All God's Promises at Any Time in History are Conditional
God's promises are conditional. They were conditional to the Jewish nation just as they are to us today. When in A.D.34 the Jewish nation sealed her rejection of God's mercy, God still had a church. It was composed of the apostles and their converts. These became the continuation of the Church of Christ. But the Jewish leaders made every effort to make it appear that the apostles and their converts were a group of "independent" individuals who thought they could do away with "organization" and yet the Early Church was organized from the Head. It was not depending upon man or was not controlled by man. But according to the leaders of the professed church, they were disorganized and leading people astray. But that could not have been any further from the truth. The Early Church was built upon Christ but the leaders of the Jews pictured them as an off-shoot and as enemies of the church of God. Could history be repeated in these last days?
"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and the nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isaiah 2:1-3.
To the leaders of the Jewish church, this prophecy distinctly said that right down in the last days Jerusalem would still be the great centre from which the truth of God would go forth to the whole world. There might be some dark patches in between just as there had been in the past, but the Lord would always hold that city for Himself.
Now the last days are the very end, so therefore, here was a clear cut prophecy which stated that right through to the very end the Jewish Church and organization would stand as the channel of communication to the world. There it was clearly and convincingly written!
However, how utterly and fatally wrong time has proved them to be. The argument which they propounded was that the Jewish organization was going right through to the end as the Church of God and the channel of His blessing to the world. To certify what they supposed to be the truth of this argument, they were able to quote many, many powerful Old Testament promises such as Jeremiah 31:35-37:
"Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is His name; If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall depart from being a nation before Me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 31:35-37.
The modern reader of the Spirit of Prophecy who seeks to prove the perpetuity of the church, could hardly have found a stronger statement than that! Imagine the line of reasoning the leaders of the Jewish church would have used in their day. They would ask the question:
"Does the sun still shine by day?"
"Yes,' the answer had to be.
"Does the moon shine by night at this present time?" (Even after A.D.34)
"Yes, it does."
"Then is it possible for God to have cast off Israel for what they have done?"
Imagine how convincing this was to those people back then, but it was only convincing because they did not understand that first they must carefully identify who Israel was before they applied the verses. Now this tactic on the part of the enemy to thwart the truth is so old and so often used that one would think that it would be no longer of any value, but in every generation when the Lord brings forth the truth, the enemy brings out this weapon and uses it just as effectively as before. It was the great weapon that helped to frustrate the marvelous revival which might have been in the days of Christ. It was the great weapon used to thwart the work of the Gospel in the days of The Reformation.
We need to keep this in mind especially as we are told that "Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation my be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe the truth." Manuscript 32, 1896.
"The remnant church is called to go through an experience similar to that of the Jews." Selected Messages, Vol.1, p.387.