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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

It is not a matter of fact; but a thing of hope; in which only they rejoice who believe the promises made of God to the fathers.

The passover must be restored before it can be eaten of by Christ and his apostles in the kingdom of God.

This is one of the things to be re-established at "the restitution of all things"; and the law of its restoration is in the following words: "In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

And upon that day shall (Messiah) the Prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering".

This was spoken by the prophet to Israel of the fourteenth generation, concerning the observance of the passover by Israel of the generation contemporary with the "restoration of the kingdom again to Israel," when it should be constituted under the Prince.

Moses' law said all about the observance of the passover before the Prince appeared; but as Moses ceased to be the law-giver when he came, a New Code is revealed through Ezekiel which will become the law of the kingdom under Shiloh.

When Ezekiel's passover is observed at Jerusalem, Christ will be there, the apostles also, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, and many from the four winds of heaven, -- all of them the first-born redeemed from the earth, saved by the sprinkled blood of the true paschal Lamb of God, and who shall find themselves in Canaan as inheritors of its attributes; celebrating their own redemption, and the overthrow of all their enemies by the Lord Jesus at his revelation in flaming fire, attended by the angels of his power.

The bread and wine of "the Lord's supper" are the remains of the passover, which are to be shared by the circumcised of heart and ears, until Christ comes in power and great glory.

I am informed by a Jew that when they eat the passover they eat no lamb, but have a dry bone of one on a dish; and that all who celebrate take hold of the lip of the dish, and unitedly offer a petition.

This is remarkable.

They have slain the true Lamb, which believers of the gospel feed upon: while only a dry bone remains to them, strikingly illustrative of themselves.

Faith in the Lamb of God supplies the absence of the lamb in the Lord's Supper.

The broken bread and poured-out wine memorialize his sacrifice for believers; and the testimony, "This do in remembrance of me until I come," keeps alive the hope of his appearing in the kingdom of God.

When hope becomes a reality, the supper will give place to the passover; for when Christ is come, the memorial of his coming ceases to be prophetic of the event.

THE TWELVE TRIBES CONSTITUTED THE KINGDOM GOD.

The Israelites being born into national existence under Moses as a ruler and a deliverer, he led them from the Red Sea to the foot of Mount Sinai to meet with God.

On their arrival there, the Lord commanded Moses to say to them, "Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians; 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 is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation".

This was an offer on the part of God to become their King, predicated upon what He had done for them.

If they closed with the proposal, they would henceforth be a kingdom.

Hitherto they had been a crowd of slaves subject to the will of the kings of Egypt.

But He proposed to organize them; to give them a constitution, religion, and laws; to appoint them a government; to exalt them by His instructions, to the freedom, independence, and moral excellence, which are attainable only by the influence of divine truth; to make them the envy and admiration of surrounding nations; to make them, in short, His kingdom, and His beloved nation.

This was a proposal rich with blessings.

All God would require of them was obedience, and adhesion to the covenant He had made with their fathers.