Thus, we see the attention of the whole world is being drawn to the restitution of the Jews, now commencing. The attention of all thinking Christians is being drawn to it. The leading religious papers—such as the "Independent"—find the interest in the subject so great, that, though hitherto they have shown opposition to Millenarian views, yet now they are calling attention to this marked fulfillment of prophecy now in progress. Yet, though they see this, they fail entirely to grasp the import of it. Lord S., in closing his remarks, came much nearer the real import of the Jewish exodus than do most thinkers on the subject, when he said, "This persecution is a sign of the end—of the great end, which, God be praised, cannot be far off." Yes, it is a sign of the end—the end of this age, and the beginning of the age of restitution—the Millennium. It is a sign of the end of "the present evil world," or dispensation of evil. It is the precursor of the World to come—the dispensation of truth and righteousness, in which Jesus and his Bride—the spiritual seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29.)—shall reign over, and bless all the families of the earth, through Israel, after the flesh, who must first be restored to influence, and power.
Israel is the anti-typical "fig tree," cursed and blighted by the Master, because it bore only leaves; and it is Israel that he refers to again, saying, When ye see the fig tree putting forth leaves, then know that summer is nigh—then lift up your heads and rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28-31; Mark 11:13,14.) Note the wonderful adaptation of the fig tree as an illustration of Israel's returning favor. It puts forth its fruit before its leaves appear; and when the leaves appear, the fruit is ripe. It is a staple article of food, and also possesses medicinal qualities. So Israel begins to show marked signs of the approaching summer. And when the rich foliage of God's favor covers Israel, and is manifest to all, she will be ripe and ready for the work of blessing, feeding, and healing the nations according to God's plan. Jesus, seeing the leaves on the fig tree, had a right to expect ripe fruit, especially as the "time for (harvesting) figs was not yet" fully come. So with Israel, when cursed, they were full of leaves, or professions and appearance of faithfulness; but when searched in their harvest time, were found lacking fruit—and cursed for the age.
Yes, Earth's winter time, with its cold, and blight, and storms, is nearly over; the gracious, and fruitful, and beautiful Summer is nigh. Spring has come; the fig tree is "putting forth"; yet we must look for more storms, more trouble, just as in nature, the Spring equinoxial storm is one of the most severe. Jacob (Israel after the flesh) is to be delivered during a great "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." "It is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it." (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1.)
It is very remarkable that Christian people cannot appreciate Paul's statement, that the fleshly house were cast off from God's favor during the time his favor has been manifest to the spiritual house. How strange that they cannot see from this return of favor to "Jacob," that the end of favor toward the spiritual house has come—that the end ("harvest") of the Gospel age is now upon us.
Like some of old, the church today cannot "discern the signs of the times." (Matt. 16:3.) But it was then, as now, the nominal church which discerned not. Those truly taught of God are, to that extent, not in darkness." Ye, brethren, [brethren in Christ, holding communion with God, through his Word, which is able to make wise] are not in darkness." (1 Thes. 5:4.)
The great mass of the Church see the signs now taking place, but are so blinded by their creeds and traditions, that they cannot "discern" or understand them. How clear to the unfettered and discerning mind are the words of Paul: "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery...that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, and so [then] all Israel shall be saved." [No one can question that Paul refers to the blinding of fleshly Israel, and consequently to the saving, or bringing back to God's favor, of that people. But one of the most pointed things in this expression is, that this saving of fleshly Israel, will not be "until the fullness"—full number "of the Gentiles be come in." In other words, the restoration of the fleshly house to the earthly promises, cannot take place until the Gospel call to the heavenly promises has ended, by accomplishing the work of selecting a people for his name—the Bride of Christ.] Paul proceeds, and adds to the strength of his own statement of God's plan, by quoting from the prophets: "As it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer [the Christ, head and body complete—the Bridegroom and Bride made one—the great Deliverer, both of Israel and the world, who will set at liberty the captives of death], and shall [first] turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins." Rom. 11:25-33. Compare this with James' statement, Acts 15:14-18. After referring to the taking out of the Bride from the Gentiles—"a people for his name"—James quotes a prophecy, which will be due to be fulfilled after the Bride, for his name has been selected, saying: "After this, I will return [cause my favor to return to Israel], and will build again the tabernacle [house—nation] of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up [Note well why God will rebuild Israel], that the residue of men might seek after the Lord."
Truly, then, the re-gathering of Israel is a sign of the end of this age—a sign that we are living in the harvest time, for "the harvest is the end of the age." (Matt. 13:39.)
Let those who deny the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, take notice that the restoration of the Jew to the Canaan land of promise, is only a beginning of the work of restoring all nations and all things. "For the Lord will save the tents of Judah first." (Zech. 12:7.) The restoration of the living is only a first part of restitution, for "all nations shall come and worship before thee." This will include the dead—"There shall be a resurrection (anastasis—bringing up to perfection) of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." (Acts 24:15.)
But as Israel was thirty-seven years in falling, viz., from A.D. 33, when Jesus gave them up and left desolate their house, to A.D. 70, when their national existence ended; so we expect that they will be thirty-seven years in rising, or from 1878 to 1914, the end of the times of the Gentiles. This time of their re-gathering and restitution to favor, will be a time of great trouble—it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be delivered out of it. As when they came out of Egypt over three thousand years ago, it was in the midst of great trial and distress; so now their deliverance will be, not without its distress, as it is written—"According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvelous things: the nations shall see and be confounded at all their might." (Micah 7:15.)
But we are also told, that the exodus now from among all nations, will be so much more a marked manifestation of God's favor than that from Egypt, that the latter, which has heretofore been the great and marked feature of Israel's history, will sink into comparative insignificance, when compared with the coming deliverance from among the nations. Thus we read: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north [Russia], and from all the lands whither he had driven them. And I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." Jer. 16:14,15.