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by Dr. John Thomas
In the prophecy of Mount Olivet the elect are named in connection with the suppression of the Hebrew commonwealth.
It is there written, "Except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" -- that is, no Jew should survive -- "but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened".
These elect were the servants of the Lord in Israel to whom Jesus had granted power to become the sons of God; as well as the fathers, for whose sake Israel is beloved, and for whose future blessedness and glory the nation is preserved.
This preservation of Israel for the elect's sake is beautifully expressed by the prophet, saying, "Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not: for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sake, that I may not destroy them all.
And I will bring forth a Seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and mine elect shall inherit it (the land of Canaan), and my servants shall dwell there.
And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me".
"God," then, "has not cast away his people Israel, whom he foreknew," and spoke of to Abraham and Isaac, before they had any sons.
He has chastised them for their sins; but "there is a remnant according to the election of grace".
"The election hath obtained the grace, by accepting Jesus as the Seed, and inheritor of the land; and the rest are blinded until this day".
But this blindness is not permanent.
They will yet become a great and mighty nation, rejoicing in the service of the Lord Jesus and the elect; for "blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved"; that is, all the twelve tribes shall be reunited into one nation and kingdom upon their own land, and be received into the favour of God; they will then have been grafted in again according to the word of the Lord.
In conclusion, every thing in relation to the kingdom is ordained upon sovereign principles.
Nothing is left to the will of man.
Hence, the apostle saith, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy".
The call of the Gentiles to take part in the future kingdom is a striking illustration of the truth of this.
Had things been left to the apostles they would not have extended the invitation to men of other nations to become with them heirs of the kingdom of Canaan, and of the dominion of the world.
They were running to and fro among their own nation, calling upon them to become the children of the promise who are counted for the seed; but it was not of their will, but contrary to it, that "the word" was preached to the Gentiles, opening the kingdom to them.
The invitation to our race, as the apostle truly saith, was "of God that showeth mercy".
Pharaoh of Egypt is another illustration of this principle.
God purposed to show forth His power that His name might be declared throughout all the earth.
This manifestation was not left to the wisdom or pleasure of Moses.
The display was to be according to the divine will.