Testimonies That Israel Will Return
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The following are testimonies prior to the 1948 establishment of the modern state of Israel that Israel would be restored. These testimonies were based on a literal interpretation of the Bible prophecies that the Jews would return to the land of Israel.
Those who interpret the Bible literally will not be disappointed!
“... a future restoration awaits this people, and will be to the world a glorious demonstration of the truth of prophecy. ... Three things are certain: the Jews themselves expect it; they are preserved by the providence of God as a distinct people for their country; and their country, which is in fact possessed by no one, is preserved for them” (Samuel Wakefield, Theology, 1869, p. 96).
“The Jews will then be settled in their own land. Having returned in unbelief, they will have formed themselves into a flourishing community. ... Reader, these things may soon take place. The mighty armies are to be mown down before the brightness of Christ’s glory, when like the lightning He shall descend from heaven. Let not the infidelity of our days lead you to question the possibility of such things” (Alfred H. Burton, The Future of Europe and Russia’s Destiny in the Light of Prophecy, 1896, pp. 72, 73
“Israel is yet to be revived, and Jesus says: ‘Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh’ (Mat. 24:32). What is the meaning of the modern Zionist movement, and the widespread interest in the return of the Jews to Palestine? A distinguished Jewish Rabbi said recently: ‘There is no Jewish nation, and there never will be. The Zionists that make so much noise do not represent Jewish sentiment. There is no general movement to restore Israel to Palestine. We preach today not Jewish nationality but universal Judaism, humanitarianism, the unity of God and man. Washington is to us a second Moses. When he freed America from Tyranny he created a haven of refuge for all the oppressed, including the Jews. Why do we need Palestine? We have America. That is enough.’ The unbelieving surrender of the promises only shows how completely Israel has given up her God. But the God of Israel abides, and He will yet come forth and recover the glory due Him. Back the Israelites shall go, whether they know it or not, and God will vindicate His faithfulness and glory. The fig tree, though barren, still abides” (Ford C. Ottman, The Unfolding of the Ages in the Revelation of John, 1905, pp. 172).
“And their wonderful preservation, as a distinct people, through all the persecutions, vicissitudes and wanderings of the past eighteen centuries down to the present moment, is a standing miracle, attesting the truth of God’s word, and assuring us of His purposes in their future history. Said Frederick the Great to his chaplain: ‘Doctor, if your religion is a true one, it ought to be capable of very brief and simple proof. Will you give me an evidence of its truth in one word?’ The good man answered, ‘Israel.’ Other nations come and go, but Israel remains. She passes not away. God says of her, ‘For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, said the Lord, thy Redeemer.’ Isa. 54:7-8. But, perhaps, you say: ‘I don’t believe the Israelites are to be restored to Canaan, and Jerusalem rebuilt.’ Dear reader! have you read the declarations of God’s word about it? Surely nothing is more plainly stated in the Scriptures” (“W.E.B., Jesus Is Coming, 1908, Fleming H. Revell Company, pp. 161, 162).
“Israel is the subject of prophecy. In the drama of human history the Hebrew is the chief actor. In the domain of prophecy he is equally prominent. The past and future circle round the Jew. The Jew is the great factor in prophecy. ... The once mighty monarchies of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome have risen, flourished, and fallen, leaving no permanent results behind. But the Jews, whose reliable history goes further back than any of those ancient kingdoms, are with us to-day. In physiognomy and national characteristics the Jew is unchanged. In a history of nigh four thousands years. ... The Jews as a people cannot be destroyed. God is their keeper and preserver, even while under His governmental judgment as they are to-day. The Jews, without a home, without a country, without a government, without a head, are yet a people as distinct from the Gentiles in national faith, feeling, and hope, as in the days of David and Solomon” (Walter Scott, At Hand, Or, Things Which Must Shortly Come to Pass, London: Pickering & Inglis, 4th edition, 1910, pp. 66, 68).
“The Restoration of the Hebrew Commonwealth is the first and indispensable necessity for the arrangement of the situation to suit the requirements of the prophetic orderly system mapped out in the Word. The whole prophetic future depends on that primary fact. The Jew, and not the Gentile, is the centre of God's government of the earth; hence all take shape and colour from the settlement of Judah in her land. This will be the great political event of the centuries, and one which will attract universal attention. ... whenever, and by whomsoever, the return of Judah is effected, the result will be to change the whole political government of the world. ... The Restoration of Israel to Palestine is the first and fundamental necessity demanded by prophecy.” (Walter Scott, At Hand, Or, Things Which Must Shortly Come to Pass, London: Pickering & Inglis, 4th edition, 1910, pp. 71, 72, 73)
“... we must remember that every promise made to the Jewish people will be literally fulfilled. God hath not cast them off forever. The Abraham covenant promised land never yet wholly possessed (Gen. 15:18). Spiritual blindness will be removed when ‘the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25, 26). The tabernacle of David will be rebuilt (Amos 9:11-15; Acts 15:16). (Jesse Forrest Silver, The Lord’s Return: Seen in History and in Scripture as Pre-Millennial and Imminent, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1914, pp. 245, 246).
“The universal blessing through Israel, promised in the Covenant with Abram, is to be bestowed in a theocratic dispensation, which, of course, the present dispensation is not. In that day ‘the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains ... and peoples shall flow unto it. ... And He shall judge between many peoples, and shall reprove strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ ... If it has any fulfillment, it must be literally as it stands; and as such a thing has never yet come to pass, the passage still awaits fulfilment. But before the Restoration, Reunion, and Readjustment take place, of which we have spoken, the Jews, in unbelief, will have returned to Palestine--a circumstance required in order to the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the end; and a circumstance which we see in process of accomplishment at the present time” (W. Graham Scroggie, Prophecy and History, 1915, pp. 46, 47)
“‘Here the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He tht scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ (Jer. 31. 7-10) He will bring them into the land of Palestine. They shall no longer be two nations. They shall no longer be separate peoples, the one wanders among the Gentiles, and the other sunken in them as those who be in their graves. They shall be one nation upon the mountains of Israel; as it is written: ‘And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.’ (Ezek. 37:21, 22). ... The twelve apostles, themselves Jews, will be their rulers, administrators and judges, according to the promise which the Lord Himself promised” (I.M. Haldeman, Ten Sermons on the Second Coming, 1916).
“The near fulfillment was the return of the remnant from the Babylonian captivity. But that does not exhaust this prophecy; there is a greater homecoming in store for Israel, when they will be gathered out of all countries to possess the land and multiply there as they never did in all their past history. ... The national resuscitation of the whole house of Israel, the restoration to their own land and the accompanying spiritual revival (though the latter does not fully come into view here) is the meaning of the vision [in Ezekiel 37]. ... In the vision of the dry bones physical resurrection is used as a type of the national restoration of Israel” (Arno Gaebelein, The Prophet Ezekiel, Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1918, pp. 238, 245, 246).
“Ezekiel’s prophecy of the dry bones is so familiar that it is not necessary to quote it (chapter 37); but it may be sufficient to say that the resurrection it typifies is not a physical resurrection of individuals, but a political resurrection of the nation of Israel and Judah, to be then brought together again as one. ... As a closing word it may be said that, unless Israel shall be restored again to her own land, the larger part of the book of Revelation, certainly chapters 7 to 20, would be almost entirely without meaning. Those chapters are very largely Jewish, and relate to events that will take place in the history of that people, to a considerable extent in Palestine and the beloved city of Jerusalem ” (James M. Gray, A Text-Book on Prophecy, 1918, pp. 43, 46, 47).
“Observe in this passage [Deuteronomy 30:1-8] three points: 1. It does not refer to the Babylonian captivity, for the dispersion here spoken of is ‘among all nations.’ 2 Jehovah gathers His people ‘from all the nations.’ 3. He brings them into the land which their fathers possessed. Every one knows what that land is. Here, then, if there were no other passage, is a plain declaration of the purpose of God to plant again His ancient people in their own land. Passing wholly by the Psalms, so many of which are undeniably millennial and prophetic of the same event, we come to Isaiah. Here, and in the remaining prophetic books, we shall be simply embarrassed what part of the copious testimony to select for quotation. Leaving out the history of the times, and those utterances of the prophets which had a local and near fulfillment, it may be said that of the remaining predictive parts, fully five-sixths relate in some way to the restoration. ... The vision of the valley of dry bones [Ezekiel 37] is self-explanatory, fi the context be noted. The bones are expressly declared to be the ‘whole house of Israel,’ at the precise time when they shall say: ‘Our hope is lost.’ Do you wonder that I think of this vision when I hear some of my Jewish friends say ‘we no longer look for the Messiah!’ What is it but the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prediction that before the wonderful restoration the national hope would be given up--‘our hope is lost!’ ... all the signs indicate the solemn nearness of the regathering” (C.I. Scofield, Lectures on Prophecy, c. 1940, pp. 60, 61, 63, 64, 67)
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