Article 10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
The Gathering of Israel
The Gathering Predicted-Dire as was the chastisement decreed on Israel for their waywardness, amounting, as it did, to their dissolution as a nation, fearful as has been their denunciation by Him who delighted to call them His people, yet through all their sufferings and privations, while wandering as outcasts among alien nations who have never ceased to treat them with contumely and insult, when their very name has been made a hiss and a byword in the earth, they have been sustained by the sure word of promise, that a day of glorious deliverance and blessed restoration awaits them. Associated with the curses, under which they writhed and groaned, were assurances of blessings. From the heart of the people, as from the soul of their king in the day of his affliction, has poured forth a song of tearful rejoicing: “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” The sufferings of Israel have been but necessary chastening by a grieved yet loving Father, who planned by these effective means to purify His sin-stained children. To them He has freely told His purpose in thus permitting them to be afflicted; and in His punishments they have seen His love: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” and “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord.”
Though smitten of men, a large part of them gone from a knowledge of the world, Israel are not lost unto their God. He knows whither they have been led or driven; toward them His heart still yearns with paternal love; and surely will He bring them forth, in due time and by appointed means, into a condition of blessing and influence befitting His covenant people. In spite of their sin and notwithstanding the tribulations that they were bringing upon themselves, the Lord said: “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God.” As complete as was the scattering, so shall be the gathering of Israel (read more)
Two Gathering Places-Some of the passages quoted in connection with the dispersion and the subsequent gathering of Israel make reference to Jerusalem, which is to be reestablished, and Zion, which is to be built. True, the latter name is in many cases used as a synonym of the first, owing to the fact that a certain hill within the Jerusalem of old was known specifically as Zion, or Mount Zion; and the name of a part is often used figuratively to designate the whole; but in other passages the separate and distinctive meaning of the terms is clear. The prophet Micah, “full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might” predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and its associated Zion, the former to “become heaps,” and the latter to be “plowed as a field”; and then announced a new condition that is to exist in the last days, when another “mountain of the house of the Lord” is to be established, and this is to be called Zion. The two places are mentioned separately in the prophecy: “For the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Joel adds this testimony regarding the two places from which the Lord shall rule over His people: “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem.” Zephaniah breaks forth into song, with the triumph of Israel as his theme, and apostrophizes the daughters of both cities: “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.” Then, the prophet predicts separately of each place: “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.” Furthermore, Zechariah records the revealed will in this way: “And the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.” (read more)
Christ’s reign on the earth
First and Second Advents-The facts of our Lord’s birth in the flesh, of His thirty and three years of life among mortals, of His ministry, sufferings, and death, are accepted as attested history. Not alone do the records regarded distinctively by the Christian world as sacred and inspired bear testimony concerning these facts, but the history written by man, and in contrast called profane, is in general harmony with the Biblical account. Even those who reject the doctrine of Christ’s divinity and refuse to accept Him as their Redeemer admit the historical facts of His marvelous life, and acknowledge the incalculable effect of His precepts and example upon the human family.
In the “meridian of time” Christ was born to earth, amid humble surroundings-in obscurity, indeed, to all except the faithful few who had been watching for the promised event. His coming had been heralded through the previous centuries, even from the dawn of human existence; prophets of God had borne record of the great events that were to characterize His advent. Every important incident connected with His birth, life, death, triumphal resurrection, and ultimate glory as King, Lord, and God, had been predicted; and even circumstantial details were given with exactness. Judah and Israel had been told to prepare for the coming of the Anointed One; yet when He came to His own they received Him not. Persecuted and despised, He trod the thorny path of duty, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”; and finally condemned by His people, who clamored to an alien power for authority to execute their own unjust sentence upon their Lord, He went to death by the torturing crucifixion prescribed for malefactors (read more)
Renewal of the Earth
The Earth Under the Curse-The blessed conditions under which the earth shall exist and man shall live during the millennial era are almost beyond human powers of comprehension, so different are they from all to which history testifies and experience confirms. A reign of righteousness throughout the earth has never yet been known to the fallen race of man. So marked has been the universal curse, so great the power of the tempter, so bitter the selfish strife betwixt man and man and between nation and nation; so general has been the enmity of the animal creation, amongst its own members and toward the being who, though in a degraded state, yet holds the divine commission to the authority of dominion; so prolific has been the soil in bringing forth thorns, thistles, and noxious weeds-that the description of Eden is to us as the story of another world, an orb of a higher order of existence, wholly unlike this dreary sphere. Yet we learn that Eden was in reality a feature of our planet, and that the earth is destined to become a celestialized body fit for the abode of the most exalted intelligences. The Millennium, with all its splendor, is but a more advanced stage of preparation, by which the earth and its inhabitants will approach foreordained perfection.
Regeneration of the Earth-The term regeneration translated from the Greek palingenesia, and signifying a new birth, or, more literally, one who is born again, occurs twice in the New Testament; while other expressions of equivalent meaning are found. However, the terms are usually applied to the renewal of the soul of man through spiritual birth, by which salvation is made obtainable; though our Lord’s use of the term, in the promise of future glory which He confirmed upon the apostles, has probable reference to the rejuvenation of the earth, its inhabitants and their institutions, in connection with the millennial era: “I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (read more)