Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    July 15, 1889

    “The Throne of David” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times 4, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE JEWISH PEOPLE REJECT CHRIST

    The history of the kingdom of Judah was somewhat different. Some of the kings were as wicked as any of the kings of Israel, and some of them were men of eminent piety. There was a succession of apostasies, of judgments, and of repentance and apostasy. Toward the close of its history the prophet Jeremiah said: “Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates; Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever.” Jeremiah 17:19-25.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.1

    A few remarks concerning God’s purpose with Israel may be in place here. He chose Abraham because Abraham had a heart to serve him, and would keep the light of God’s truth from dying out. He called the Israelites out from Egypt, so that they might serve him; and he made them the depositories of his holy law, in order that they might hold up the standard of truth to the surrounding nations. In numerous places we learn that provision was made that the strangers who wished to serve the Lord could become a part of Israel, and heirs of the promise equally with the descendants of Abraham. If the children of Israel had been true to their high calling, and had not departed from God, or, having departed and repented, had remained faithful, they would ever have continued as a nation. And the text that we have just read indicates that in that case Jerusalem itself would have stood forever as the capital of the kingdom. What transformation it would have undergone to make it suitable for the eternal habitation of the saints, we cannot tell. On the other hand, the following judgment, if they should depart from God, was uttered by Jeremiah: “But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” Jeremiah 17:27.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.2

    These warnings were not heeded. In Jeremiah chapter 25 and 27, we find the announcement of their captivity, because of their refusal to obey God. This was the complete overthrow of the kingdom of Judah in the reign of Zedekiah. Although, after seventy years of captivity, all who wished were given full liberty to return to Jerusalem, and the city and the temple were rebuilt, no king since that time has ever sat upon the throne of Israel. The Jews were in Babylon till that empire was overthrown by the Medes and Persians, B.C. 538. Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia, gave them permission to return to their own land, but they had no king, and they existed only through the sufferance of the kings of Persia. Alexander the Great showed them favours, and to him they acknowledged allegiance. When the empire of Greece was divided at the death of Alexander, they were subject by turns to different kings until finally they turned to the rising Roman power for complete protection, and remained subject to them as long as they had any existence as a nation. But before we speak of their final fate, we must look at a prophecy concerning the kingdom, which was uttered by Ezekiel toward the last of Zedekiah’s reign.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.3

    After foretelling the invasion by the king of Babylon, the prophet said: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it; and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.4

    In this prophecy the history of the world from that time until the end of time is briefly told. When the diadem was removed from the head of Zedekiah, the kingdom passed into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Not simply the narrow limits of the kingdom over which Zedekiah ruled, but all the kingdoms of the earth, or, rather, the dominion of the whole earth, was given to Nebuchadnezzar. See Jeremiah 27:5-7; Daniel 2:37, 38. Then, said the Lord, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it.” Three kings reigned in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar, and then the first overturning took place, and the empire of the world passed into the hands of the Medes and the Persians. See Ezra 1:2. This took place B.C. 538. The Persian Empire, for the Median portion was overshadowed by the Persian element, lasted for 297 years, until B.C. 331. Then the second overturning took place, and the empire of Greece had the universal control in the earth. See Daniel 2:39. After the death of Alexander the empire was divided into four parts, each striving for supreme control; but by the year 168 B.C. the third overturning had taken place, and the world came under the dominion of the Romans. This was to be the last overturning, said the prophet, “until He come whose right it is,” when it should be given to Him. The one whose the earth is by right, is Christ, for the Father has said to Him, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee...the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.” Psalm 2:8. Moreover, Christ has purchased the possession by bearing the curse which came upon it in consequence of Satan’s maliciousness, and which constituted the evil one’s sole claim to it. Thus He bought Satan’s technical and usurped claim, and became sole heir to the whole world.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.5

    But the promise to give the dominion to Christ did not have reference to His first advent, as will appear from the following:-BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.6

    1. At the first advent of Christ the Romans ruled the whole world (Luke 2:1); and that empire continued, powerful and undivided, for nearly four hundred years afterward. Although the Jews rejected Jesus, they had not the power to put him to death, and He was formally condemned and executed by the Romans.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.7

    2. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, saying, “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.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.8

    The rejection of the Messiah and filled up the cup of the inequity of the Jewish nation. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. If they had accepted Him, they might, even at that late day, and after so many apostasies, have still remain the chosen people of God, through whom the nations of the world should be enlightened, and around whose standard of the faithful would flock. As Jesus thought of what they might have been if they had received Him, He wept, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke 19:42.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.9

    Never again would the tribes go up to Mount Zion, the joy of the whole earth; no longer should the gorgeous temple be called a house of prayer for all nations. When Christ uttered that last cry upon the cross, “It is finished,” the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, showing that their house was left and to them desolate. Less than forty years later (A.D. 70), the Romans besieged Jerusalem and utterly destroy it, fulfilling the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 24:2, and Luke 19:43, 44. This destruction, which marked the uttered extension of the Jewish people as a nation, also prefigured the final destruction of all that reject the gospel.BEST July 15, 1889, page 218.10

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents