The Cities Of Israel and the Coming Of The Lord
By G.T. Haywood
Written in March, 1923
“Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” Matt. 10.23.
When our Lord gave the twelve their commission before His crucifixion he commanded them, saying, “Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. At that time they were forbidden to go unto the Gentiles. They were sent to their own people first.
This commission to Israel (Matt. 0:1-15) was what might be termed the “pre-Calvary” commission; that is a commission that was fulfilled before the crucifixion. See Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6.
But in Matthew 10:16-23, etc., is the “post-Calvary” commission that is, it was to be fulfilled during the gospel age, which began on the day of Pentecost. In the first commission, they were instructed not to go unto the Gentiles (ver.5), but in the second they were to be “brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles” To make this clear, it is a well-known fact that the disciples were not delivered up to “councils” or “scourged in synagogues” until after the Holy Ghost had come. Neither was the “Spirit of the Father” in them until the day of Pentecost.
It is in this last commission that He says, “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come”. This statement has always been a conundrum to Bible students and ministers. It is generally believed that the gospel had not only been preached to all Israel but also throughout the whole world. (Rom. 10:18; Mark. 16:15, 16, 20), and yet the Son of man” has not yet come. Some have believed this to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, the Roman general, in the year seventy, while others have interpreted it to mean the coming of the Comfort, or the Holy Ghost by using the following scriptures, “The Father… will give you another comforter,” I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME UNTO”. John 14:16-18.
While it is true that the Holy Ghost is not the interpretation of the mysterious passage, the coming of the “Son of man” undoubtedly refers to his personal, bodily appearance at the end of the gospel age.
Cities of Israel
For that reason alone, the words of that prophecy could not have been fulfilled. What was formerly the kingdom Israel was at that time a Roman province under the governorship of Pilate. The sins of Israel had deprived her of her kingdom. This was also proved by their admission, “We have not king but Caesar”. John 19:15.
Further proof that all Israel acknowledge that they had no Kingdom may be found by noting the words of the Disciples prior to the ascension, “Lord, wilt Thou all this time RESTORE the KINGDOM to Israel?” In reply to this, Jesus did not say that the kingdom was spiritual, nor did He say that it would not be restored, but, instead He said, “It is not for you to know the TIMES, or SEASONS” in which it is to be restored (Acts 1:5-8)
Today we are witnessing the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel on every side. The great World War was Jehovah’s arm wrestling Jerusalem form the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The Times of the Gentiles being fulfilled, the times and seasons for the restoring of the Kingdom to Israel is at hand. The land of Palestine is rapidly becoming a Jewish state to be ruled exclusively by the Jews. From every nation they are returning by thousands and the “cities of Judah shall be rebuilt. Already it is reported that they have offered millions of dollars for the return of their former Temple, which is now occupied by the Mohammedan Mosque, the Mosque of Omar. The eyes of the world are upon Jerusalem and the ancient glory of Israel. The fig tree is putting forth her leaves, proclaiming in silent tones “the summer is nigh at hand.”
Now that the kingdom is being restored, her cities shall be built. Israel of today has never heard “the gospel”. That which has been proclaimed by the various denominations since the Reformation is not “the gospel”. But the Gospel must be preached throughout the cities of Israel. Hundreds of missionaries are now being called to Palestine. The time is surely at hand. The gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world before the end comes. It began in Palestine and must end in Palestine.
By this it is clearly seen that the coming of the Lord is very, very near at hand. Soon, there shall be a great revival in Palestine and the preachers of this gospel will “not have gone over the cities of Israel till the son of Man be come”. O’ that God would awaken the people to the knowledge of this great truth! The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. It is high time that we lay aside envy, strife, malice, and veil speaking, and seek the face of the Lord. Zeph 2:1-3. Surely the love of many has grown cold and they have despised the name of the Lord. It is at this time that Jesus says we shall be hated of all men for His NAME’s sake. See Matt. 24:9; Lu. 21:17; Mar. 13:13; Matt. 10:2, 23; and Isa 66:5 shows that it will take place about the time of the Lord’s appearing and consoles those who are hated for His name’s sake by saying “HE shall appear to your joy, and they (who hate you and cast you out) shall be ashamed”.
Brother, Sister, are you being hated for His name’s sake, or are you among those who are hating and casting out their brothers for “his name’s sake”? Where are the people who are being hated for His name’s sake? Is it not those who are being baptized in the name of JESUS? Was not the name of Jesus hated in the beginning of the gospel age, and was it not prophesied to be so in the end? Then why not consider what we do, lest haply we be found to be fighting against God. Does a feeling of resentment arise in your heart when you hear any one declare that Jesus is God? Or when one speaks of baptizing in Jesus” name? Then there must be something wrong. Because (the mystery of) iniquity aboundeth, the love of many shall wax cold. Matt. 24; 12, 2 Thess. 2:7.
The mystery of iniquity is the spirit of the anti-Christ. The MAN (not spirit or system) of sin, the son of Perdition, who is called, or generally acknowledged by all Bible students to be the anti-Christ. 2 Thess. 2:3, 4. But in reading the foregoing reference, it will be noticed that he is against “all that is called God,” yet we do not think, or mention him as anti-God, but as anti-Christ. Why is this if Christ is not God? The only person that the Bible declares shall be called God.
Is Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer? In Isaiah 9:6, we have this familiar quotation, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,, and his name shall be CALLED” The Mighty GOD.” And again in chapter 54:4 he says, “Thy maker is shine (the church’s husband; and thy Redeemer” the GOD of the whole earth he shall be CALLED.” Again in another place the prophet declares, “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and they shall CALL his name Emmanuel,” which is interpreted “GOD is with us.” Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:2, 23. In these scriptures, it can be clearly seen that Jesus is the person that shall be called GOD. This is exactly what the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, shall do. He shall make war with the Lamb through his agents, but the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Rev. 17:13, 14:1 Tim. 6:14-16
Those who oppose Jesus being called God are partaking of the spirit of anti-Christ. Many are doing this ignorantly. But those who are doing it because of prejudice, hatred, personal ambition, honor of one another, or because of the fear of losing friends or money, are in danger of being left in darkness. Read John 12:35-46.
The Deity of Christ
The teaching of the deity of Christ is nothing other than the efforts of men to bring forth this same truth, namely that Christ is God. To deny that Christ is God, robs Him of all His glory. He is both God and man. He is both Jehovah and the Anointed (Lord and Christ). He is both Father and Son. He is both High Priest and the sacrifice. He is both in Heaven and on earth. He is both Creator and first-born of every creature (Col. 1:5, 16). He is both the Shepherd of the sheep and the Lamb of God. All these expressions are various ways of showing forth the divinity of the humanity of Christ. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. 2 Cor 5:19.
In the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, verses 3 to 18 is foretold the message and mission of John the Baptist. With him, all flesh was grass. With God, there was no difference. He was able to raise up stones to be the children of Abraham. Mat. 3:1-9. Israel as a people was to be set aside, for God had chose Zion for His habitation; a people filled with the Spirit. And today Mt. Zion, heavenly Jerusalem, is the Bride, the Spirit-filled church. The Church, Zion, which was with Israel, has been taken from them and placed among the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Gal. 4:22-27; Heb. 12:22.
For almost 1,900 years, Israel has been blinded in part, waiting for the fullness of the Gentiles to come in. Rom. 11:25. Even to this day when the Law of Moses is read the veil is over their hearts so that they can not see the end of those things. (2 Cor. 3:7-16). Christ is the end of the Law, but Israel has not known it (Rom. 10:4). The veil that Moses put over his face (Ex. 32:33) was only a type of God veiling His glory (face, Ex 33:18, 20) with a veil of flesh (Heb. 10:20). It is this veil or mystery that has hidden Jehovah from His people. He came to His own (the Jews) and they received Him not. He was in the world and the world knew Him not. John 1:1-14.
The Mystery of God
The mystery of God veiled in flesh presenting the threefold relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was the thing that blinded Israel. Even to this day, they have believed that the Christian Testament taught there were three Gods and for this cause, they could not accept their doctrine, because the “first and great” commandment says, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is ONE” Duet. 6:4. The Christian churches have taught that there are three “persons” in the Godhead, drawing their conclusion form the mysterious expression “Gather, Son, and Holy Ghost.” The term “three persons” is erroneous and unscriptural. The personal, visible forte of God was Jesus Christ, and today the Christ with us and in us is “that Holy Spirit.” These three are one, and not three, I John 5:7. John 14:7 to 10, and 16 to 18, reveals Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all in one person, Christ. This agrees with the teachings of the Great Apostle to the Gentiles, also. Col 1:19; 2:9; I Tim. 3:16, 2 Cor. 5:19. But no one can know this but to whom it is revealed. Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22.
It is to Zion that these things are being revealed. For “in this mountain (Mt. Zion) will God destroy the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people (Israel) shall be taken away from off all the earth: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day (by Israel), lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us: this is the Lord (Jehovah); we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isa. 25:6-9. It is Zion, the church that must carry the good news to Israel, for it is written, “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence.” Psa. 50:1-7. An again, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Zion, the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Rom. 11:26
The revelation of Jesus as MIGHTY GOD of Jacob is given to Zion in order that she might carry the glad tidings to Israel. O church of God, we have good news this day. WE do not well if we keep it from Israel. Through their unbelief, we have obtained mercy and why not now permit them through our mercy to obtain mercy? Rom 11:3, 31. “O Zion, that bringeth good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Believe your God.” Isa. 40:9-10. And I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of lands till the Son of Man be come.
Everything is point to the eventful hour. When God removes this covering from the faces of all people he declares that he will “swallow up death in victory.” Isa. 25:7, 8. Are we nearing that great climax? The Apostle Paul tells us that when God returns His favor to Israel” “life from the dead” (resurrection). This is also seen in the 15th chapter of I Corinthians where he unfolds the great mystery of the resurrection (verses 50-54). Here we are told that when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
The end is near! For thus saith the Lord, “and when these things begin to pass; then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth neigh. Now is the time for God’s people to rally around the name of Jesus! The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. As it is written, man shall be as a hiding place from the wind and covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in the weary land. Isa. 32:2
The sermon “The Cities Of Israel and the Coming Of The Lord” written by G.T. Haywood was excerpted from the book The Lost Works of Bishop G.T. Haywood: Unpublished Anthologies from Bishop Haywood’s Early Years was written by J. Laverne Tyson, Volume 1, 1914-1926.