Volume 25, New Series, August 64

ARTICLE FROM COMMANDER J. G. H. STEEDMAN

"I—Yahweh, am your God who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; so I brake in pieces the staves of your yoke, and caused you to walk, erect.

But, if ye will not hearken unto me, And will not do all these commandments; And if, my statutes, ye refuse, And, my regulations, your souls shall abhor,—So that ye will not do all my commandments, But shall break my covenant I also, will do this unto you—I will set over you, for terror, consumption and fever, Causing the eyes to fail and the soul to pine away, —And ye shall sow, in vain, your seed, for it shall be eaten by your foes. And I will set my face against you, And ye shall be smitten before your foes,—And be trodden down by them who hate you, And shall flee when no one is pursuing you. And, if even with these things, ye will not hearken unto me, Then will I yet further correct you seven times, for your sins. So will I break your pomp of power, And will set your heavens as iron, and your land as bronze; And your strength shall be spent in vain,—And your land shall not yield her increase, And the trees of the land, shall not yield their fruit. If therefore, ye will go in opposition to me, And not be willing to hearken unto me, Then will I yet further plague you seven times according to your sins; And will send among you the wild-beast of the field And it shall rob you of your children, And cut off your cattle, And make you few in number; And your roads shall be silent. And, if, by these things, ye will not be corrected by me,—But will go in opposition to me, Then will, I also, go in opposition to you. And, I, even I, will plague you seven times for your sins; And will bring in upon you a sword that shall inflict the covenanted avenging: So shall ye be gathered into your cities,—Then will I send a pestilence into your midst, And ye shall be delivered into the hand of an enemy. When I have broken your staff of bread, then shall ten women bake your bread in one oven, And give back your bread by weight,—And ye shall eat and not be filled. And, if, with this, ye will not hearken to me,—But will go in opposition to me, Then will I go in a rage of opposition to you,—And I, even I, will correct you seven times for your sins; And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons,—Yea, even the flesh of your daughters, shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places And cut down your sun-pillars, And cast your caresses upon the calluses of your manufactured gods,—Thus shall my soul abhor you. And I will give your cities unto desolation, And make your holy places dumb,—And will find no fragrance in your satisfying odour; And, I, will make the land dumb, And your foes that dwell therein shall regard it with dumb amazement: When, even you, I scatter among the nations, And make bare after you, a sword, Then shall your land become an astonishment, And your cities become a desolation. Then, shall the land be paid her sabbaths, All the days she lieth desolate, While, ye, are in the land of your fees,—Then, shall the land keep sabbath, And pay off her sabbaths: All the days she lieth desolate, shall she keep sabbath,—the which she kept not as your sabbaths,—while ye dwelt thereupon. And as for such as are left of you, Then will I bring faintness into their heart, in the lands of their foes,—So that the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them, And they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword And they shall fall, when no one is pursuing; And they shall stumble one upon another as from before a sword, when, pursuer there is none; And ye shall not have wherewith to stand before your foes; And ye shall perish among the nations,—And the land of your fees shall eat you up; And they who are left of you, shall melt away in their iniquity, in the lands of your foes; Yea also, in the iniquity of their fathers with them, shall they melt away.

"Then shall they confess their iniquity, And the iniquity of their fathers, In their unfaithfulness wherewith they had been unfaithful towards me; Yea moreover, because they had gone in opposition to me, I also, must needs go in opposition to them, and bring them into the land of their foes,—Save only that, if, even then, their uncircumcised heart shall be humbled, And, even then, they shall accept as a payment the punishment of their iniquity, Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob Yea moreover, my covenant with Isaac, Yea moreover, my covenant with Abraham, will I remember; And the land, will I remember. For, the land, shall be left of them, And shall be paid her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them, They also, accepting, as a payment, the punishment of their iniquity, Because, yea because, my regulations, they refused, And my statutes, their soul abhorred. And yet even so when they are in the land of their foes I have not refused them Neither have I abhorred them To make an end of them, To break my covenant with them,—For, I—Yahweh, am their God. Therefore will I remember in their behalf the covenant of their ancestors,—Whom, I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God—I—Yahweh. These are the statutes and the regulations and the laws, which Yahweh granted between himself, and the sons of Israel,—in Mount Sinai by the mediation of Moses." (Lev. 26:13-46)

And it shall come to pass, when all these things shall come in upon thee—the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee,—and thou shalt bring them back unto thy heart among all the nations whither Yahweh thy God hath driven thee; and thou shalt return unto Yahweh thy God and shalt hearken unto his voice, according to all that I am commanding thee to-day,—thou and thy sons, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, then will Yahweh thy God bring back thy captivity and have compassion upon thee,—and return and gather thee from among all the peoples whither Yahweh thy God hath scattered thee. Though thou be driven out unto the utmost part of the heavens, from thence, will Yahweh thy God gather thee, and, from thence will he fetch thee; 5and Yahweh thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it,—and he will do thee good and multiply thee beyond thy fathers. And Yahweh thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed,—to love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And Yahweh thy God will put all these oaths upon thine enemies and upon them who hated thee who persecuted thee. But, thou, wilt return, and hearken unto the voice of Yahweh,—and wilt do all his commandments, which I am commanding thee, to-day, And Yahweh thy God will make thee pre-eminent, in every work of thy hand—in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle and in the fruit of thy ground, for good,—for Yahweh will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: if thou hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy God, to keep his commandments, and his statutes, which are written in this scroll of the law,—if thou return unto Yahweh thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul." (Deut. 30:1-10)

About ten years ago Otis Q. Sellers, in his publication "THE WORD OF TRUTH," ran a series of articles on the restoration of Israel to the land of their fathers and drew the readers' attention to the Passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that have been referred to at the beginning of this short exposition on the same subject. I was very interested in these articles and could not see anything wrong in his exegesis. I examined it closely and found that it met most, if not all the objections that I had encountered in my studies of the orthodox pre-millennial and other interpretations that I had previously come across. These earlier interpretations were studied, followed, yet with reservation, always hoping that some firmer ground would be found on which to take my stand than was hitherto forthcoming. I read, re-read, checked and cross-checked all these articles and became convinced that he had certainly received considerable light on the subject and that it was well worth while pursuing. Before doing so, however, a preliminary study was undertaken of the promises and covenants and all prophetic utterances made to Abraham from his call out of Ur of the Chaldees, and to his descendants throughout the Pentateuch. This was done without resorting to reading commentaries or any other books, save the Companion Bible, Young's Analytical Concordance and a few other reference books at my disposal. In other words, apart from anything that might have been retained in my memory from past reading, what was learned was first-hand, and, with the help of, and depending upon the Spirit of God for guidance, considerable notes were made over a period of more than a year. Each section was gone through carefully by a friend, who also was a keen student of the Scriptures, a believer in the full inspiration of the Word of God in the original languages. He was extremely critical and jealous that nothing should be written that had not full scripture support. Sometimes I had to abandon an idea that had occurred to me on this account. At other times I was able to convince him that there was sufficient support for a statement that had been made or conclusion that had been reached.

The result of these studies was that I found there was good foundation for the exegesis that had been put forward by Otis Q. Sellers in his interpretation of the Scriptures concerning the restoration of Israel to the Land of their fathers in full belief and trust in the God of Israel, Jehovah, and that they would return to the land and re-commence the worship of their Lord God, with sacrifices made under the Levitical laws, with Levitical Priests taking place in the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem.

The study of this interpretation in the Old Testament then followed later, but has proved to be longer and much more difficult, as the sorting out of the material is a long and laborious process. However, some headway has been made, and it is proposed shortly to record on tapes all these studies, as they have so far gone. It is hoped that others may share in the search of the Scriptures that have been such a joy to me. It is hoped, also, that if they should find anything in these recordings to be unscriptural, they will communicate with me that I may be able to give the matter further consideration and set it right. Other lines of study, unusual, maybe, have been undertaken in the past years and some of these notes will also be recorded. It is not expected that brethren will be convinced by my belief and arguments that have flowed therefrom, but it is hoped that these studies will be taken to the Scriptures in the true Berean spirit and put to the Scriptural test. If the Holy Spirit has given me enlightenment on anything, He has given it to me as a vehicle to convey it to others. Only the Holy Spirit, through the Scriptures will bring conviction to others concerning what they seek. In this search it is very possible the lines of exposition given may bring to them something new out of the Word of God, which dovetails with some unsolved problem of former studies. By passing on these enlightenments other things will probably be found which have previously escaped notice. Thus we shall all be enriched by mutual help under the Holy Spirit's guidance and tuition. Multitudes, since the sixteenth century, have to give God thanks that Martin Luther was embued with this spirit and subsequently received enablement in steadfastness and courage to proclaim to the world, against immeasurable odds, his convictions concerning the doctrine of justification by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. What would have been the position today if he had failed to follow the enlightenment given to him and to have given up the many cherished doctrines and practices in which he had been reared and educated? We may thank God likewise for many of His faithful servants who have since obeyed His Call.
J.G.H.S. (Typed by AT) Last updated 24.9.2005

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