Enter subtitle here
29 This is the land [ha'aretz ] which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance [allot unto the Shivtei Yisroel for nachalah], and these are their portions, saith the Adonai Yahweh.
So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel" (Ezek. 47:13-21).
Now, let it never be forgotten in the investigation of "the things of the kingdom of God," that the Israelites have never possessed the country as defined in this survey since it was revealed to them through the prophet. The twelve tribes have not even occupied the land together; and those of them that have dwelt there after the return from Babylon to the overthrow by the Romans, held but a very small portion of it, while the Gentile kingdoms lorded it over all the rest.
Now either God is a liar, as some people make Him out to be who deny the restoration of the twelve tribes; or the time He refers to in the promise of the land according to these boundaries is not arrived. This is the only conclusion a believer in the gospel of the kingdom can come to. All theories opposed to this are mere sublimated infidelity. If Israel be not restored, then the promise to Abraham will have failed. But Abraham's seed are under no apprehension of this kind. They believe in God, who has sworn by Himself, that what He has promised He is able, willing, and determined, to perform.
Here, then, is a noble domain, lying between Assyria, Persia, Arabia, the Red Sea, Egypt, and the Mediteranean, capable, when peopled by an industrious, enlightened, and well and strongly governed nation, of commanding the sovereignty of Asia, and the wealth of Europe and America. Such is the land, containing, according to the survey of the British government, 300,000 square miles, concerning which God said to Abram, "to thee will I give it and unto thy Seed for ever."
But, the apostle says that the covenant, confirmed 430 years after the law was promulged, was " concerning Christ " especially. It was the Father's will, of which Christ being the Mediator, He became the Testator of the will. This being the case, His death was necessitated; for so long as He was alive the covenant had no force.
Neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, nor Himself, could inherit the land for ever, until the covenant was ratified by His death. Hence, His was "the blood of the New Testament, which was shed for many;" that they which are called might receive the remission of sins, and obtain the promise of the inheritance for ever (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:15-17). The covenant of promise, then, was typically confirmed 430 years before the law; and finally dedicated by the death of the mediatorial Testator; this being accomplished, the will could not be disannulled, or added to (Gal. 3:15).
But when we look at Jesus in the light of this Divine will and testament, we perceive some grand and important deficiencies in the administration of its legacies, if the history of the past is to be taken as the criterion of its accomplishment. In the historical view of the will, we are led to the conclusion that it hath not been administered at all; and that its legatees have received none of their Father's estate.
Look at Abraham, He has received nothing. The same is true of all who believed the things hoped for from that day to this. Even Yahweh Jesus, who has been perfected, has received nothing of what is willed to Him in the covenant, or testament. "I will give," said God, "this land to thy Seed for ever."
Now look at the facts in the case. "Jesus came to His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). What is to be understood by this? What is signified by "His own" twice repeated in this text? It reads in the original, "He came EIS TA IDIA and HOI IDIOI received Him not." The facts in the case must supply the words understood. Jesus came to His own kingdom, or realm, but His own people, the Jews, who are the "children of the kingdom," did not receive Him, but rejected, and crucified Him.
The reading is, then, "He came EIS TA IDIA BASILEIA into His own realm, and HOI IDIOI LAOI His own people did not receive Him. But to as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, to them who believe in His name." But, what constituted the land of Canaan His realm, more than John the Baptist's, or any other Jew's? Because it was promised to Him in the covenant, because He was the sole surviving Heir of David's throne. We see, however, that, like His father Abraham, He never possessed even so much as to set His foot upon; and so poor was He, that though "foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, yet He had not where to lay His head."
Under God, He was indebted to some of those who received Him for His daily bread. What significance this fact attaches to that petition of the prayer He taught His disciples, saying, "Our Father, who art in heaven, give us this day our daily bread." There were thirteen of them, Himself and the twelve, who had all to be provided for from day to day, and though He could multiply a few loaves and fishes to feed thousands, His own wants were supplied by contribution.
When Jesus was crucified, and buried, His enemies conceived that His claims to the realm and throne of David were extinct. The common people would have taken Him and made Him King, if He would have permitted them; but the rulers, already possessed of the vineyard, hated Him; for they knew that, if He should obtain the kingdom they would be cast out. They rejoiced, therefore, at His death. But their joy was soon turned into dismay, for God raised Him from the dead. And for what purpose?
In the words of the apostle, God raised up Christ to sit upon David's throne (Acts 2:30; Luke 1:31-33); for, in the words of David, "the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever;" and again, "wait on Yahweh, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land (Psalm 37:29,34).
But, even after His resurrection, when He was made both Lord and, Christ, though "Heir of all things," yet were not all things subjected to Him. He received neither the land nor the sceptre, but ascended to heaven, having received nothing promised in the will. He left the land, the kingdom, Abraham, and all the prophets, behind Him.
...The prolonged absence of Christ for ten more centuries would break the hearts of the saints of God, who have long since cried with loud voice saying, "how long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them who dwell on the earth?" No, no, the day is come at length, when He is about to gather the vine of the earth, to reward His saints, and to destroy the oppressors of the world (Rev. 11:18;14:19, 20). Then will "the kingdoms of the world become those of Yahweh and of His King, and He shall reign for ever and ever," and the covenant with Abraham concerning Christ will be fulfilled in every jot and tittle of its details.
Elpis Israel 2.2.