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It has been suggested that the period of Israel’s history from the death of Jacob to the death of Christ was not a period of favor to that people; that the very beginning of it was a period of affliction in Egypt. Hence it is suggested that our treatment of the subject in Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., Chapter VII., is correspondingly weakened.
Our readers must learn to be more discriminating; they should not hastily suppose that because some one says thus and so, that therefore it is thus and so. Remember that some good men jump at conclusions hastily, and some who are not so good would no more hesitate to twist our words on this subject than they would to twist the words of Scripture on the doctrine of the ransom,—and for the same reason, that they might sustain their theory. Beloved, believe not every spirit that even says, Lord, Lord, but try the spirits (doctrines), whether they be of God.
In the question now before us, notice that we never referred to that period of Israel’s history, from the death of Jacob to the death of our Lord, as a period of great worldly prosperity to Israel; nor do the Scriptures so refer to it. It was, however, a period of favor, nevertheless; for it is always a favor to be under divine direction and supervision. What Christian has not learned that God’s care is blessed, even when that care is exerted in our correction and chastisement, or in discipline and experiences which tend to bring us into a humbler, closer walk with God, into a condition where we can the better enjoy present privileges and growth in grace? And so it was with Israel during the period named. They had special favor, in that God was leading them as a nation through a varied experience for their humbling and discipline; an experience most favorable for them, as fitting them for that place which God had called them to fill as a people, under the promise made to Abraham, that his seed should bless all nations. As a preparation for that work of blessing, as God intended it, their discipline was indispensable, and it was therefore a part of their favor to have just the discipline which they passed through.
And let it never be forgotten that though Israel as a nation failed to make full use of these disciplines, and failed consequently to be in readiness for the chief blessing when God’s time for it came, and was consequently rejected as a nation until after the selection of the Kingdom class from all nations, yet that period of disciplinary favor was not fruitless; for it did make ready “a remnant” of Israel (Rom. 9:27), prepared, instructed and adapted to receive and transmit to the world the good news of the New Covenant, sealed with the Blood of Christ. And their period of disciplinary
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favor, all the way down, developed noble characters “of whom the world was not worthy” (Heb. 11:38), who will yet occupy honorable positions as chiefs among men, under the Kingdom, when it is fully set up and the times of restitution have begun.
With this all in mind, recall our statements and the Scripture testimonies on the subject of Israel’s double;—that the first part, from the beginning of the nation at the death of Jacob to the rejection of the nation at the death of Christ, was a period of 1845 years of waiting for the promised kingdom, during which they had divine favor and supervision (discipline, etc.); and that when they then rejected and crucified the Redeemer, they were sentenced to a “double” or repetition of their already long period of waiting—during which God would show them no favor, manifest no interest in them. Every Jew of intelligence and piety is able to recognize the fulfilment of these predictions of the prophets.—Zech. 9:12; Jer. 16:18; Isa. 40:2.
And note the fact so pointedly marked—that where their double of waiting for the Kingdom expired, the kingdom did come in 1878; which we think MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., clearly proves from the Scriptures.
— April, 1890 —