Although I have said that Philip Mauro published a number of very useful books round about fifty years ago, there was one in his latter days which was quite erroneous. It was called "The Hope of Israel: What is it?". I had never heard of it until I found a book in a bookshop called" The Israel Promises and Their Fulfilment," by Samuel Hinds Wilkinson of Brentwood, in Essex, England, published in 1936 in London.
Mr. John Wilkinson was the author of the book "Israel My Glory," and he obviously knew far more about Israel than Mauro did. In fact, Mauro was hopelessly muddled about the Hope of Israel. Mauro's position was as follows:—
Yet the strange thing is that Mauro declares elsewhere in his book that the survival of the Jewish race is one of the two continuing miracles of history. And he also says in his Foreword:
Mauro then says that the New Testament has not one word to say as to a future reconstitution of the Jewish Nation, or to its re-occupation of the land of Canaan; that those who teach a distinct hope for the Jewish Nation admit that their teaching is not supported by the New Testament; that the Nation of Israel (in its national capacity) is not to be converted in millennial times or ever; that when the Kingdom of God was taken from Israel and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, the transfer was 'of course a finality'; that the doctrine of a yet future restoration of the Jewish Nation has not a Scriptural leg to stand upon; that no recovery is hinted at; and that the curses involved in the breach of the Sinaitic Covenant, as set out in Deut. 28:63-67, indicated the end of Israel's history as a nation.
The next argument by Mauro which is dealt with is that such promises as are found in Isaiah 11:12 and 13; Jeremiah 31:35-37; and Ezekiel 37:21 and 22 refer to the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ and the present Gospel era; and that the 'after this' of Acts 15:14-17 indicates the time then already come and that all the unfulfilled promises of God to Israel are for the 'spiritual seed' of Abraham. These passages refer to God's gathering of the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah; if the ordinances of the moon and the stars depart before Me, declares Yahweh, I also may reject all the seed of Israel for all that they have done; I Myself am going to take the sons of Israel from among the nations whither they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and will bring them in upon their own soil; and will make them one nation in the Land, among the mountains of Israel, and one King shall they all have for King,—And they shall remain no longer two nations, nor shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more. Acts 15:14-17 is about God at first visiting, to take out of Gentiles a people for His name. With this agree the words of the prophets; according as it has been written: "After these things will I return, and rebuild the tent of David that has fallen down; and the ruins thereof will I rebuild and will set it upright again; to the end that, in that case, the remainders of men may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles upon whom has been invoked My name upon them, says the Lord who does these things"—known from antiquity.
Here Mauro was simply denying very important prophecies of Scripture. He even said that the conception of a future national restoration for Israel is based on unspiritual interpretation, whether in ancient Jewish teachers or present-day orthodox Christians. Further, he said that "the setting up of the Davidic Kingdom is not the order of revelation as it stood when Christ appeared."
(2) Israel received the promises before the legal Covenant was made: Israel received the promises by grace: the Covenant of law did not and could not vitiate those promises; the law was "added" till the promised Seed should come (Gal. 3:19). It was broken (Jeremiah 31 : 32) and replaced by a New Covenant, again resting, as did the Abrahamic Covenant, upon grace. Thereby the Sinaitic Covenant became obsolete (Heb. 8:13) and ready to vanish away. The Israel promises remain secure under the Abrahamic Covenant and are to be enjoyed by virtue of the New Covenant which guarantees the conversion of the nation (Heb. 8:10), and the complete effacement of all their sins (Heb. 8:12). In other words, what Israel received by grace under the Abrahamic Covenant, what Israel temporarily forfeited of enjoyment under law, Israel recoverS under grace by vision of the New Covenant.
(3) The Church has another calling, another habitation, another relationship to God than that of Israel. The figures of temple, vine, flock, physical frame, family bond and bride confirm this, just as do the independent figures of olive, flock, sonship, unfaithful wife and a dozen others set forth a similar but not identical relationship between God and Israel. The former are New Testament figures and concern the Church alone; the latter are both Old and New Testament figures and concern Israel.
(4) The application of the terms "true Israel," true Zion, Spiritual seed of Abraham to the New Testament Church is erroneous and misleading. Gentile believers are privileged to be a seed of Abraham "by faith" (Romans 3:30; 4:16). The attempt to find a Spiritual fulfilment of Israel promises in the present age, with the Lord absent, with the world in rebellion, with the Church itself largely infected by worldly wisdom and error and apathy, involves a limitation of grace and purpose, a lowering of the standard of the doing of the Divine will on earth as it is done in heaven, a diminution of the measure in which our Lord is to see of the travail of His soul in being glorified and acclaimed on the same earth as that on which He was rejected and crucified.
Further on, Mr. S. H. Wilkinson says: "It is a matter of special grace and of special and later revelation that believing Gentiles should be made partakers with the believing remnant of Israel of present Spiritual blessing as well as of heavenly inheritance. No more than did the seven thousand resistants to Baal obliterate the main, though idolatrous body of Israel or deprive it of its place in Divine purpose, does the New Testament Church, precisely analogous of the other, replace Israel or cancel Israel promises:—Rather than this, let the New Testament declaration stand :—"
On another page S. H. Wilkinson tackles Mauro concerning the term Israel. Mauro says "Now the apostle. . . . declares expressly that the unbelieving part of the nation is not the true 'Israel.' "Mr. Mauro, the apostle does not say so, there or anywhere, expressly or even suggestively. What he does say is that "They are not all Israel which are of Israel." A similar statement, to be similarly understood, is found in Romans 2:28, "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly." The word does not disenfranchise unsaved Jews, but draws the clear distinction between Jews who are such by race only, and "completed Jews," who are Jews both by race and by true Jewish faith, completed in the Gospel. The distinction here drawn is between those Israelites who are merely the natural posterity of Abraham and those other Israelites who are not only Abraham's natural posterity but also Abraham's spiritual children by faith. But the name Israel itself is not thereby transferred to the believing remnant in such a manner as that the natural posterity of Abraham, who are also of Israel, are dispossessed of it. Otherwise how could the apostle say "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved." How could Israel need prayer for their salvation if the term Israel applied only to an already saved portion of it? How could the same apostle in the same context have continual heaviness and sorrow in his heart for those "who are Israelites," if the term applied only to those who had become spiritually elect Israelites by faith and regenerating grace?
Then it is stated that the children of Israel are to abide many days "without a king and without a prince and without a sacrifice and without an image and without an ephod and without teraphim": But no less true is it that "afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God and David their king: and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4 and 5).
It is next stressed that there will be only "One Kingdom" of Israel, not two, and Acts 3:21, and 15:15 and 16 are quoted.
Steadily in his book of 186 pages S. H. Wilkinson presses and pushes Mauro more and more tightly. But there is one mistake Wilkinson made: "For the Church is the Bride of Christ" (page 139). Those who have found salvation since the time of Paul and have faith in Christ are not the Bride of Christ. Paul never uses the Greek word for Bride (numphE), which occurs eight times in the New Testament.
One can feel sorry for Philip Mauro. Probably he had become muddled in his mind when he was old. He certainly made statements which contradicted each other.
A.T. Last updated 10.11.2005