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the wilderness, as aforetime, they will be reinstated in the holy land under the second law, as contained in the Book of Deuteronomy, and under the administration of judges as of old; for they had judges for about 450 years, until Samuel the prophet, when they demanded kings to rule over them, as they will again do in the latter days, when God will again give them kings, some of whom will "eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces."
They will at first be a righteous and holy people, and as the result, all the blessings promised in the second law will be realized by them. They will become very numerous and wealthy; they will lend to all nations and borrow of none, and they shall rule over many nations, and they (the nations) shall not reign over them. And after they have dwelt long in the land and waxed fat, they will again forget the Lord and corrupt themselves, and turn back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to obey the voice of God and went after other gods. And when they turn aside again out of the good way, they will proceed from bad to worse, despising God's law; they will walk after the imaginations of their own evil hearts, and will transgress his laws, change his ordinances, and break his everlasting covenant. They will turn. again to worship the works of their own hands and the idols of the heathen, and will again be driven to worship the sun, moon, and stars, and burn their own children in the fire to Molech, and defile God's holy house which will be rebuilt on their return from the present dispersion, and will fill his courts with their idols, and set up in the temple the abomination that maketh desolate. They will exceed the wicked deeds of their ancestors, and fill to its full the cup of their iniquity; and because of their falling away, God "will send them strong delusions, that they may believe a lie." He will send his curse upon them, even obduracy of mind, blindness and hardness of heart, as he did upon Pharaoh and his people, that he may pour out upon them all the vials of wrath, as it is written in the second law, and afterwards by his servants the prophets, and finally in the book of the prophecy of Christ, the Book of the Revelation. Moreover the house of Israel will in the latter days be divided, as they were in the days of Rehoboam, into two hostile and warring nations, struggling together in deadly conflict, known as the house of Israel and the house of Judah. These nations fill some of the places in the Book of the Revelation assigned by modern commentators and writers to Gentile powers but which can be clearly shown to be as is here stated.
Under God's blessing in the latter days they will become a nation great, wealthy, powerful and populous; Jerusalem will then become the metropolitan city of the whole earth. But when they kick and turn suddenly unto their former ways of rebellion, then will begin that thoroughly classified system of evils which will rapidly succeed one another until they are destroyed, and left few in number, whereas when these evils began they were as the stars of the sky for multitude. The suddenness of their revolt the Lord refers to by the hand of Jeremiah in these words, saying, " And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers which refused to hear my words, and they went after other gods; the house of Israel, and the house of Judah (the two houses being divided again) have broken my (second) covenant (as contained in the book of Deuteronomy) which I
made with their fathers. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil (the evil which Moses said should befall them in the latter days) upon them which they shall not be able to escape, and though they cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense, but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of thy cities, were thy gods O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem, have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars unto Baal" (Jer. 11:9-13).
THE EVILS WHICH BEFALL THEM IN THE LATTER DAYS
These evils, be it distinctly understood, Moses says shall befall the whole house of Israel "in the latter days," for Moses spoke these words to the whole twelve tribes, and the evils which are to overtake them, the Lord has concentrated and embodied into a song which Moses spake in the ears of all Israel, until they were ended. In this song he says of his people in that day, "For they are a nation void of council, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one (Gentile) chase a thousand (Jews), and two (Gentiles) put ten thousand (Jews) to flight, except their rock (the rock of the Jews) had sold them."
And now that there may be no mistake about the things set forth in this song having their fulfillment and application at the judgment, we will read from Deuteronomy (32: 35-38) as follows: "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time, for the day of their calamity (of their trouble Jeremiah) is at hand (that is, it will be at hand. in that day where it applies), and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left. And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up and help you, and be your protection." Now Paul, having quoted from these words and applied them to the time of the judgment, gives assurance that this is the true interpretation of the words of this song (Heb. 10:30).
In the twenty-eighth chapter (verse 25) of the Book of Deuteronomy it is written, "The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies; thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them, and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth; and thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth (such as the lion, the leopard, the bear, and the wolf), and no man shall fray them away." Again in continuance it is said, "The Lord shall smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart, and thou shalt grope at noon day as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways, and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall 1 See Jer. 5:6; Zeph. 3:3; Ez. 22:24-27; Dan. 7:4-6; Rev. 13: 1-2.
save thee." (Verse 45) "Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee and shall pursue and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed, because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee; and they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things. Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things, and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee."
THE NATION OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE
(Verses 49-52) "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation whose tongue thou canst not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed; which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee."
The terrible result of these close sieges is shown as follows (verses 53-59), "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee. So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave, so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat, because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate women among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear, for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book (Deuteronomy), that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses and of long continuance."
THE PLAGUES AND DISEASES OF EGYPT
The plagues of Egypt have a significance to the rebellious house of Israel which they will fully realize in the day of their tribulation when they shall corrupt themselves in the latter days, and revive in their land the idolatry of
Egypt, and change their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass, as they did at Mount Sinai, and as the ten tribes did after they fell away from the house of David. Then in figurative prophecy such as is contained in the prophecies of Ezekiel, and in the testimony and prophecy of Jesus, the Book of the Revelation, Jerusalem and her people are called Sodom and Egypt, and therefore when God's faithful witnesses, men like Moses and Aaron, in that day are slain in Jerusalem, it is said, "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom, and Egypt." And that we may rightly understand this language, it is added, “where also our Lord was crucified." Now as Christ was crucified neither in Sodom, nor in Egypt literally, but was crucified at Jerusalem, it follows that Jerusalem and her people in her latter day apostasy are called Egypt; and in the prophecy of Ezekiel her king is called Pharaoh, and her people Egyptians; and when the children of Israel make themselves more base and abominable than the Egyptians were, it is just and right that all the plagues of Egypt, and more, should be poured out upon them, even as the covenant which they enter into says they will be, as follows.
First, the Lord promised, saying (Deut. 7: 12), "Wherefore it shall come to pass, If ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers; (verse 15) and the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt which thou knowest, upon thee, but will lay them upon all them that hate thee." But on the other hand, if they would not obey the voice of the Lord their God, he would make their plagues wonderful, and would also smite them with the botch of Egypt, and moreover he says (28: 60-61), “I will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of, and they shall cleave unto thee; also every sickness, and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee till thou be destroyed."
THE REDUCTION OF POPULOUS ISRAEL TO A REMNANT
(Verses 62-63) "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 whither thou goest to possess it."
And to this agree the words of the prophet Esaias saying (10: 22-23), For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return. The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness, for the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in the midst of all the land."
THE LATTER DAY CAPTIVITIES
The captivities of the latter days will strike many with surprise, especially that class of people which hold that God has cast away his people Israel, insomuch that they do not expect that they will even be gathered again from their present dispersion, while others who do believe that they are to return
and be reinstated as a great nation at the second coming of Christ believe that they are to be removed no more. But his coming should have transpired according to the interpretations and calculations of some of them in 1866. Thus these people in their ignorant zeal, with a dash strike out an age, the second age under the second law, which must run its course before Christ comes to reign.
In reference therefore to the mighty captivities that are yet to come in the latter days after the present long and unmeasured dispersion of Israel is over and passed into history, Moses says (Deut. 28:64-68), “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the 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 stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest, but the Lord shall give there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life. In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee. Thou shalt see it no more again, and there shall ye be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you."
Now the great question to be determined here is this: Does Moses here. speak of a dispersion that is in the past, or is this to be in the distant future? This question can be definitely settled as follows: the Lord says by the hand of Moses (Deut. 30), "And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee." Now who that knows anything of the Holy Scriptures, and of all this righteous law of which we are treating, would for a moment pretend that all the blessings, and all the curses which are so specifically enumerated in this second law, have as yet been fulfilled upon the house of Israel? Who is so blind as not to see that the curses here enumerated, end with the utter destruction of the nation (save a very small remnant), insomuch that those who do not perish by all these plagues of famine, pestilence, and the sword from within among themselves, and from without, are to be scattered among all nations, and there serve their gods, wood and stone? Moreover, Moses distinctly tells us that this is to come to pass in the latter days, not in their former days which are now in the past, but in their latter days, which are in the future. Again, when David spake of the saints executing the judgments written, what judgments had he reference to that were written in his day, save these very judgments, called curses, written in this Book of Deuteronomy? And have the judgments that David speaks of been executed in the past? or are they still future? No doubt they are future.
The captivity of the house of Judah in Babylon was measured, but the present dispersion of the ten tribes of Israel and the two of Judah are unmeasured, though known of God. But the latter day dispersions are again