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by Louis Patmont

REPRINTED FROM THE WORD AND WORK    December, 1917 This article is referred to in the article by  Bro. Dale Jorgenson that is included in this month’s Web Edition.

Recent press dispatches announcing the rapid progress of the Allied armies in Palestine, now only twelve miles distant from the city of Jerusalem, have awakened great interest in this important front among the contending powers, as well as among open-minded students of prophecy.

The wresting from the Turk of Palestine, situated at the very heart of the eastern hemisphere, points to a speedy fulfillment of the promises of God to His chosen people. The conquest of Jerusalem may become the most important turning point in the history of the world. Palestine controls the main current of an unprecedented commotion, and holds the key to the whole world’s future.

Aside from the fact that among the many important changes accomplished with almost magic swiftness in Arabia, Palestine and Mesopotamia, and all territory which God promised to Abraham, the East may again become the hub of the world. The possibility of a Jewish state is being considered by the Allies as well as by the Central Powers. It may soon become a reality. This seems wonderful. When one considers that in normal times, one may journey from Constantinople to Ostend in three and a half days with the greatest ease. And that, when the new Asiatic lines are completed, it will be possible to travel comfortably from London to India in seven days. And that it is furthermore conceivable that the trunk lines will be extended without a break to Madras, when a journey from New York via London to Australia by railroad to Madras, and steamship to Port Darwin may be accomplished in less than twenty days. And further, that since the outbreak of the war the Germans have completed a new line of railway through Palestine to the Egyptian front. And the British have constructed a railway across the Siniatic desert to Palestine, while the Cape-to-Cairo Railway will soon be connected with the great European and Asiatic Systems by a line running through Palestine to Aleppo, connecting with the famous old “Silk Street” route. Many other of the ancient highways running in practically straight lines from London to India and Australia, from Paris to Peking, and from Petrograd to the Cape, all of which roads connecting directly or indirectly with Palestine, one has but an inkling of the marvelous possibilities which may develop with the establishment of Jerusalem as a new center of civilization.

But, while all this appears as a marvel in our eyes our wonderment increases as we see God’s immanence in the working of history. Skeptics and scorners may have spoken lightly of God’s promises to Israel. Others mav have tried to spiritualize and explain away facts so clearly stated, yet the word of God remaineth, and his plans are coming to pass. Every true follower of the Christ should help to hasten the dav when God’s ancient people shall again be brought back into fellowship with Jehovah.

The Jew may have strayed far away from God, but he has remained strictly monotheistic. Although Rabbinism has perverted the word of God, the Old Testament is still the Holy Oracles of God to the Jew; its inspiration and authority he does not question. He is naturally religious and has a zeal which if brought to exertion in the right direction becomes worthy of imitation. This marvelous people, at one time the special object of God’s love and care, and the painful sufferers of God’s righteous judgments, will again become the apple of His eye. Those that bless them shall be blessed of God.

What will become of that apostate church which has given billions for charities, benevolent associations and enterprises serving a selfish purpose, and has utterly neglected the people who gave the world the Christ? There are in the United States two million Jews. This number of any race, if widely scattered, would soon be lost or molded into the fast-growing American type. Not so with the Jew. He generally retains his identity and racial characteristics, clings to the centers of population and an overwhelming majority of the Jews congregate in the larger American cities.

Here they are forced into conditions of life and surroundings that rob them of their orthodox faith and give them nothing in return that answers the craving of the Jewish soul, or satisfies the demands of his intelligence in religious questions. It is, therefore, not strange that only about 150,000 Jews are counted among the actual communicants of the synagogues. This fact alone, should arouse the Church in America to an appreciation of her opportunity and obligation. Many splendid opportunities present themselves to carry forward a work at a comparatively limited cost, and give in a reasonable time an opportunity to every Jew to know the truth about the Messiah.

If Jewish mission work has been a disappointment in the past it was in a large measure due to the fact that we have failed to approach the Jewish mind. We have largely ignored his past, traditions, persecutions and life. The appeal to the Jew must be made not only to his intellect, but also to his heart. The fact that Jesus is the Messiah, hence the fulfillment of the Hebrew scriptures must be proved. The marshalling of those truths and forcing them on the intelligence of the Jew by clear, unanswerable logic, as well as a greater appreciation of his race is the task before the Church. A Jewish mission which does not offer a place for free discussion of this great proposition, and which is conducted in an abandoned Ghetto butcher shop, is at best a poor expenditure of money.

To say the least, Jewish missionary work should have as much attention and should be as ably conducted as missionary work among the heathen. I know of no better method than the methods of missionary work employed by the Apostles. These men had unparalleled success in their work of converting the Jews, so much so that we read: “The word of God increased; and the number of the disciples increased in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” A study of the work of the Apostles among the Jews suggests a most excellent program for the missionary efforts of the Church in these momentous times. Tracts should be written clearly presenting the Messiahship of Christ from the Hebrew scriptures. These tracts should be placed into the hands of the Jews by the thousands. Where are the disciples of Christ who have sufficient love for God’s ancient people to help do such work? All indications are that soon, Israel will again have a ‘‘place in the sun”  that this wonderful race will again be restored to its ancient glory.

Let us, for Jesus’ sake, help to find the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8