"I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me..." (Ezek. 33)
"I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom"
(Ronald Reagan, Newsweek, Dec. 27, 1982, p. 44).
"I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life"
(Thomas Jefferson Second Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1805).
"For surely I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground."
"The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel we [Jews] believe ended up in Ireland."
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The most remarkable fulfillment of biblical prophecy in modern times was the sudden sprouting forth of the two mightiest world powers - one, a commonwealth of nations forming the greatest world empire of all time; the other, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth today. These birthright peoples came, with incredible suddenness, into possession of more than two-thirds - nearly three-fourths - of the cultivated wealth and resources of the whole world! This sensational spurt from virtual obscurity in so short a time gives incontrovertible PROOF of divine inspiration. Never, in all history, did anything like it occur.
But why did this unprecedented national wealth and power come to our birthright inheritors only after the year A.D. 1800? Why did not this national dominance come to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh millennia ago - in the days of Moses, or Joshua, or David, or Elijah?
A "Nation" and a "Commonwealth of Nations"
Remember now the birthright promise was given to the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh - not to the other tribes or their descendants. These two birthright tribes were part of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Notice again the original promise: "A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee" (Gen. 35:11).
In passing on the birthright promise the dying Jacob (Israel) said of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, ". . . let my name be named on them" (Gen. 48:16). Hence it is THEY - the descendants of Ephraim (the British) and Manasseh (Americans) - not the Jews, who are referred to in prophecy under the names of Jacob or Israel. Continuing, Jacob added, ". . . and let them grow into a multitude."
Then, speaking of Manasseh and his descendants alone, Jacob said prophetically: ". . .he also shall become a people [nation], and he also shall be GREAT: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a MULTITUDE [a company, or COMMONWEALTH] of NATIONS" (Gen. 48:19).
In A.D. 1800 the United Kingdom and the United States were small and insignificant among the earth's nations. The United Kingdom consisted only of the British Isles, a very small part of India and of Canada and a few little islands. The United States consisted only of the original 13 colonies and three added states. Neither possessed any great wealth or power.
But beginning in 1800 these two little nations began to sprout and to grow into vast national riches and power such as no people ever possessed. Soon Britain's empire spread around the world, until the sun never set upon her possessions. Canada, Australia, South Africa were given dominion status - made free and independent nations, ruling themselves independent of England - a company, or commonwealth, of nations joined together, not by legal government, but solely by the throne of David!
But why was that tremendous birthright, which was promised unconditionally to Abraham, repromised to Isaac and Jacob, never bestowed for millennia of time - until after A.D. 1800? The answer is amazing - exciting!
To understand this miraculous burst into world dominance, it is necessary to examine the very pivot of Old Testament prophecies - the 26th chapter of Leviticus.
Prophecy for Now
This remarkable prophecy pertains to our time, as well as giving warning to the people of Israel in Moses' day. Few realize that the prophecies of the Old Testament pertain, primarily, to this 21st century - not, in many cases, to Old Testament times at all.
Most ministers and church leaders today were schooled in the theological seminaries of their particular denominations. They were taught, nearly altogether, from sectarian books, not from the Bible. Many of these will say: "We are a NEW Testament church," supposing Old Testament prophecies pertained only to Old Testament times, having no meaning for us today. That is an error and a delusion! Many Old Testament prophecies were written for, nor read by or to, the Israelites of those times. The New Testament Church of God is actually built on the FOUNDATION of the Old Testament prophets, as well as the apostles (Eph. 2:20).
Daniel wrote after both Israel and Judah had been removed from Palestine as slaves. He had no way to communicate his prophecies to his enslaved countrymen - and besides, the meaning was closed and sealed until our time, now (Dan. 12:8-9).
Ezekiel was a prophet, not to the Jews of the house of Judah, though he was among them in their captivity. But his prophecy was to be delivered to the house of Israel - driven out some 130 years before, and by Ezekiel's time lost from view. His prophecy was to be delivered to the house of Israel TODAY, in this 21st century, by God's ministers who now know their identity!
And this prophecy of Leviticus 26, though written by Moses before the Israelites had entered the promised land, is one of dual fulfillment. It was a warning to those of Moses' day, but its final fulfillment, as we shall see, has taken place and is now taking place - in our time. And, through the dual fulfillment, typical of so many prophecies, it is also a WARNING to the American and British peoples of impending events! Leviticus 26 is the basic prophecy of the Old Testament. It contains a vital, living, tremendous message and warning for our people today!
The Pivotal Prophecy
In this central prophecy, God reaffirmed the birthright promise - but with conditions - for those of Moses' day! The birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were then with the other tribes - as one nation. Obedience to God's laws would bring the vast national wealth and blessings of the birthright not only to Ephraim and Manasseh, but the whole NATION would automatically have shared them at that time.
Notice carefully that two of the Ten Commandments are mentioned for emphasis. These were the main test commandments! They were the test of obedience, and of faith in and loyalty to God. God said: "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image. . .to bow down unto it: for I am the Eternal your God. Ye shall keep MY Sabbaths. . ." (verses 1-2).
There was a condition - a great big "if" - to their receiving actual fulfillment of this stupendous birthright promise in their time! God said: "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase. . ." (verses 3-4). All wealth comes out of the ground. They would enjoy bumper crops the year round, one harvest on the heels of another. Verse 6: "And I will give PEACE in the land. . .and none shall make you afraid. . .neither shall the sword [of war] go through your land." What a blessing! What nation enjoys continuous peace, without fear of invasion?
Of course, in this world, every nation has enemies. What if enemy nations attacked? Verses 7-8: "And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight. . . ."
Since many nations in this world always have been aggressors, Israel would have been attacked. A nation with the military superiority to defeat all attackers would soon become the dominant, most powerful nation on earth - especially with resources and great wealth from the ground. Verse 9: "For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you."
The Great Big If
But here comes the alternative - IF the conditions are not met: ". . .if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments. . .I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of the heart [RSV: waste the eyes and cause life to pine away]: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you. . ." (verses 14-17). They would be invaded, conquered, become once again slaves - as they had been in Egypt before God freed them.
Now What Did Happen?
These Israelites griped, grumbled, complained, doubted God almost from the very night they left Egypt. God miraculously delivered them from the pursuing Egyptian army at the Red Sea. God sent manna and quails from heaven to feed them. God caused drinking water to gush from the great rock. But always they complained, showed a rebellious attitude.
The children of Israel, under Moses, came to the desert at the foot of Mount Sinai. There Moses was called up the mountain where God spoke to him. God here offered Israel the opportunity to become HIS NATION - under His rule, and, upon obedience and loyalty to His government, to receive the fabulous national birthright of world dominance.
The ETERNAL said: "Now therefore, If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my COVENANT, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth in mine" (Ex. 19:5). Notice, God did not force them to become His nation - a "peculiar" nation, different from the apostate Gentile kingdoms. The choice was theirs!
The Beginning of a Nation
Moses returned to camp. he laid God's proposed agreement (covenant) before that vast congregation of perhaps two or three million people.
"And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Eternal hath spoken we will do" (verse 8).
For two days the people were specially prepared for a tremendous event. They were to hear the very voice of God from the mountain. On the third day, amid a fantastically tremendous supernatural display of thunder and lightning and thick clouds swirling over the mountain, God's tremendous voice - exceedingly loud - thundered in their ears the basic law of His government - the great SPIRITUAL law defining, in principle, GOD'S WAY of life - the way to avoid the evils besetting the world - the way that would cause peace, happiness, prosperity.
That vast assemblage actually heard the voice of THE ETERNAL GOD, delivering to them the Ten Commandments! The people were frightened! They trembled! It was an awesome experience which had never happened before - and has never occurred since!
Then, through Moses, God outlined in more detail His proposition for setting them up as God's NATION. Again, the people answered with a unanimous voice, "All the words which the Eternal hath said will we do" (Ex. 24:3). Moses wrote all the terms of this COVENANT - this AGREEMENT making these ex-slaves God's nation - this agreement which also was a marriage covenant, with the Eternal as husband, binding the wife (Israel) to obey her husband.
Moses read the terms and conditions - the "book of the covenant" - before all the people. Again came the unanimous decision on their part: "All that the Eternal hath said will we do, and be obedient" (Ex. 24:7).
Old Covenant a Marriage
The covenant agreement between God and this people - called "the old covenant" - was then ratified and put into effect with BLOOD (Ex. 24:5-8).
This "old covenant" was mediated by Moses. It married a mortal, human people to the Eternal. They became HIS NATION. They had promised loyal obedience as citizens. This "old covenant" was based on the birthright promise God had made to Abraham. But human mortals, filled with the vanity, envy, lust and greed of human nature, seldom remain faithful. So the living Christ is now coming soon to be the Mediator of the new covenant, bases on better promises (Heb. 8:6-10 and 9:15). But the NEW covenant will not be made with human mortals who do not keep their promises. God has been preparing - and still now is preparing - a people to be made immortal. These immortals are to be married to Christ. And He died, rose, and sent God's HOLY Spirit "that he might sanctify and cleanse" this NEW Testament "wife" (Eph. 5:26-27).
The new covenant will be made with a people who already have been proved, by their Christian life of obedience, faith, growing in spiritual character and knowledge, and overcoming - a people then made immortal and holy and perfect.
The NEW covenant is based on the sceptre promise made to Abraham - through the coming KING of kings, Jesus Christ, of the very dynasty of David.
They Turn to Idolatry
But notice how these mortal Israelites performed.
After the old covenant between God and Israel had been ratified, God called Moses up into the mountain. Moses was kept there forty days, receiving detailed instructions for the congregation (church) and for the nation - for with the Israelites church and state were united.
After Moses had been gone some days, the people said to Aaron, "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." So they took their golden earrings and trinkets, and Aaron had them made into a golden calf for an idol (Ex. 32:1-4).
Moses came down from the mount carrying the two tablets of stone on which the Eternal had engraved the Ten Commandments with His own finger. On seeing this golden idol and the people worshiping it in merriment and dancing, he lost his temper and in a rage threw down the tablets of stone and broke them.
Of course, just as some very large religious bodies who claim to be Christian today, they merely said this calf represented God - it pictured to them what they supposed God looked like.
After making this molten gold calf, Aaron proclaimed a feast "to the Eternal" (Ex. 32:5), during which they worshiped before the IDOL. Go into an Anglican church or a Roman Catholic church today and ask the priest or official whether the images of "Christ" and of "Mary" are idols - whether or not they are worshiping IDOLS. They will indignantly say, "No! We don't worship idols. We don't worship the images. We don't claim the images actually are Christ or Mary - only that they represent, or picture to us, what Christ or Mary look like!"
Well, that is precisely the way ALL PAGANS ALWAYS WORSHIPED IDOLS! But God's wrath waxed HOT at this (Ex. 32:7-10). God will NOT ACCEPT such worship! See also Deuteronomy 12:30-31.
Withheld 40 Years
In the second year after leaving Egypt, God had moved the Israelites to a new camp in the wilderness of Paran (Num. 10:11-12). God then told Moses to send twelve men - one leader or ruler from each tribe - to spy out the promised land and bring back a report on the land and its inhabitants (Num. 13:1-2).
These men were gone 40 days. On their return, all but two - Joshua and Caleb - misrepresented what they had seen, giving an evil report. When Joshua and Caleb reported the truth, the people tried to stone them. They accepted the evil report, complained against God, doubted, rebelled, disobeyed.
Have you ever wondered why these Israelites were 40 years in the desolate, barren, desert-and-mountain wilderness getting to the promises land? It was not because it required 40 years of travel. These men sent to report on it journeyed to it, walked all over it from one end to the other and returned - round trip - in 40 days. But the people griped, disbelieved God, disobeyed, and refused to go forthwith to POSSESS IT; instead of deciding to march ahead and POSSESS this great prize God wanted to give them, they despised it, lacked faith to go in and possess it, refused to march forward.
This promised land is a type of the glorious Kingdom of God, which the living Savior, Jesus Christ, offers us. But today we, the descendants of those Israelites, despise it, prefer the "slavery" of SIN, fail to exercise the FAITH to go on and POSSESS God's Kingdom. We, too, rebel, disbelieve, and disobey. And those who thus despise it shall not enter that glorious Kingdom with eternal life in happiness and accomplishment.
To this rebellious population, God said: "Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. . .ye shall not come into the land. . .save Caleb. . .and Joshua. . . .But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised" (Num. 14:29-31).
"And," continued God, "your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness" (verse 33).
And now comes the "day-for-a-year principle": "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years. . ." (verse 34). And this punishment was, in fact, a WITHHOLDING of the promised blessing for this duration of forty years.
That generation of Israelites was not allowed to enter the promised land. They spent forty years in the wilderness. Their children entered the Holy Land under Joshua's leadership.
They became so busy occupying their promised land, driving out the many little kingdoms, that during Joshua's life and a little longer they served God and prospered. They were making a nice start toward inheriting - in their day - the tremendous blessings of the birthright.
But after Joshua died "and also all that generation. . .there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Eternal, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Eternal, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Eternal God of their fathers. . . .And the anger of the Eternal was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Eternal was against them for evil, as the Eternal had said, and as the Eternal had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed" (Judges 2:10-15).
So, precisely as God had warned in verses 14-17 of Leviticus 26, God did appoint over them terror; they did sow their seed in vain, for their enemies at it. God did set His face against them!
God's WORD STANDS! What a pity neither individuals nor nations seem able to believe that!
But that was not the end. God is a merciful, forgiving God. He repeatedly gave them another chance. Continue the history in the book of Judges: "Nevertheless the Eternal raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way. . .(Judges 2:16-17).
This happened repeatedly. Every time they were put under the yoke of another nation, as vassals, they cried out to God for deliverance. But also every time God sent a judge to free them, they quickly turned from God. As soon as things were going well for them, these people turned again to idolatry.
But were they so different from us, their descendants today? Most of us seek God only when in trouble - only when in our self-interest we feel we need Him!
Up until this time, though these people had complained, lacked faith, gone contrary to God repeatedly, nevertheless, they still recognized GOD as their only Ruler. They may not have trusted in, or obeyed Him and His rule, but they acknowledged no other Ruler.
They Reject God as King
But in the days of Samuel they rejected God even as their national King - as their civil Ruler. They demanded a human king, like all the unbelieving Gentiles (I Sam. 8:1-7). This probably took place near the end of 1112 B.C.
To reject God as Ruler was the greatest sin. Up until this time they had recognized Him - had looked to no other as King. This seems to have begun the years of complete sin, for which God punished them.
Nevertheless, under the "old covenant" of Mt. Sinai, they were still God's nation. God still dealt with them. He did not "divorce" them until 721-718 B.C., as we shall see.
They suffered under Saul. They began prospering under King David, and in Solomon's reign they reached a considerable state of prosperity. However, they had not yet flowered into the full predominant-world-power status promised under the birthright. And Solomon's prosperity turned him to idolatry. Again they were violating the condition for receiving the birthright.
When Solomon's son Rehoboam became king, he threatened to put still heavier tax burdens on the people. Thereupon the nation rejected Rehoboam and set up Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, as king.
A Nation Divided
This caused division! In order to retain the Davidic dynasty, Judah thereupon seceded. With Benjamin, and most of Levi, they formed a new nation - the kingdom of Judah! No longer did they have the national name "Israel." The people of this new-formed kingdom of Judah are the ones who became known as the JEWS. The people of the kingdom of ISRAEL, occupying the northern part of Palestine north of Jerusalem, never were called Jews.
Now the birthright and sceptre promises were divided into TWO NATIONS. Remember, Ephraim and Manasseh shared the birthright. If it were then inherited, the others of the TEN-TRIBED nation of Israel would have automatically shared it with them - since they were part of the same nation!
But under Jeroboam the ten-tribed nation ISRAEL completely violated God's laws, particularly the two test commandments. Almost the first act of Jeroboam was setting up idols. And he changed God's autumn festivals from the seventh to the eighth month. There is ample evidence that he also changed God's Sabbath from the seventh to the "eighth" day (first day of the week). This will be shown in a later chapter.
Even after all this, God gave the nation every chance to qualify for the tremendous birthright blessings. During the reigns of nineteen kings in seven different dynasties, God pleaded with them through His prophets. But this rebellious nation showed no disposition to turn to God's ways. They had been punished repeatedly. But they refused to learn the lesson experience should have taught them.
The Seven Prophetic Times
Now continue in Leviticus 26: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" (verse 18).
It is important to UNDERSTAND this!
This expression "seven times" is translated into the English from a Hebrew word which conveys a dual meaning. The original Hebrew word Moses wrote is shibah. It is defined as "seven times," and also as "sevenfold." The "seven times" implies duration or continuation of punishment. But the word also conveys the meaning of "sevenfold," or seven times greater intensity of punishment - as a punishment that is sevenfold more intense. In this sense, the meaning would be the same as in Daniel 3:19, where King Nebuchadnezzar, in a rage, commanded that the furnace into which Daniel's three friends were to be thrown should be made seven times hotter.
Now understand the "seven times" - or seven prophetic "times." For this is a prophecy. In prophecy, a "time" is a prophetic 360-day year. And, during Israel's punishment, each day represented a year being fulfilled.
This "day-for-a-year principle" is explained in two other passages dealing with the duration of Israel's punishment. One of these we have already covered. God punished that generation of Israelites Moses had led out of Egypt by withholding from them entry into the promised land FORTY YEARS. That promised land was a beginning part of the birthright. God punished them on the principle of a YEAR for every DAY - forty years' DURATION of punishment for the 40 days of transgression.
Ezekiel's "Day for a Year"
In order to impress on the prophet Ezekiel the seriousness of Israel's years of rebellion against God's rule and God's laws which would cause great blessings, God imposed this very principle on him - but it was enacted in reverse.
This sins of the house of Israel had continued from their rejection of God as King for 390 years. Naturally God could not expect this prophet, in a human lifetime, to undergo the bearing of these years of sin on the basis of each day of sinning being borne by him for a year. That would have required 2,000 lifetimes. So God reversed the actual application of the principle. Ezekiel was required to bear Israel's sins a day for each year they had sinned. But it still was the "day-for-a-year principle"!
Ezekiel was told to lie on his left side, in an imaginary siege against Jerusalem, pictured on a tile before him. "Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year" (Ezek. 4:4-6). It is mentioned further in verse 9.
But in the other application of the "day-for-a-year principle," previously explained, where it applied also to a duration of punishment put on THE PEOPLE, the punishment was to be borne by them on the basis of a year of punishment for each day. Also in this case, the punishment was the number of years during which a promised blessing was withheld.
Now when we come to the expression "then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" in Leviticus 26, it is evident both by its manner of wording in the sentence and by the fact of actual fulfillment that it was speaking of a DURATION of seven prophetic "times," or YEARS. And on this "year-for-a-day principle," it becomes seven 360-day years - a total of 2520 days. And when each day is a year of punishment - in this case, as in Numbers 14:34, a withholding of a promised blessing - the punishment becomes the withdrawing of and withholding the promised blessings for 2520 years! For that is precisely what did happen!
What is a "Time"?
But now did you notice I said that a prophetic "time" is a 360-day year? Why not a 365 1/4 days? Why not a solar year?
In ancient biblical times, a year was figured on a basis of twelve 30-day months. Previous to the time, in Moses' day, when God gave His people the sacred calendar, the 30-day month was used.
Notice Genesis 7:11: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Now verse 24: "And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days."
Next, Genesis 8:3-4: "And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."
So notice - the flood started on the 17th day of the second month. At the end of 150 days, the ark rested on Mount Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month. That was five months to the day. Five 30-day months are precisely 150 days. So months, then, were 30-day months!
We find it definitely figured this way in both Daniel and Revelation. In Revelation 12:6, a prophecy of an event which in actual history did last 1260 solar years is spoken of as "a thousand two hundred and threescore days." So here, again, a prophetic day was a year in fulfillment. In Revelation 13:5 (referring to a different event but the same amount of time) this same period of 1260 days being fulfilled in 1260 solar years is spoken of as "forty and two months." Now 42 calendar months, according to the calendar now in use, would not be 1260 days, but 1276 days - and, if a leap year occurred, 1277. Or, if the extra half-year happened to be the last half of the year, it would be 1280 or 1281 days. But the 42 months of Revelation 13:5 is the same amount of time as the 1260 days of Revelation 12:6. So the 42 months were 30-day months.
The same amount of days is spoken of in still different language in Revelation 12:14 as "a time, and times, and half a time." The "time" is one prophetic year; the "times" is two more prophetic years; and the whole expression is 3 1/2 prophetic "times," which is a literal 1260 days - or 3 1/2 years of thirty-day months. Seven of these "times" then would be 2520 days - and on a day-for-a-year basis, 2520 years!
Then in Daniel 12:7 the same expression "time, times, and a half [time]" is mentioned.
Enough space is being taken here to make this concept plain, clear, understandable. For it is basic to several key prophecies.
A prophetic "time," then, is a 360-day year - or a plain 360 days. And during those years of Israel's punishment, as made plain by combining Leviticus 26:18 with Ezekiel 4:4-6, Numbers 14:34, and Revelation 13:5 and 12:6, each day of a prophetic "time" was one year in fulfillment. In Leviticus 26:18, and in Revelation 12:6 and 13:5, this meaning is verified and PROVED by the fact that the prophecy was fulfilled in precisely the time indicated.
Birthright Withheld 2520 Years
Now back again to the pivotal prophecy of Leviticus 26.
These Israelites had not listened to God - had not qualified to become recipients of the fabulous, overwhelming birthright national blessing. They had broken especially the two test commandments emphasized in verses 1 and 2 of this chapter. God had punished them in the manner He had said He would, as described in verses 14-17.
Now God said, as quoted before, "And if ye will not yet for all this" - all He had punished them with, described in verses 14-17 - "hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins."
Because of the manner in which this warning is worded, compared with the manner of wording where the "seven times" is again mentioned - and because the birthright actually was withheld PRECISELY 2520 years - it is certain that the meaning of the "seven times" in verse 18 is a DURATION of 360-day YEARS, each day being a year in fulfillment - total: 2520 actual YEARS! And the very enforcing of the "day-for-a-year principle" also implies a multiplied intensity of the punishment.
Actually, they had sinned the 390 years mentioned in Ezekiel's prophecy (Ezek. 4:4-5). Even from the time they rejected God as their national King, God allowed them to remain in the promised land those additional 390 years! During all these years God continued to send prophets to warn and plead with them. Had they repented and turned back to God and His ways, they still could have received the richest national blessing of all history. But they would not. Rather, they increased in sins!
So finally God took completely away from them - for a duration of 2520 years - this opportunity to reap such vast material prosperity and power.
Israel Becomes Lost
Finally God drove them out of the promised land!
All these 390 years of national sin (Ezek. 4:5), of rejecting Him and His ways, God continued to deal with them. He kept contact with them. He sent His prophets to them. At any time during these years of their rebellion, they could have repented, turned to God, and received this vast national status.
But now, at last, God drove them out of His land! He "removed them out of his sight" (II Kings 17:18).
Again it is repeated (verse 23), He "removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
From that time, God sent no prophets to them. He gave them no more chance to receive the greatest national blessing of all history - until the end of the 2520 years! He hid, as it were, His face from them! He removed them out of His sight. He pleaded no longer with them. They had not qualified for nor deserved His blessings! Now He left them a slave people, to shift for themselves. He left them to their own devices!
They had rejected even the identifying sign by which they were to be known and recognized as God's people Israel. So now they soon lost even their identity! No longer were they known by the world as God's people. No longer did they call themselves God's people.
They became lost! The "LOST TEN TRIBES." Lost in name. Lost in identity. Lost spiritually! They had lost their tremendous birthright - for a duration of many generations! In due time, as a second and third generation came along, they lost even their Hebrew language! They regarded themselves as Gentiles! The world supposed they were Gentiles!
Apostles to Britain?
Generations later, Jesus of Nazareth, well knowing where they had migrated, sent His twelve original apostles to make known to them His precious gospel of God's Kingdom - God's government! It was the apostle Paul who was sent to the Gentiles.
Did you never wonder why, after Acts 15, we read no more of the twelve apostles? Except for a trip by Peter to Babylon, they had gone to "lost" Israel!
Regarding the original apostles, the Bible says: "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, GO NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans [Gentiles] enter ye not: But go rather to the LOST sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:5-6). Yes! The lost Ten Tribes.
But Jesus never begged, urged, pleaded with anyone to "get saved!" Nor did His apostles! That is a modern Protestant method. They merely proclaimed the truth, leaving it to every hearer to make his own decision whether to act on it.
Yes, the British Isles heard Christ's gospel! But they accepted, instead, the idolatry of the Druids, pagan worship, and the counterfeit "Christianity" of the Roman Babylonian mystery religion, and even spawned the devil's religion of the evolutionary concept.
Birthright Conferred at Last!
But when that 2520-year withholding of the birthright had expired, God was faithful to His unconditional PROMISE to Abraham! Not because of any British or American goodness, superiority, or worthiness, but because of God's faithfulness to His promise, beginning in 1800 these two birthright peoples suddenly burst forth as the greatest world powers in all history!
This national wealth and power came not because our peoples in any manner finally qualified for it. They never did! But consider:
The very fact of a withholding of the birthright from them for a definite duration in itself implies a conferring of it at the end of the 2520 years. And remember, God had promised this birthright to the descendants of Abraham unconditionally because of Abraham's faithfulness and obedience (Gen. 26:5). God was bound by His promise to confer this stupendous national blessing regardless of the righteousness or wickedness of the descendants. But God had not bound Himself to bestow it upon any one particular generation.
Thus God was able to offer it conditionally to Old Testament Israel in and after Moses' day. The people of those generations could have had it upon compliance with the conditions! Denying it to those particular generations - withholding it for 2520 long years, even - did not violate God's unconditional PROMISE to Abraham.
But the very fact of a withholding for the definite duration of 2520 years implies the direct conferring of that national blessing on expiration of that definite period of withholding - regardless of any further qualifying or deserving on the part of the people. This must be so because of God's faithfulness to His UNCONDITIONAL PROMISE to Abraham.
So - beginning A.D. 1800-1803, after 2520 years - God did cause the birthright nations - and them only - to become suddenly the recipients of such national wealth, greatness and power as no nation or empire ever before had acquired! Together they - the British and Americans, descendants of only one original tribe, Joseph - came into possession of more than two-thirds - almost three-fourths - of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the whole world!
It sounds incredible! All other nations combined shared between them only little more than a fourth of the world's wealth. And that includes the nations descended from other tribes of Israel. It includes such nations as Germany, Italy, Russia, China - all other nations on the whole earth.
The most amazing fact of all history is this sudden skyrocketing from virtual obscurity of two nations to the most fabulous wealth and economic power ever possessed by any people. Britain became GREAT Britain - a gigantic, stupendously wealthy commonwealth of nations - the United States, the greatest nation of history.
More amazing still are the unbelievably shocking facts of the present - of how - and WHY - we are losing it faster than it came!
WHY? The incredible facts, the reasons, and what's now ahead will follow!