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Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright #1

The Introduction


JUDAH'S SCEPTRE AND JOSEPH'S BIRTHRIGHT

by J.H.Allan (1917)


PREFACE.

Because of our connection with a certain school of Christian
thought, we once held the erroneous opinion that most of the
prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled, and that its
present use was simply to feed the faith of devout men. Also,
that any nourishment for faith which could be drawn from that
source was not wholesome food for the soul, unless we were in
possession of such an exalted type of spirituality that we would
be able to rise above the somewhat prosy details of its
histories, and find our soul-food in a surely accompanying
spiritual influence, which, in its action upon us, was superior
to the mere literalness of the subject matter.

We were also led to suppose that the unfulfilled prophecies of
"Moses and the prophets" were of no special moment to
Christianity, because the great momentous question, the coming of
a Saviour, was settled forever. Consequently, when, perchance, we
found some prophetic utterance therein, which we were forced to
admit had not become a historic verity, and since this was the
dispensation of the Spirit, we felt at liberty to give the reins
to our somewhat vivid imagination, and let it run unchecked
through the verdant and fruitful fields of speculation in search
of some rare and deeplyspiritual truth which we might lay against
that seeming rhetorical figure of Holy Writ.

But this roaming through those alluring fields always resulted in
failure, for when those fanciful and random conjectures, no
matter how lofty, were brought before our quickened conscience,
they were soon condemned, because that judge who sits at the bar
of our spiritual integrity not only revealed their insincerity,
but also convinced us that they did not contain the real import,
thought and purpose for which those words of God were written.
Thus defeated, we could only bemoan our lack, not only of the
mental power to grasp the true meaning of those holy words, but
also the depth of spirituality which was supposed to be essential
to the possession of that intense spiritual power which could
pierce through the density of earthly things into the rarity of
those which were heavenly. For the spiritual standards which we
had erected for ourselves demanded the attainment of a soul life
which would give us power to soar in the spirit into such
rarefied heights of divine enlightenment that we could discern
the graceful curves, the symmetrical outlines, the non-earthly
shadows, the heavenly half-tones and the divine high-lights of
that wonderful picture,-that spiritual masterpiece - which lay
behind the coarseness of the letter.

These errors so blinded us, that, in our ignorance, we even
considered that the twelve apostles, whom our Lord had chosen and
enlightened, were in gross error when they understood Christ and
the Scriptures to teach that there was to be a literal and
visible kingdom of God on the earth with the Lord as king of all
the earth when that day came. We assumed that their conception of
the promised kingdom, when contrasted with our own, was carnal in
the extreme, and that the superiority of our conception lay in
the fact that it was free from all such mortal grossness. And we
really thought that this spirit of moral groveling among the
apostles had reached its climax, when James, who afterward became
a martyr, and his brother John, he wham the Master loved, took
their mother to Christ, and had her make a request of Him for
them which they did not dare make for themselves.

But, thank God, such conceptions of divine truth were only our
spiritual swaddling clothes, and the day dreams of spiritual
babyhood. For, as we grew in grace, and became less presumptive,
the Holy Ghost lifted the veil from our mind, and illuminated the
following portion of the Saviour's reply to the request of the
mother of James and John: "To sit on my right hand, and on my
left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom
it is prepared of my Father."

In this work we have followed the history of the two families, or
kingdoms, into which the seed of Abraham were divided, through
the intricate paths of their Biblical history, and the prophecies
concerning them, which have thus far become history, down to the
present day, without the loss of any single connecting link.
We have been moved by the Holy Spirit to thus write concerning
the earthly history.- of God's s c chosen race, because so very
it is known by the masses of our people, and yet it is the
foundation upon which the entire structure of Christianity must
reset, A knowledge of these earthly things not only renders the
claims of Christianity impregnable, but they are also the basis
upon which we must rest our faith for better things. For Jesus
has said, "If I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe
not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" The
truth of this saying of our Lord has been demonstrated in our own
ministry; for in the past seven years, during which time we have
been able to demonstrate the special features of truth as set
forth in this book-i. e., the realization o f the promises made
to ISRAEL, by THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL - the Lord has used us to
bring more skeptics to the light of his truth, than in all our
previous ministry of twenty-one years. Also during this seven
years, while we have seen the faith of some fail, the Lord has
helped us to save the tottering faith of many. We are also sure,
from the very reasons which are given, that the faith of those
who have made shipwreck could not have failed, if they had known
these things. Hence we have written this time concerning the
earthly things which are the subjects of Divine inspiration,
praying that God will use them to strengthen the faith of some,
and to bring others into the faith in the inspiration of the
Bible. But if there seems to be a demand for it we will write
again, and then we will write on THE HEAVENLY THINGS.


CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY

     Although it is not generally known, it is nevertheless true
that God made two covenants with Abraham, or, rather, that he
made one with Abram and another with that same man after his name
was changed to Abraham. This change of name was made that it
might harmonize with the new character and the new order of
things as they pertain to the covenant man.
     The first, or Abram, covenant was made when the man was
ninety years old; but the second, or Abraham, covenant was not
made until this man was called upon to make the one great
sacrifice of his life.
     The text of the first of these covenants is as follows "And
when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to
Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me
and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and
thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his
face; and God talked with him, saying: As for me, behold my
covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many
nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy
name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made
thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make na
tions of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.  And I will
establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee
in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God
unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee,
and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger,
all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will
be their God." - Gen.17:I-8.
     We see at once that the great feature of this covenant is a
multiplicity of seed for a man that hitherto has been childless;
and that this multitude of people are to become, not one great
nation, not simply a plurality of nations, but a large plurality,
i. e., "MANY NATIONS."
     With the great majority of Bible students, and with most
schools of Biblical thought, the fact that the Lord, when making
this covenant, promised Abram that he should become the father o
f more than one nation is entirely overlooked. The general trend
of the teaching is, that, of all the people who dwell upon the
face of the earth, the Jewish people are distinctively the
people, the one nation only, which is composed of the seed of
Abraham; and that they, and they alone, are the chosen people of
God whose national story makes up the great bulk of Biblical
history and prophecy. But such cannot be the case, for if God has
fulfilled the first promise which he made to the father of the
Jewish people, he has made it possible for the people of some of
the other nations of earth to stand side by side with that one,
and with them to say: "We have Abraham to our father."
     One special, and important, feature of this covenant is,
that among this multitude of Abrahamic seed there is to be a
royal, or kingly line; the posterity of which shall become the
rulers of, at least, some of these nations which shall owe their
origin to one common father. For the Lord not only promised
Abraham that kings should come out of his loins, but when he
reiterated the promises of his covenant to Sarai, the barren wife
of Abraham, he said: "She shall be the mother of nations; kings
of people (R. V., nations) shall be of her." And so her name was
changed to Sarah, i. e., Princess, that she, too, might have a
name which would be in harmony with her new character, for only a
princess may be the mother of kings.
     Another special feature of this covenant is, that there is a
land consideration, which involves the land of Canaan in an
everlasting bond-not only of ownership, but of possession.
Evidently the everlasting possession of that land by its lawful
heirs has not yet begun, for, at this writing, it is in the hands
of the "Unspeakable Turk."
     One other feature of this covenant is, that it is wholly
unconditional. That is, the Lord has promised, irrespective of
the moral or spiritual character of the people themselves, so to
increase the posterity of the Abrahamic lineage, that,
nationally, they shall become all that the covenant promises.
Centuries after the giving of this covenant, when the Abrahamic
posterity were quite numerous, and while they were still together
in one nation, the Lord made a covenant with them which was
conditional; but they broke faith with him, and violated its
specified conditions. Since it is true, that, in contracting or
conditional covenants, there is both a party of the first and a
party of the second part, and the law is, that, when either party
breaks the conditions, the other is not held, or bound by them,
hence when the covenant people broke thei- part of the contract,
God was no longer bound, and said: "They continued not in my
covenant, and I regarded them not." Thus that covenant was
annulled. But in this covenant which we have under consideration,
God has assumed all responsibility, and to his integrity alone
must we look for its fulfillment. For while it is true that both
God and Abraham are parties to this covenant, we well know who
has pledged himself, and whose will it expresses, and whom to
expect shall keep his word inviolate, and which will be to blame
if this covenant goes by default.
     The second covenant which God made with Abraham was not made
until many years after the first, and was made at a time when
Abraham had just offered his only son, who was the first of the
promised many, as a sacrifice, in obedience to the command of him
who produced that son, by his creative power, from that which was
as good as dead, and as an expression of faith in the
resurrective power of that same covenant-making God. It is
recorded as follows: "And the angel of the Lord called unto
Abraham the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith
the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not
withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless
thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of
the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy
seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall
all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed
m; voice." Gen.22:16-18.

     Before noticing the one great feature of this covenant, we
wish to call your attention to some of the minor points; the
first of which is, that it also is unconditional, "By myself have
I sworn," is the declaration of the covenant maker; hence this
covenant can neither be broken nor annulled, because, as in the
first, God alone is the responsible party.
     Another point is, that there is a repetition and
confirmation of the multiplicity of children phase of the first
covenant, to which is added the first detail as to what shall be
a national characteristic of Isaac's multiplied seed in their
relation to other nations, namely: "Thy seed shall possess the
gate of his enemies."
     The Lord usually gives himself two witnesses, or doubles his
promises and prophecies, as in the case of Pharaoh when he had
dreamed the same thing twice and Joseph told him the reason that
the dream was doubled to him was because the thing which it
signified was of God. So it was with this gate blessing. It was
at a time, that, after consenting to accompany Abraham's servant
and become the wife of Isaac, through whom must come this great
multitude of people, this gate promise, together with that which
pertains to the multiplicity of children, was given to Re bekah. 
It came as a parting blessing from her brothers, who, it seems,
were imbued with the spirit of prophecy-, for it is recorded that
they blessed her, and said: "Thou art our sister, be thou the
mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the
gate of those that hate them."
     But the one great special feature of this second covenant
which God made with that one man, is most certainly couched in
the following words: "In thy seed shall all the nations of the
earth be blessed." It will take but little investigation to
reveal the fact that this one phase of this last covenant is
Messianic, and that it pertains especially to but one person.
But, that the many to whom pertains the first covenant are
involved in this, together with the one to whom it more
especially pertains, and that the principal one of this covenant
is involved, in the common bond of brotherhood, with the many of
that first covenant, no one will deny.
     We understand that at the time these words were uttered, it
would have been impossible to give them the fullness of meaning
which the Holy Spirit has given them, as interpreted in the New
Testament, for it was under the illumination given to the Apostle
Paul, that their full import bursts upon us. It was when
contrasting the law covenant-the one which was annulled-with this
only-son covenant that Paul is careful to say: "Now to Abraham
were the promises made, even for his seed, He does not say, and
to the seeds," as concerning many, but as concerning one "and to
thy seed which is Christ."
     We have here given the best translation, for clearness, that
the text will allow. In it the Apostle makes no attempt to give
an exact Old Testament quotation, but bases his argument on the
strength of the subject noun being in the singular number. The
subject with which he is dealing is the blessing that shall come
upon all the Gentile nations through Abraham's sacrificed son,
the one seed, who also was the Only Son of his Divine Father,
just as Isaac, the type, was the only son of his father when he
was offered in sacrifice.
     It is not only the words, but also the circumstances
connected with the giving of these promises, which are prophetic.
God had said to Abraham that the many nations which he had
formerly promised him should come through Isaac, his only son,
but afterward called upon him to sacrifice that son, who was the
only one through whom that promise could be fulfilled. But
Abraham knew that God had accomplished that which was equal to a
creation, when, through him and Sarah, who were both as good as
dead, Isaac had been produced; so, being strong in faith, he
offered him up, "accounting that God was able to raise him up,
even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a
figure."
     Could any analogy be more complete?

     A Son of Promise, an only son, from whom so much is
expected, sacrificed and accounted dead, then, in symbol, raised
from the dead! And the two special reasons for this test, being,
on the one hand, an encouragement to faith, and on the other,
that the son might live to fulfill his God-ordered destiny. The
prototype of this is another Son of Promise, an only Son, from
whom so much-so very much-is promised and expected, sacrificed on
the tree, dead. But that the two witnesses, the word and the
symbol, of the promiser might not fail, the Divine Father, who
gave back that other only son, raises from the dead his only Son,
that he also might become the author and finisher of our faith,
that he, too, might live and become all that was promised and
expected of him, and thus fulfill his glorious destiny. We can
ask no more, for both the lesser and the greater son, the type
and prototype, are, "as concerning the flesh," sons of Abraham.
Throughout the world it is most generally known, and throughout
Christendom it is universally known, that "the seed to whom the
promise was made," did come; but it is not universally known, nor
acknowledged throughout Christendom, that the many peoples are
included in that same covenant with this one seed, without whom
the entire structure of Christianity must fall, and that every
argument for the Christ, from the covenant standpoint, must stand
the crucial test of a numerous posterity from the loins of
Abraham, or go down. And yet it is so.
     True, the covenant with the people failed; true, the people
sinned, and violated their obligations; true, the law was added,
because of their transgressions, to bridge over, "till the (one)
seed should come to whom the promise was made." But the argument
in favor of the Messianic covenant against all this is, that "the
covenant which was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law,
which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul,
that it should make the promise of none effect."
     How could it? We, sirs, believe that it could not. All
Christendom believes that it could not. And if it could not,
neither can the promise concerning a multiplicity of children for
Abraham be annulled.
     For, with this same Messianic promise, there is a repetition
of the metaphor of many seeds, as the stars of heaven and as the
sands of the sea shore, together with the gate blessing; so we
can just as reasonably expect that Christ could or would have
failed, as to expect that the gate, the sand, and the star,
promises shall have gone by default. But, at this late day in the
history of the world, with the Divine light of prophecy shining
upon well known facts, which once were only the subjects of
prophetic utterances but are now the recorded facts of authentic
history, we can say with a confidence, which is supported by the
eternal Spirit, that neither have failed.
     Elsewhere, when this same Apostle was making an effort to
encourage the faith of believers in the faithfulness of God, he
gives a word for word quotation from this same covenant promise,
saying: "When God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear
by no greater, he swore by himself, saying, Surely blessing I
will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." This
quotation, as you see, pertains to the multiplicity of seed, and
not to the Messianic phase of the second covenant; but it proves
to us that each individual feature of that covenant stands on the
same secure foundation, and is just as sure of fulfillment as the
other, for underneath every promise of that covenant there are
two immutable things;--God and his oath.
     So, we are safe in saying that God has made two
unconditional covenants with Abraham, and that, if he has been
true to those covenants, then there are "many nations" in
existence on this earth today, the people of which must have
descended from Abraham and Sarah; and that these nations are in
possession of the gates, or entrances, of their national enemies;
unless it be that the time has not yet come for those promises to
materialize.

     The facts, in either case, are revealed, and, as we proceed,
we shall see which of these is true; but thus far it is evident
that one of these covenants is Messianic; that the other is
multitudinous; that each is contained in the other; that in them
there is no contracting party of the second part; and that both
alike do stand on the integrity of God.
     These are the days of skeptical indifferentism on the one
hand, and of rampant infidelity on the other; of narrow
sectarianism, worldly churchianity, and the blatant headiness of
higher (?) criticism-Days "when Endor-ism is called
"Spiritual-ism," when Buddhism is sanctified by the name of
Theo-sophia, i.e., Divine wisdom, and when pure faith and true
spirituality are dubbed "Fanaticism."
     Then surely, in such days as these, all who believe that the
promises of God are never broken will be helped and encouraged
when proof, full and abundant, shall be given that not only the
promise concerning the many nations, but all the predictions of
"Moses and the prophets," as they pertain either to the Christ or
to the many-nationed people, have been, are being, or - on the
strength of that which has been, and that which now is - shall
yet be fulfilled.

..........

To be continued


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