillment of this Promise, will be anxious to know what are the terms of this Covenant which is the hope of the world, the hope of the Church, and the object of so much solicitude and care on the part of God, in that He would promise and then back His Word with an Oath.

We Answer–that every Christian should know what this promise is, since it lies at the very foundation of every Christian’s hope.

How can this hope be an anchor to our soul in all the storms and trials and difficulties of life, in all the opposition of the world, the flesh and the Adversary, if we do not know what the hope is, if we have not even recognized the promise upon which this hope is based?

THE SEED WHICH WILL BLESS ALL

The Apostle Paul referred to this very promise, declaring that the Seed of Abraham mentioned therein is Christ. All Christians agree to this, although they have not distinctively and properly associated it with the declarations of the Promise. But the Apostle makes clear to us that in saying that Christ is the Seed of Abraham, he had in mind not only the Lord Jesus as the Head of the Body, the Head of The Christ, but also the overcoming saints of this Gospel Age as the Body of Christ. This he distinctly states in many places, for instance Gal. 3:16-29.

Here he declares the matter expressly, saying: “if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s Seed, and heirs according to the Promise.” “The Seed of Abraham” is the Gospel Church, with her Head, the Lord Jesus; as the Apostle states again saying: “We brethren, as Isaac was (typified by Isaac), are the children of promise.” (Gal. 4:28.) It follows that the Seed of Abraham mentioned in the promise is not complete and will not be until the full close of this Gospel Age in the Harvest time of which we now are.

But what a wonderful thought is involved in this plain interpretation of the Divine Word! It is big with hope for Spiritual Israel, the Spiritual Seed, and no less, it means a blessing for the natural seed, fleshly Israel, and ultimately the Millennial blessings to all the families of the earth. Let us examine these three hopes, which Center in the Oath-Bound Covenant the Anchor to the Soul.

THE CHRISTIAN HOPE

Now what hope and interest has the Church of Christ in this promise made to Abraham? To us belongs the very cream of the promise, “the riches of God’s grace.” The promise implies the greatness of the Seed of Abraham, which Seed is Christ and the overcoming Church. This greatness is so wonderful as to be almost beyond human comprehension. The overcomers of this Gospel Age who “make their calling and election sure” in Christ, are to be joint-heirs with Him in the glorious Millennial Kingdom which is to be God’s agency or channel for bringing about the promised blessings the blessing of all the families of the earth. Be it distinctly noted that the Promise to Abraham divided his “Seed” into two parts, (first) “as the stars of Heaven,” (second) “as the sands of the seashore.” From this it is apparent that there was to be a Heavenly, spiritual seed as well as the Natural, earthly seed. Through the Spiritual Seed, during the Messianic Reign, the whole world is to be blessed.

The great blessing of forgiveness of past sins, and even the blessing of being awakened from the sleep of death, would profit mankind but little, if the arrangements of that future time the Millennial Age were not on such a scale as to permit a thorough recovery from present mental, moral and physical weaknesses.

Hence we are rejoiced to learn that in that time Satan will be bound, every evil influence and every unfavorable condition will be brought under restraint, and the favor of God through the knowledge of God will be turned upon the people—“The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep.” Blessing, aye, favor upon favor, blessing upon blessing, is the Lord’s arrangement and provision! All shall know Him from the least unto the greatest, and none shall need to say to his neighbor or his brother, “Know thou the Lord?” Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34.

The prophets spoke repeatedly of these blessings due to the world in the future. Mark how Joel tells that, as during this Gospel Age, the Lord pours out His Spirit upon His servants and hand-maidens, so after these days, in the Millennial Age, He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. There will be world-wide blessing through the knowledge of the Truth. Mark how Moses, the Prophet, spoke of these coming blessings, and told how God would raise up a greater Lawgiver than Himself, a greater Teacher, a better Mediator, and under the better Covenant of the Lord, would bring blessings worldwide! Mark again how he represents the Atonement for the Sins of the whole world in the Atonement Day sacrificial arrangements! Mark how again he typifically foretold the blessings of the Millennial Age, representing them in Israel’s “Year of Jubilee,” in which every man went free and every possession was returned to its original ownership, thus representing the blessings of the future, man’s release from the servitude of sin and Satan, and the return to him of all that was lost through Adam. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah, have spoken of these coming times, so that the Apostle Peter, pointing to the future, could truthfully declare that the coming Times of Restitution of all things have be spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19- 21.

HOPE FOR JEWS AND OTHERS

The second class to be blessed under this Abrahamic Covenant is Natural Israel. We are not forgetting that the Jews were a stiffnecked and rebellious people; that they slew the prophets and stoned the Lord’s ministers and caused the crucifixion of our Redeemer. Nevertheless, the Scriptures clearly hold for the that after they have had a period of chastisement, which they have been undergoing as a nation since our Lord’s crucifixion, and after Spiritual Israel shall have been glorified in the Kingdom, then a blessing from the Lord will come upon Natural Israel; they shall be saved or recovered from their blindness, and, as the Prophet declares, they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and shall mourn for Him because the eyes of their understanding shall be opened. We rejoice, too, that the promise is clear and distinct that the Lord will pour upon them the “spirit of prayer and the supplication.” (Zech. 12:10.) See also Romans 11:25-32.

But if God is to have mercy upon the natural Israelite, whom He declares to have been stiff-necked and hard-hearted and rebellious, would it surprise us that the Divine, benevolent intention should be to also bless others than the Jews others who had not  in the past the favors and privileges of this favored nation, and whose course, therefore, was less in opposition to the Light? It should not surprise us. And so we find in this great Oath-Bound Covenant a blessing for all nations all peoples.

POOR, IMPERFECT CREATURES

“We make God’s Love too narrow By false standards of our own.”

Do not misapprehend us. We are not teaching that heathen and imbeciles and unregenerate in general shall be taken to Heaven, where they would be utterly out of harmony with their surroundings and require to be converted and to be taught. Such an inconsistent view we leave to those who are now claiming the heathen will be saved in their ignorance. We stand by the Word of God that there is no present salvation without faith in Christ Jesus, and that the heathen and the imbecile have neither part nor lot in the salvation of the present time. We stand by the Scriptures which say that salvation at the present time is only for the Little Flock, who, through much tribulation, shall enter the Kingdom. We stand by the Scriptures which say that this Kingdom class now being developed is the Spiritual Seed of Abraham under the Lord, their Head, their Elder Brother, the Bridegroom.

The period in which opportunity will be granted to man is in the Scriptures termed the Day of Judgment a thousand-year day, the Millennial Day. It will be a day of trial, a day of testing, a day of proving the world to see whether, with a full knowledge of God and of righteousness, which He requires, they will choose righteousness in preference to sin, choose life in preference to the Second Death everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His Power.

Thank God for that wonderful judgment, the trial day for the world, secured for all through the precious blood of Christ. “When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Isa. 26:9.

 

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Although the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” is a scriptural concept, are Christians to be witnesses for Jehovah or Jesus?

 There is not a single scripture that calls Christians witnesses of Jehovah. On the other hand Christians are commissioned to be “witnesses of Jesus” (Acts 1:8; Rev. 20:4) and “ambassadors of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20). The commission given by Jesus was to be his witnesses by preaching the Gospel – Matt. 24:14.

 The Jews witnessed for Jehovah not because they preached God’s Word, but because God revealed His glory by the miraculous manner in which he dealt with them.

 In Isaiah, God tells Israel, “Ye are my witnesses.” (43 & 44). In these two chapters, Isaiah establishes five historic facts concerning who are “Witnesses” of Jehovah.

 The “Witnesses” of Jehovah…

 Were delivered from the land of Egypt (43:3)

Offered animal sacrifices to the Lord (43:23)

Transgressed the Law Covenant (43:24,25)

Are forgiven for the Lord’s sake (43:25)

Are being regathered from all over the world to the Holy Land (43:5,6)

 These five identifications are true of only the Jews! It is clear that the Jews, the “ancient people,” “my chosen” are the real “Witnesses” of Jehovah. – 44:7; 43:20

 Some conclude that the Jews have long forfeited this title, the last scriptural assertion concerning the “Witnesses” of Jehovah was a prophecy that is only now in the process of fulfillment. The Jews are being regathered from all over the world to the Land of Israel. Their regathering has been motivated by more than just religious fervor, the Bible reveals that after the Jews are regathered in their Land, then the Lord will bring them through experiences that will gradually increase their faith and enkindle a true religious vitality that will reach their “inward parts” and fit them for their special role in God’s Kingdom on earth (Isa. 2:1-4). 

The Jews are “Witnesses” of Jehovah from two standpoints. First, God has revealed His power and glory by the miraculous manner in which He has dealt with them (Isa. 43:9-12). God delivered them from Egypt, led them through the Red Sea, sustained them in the wilderness, led them through the River Jordan, gave them the land of Canaan and made them a nation. During their chastening and dispersion, the phenomenal preservation of the people of Israel over the centuries as a distinct and homogeneous people among nations is itself a miracle of history. They have left blood-stained footprints of martyrdom in every nation they have trod. Neither persecution, nor famine, nor any other force was able to cause them to be assimilated. However, after 2,000 years—contrary to every pattern of history—they are re-established in their homeland, an independent nation. Surely the Lord’s power and glory has been witnessed through this people!

 The second way they are “Witnesses” of Jehovah is how their history proves the validity of God’s Word-the Bible. Every detail of their history has been prophesied and fulfilled, or is in the process of fulfillment. Their original establishment as a nation, their destruction as a nation and dispersion as a people, their regathering, the circumstances of their regathering, their future role—all were prophesied in the Bible. All this detailed fulfillment is an extraordinary witness to the immutability of God’s Word. Therefore, these are the reasons why the Lord has said of the Jew, “YE ARE MY WITNESSES, SAITH JEHOVAH.”

 The JWs today, like other replacement theology believing Christians do not see any special future for the Jews. However, “from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Ro. 11:28,29). Since God promised that the Seed of Abraham would inherit the Land and bless all the families of the earth (Gen. 22:18,19; Jer. 32:41; Isa. 2:2,3) what right have Christians to annul this promise? These blessings were never forfeited. These promises are forever. – Amos 9:14,15 

If we say God has cancelled his promises to the Jews, what confidence can we have in His promises to Christians?

Good Tidings Message No. 1

Speaking to the children of Israel, the Lord said unto Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18:18- 19 The message of Moses is full of importance to Israel and he should apply it to his heart. God promised Moses that from among the children of Israel he would raise up a prophet like Moses. This prophet would speak God’s word to Israel. The rejection of this prophet by Israel, Moses stated, would bring very serious consequences. This is the key message to the Jews from the prophecies of Moses. Each Israelite will have to decide for himself whether the disaster which today has befallen Israel is not to a great extent due to his rejection of God’s Prophet.

Moreover Moses further prophesied to Israel: “And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

“And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; So the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land wither thou goest to possess it.

“And the Lord shall scatter thee among all the people, from one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stones.

“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the soles of thy feet have rest, but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of the eyes, and sorrow of the mind: “And thy life shall hand in doubt before thee: and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurances of life.” Deuteronomy 28:62- 66

Many years have passed since this message was delivered to Israel. As foretold, the GLORY OF ISRAEL IS GONE. Can any thinking Jew, as he meditates upon his lot today, doubt the fulfillment of the words of Moses” If Israel had read the writings of Moses carefully and thoughtfully, and especially the heart searching message to Israel, as found in the book of Deuteronomy, would he, today have been without God and without hope. All that Moses stated as quoted in the above extract has been fully, definitely, and literally, fulfilled in Israel. Could Moses have more fully described the lot of Israel today” Instead of being the most glorious nation of the world as they were under the rule of King Solomon, Israel today is a scattered nation. Today Israel has been scattered from one end of the earth to the other. He has been destroyed, persecuted, his efforts have been brought to nought, and he has been plucked out of every land to which he departed for rest and shelter. He has had no rest, no peace, fearful of the future, and the sorrow in his eyes betrays the anguish of his mind and heart. The messages from Moses are vital and decidedly crucial to Israel. In the, Israel will find the cause of his rejection by God. If the Jewish people will but meditate over their lot, if they will seriously think of the present in the light of their past history, if they will cast off prejudices caused by Godless people who were the instrumentalities of God in carrying out his judgments against Israel, then Israel must conclude that their present fate has come upon them because they “Would not obey the voice of the Lord their God” Deuteronomy 28:6 and because they have rejected Jesus, the anointed, whom the sincere people of God have accepted as the Prophet whom God raised up from among the children of Israel. Well may Israel note the warning: “And it shall come to pass (as Moses stated in Deuteronomy 18:19) that whosoever shall not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

Israel must study his present situation. If Jesus, the Anointed is the Prophet of whom Moses spoke then his message should be accepted and he himself should be accepted also as the prophet from God. There is but one way in which the Jews may more fully be led to accept Jesus and to give, in faith, their hearts to God, and that is, to read the accounts of the words, the work and the testimony of Jesus as found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and then to compare what they have read in the New Testament with the message of Moses and the Prophets as found in the Old Testament. Of the Old Testament writings Jesus said and his words are a challenge to every Jew who is searching after God: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my Words””John 5:39, 45- 47.

Strange as it may seem to the uninitiated Jew, Jesus acknowledge but one God for he taught: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” How dear to the heart of every Jew is the statement of the oneness of God. Jesus proclaimed himself as the Son of God and he announced the privilege of sonship to every Jew who would come to God through him. Even David spoke of Jesus as God”s Son when he stated in Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.

BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM.”

Can you join in with David and claim the blessings which he promised to those who would acknowledge the Prophet of God whom he here designates as the Son of God” The writings of David are complete with prophesies which definitely point to Jesus as the hoped- for son of David, the King of the Jews, for David said: “The Lord (Jehovah) said unto my Lord, (Jesus the Anointed). Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalms 110:1 Through Moses and the Prophets the coming of the Messiah was definitely foretold. Yet when he first came, they were not able to receive him. Why” Because the glorious reign of Jesus as David”s son will appear in glory at the second coming of Jesus. When he first came, he came as the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb to take away the sin of the world.

“Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

Little did the Jews realize that the first work of the Messiah would be that of the atonement. For hundreds of years God, through the sacrifices of animals, had sought to prepare Israel for the Lamb of God which really could take away sin. If they had read Daniel they would have learned “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.”Daniel 9:26.

Israel was to some extent able to see the ultimate glorious Messiah, but he failed to see that the future glories were dependent upon the need for present atonement as the Jewish prophet Isaiah has very definitely foretold: “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us All.”Isaiah 53:5- 6

Because Israel has neglected to hear the message of God”s Prophet, the message of salvation has gone to the Gentiles just as the Jewish prophet Hosea had foretold: “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”Hosea 1:10 The privilege of the Kingdom is the birthright of the children of Israel. They were the Holy Nation.

Why should all the blessings of God go to the strange people because God”s chosen people are blinded to their own hopes as foretold by Moses and the prophets” Israel should lift up his eyes and behold the mercies of God. There is a reason for the sad plight of Israel. The reason can not be found in human social neglect.

God has abandoned Israel and Israel is too sorrowful to know the cause thereof. Jesus said that he came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but Israel’s house is desolate and the sad part of this crisis is that Israel does not understand the cause of his bereavement. He seeks to better his condition through worldly education and in commerce, not realizing his neglect of God and the prophet who spoke in God’s name.

Israel does not realize that as the Jewish prophet Daniel had foretold in Daniel, chapter two, that the Jewish Kingdom and power was turned over to the Gentiles and that the Gentile rule would continue until Messiah’s kingdom was set up in glory. The Babylonian King first received the kingdom from God (Daniel 2:37). The time between the overthrow of the old Jewish regime, until the coming of the Messiah for the second time, is called in the Scriptures “THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES.”

During these times the Gentiles are given the opportunity to rule and all realize what a terrible Job the gentiles have made of it. The terrible accounts in our newspapers seem to indicate that the Times of the Gentiles is nearly over. The conflagration in Europe indicates that soon the Gentiles will be dispossessed and the Kingdom of God would be established as the Jewish prophet Daniel foretold in Daniel 2:44. In the meantime Jesus said:

“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24 Jesus definitely foretold the desolation of Israel, while Israel still had their glorious Temple. Note also the reason, Jesus assigned for the distress of Israel: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37- 39 Can Israel turn from her prejudices and turn to the prophet whom God has raised up” Let Israel remember that no real child of god has ever persecuted Israel. Let Israel realize that these are the times of the Gentiles and that the Gentiles have trodden down Israel, but let not Israel think that these Gentiles are God”s people. Since the coming of the Messiah to become “The Lamb of God That Taketh Away The Sin of the World,” the people of God have been selected from among both the Jews and Gentiles to become part of the Kingdom which will be set up when the Messiah come in glory.

Jesus said: “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.” Matthew 8:11- 12 Darkness will still control most of Israel, but this pamphlet goes out with the hope and the prayer that some of God’s chosen people may still see the light of the glory of god as it was proclaimed in the words of that Prophet, of whom Moses spake, a prophet who was raised up from the Jews, and who was sent to proclaim the message of God. Since his time it should be interesting to note that God has not sent Israel another prophet nor has Israel received another message from God. Can Israel be constrained to say “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” As each Israelite accepts Jesus as the prophet from god, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, he is thus enable to see Jesus. The blessed relationship of divine approval is his lot. Today the glory of Israel is gone! Today the house of Israel is desolate! The hope of Israel still remaineth in the Prophet raised up from among the Jews.

Israel. Can you see” Can you turn from unbelief in prayer to the Living God and in faith accept Moses” prophet and live” Let Israel from his hear say: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

(Christianity came in the fulfillment of the hopes expressed by the Jewish prophets. Jesus confined his message only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Later the privilege went to the Gentiles. Let it still be remembered that Jesus is the King of the Jews.)

Near Jerusalem, for nearly 4,000 years, deep in ancient tombs lie Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca. For nearly 4000 years, revered alike by Jews and Muslims and Christians. Their bones rest on in the hope of a resurrection.

Jerusalem—Jerusalem the golden; Jerusalem the invaded—by Assyrians, by Babylonians, by Medo-Persians, by Seleucids, by Romans, by Mamelukes, by Crusaders, by Ottoman Turks, and by assorted Arab hordes.

Jerusalem—laid to rest in countless tombs carpeting the western slopes of Olivet. Jerusalem—its bones dried and scattered, bones dead for nearly 2000 years, bones resting on in the hope of a resurrection.

Can These Bones Live?

Many years ago in the city of ancient Babylon the Jewish prophet Ezekiel was asked this very question in a vision.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many bones in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me “Son of man, can these bones live?

“And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

“Again he said unto me “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone,

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then he said unto me, “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

A dramatic story! Dramatically told! But what does it all mean?

As Ezekiel would say, “Hear the word of the Lord.”

“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are completely cut off.

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up 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 ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”

Since the twin destructions of Jerusalem under the mighty armies of the Roman generals Titus and Hadrian, the Jewish people entered a long period of dispersion, Diaspora, and their national hopes, like the bones in their ancient graves deep in the valley of the Kidron have been dead.

They have been dry bones. Bones with little hope of ever reviving. They have been scattered bones. A people

dispersed to nearly every country in the world with only their common faith as a bond. They have been bones “completely cut off.”

As the prophet Hosea writes, “without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image, without an ephod and without teraphim.”

Can These Bones Live?

It’s a difficult question!

It’s a serious question!

It’s a question worth asking!

History answers, “No!”

Babylon never came back!

Phoenicia has not returned!

Nor has Tyre; nor has Elam; or Philistia.

Can These Bones Live?

Politics answers, “No!”

Not after being totally forbidden to inhabit their ancient homeland! Not after being denied access to their religious shrines! Not after being dispersed so widely throughout the world!

Military strategists answer, “Never will these bones live! Not after their military might was so completely broken! Not after being denied responsibile positions in the countries of their dispersion! Not after being so reviled in the few countries that gave them refuge!

But the Bible answers, “Yes!”

“These bones shall live!”

Current Events resoundingly echo:

“Yes!”

In a twentieth-century miracle, the nation of Israel has been reborn—reborn in its ancient homeland; reborn against tremendous odds; reborn amidst a vastly outnumbered opposition.

Reborn and thriving!

Can These Bones Live?

For over a century the history of the Middle East has been moving in steady steps toward the fulfillment of this prophecy of Ezekiel.

In 1878, after a ban of Seventeen Hundred Forty-three years, Israelis were given permission to own property in the ancient land of their forefathers.

In 1878 , they immediately established their first settlement, Petach Tikvah. Their return had begun.

In 1897, Theodor Herzl issued a worldwide call to organize the Zionist movement.

In 1917, Her Majesty’s government of Great Britain endorsed a Jewish state in the famous Balfour Declaration.

From 1936 to 1945 over six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

In 1948, as a result of a United Nations partition, Israel became a sovereign nation.

Then, immediately challenged by an overpowering Arab force, an Israeli victory legitimized their declaration of statehood.

In 1956, an invasion led by General Nasser of Egypt was soundly repelled.

In 1967, the six-day war of Israel against another Arab coalition enlarged the borders of the new state and Jerusalem was united once again under Jewish control.

In 1973, on the eve of the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur, a third Arab attack was again set back.

In 1989 the dismantled countries of the Soviet Union permitted the Jewish refuseniks to return to Israel.

In 1991 and 1992 repeated Scud attacks by Saddam Hassein of Iraq failed to dislodge the Israelis.

Dry bones returning to life. Scattered bones have become regathered bones. Bare bones have assumed sinew and flesh. Covered bones have been topped with skin.

But Can These Bones Live?

What is the meaning of it all?

In the prophesy of Ezekiel the resurrection of the dry bones was a four-step process:

First: a thundrous noise and shaking brought the bones together.

Second: the regathered bones took on sinew and flesh.

Third: skin covered the bones and,

Fourth: after a lapse of time, breath came into the bones and they lived.

Let’s look at these steps, one by one, and see how they have been fulfilled.

“As I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”

* From Russia.

* From Germany.

* From Syria.

* From the United States.

* From England.

* From South America.

* From Yemen.

* From India.

* From Ethiopia.

* From China and Japan.

* From all over the world.

Israel – the people of history—now, the people of a miracle! Dry bones, shaking off the dust of twenty centuries.

Regathering from every corner of the earth to Israel.

Returning by boat, by plane and even by foot.

Returning to their ancient homeland In an ever-growing stream, like the salmon to its spawning ground. Attracted like metal filings to a magnet, the people of Israel return to their native land! In one immigration after another.

* Lured by the promises of Zionism.

* Attracted by the financial investments of the Hirsches and the Rothschilds.

* Driven by the pogroms of unfriendly nations.

* Hunted by the persecutions of Nazism and the Holocaust.

* There was no place like home.

And home was Israel!

“Next year in Jerusalem” became THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

However, though you may gather bones from the whole world all you really have is a pile of dead bones!

But this was only the first step in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Sinew, flesh, skin and life were yet to follow.

Ezekiel continues: “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them.”

And so it was, even in those days when nationhood was but a vague hope, an infrastructure began to develop.

Under the encouragement of Chaim Weissman, the Hebrew University was formed. The Haganah, Mossad and Irgun formed the military muscle. Hadassah reached forth to provide medical services.

Ben Yehuda resurrected the dead Hebrew language. A shadow government with such strong ambassadorial figures as David Ben Gurion, Chaim Weissman, Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir began to function in exile.

Bones And Sinews Were Appearing.

But still they were just that; a government in exile. Skin had not yet appeared to give them the semblance of a nation.

And The Skin Covered Them From Above.

As the close of World War II exposed the atrocities of the Holocaust to the public eye, the climate was set for the United Nations motion to partition Palestine and pave the way for a Jewish state.

On May 14, 1948, the ears of the Jewish people were pinned to their radios as the vote in the U.N. was tallied.

In Jerusalem David Ben Gurion capped the results by announcing a new state . . . the state of Israel, reborn from the dust bins of history.

Immediate recognition by world powers, beginning with President Harry Truman of the United States gave legitimacy to their claim.

Like any new birth, there were the pains of travail. Within hours an Arab coalition attacked to drive the new state into the sea.

Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia from the East; Lebanon and Syria from the North; Egypt from the South. Blocked on the West by the Mediterranean Naval armadas on the Western Sea. Outnumbered, surrounded, outgunned, Israel fought back desperately.

They fought back and, despite all odds, they won! The Bones had skin!

Israel Was A Nation!

“But there was no breath in them.”

To be alive in the sight of the nations around them was one thing, to be alive in the sight of God was another!

In Ezekiel’s prophecy there was a time lapse between the bones assembling, growing sinews and flesh, being covered with skin, and then receiving the breath of life.

Notice the last step: “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

As with Adam in Eden, “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

In this prophecy, the breath, or life, was to come from the wind. Wind, throughout the Bible, even as in common usage, signifies trouble.

“Winds of war;” “winds of turmoil;” “winds of strife;” causing men to be as turbulent as the wind-driven waves of the sea.

Nor was it from wind alone, but specifically from “the four winds” that this breath was to come.

We read of these same “four winds” in a description of the future climactic battle of the ages in Revelation: “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on any tree.”

These “four winds of earth,” a virtual whirlwind of anarchy, depict a period of trouble which particularly involves the newborn nation of Israel.

This battle is described in great prophetic detail in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel.

While time does not permit an elaborate discussion of these chapters, they describe an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations “from the north” during a time when Israel is dwelling “in peace and safety.”

Aparallel account in Zechariah informs us that Jerusalem will be attacked and “the city shall be taken.”

But the defeat will be temporary for: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”

God gives the reasons for this final battle in many places in the Bible: Note what Ezekiel and Zephaniah prophecy: “I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me.”

“Then will I take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride; and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies: neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

Then “they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”

After trying heroically to save themselves by their own military might, Israel will learn their final lesson. It is their God alone who can ultimately bring deliverance and salvation.

The prophet Zechariah sums it up well:

“Not by might, Nor by power, But by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

It is then: knowing the weakness of their own might, knowing the strength of their God, seeking and finding their Messiah, renewed in their faith in the Word of God, that breath will come upon them.

That Breath Will Be The Spirit Of The Lord:

“I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Breathing, they shall live! Living, they shall teach others how to live:

“The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow into it.

“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

“In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Thus we have God’s promise that these bones shall live again.!

But This Will Be Only The Beginning!

For we realize that these “bones that live” are an illustration of the resurrection of the dead.

For when these dry bones of Israel have breath and live, then the bones of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca shall also live.

* Then the bones of ancient Jewry shall also live.

* Then the bones of Muslims buried near the golden gate shall also live.

* Then the bones of Christians buried deep in the Kidron valley shall also live.

* Then the bones buried in neat rows in Flanders. poppy fields shall also live.

* Then the bones of all who have ever died shall come to life.

But When Will It Be?

The bones of Israel have been regathered! They already have sinew and flesh! The bones already have skin! Thus we are on the very brink of the fourth step coming to pass: Israel receiving the breath of life. However, not only Israel but all people will receive life.

For this will introduce the greatest event in all human history—the Kingdom of God!

The kingdom of which men have dreamed. The kingdom for which men have waited. The kingdom for which Christian have prayed:

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

And what a kingdom that will be:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart.And the tongue of the dumb sing: For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

For “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

What a Promise!

The bones of Israel and all who have ever lived will become living bones, with flesh and blood—breathing bones, with life anew!

Yes, everyone,

* Jews

* Arabs

* Christians

* Heathen

* and Atheists.

* All men will all come forth from the tomb.

Unbelievable? Too good to be true? No! Our faith is greatly strengthened when we realize Israel’s dispersion among the nations, and their gradual return of favor, is a direct fulfillment of prophecy given thousands of years ago.

And so we CAN be assured that God’s promise of life to all who have ever lived, will also be fulfilled.

Rejoice!

Rejoice in life coming to Israel’s “dry bones!” Because it means that soon life will come to all the dead—regardless of their color, regardless of their creed, regardless of their nationality.

The return of Israel is the harbinger of the kingdom of God as surely as the robin is the harbinger of spring.

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called [you] by your name; You [are] Mine. When you pass through the waters, I [will] [be] with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I [am] the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. Fear not, for I [am] with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ And to the south, `Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth–Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And the deaf who have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, “[It] [is] truth.” “You [are] My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I [am] He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, [even] I, [am] the Lord, And besides Me [there] [is] no savior. (Isaiah 43:1-11 NKJV)

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As students of the inspired Word of God, we’ve come to understand that the Creator has a wonderful Plan, a systematic method of dealing with mankind. During the various ages and dispensations, and when completed this plan will glorify God and completely satisfy the desires of all mankind. In carrying forward this plan, God had graciously invited the voluntary co-operation of individuals, and groups of individuals, human and spiritual.

From the Genesis account we learn that God created the first human pair to live happily and everlastingly in harmony with Him upon this planet, as we read in Genesis 1:26-28:

“And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God bless them and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply”

Through lack of experience man fell from his perfect state into sin – a disobedience that has since brought a trail of woe and misery. This was foreseen and permitted by the Creator; therefore it is an essential part of the Divine Plan and the best means of indelibly impressing upon the characters of His human family (and angels too, by observation) the value of obedience to Him, and the desire for His protection as the only one who can supply their every need and shelter under His love and power.

Look around you, on the television, on the radio at the newsstands, crime, violence, sickness, sorrow, evil, wars and death all attest to the fall of man. This is not the natural state of man, as evidenced from the fact that all are seeking, in one way or another, relief from these things, and much study and effort is undertaken to eliminate them.

It is not the intention of the Creator to allow this state of affairs to continue indefinitely, neither is it the wish of mankind that it should continue. Evil and evildoers are allowed to demonstrate the fruits or results of their actions and misgovernment; and we are today witnessing the harvest of confusion, trouble and bitterness from the sowing of past ages and decades – Luke 21:26 tells us: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on earth.”

The world in general, and professing Christians, have not taken heed to God’s counsels. Nevertheless, all down the ages, the Creator has had His witnesses that He does exist and is not indifferent to the reign of evil, terror and calamities through which mankind is passing. He has declared that when these conditions have served their purpose they shall cease to exist, and that the righteous only will remain active in the ages to come. Revelation 21: 4, 27 tells us: …”And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away…But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Revelation 22:3 tells us:…”And there shall be no more curse, but the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve him.”

Our text in Isaiah 43:10, 11 declares: – “Ye are my witnesses that I am God…Beside me there is no savior.” Who are these witnesses? To whom do they witness? And what is their origin? The answer can be found in their history books, thirty-nine of them. These Books have been written by herdsmen, shepherds, Judges and Kings, by poets, sages, philosophers and statesmen, by men learned in wisdom of ancient Egypt, and in schools of Babylon, by rich men and poor men, by preachers in exile and legislators. The facts to which they bear witness were written in times of victory and honor, in peace, in godly times, in times of unbelief and rebellion, in times of defeat and captivity.

Being greatly favored by the creator, God bearing witness to them by His overruling providence’s and miracles, they became a target of the jealous and hated by many cruel and evil persons to the present time. They have been made the scapegoat’s on which to lay the blame of misfortunes, or to divert from politicians’ broken promises or misgovernment.

Such a stir has been made against a people so small in number. They as well as Christians, have been fiercely persecuted. Why? Because the great truths and principles for which both stand are more important to them than their lives. Jehovah, the only true God, is just and true; the Psalmist wrote: “Justice is the habitation of thy throne.” It is not likely that Jehovah would give His witnesses any law short of His own standard. Listen to His just principles –

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, [and] they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. If you lend money to [any] [of] My people [who] [are] poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down.” (Ex. 22:21-26)

“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it. You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. – Ex. 23:4- 6

“You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I [am] the Lord your God. ” – Lev. 24:22

These are samples of some of their laws and standard of Justice. Their political system was the most practical demonstration of freedom and equality that has ever existed before or since. Can we wonder why they are hated by dictators?

Jehovah’s witnesses have done more toward the civilization of the world than any other nation, and these laws were enforced hundred of years before the rest of Europe and Asia dreamt of anything but absolute rule – dictatorship.

These witnesses were the first light in the unrelieved despotism of the east; they were the light of civil and religious toleration in remote and savage times, the pioneers of liberty and civilization; and quite a number of them have been winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. What we have in the New Testament is the fulfillment and perfection of the truth to which they are witnesses, culminating in that perfect Witness, Jesus of Nazareth, Revelation 3:14 tells us: “For to him give all the prophets witness”, yes, a true witness of Jehovah.

What is it that made these people different, and their living and moral standards so much higher than other nations around them? What is the basis of their special privileges and knowledge, and why were they severely punished for disobedience to their laws? The answer is: “To them were committed the oracles of God.” They were an enlightened people. “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.” “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen.” – Isa. 43:21, 10.

Jehovah takes responsibility for the existence and preservation of Israel. Their existence bears testimony that God exists, and their experiences, both of prosperity and adversity, bear testimony that Jehovah has created Israel as a nation, and is responsible for their preservation, even to this day.

We read in Isaiah 43:2,16,17:…”When you pass through the waters, I [will] [be] with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you….Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters, Who brings forth the chariot and horse, The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise”

This has been literally true in their experiences. Remember also Moses’ vision of the burning bush at the time he was called to deliver Israel from bondage; the bush that burned yet never was consumed.

Notice Isaiah 17:12-14: …”Woe to the multitude of many people [Who] make a noise like the roar of the seas, And to the rushing of nations [That] make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; But [God] will rebuke them and they will flee far away, And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Isa. 17:14 Then behold, at eventide, trouble! [And] before the morning, he [is] no more. This [is] the portion of those who plunder us, And the lot of those who rob us.”

The prophet here predicts the ruin of Israel’s enemies who come against them like a mighty flood. The Lord is the keeper of Israel, as is stated in Isaiah 43:3, 4: …”For I [am] the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.”

The fire of persecution, hate and jealousy raged fiercely against them – “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt be consumed”; their enemies were defeated. The witnesses of Jesus also find great consolation in this promise.

As a people they were saved out of their troubles and afflictions; they will still have more, but God’s promises of final deliverance will never fail. They are His people, and His care of them is yet to be a mighty witness to His glory among all the nations.

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am he” – that I exist, that I live, the self existing One. “Beside me there is no Savior.” There is no one, no dictator, no power, no nation, or combination of nations that can destroy His witnesses. “None shall deliver out of my hand; I will work and who shall turn it back?” He alone is the preserver of Israel. Zechariah 12:3 – “I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered against it.”

Again the Prophet Isaiah tell us in 43:12 … “I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And [there] [was] no foreign [god] among you; Therefore you [are] My witnesses,” Says the Lord, “that I [am] God.”

Jehovah informed Israel; giving them His oracles and utterances; they were given the true form worship. He informed them that all nations would be blessed through them. [Psa. 147: 19, 20] Jehovah had informed them that if disobedient to His instructions He would drive them out of their inheritance, lead them captive into strange lands, and scatter them among all nations until. Luke 21:24 states: “the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” A punishment which all the world knows has come to pass. Israel has witnessed the glory and decay of four universal empires, Babylon, Persia, Greece and mighty Rome. But the witnesses still exit; yes, more than exist; they show definite signs of vitality which has astonished even their enemies. Yes the dry bones are resurrecting. Truly, they remain a separate and distinct people. Why? “I am thy Savior”, saith the LORD. “None can deliver (snatch) out of my hand.” “Ye are my witnesses” – You prove that I am God, the preserver of Israel.

“I have saved.” [Isa. 43:12] Many attempts have been made in the past, as well as in recent times, to annihilate these defenseless people, but the decree has always been – “Thus far, and no further.” And suffer they did, but as a people they were never destroyed. Through one means or another the Lord delivered them out of the hands of their enemies. We are all no doubt well aware of the two outstanding attempts made to annihilate them – ancient and modern. In the book of Esther, chapters 3-7, a lengthy account is given respecting Haman, the prime minister of Persia, who, under Persian monarch obtained a decree from the king to have all Jews in the realm destroyed because he hated a Jew’s honorable position at the king’s court. But the plot failed; Haman the Jew-hater was destroyed – hung on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai. The modern attempt, as all the world knows, was by Hitler, the German dictator; again the destroyer was himself destroyed and his empire divided. Although millions of Jews were destroyed by Hitler, the Jews soon after became an organized nation, established in their own land. To the ancestor of the Jews, the Jehovah declared; “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee” Gen. 12:3.

In verse 21 of Isaiah 43 we read: …”This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.”

You see the Lord has a purpose in preserving His witnesses. They are the ones who will transmit the knowledge of the true God in future times as Isa 2:2, 3 states: “The word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem.”

Returning to verse 12: “I have showed.” Another translation read – “I foretell.” The Lord has foretold many things concerning His ancient people, Israel. The history of the Jews was written in advance – their rise to fame, their disobedience, their punishment, their scattering among the nations.

Hosea 3:4, 5 states: …”For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”

The Lord has foretold their experiences, past, present and future, no strange god or prophet could do this. The Jewish people, God’s witnesses, are one of the most outstanding proofs of the inspiration of the Bible: They witness to the existence of a Supreme Being, the Creator and Preserver of Israel. They witness and prophesy accurately to the work, office and glory of the Messiah; no false witness or prophet could do this. If others bear witness to Jehovah, it could be only a second-hand witness, for of necessity the witness would be a repetition of the words of Israel’s recorded witness, written in the Old Testament. So, beware, Satan has his counterfeits in this matter too – false witnesses, and therefore, a witness against Jehovah.

Verse 4 of Isaiah 43 states: …”Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.”

God made them honorable because He chose them and made them the depository of the precious truths of true worship; therefore, they are precious in His sight. Because of His strange and miraculous dealings and providence’s with His ancient people, Israel, God and His Word will be glorified in the eyes of all nations. Remember, all this applies to a people whom the Lord chose hundred of years before the Christian dispensation.

When the Book of Isaiah was written there were no Christians, we read of them only in the New Testament, and they followed Jesus Christ. They are not referred to particularly as Jehovah’s witnesses, but as the sons of God, as Christ’s brethren, and witnesses of Jesus. Rev. 20:4 states: “And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God.” Also Rev. 2:13 we read of “Antipas, my faithful martyr (or witness)”. And so faithful Christians give their lives particularly for the witness of Jesus.

What is the present state of these witnesses of Jehovah? Verse 5 and 6 of this 43rd chapter of Isaiah tells us: … “Fear not, for I [am] with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ And to the south, `Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar.”

This is being fulfilled today: the God of Israel is regathering His witnesses, His afflicted people to their home. Yes, it is now time for them to go home. And home they went. In a past issue of the journal “Jews in the News” it had this to say: “It was the power of God which brought the New Jewish State into being, for how else could such victories have been won by a handful of untrained people in the face of such overwhelming odds, with the surrounding states as enemies, and greater enemies supporting them in the background. Many believed in God and the fulfillment of their promises, and when they saw this wonderful protection even the unbelieving were conscious of miracles working on the side of Israel.”

They became established in Palestine against the will of many people. Not one nation helped them; even as some of them approached their beloved land in unseaworthy ships, they were turned back by the powers that be, to their great disappointment and anguish, but the promise still held good – “I (Jehovah) will work, and who shall hinder it” – turn it back – Isa. 43:13. The Jews in Israel have a saying, that he who does not believe in miracles is not a realist. They have witnessed the greatest Divinely inspired phenomenon of our day.

But there are those who say, didn’t God cast away natural Israel when they rejected and put the Messiah to death? And didn’t Jesus say, “Your house is left unto you desolate?” – Matt. 23:38. Therefore, does not spiritual Israel inherit the promises? This is partly true, the chief place of favor and some of the most choice promises will be inherited by spiritual Israel – “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it.” However, natural Israel has not been cast off forever. The 11th chapter of Romans refers to this temporary casting off, and shows how the followers of Jesus of both Jews and Gentiles inherit the best of the promises. These are referred to as the priesthood, the holy nation, a little flock.

This is the day of the Lord’s preparation; the hour has struck in the Divine Plan of the Ages, for the deliverance and regathering of God’s ancient people. The God of Israel is moving swiftly and mightily on behalf of Jacob’s posterity.

Isaiah 11:11, 12 reads: …” It shall come to pass in that day [That] the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.”

In this pioneering effort, to reclaim their waste and barren land, there is of course much sacrifice, hardship and austerity among them. They complain and grumble, and they have over 65 languages in which to grumble, and they have come from about that number of countries. But beneath this surface there is a powerful, vigorous vitality, as if some invisible force is driving them on. During the first few years of being established as a nation was witnessed the most spectacular migration of the 20th century. Picture this; 150,000,000 homeless, penniless, sick and bitterly persecuted people swarming into the United States of America during the same period of a few years, to seek a haven of refuge, and you have some idea of how many destitute newcomers, proportionately speaking, the tiny State of Israel has taken in. And these migrants are not hand picked, as is usually done by other countries, but the poor, the rich, the lame, the disabled, the sick and the old are all taken in, even the dying. It is astounding, and the wandering Jew is still going home, and he is there to stay. I remind you of Amos 9:14, 15: “… I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit [them]; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.”

Remember this was promised to a people who were given an inheritance in a special way, the bounds of which were marked out by Divine decree; they transgressed, they were plucked up out of their land and scattered among all nations and now are being regathered.

It does not make sense, nor harmonize with the Scriptures to try and spiritualize these Scriptures, or force them to apply to a nation, or group which has not even the features of a Jew, not even the customs nor the unique experiences and promises which belong exclusively to the Jew, to Israel. How strange it is that many people and groups want to make the Jewish promises apply to themselves, their particular group, or to a Gentile nation. All of this, is of course a trick of the Adversary, to distract attention from the real people, and the purpose of fulfillment. How odd of men to choose the Jewish God, yet spurn the Jew.

What does all this mean? what relationship have these things to the nations in general? It means that the Gentile times have ended. Jesus said – “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” – Luke 21:24

The word “until” marks a turning point in the times and seasons of Israel’s experiences and captivity. The time is up that was allotted to the powers that be to rule the world; the retribution and breaking down of the Gentile powers has begun; the saving and restoring of Israel is well under way, and we are witnessing these movements. It means, as stated in Isaiah 43:21 – “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.” Jesus, the Witness of Jehovah, said – “Salvation is of the Jews” John 4:22 – “The word of the LORD shall go forth from Jerusalem” – Isa. 2:3.

This means that the blessing of all the families of the earth through Abraham’s seed will soon take place, for the Millennial reign of Christ and His Glorified Saints, His joint-heirs, will soon begin. The blindness of Israel concerning their Messiah will soon depart, as predicted by Jesus in Matt. 23:39: … “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, `Blessed [is] He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

The word “until” marks a turning point in the religious life of Israel. There will also be a great change in human society – a desire to learn the ways of the Lord, and the beating of swords into plowshares as Micah 4:1-4 tells us.

There are a number of Jews, some being rabbis, who are bearing testimony by word and pen that Jesus of Nazareth is their Messiah. One of them has said: “Can anyone today be such a Jew as Jesus was?” Decidedly no! In recent years thousands of New Testaments in Bulgarian, Hebrew, French, German, Yiddish, Polish, and other languages have entered Israel duty free. When Benjamin Disraeli was asked if he was a converted Jew, he replied – “I am not a converted Jew, but a completed Jew.” Israel is being regathered and being made a completed Israel, and it is reported that the New Testament is being read also in schools, not so much to believe its contents at the present time, but to become acquainted with its history.

The natural blindness of Israel to the fact that Jesus is their Messiah continues only for a definite period. This hinges upon another part of God’s plan to be completed first, namely, the selection from among the Jews and Gentiles of the required number to make up God’s elect, the joint-heirs, joint-rulers with Christ; all these must first come into the Church. This number will constitute the governing body with the King of the Jews to administer the Laws of the impending Millennial Kingdom, as stated in Romans 11: 25-27: “… For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Notice these are the same names given in Isa. 43.

In Romans 11:11 we have the question: “… I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation [has] [come] to the Gentiles.” Verses 12 and 15 continue: “…Now if their fall [is] riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! … For if their being cast away [is] the reconciling of the world, what [will] their acceptance [be] but life from the dead?”

The restoration and recovery of natural Israel will yet mean, in the age to come, the enrichment of life for the whole world of mankind. Zec. 8:23 states: “… “Thus says the Lord of hosts: `In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard [that] God [is] with you.” ‘ ”

Verses 28,29,32 and 33 of Romans 11 continue: “…Concerning the gospel [they] [are] enemies for your sake, but concerning the election [they] [are] beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God [are] irrevocable. … For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable [are] His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

The Lord will do these things not because the Jews are righteous, but because of His great name’s sake. Three reasons why He will do this are thus shown from Romans 11:28,29,32: (1) Because of the Father’s sakes – Israel’s ancestors. (2) Because of his unchangeableness; He will honor His promises. (3) Because of His love and great mercies’ sake.

Aren’t we glad that we are free from the creeds and interpretations of men, of whom Paul warns are as “wise in their own conceits”: for these make verse 32 read quite differently, namely: “Concluded them all in unbelief that he might condemn everlastingly.” We’re glad this is wrong, and the Apostle Paul has stated it right, and presents to us a God of wisdom, Justice, Love and power. Then, in due time, man shall say;…” “So they will say, `This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities [are] [now] fortified [and] inhabited.’ …I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezek. 36:35,26

If you would like more information about the “Bible Students” feel free to contact us. We recommend to all “Jehovah’s Witnesses” as well as interested ones to request their copy of “The Divine Plan of the Ages.”

Do you know that…

The Jewish People are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

The name, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Witnesses of Jehovah, however else used, is a scriptural concept. But to whom did the Lord give this title? Has the Lord instructed Christians to be witnesses for Jehovah, or witnesses for Jesus? There is not a single New Testament scripture that calls Christians the witnesses of Jehovah. On the other hand, the New Testament commissions Christians to be the ‘witnesses of Jesus’ (Acts 1:8; Revelation 20:4) and the ‘ambassadors of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 5:20). The commission given to Christians by Jesus was that they should be his witnesses in all the world by preaching the Gospel (Matthew 24:14).

But the Jewish people witnessed for Jehovah in a different way. It was not because Israel preached God’s Word that they were called His ‘witnesses.’ Rather, it was because God revealed His glory to others by the miraculous manner in which he dealt with them.

In three instances in the Old Testament God said to Israel, ‘Ye are my witnesses.’ These three times are to be found in Isaiah 43 and 44. In these two chapters, Isaiah establishes five historic facts concerning who are the ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah.

The ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah… Were delivered from the land of Egypt (Isaiah 43:3) Offered animal sacrifices to the Lord (Isaiah 43:23) transgressed the Law Covenant (Isaiah 43:24,25) Are forgiven for the Lord’s sake (Isaiah 43:25) Are being regathered from all over the world to the Holy Land (Isaiah 43:5,6) These five stated identifications are true only of one people, the Jews! Therefore, it is clear that the Jewish people, the ‘ancient people,’ ‘my chosen’, are the real ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah (Isaiah 44:7; 43:20).

But in case anyone concludes that the Jews have long since forfeited this title, the last scriptural assertion concerning the ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah was a prophecy that is only now in the process of fulfillment. The Jewish people are being regathered from all over the world to the Land of Israel. Their regathering has been motivated not only by religious fervor, as some might have expected, but this does not matter. The Bible reveals that after the Jews are regathered in their Land, then the Lord will bring them through experiences that will gradually increase their faith and enkindle a true religious vitality that will reach their ‘inward parts’ and fit them for their special role in God’s Kingdom on earth (Isaiah 2:1- 4).

How Are the Jewish People the ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah? The Jewish people are the ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah from two standpoints. First,God has revealed His power and glory by the miraculous manner in which He has dealt with them (Isaiah 43:9- 12). God delivered them from Egypt, led them through the Red Sea, sustained them in the wilderness, led them through the River Jordan, gave them the land of Canaan, and made them a nation. During their chastening and dispersion, the phenomenal preservation of the people of Israel over the centuries as a distinct and homogeneous people among nations is itself a miracle of history. They have left blood- stained footprints of martyrdom in every nation they have trod. Neither persecution, nor famine, nor any other force was able to cause them to be assimilated. However, after 2,000 years, contrary to every pattern of history, they are re- established in their homeland, an independent nation. Surely the Lord’s power and glory has been witnessed through this people!

The second way they are the ‘Witnesses’ of Jehovah is how their history proves the validity of God’s Word- the Bible. Every detail of their history has been prophesied and fulfilled…or is in the process of fulfillment. Their original establishment as a nation, their destruction as a nation and dispersion as a people, their regathering, the circumstances of their regathering, their future role, all were prophesied in the Bible. All this detailed fulfillment is an extraordinary witness to the immutability of God’s Word. Therefore, these arethe reasons why the Lord has said of the Jewish People, ‘YE ARE MY WITNESSES, SAITH JEHOVAH.’ Promises to Christians, and to the Jewish People The ‘JWs’ today, like other replacement, theology- believing Christians, do not see any special future for the Jews.

However, ‘from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable’ (Romans 11:28,29 NAS). Since God promised that the Seed of Abraham would inherit the Land and bless all the families of the earth out of Jerusalem (Genesis 22:18,19; Jeremiah 32:41; Isaiah 2:2,3), what right have any Christians to annul this promise? These blessings were never forfeited. These promises are ‘forever’ (Amos 9:14,15). If we say God has cancelled his promises to the children of Israel, what confidence can we have in His promises to us as Christians?