Some have wondered why God dealt only with the nation of Israel. It is obvious that he did. Amos 3:2 says so in so many words, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth". Why? Of course it all began with Abraham and the promises made to him. It all began way back in the book of Genesis. Itís a great story, which Iíll not try to tell here, but Chapter eleven tells about Abram (who became Abraham) and his ancestry back to Shem, one of Noahís sons, and in Chapter twelve that great promise was made to him. "1Now the LORD said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fatherís house, unto a land that I will show thee: 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed". I want to emphasize the last part of the last sentence. "In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed". And of course Christian people look to Jesus as the promised descendant of Abraham as the means of fulfilling that promise. And of course in Galatians 3:29 we read "And if ye be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise". This gets into a subject that Iíll discuss some later. For now I will try to show why God dealt only with the Israelites down through history and why they are still on the worldís stage. Chapter 17 of Genesis goes into more of the promises of God to Abram and it is here that his name is changed to Abraham. In the eighth verse God promises him the land of Canaan for an "everlasting possession". I think that promise is still looked to by the nation of Israel.
I will now go into why some look to many of these things as allegories of something that will be more grand and glorious than anything that has ever happened before.
I will begin with 1Cor. 10: 11, Here Paul is telling about their ancestors under Moses he says, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." Strong says that the Greek word for "ensamples" means "types". I think we all look to the nation of Israel as being a typical nation. Their fleeing Egypt and all that happened to them there is definitely a type of later events. It seems obvious that their escape from Egypt is a picture of mankindís escape from the bondage of sin and death. Their going to the Promised Land of Canaan pictures mankind returning to a restored Eden and harmony with their maker. The firstborn of Israel pictured the church. Heb. 6:23. The tribe of Levi later took the place of the firstborn. Nu. 3: 41. The priesthood also pictured the church. As a rule the rest pictured the world.
What is going on in Israel now is a little harder to decipher. It seems to be undeniable that the preservation of their identity for two thousand years and their return to their land and the re-creation of the nation of Israel all is a fulfillment of prophesy. There are promises in the Bible of this happening. The pictures they made down through the age were definitely types. The promises of a grand restored earth when all mankind will be in harmony with God and sin and death will be no more is the anti-type. The anti-type is always grander than the type. The typical nation of Israel can never be the anti-typical nation. The seed of Abraham that will be as the sand of the sea shore (Gen. 22: 17) is all mankind back in harmony with God, not the nation of Israel. There are two parts to the promise to Abraham. The promise was that his descendents would be as "the stars of heaven" and "the sand of the seashore". The firstborn that were passed over the death night in Egypt and picture the "little flock" chosen during the Gospel Age, who are the "church of Christ" will be the "stars of heaven". "If you are Christís you are Abrahamís seed and heirs of the promise". What was the promise? It was to bless all mankind. The church will have a part in doing away with sin and bringing mankind back into harmony with God. The "sand seed of Abraham" will be this restored mankind.
Prophecies that are speaking of restoring Israel to the Promised Land thus are speaking of anti-typical Israel. Grand promises such as Jer. 31: 31-34 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ĎKnow the Lord,í for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." We all know that this is telling of the work of the Millennial Age. Doesnít it make sense that this is talking about anti-typical Israel? If we take the position that this is speaking of the nation of Israel then the typical nation has to become the anti-typical nation, this cannot be so. If we take the position that there is a typical nation and there is an anti-typical nation and that the anti-typical nation is the world of mankind after coming into the Kingdom arrangement, then it seems that that is the "Israel" that all those scriptures saying Israel will be a blessing is talking about. They will bless themselves. The natural descendents of Abraham will become the "sand seed of Abraham" along with everybody else in the Kingdom.
Here is a quote by Pastor Russell taken from the 1916 foreword to the sixth volume. "The anti-typical Mediator, after paying over to Divine Justice fully and forever the Ransom-price for Adam and his race, will assume full control, and under that New Covenant, thus sealed, will begin the work of blessing and restoring all the willing and obedient of Adamís race. All who will come into harmony with the Lord will be counted as part of the earthly seed of Abraham, until finally, by the end of the Millennium, all exercising faith and obedience will be known to the Lord as the seed of Abraham. ĎIn becoming that seed, shall all the families of the earth bless themselves.í "
Doesnít this clarify, and do away with, the idea that the nation of Israel will be a blesser nation in the Kingdom? When Apostle Paul speaks of them as not lost because of being cast off by Jesus, isnít he just saying that they come into the arrangement as everyone else does?
When we try to determine what the meaning is of the Jews going back to Palestine now and their nation restored, could it be that in some way they are still making types? We expect that Godís hand will be displayed in a dramatic way in the near future there. We expect all nations to fall. Christís kingdom will be the rock that strikes the feet of the image and it, the rock, will grow and cover the whole earth. (Dan. 2:34,35) Could it be that the people going back to the restored nation of Israel are still making a type of all mankind going back to the "Promised Land" of the Millennial Age which the Garden of Eden pictured? Paul in Romans 4:13 speaks of Abraham as being "heir of the world". Couldnít the promise of Canaan being an "everlasting possession" be speaking of Canaan as being anti-typical Canaan, all of the world? It seems that both the nation and the land are allegorical. All nations will fall. That will include Israel.
I am now going to try to mention some thoughts of a very dear brother that has been gone for a number of years. Actually the thoughts here already discussed are basically his. His name was John Moore and I think was a part of the Vancouver BC class. He took a lot of criticism at the time, but he clearly saw that the anti-type of the nation of Israel would be all mankind brought back to harmony with God by the new covenant. I donít think that is anything different from what Pastor Russell believed, but he didnít discuss it very much and he seemed to take literally the scriptures saying that Israel would be a blessing.
Also there are a couple other prophecies that he (Bro. Moore) had some thoughts about that I am going to try to present. They are Ezek. 37:1-7 and chapters 38 and 39. Also Rev. 20:3, 7-9.These are the "valley of dry bones" and "Gog of Megog". Both of these we have thought to be telling of events at the end of the Gospel Age and beginning of the Millennial Age. His thought, and it makes sense to me, was that they both apply to the end of the Millennial Age. The valley of dry bones has been thought to be telling of the re-gathering of the nation of Israel that we see going on now. He thought that it better pictured the re-gathering of anti-typical Israel to be completed at the end of the Millennial Age. The other one tells of the coming down of Gog upon the land of Israel. We have thought that this will be some country or group of countries that will attack Israel in the near future and by Divine intervention would usher in Christís Kingdom. It doesnít really say that. In Rev. 20: 7-9 it tells of the "little season" at the end of the Millennial Age in which Satan will be released to put the final test on mankind. It connects Gog to this event. The Ezekiel piece speaks of Israel as living in peace in unwalled villages. That doesnít sound like the Israel we now know. Bro. Moore thought that Gog is Satan and the correct place in history will be the little season at the end of the Millennial Age. The Israel that is attacked is anti-typical Israel and the attack is the little season which will be the final test on mankind. It makes sense to me, but I guess we will have to wait and see. It may be that some of the things we have thought as going to happen to Israel will not happen.
And so why did Israel take such a prominent part in the Old Testament? Basically the Bible is an account of the plan of God for man. It tells of manís fall and his recovery. The promise to the church to be given immortality and a place in heaven is an added bonus. All this is played out in picture form by the nation of Israel. This plan makes possible for every person that lives in this world to have a first hand experience with sin and its consequences. The final result will be a world full of people each a free moral agent and also free of any desire for that which is wrong. Does it sound too good to be true?