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p423 * * * I allow myself to send a brief reply to your inquiry.* Agreeing entirely with your view of the subject in general, there is, it seems to me, one mistake which embarrasses you in this interpretation. It is this: that these Gentiles are brought to the Lord under the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in a larger measure than the day of Pentecost. That comes after the full restoration and blessing of Israel. There is an action of the Holy Ghost more in the character of John Baptist, an Elias work in Israel; and, as regards the Gentiles, it is a regular part of the service of the remnant of the Jews called thereto of the Lord. This testimony is found as to Israel in Matthew 10 which to the end of verse 15 gives the three missions; from verse 16, or more generally, that which went on after the Lord's rejection, and to the end when the Son of man should come. This ground as to the Gentiles in chapter 24:14 closes the general instruction, verse 15 beginning the time of special tribulation.

{*'In Revelation 7, taking it for granted that the Church has been taken up; that verses 4-8 are the expression of God's providential care of the elect of Israel, that verses 9, etc., are the same care of Gentiles, other than the risen saints brought to the Lord by the ministry of restored and converted Israel, under the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in larger measure than on the day of Pentecost - does not all the above indicate that the time between the raising and taking up of the saints, and the destruction of Antichrist and his host, must be larger than is generally supposed to be?}

It is not "our gospel" with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, but "this gospel of the kingdom" that was preached when John Baptist was there, and by the Lord Himself. Let it be remembered now that we have no date for the rapture of the church - that the dates begin with a week of Daniel 9, and half a week of great tribulation when the sacrifice is made to cease. But this does not affect the general testimony of Matthew 24 which may begin before the week, and be carried on among the Gentiles during the great tribulation at Jerusalem. Only the Church must be caught up, it seems, before the accomplishment of a renewed testimony of the kingdom apart from what has gathered the Church. The final previous testimony to the nations is found in Revelation 14:6. This takes away all date from the testimony to the nations, save the relative one that the Church is gone. But when we remember that all is done with accelerated rapidity in that day, a nation born in a day, a short work to be made on the earth, that before Zion travailed she brought forth, that for the elect's sake God has shortened the days, we may look for a more rapid accomplishment of this work of testimony among the Gentiles also. There is another mission in Isaiah 66, but this is when the Lord has appeared in glory and judged all flesh, and it results in bringing up scattered Israel. The dispensational value of the gospel of Matthew has not (I think) been adequately estimated by students of the word.

[1873.]

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