The regathering of Israel begins with God’s prophecy to Abraham. “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3).
The prophecy is expanded through the Patriarchs, particularly through Jacob, in his farewell address to his sons. What Does God Say About the Regathering of Israel?
Concerning Judah, he says, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Gen. 49:10).
In other words, the scepter of power or the kingdom remained with Judah until Christ returned to gather the people in obedience to himself. These prophecies foretold the division of the kingdom of David after the death of Solomon.
The 10 Northern tribes rebelled against God, committed idolatry and were carried off into Assyrian captivity in 721 B.C., with only a few remaining in Israel Later in 586 B.C. the southern tribe of Judah, forsook God’s Sabbaths and they too suffering at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, were led into a 70 year captivity in Babylon.
Under the decree of Cyrus, they were allowed to return to their land in 536 .B.C. All who desired returned. Yet, this is not the prophetic last days regathering spoken of in the prophets.
Ezekiel’s Prophecy and the Time of the Holy Spirit
Ezekiel who prophesied shortly before they were carried into Babylon spoke about a regathering of Israel. Here is where the disagreement arises. Many see Ezekiel prophesying of either the return of the Jews from Babylonion captivity, or a future return of Israel to modern day Palestine.
Both views in this writers opinion fail to connect with the original prophecies in Genesis 12:3, and 49:10, above.
In otherwords, Israel is regathered in fulfillment of the prophecy during the time of Christ. Ezekiel 36:24-27, says God would take Israel from among the nations, and bring them into their own land.
At which time he would sprinkle clean water on them, cleanse them from all their sins, put within them a new hear and put his Spirit within them. Israel, therefore, could not be regathered at any time before or after the age of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
That again, pinpoints the time as the time of Shiloh, (Christ), for it is Jesus who pours out the Holy Spirit upon Israel in their last days, (Joel 2:28-30, Acts 2:16-20). It is for this reason that Dispensationalists such as Thomas Ice, deny that Acts 2:16-20, is fulfilled, because it rips the heart out of their future gathering of Israel theories.
But, chapter 37, takes us even deeper into the era of the Holy Spirit, (v. 14-28), showing this to be the time that Ephraiam (the 10 Northern tribes) and Judah (the southern kingdom) are joined (regathered).
Ezekiel’s Prophecy and the One King/One Shepherd
Observe: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, where they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them int o their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.
This prophecy again focuses on the work of Shiloh, to whom the people would be gathered. Verse 24, speaks of “David,” who would be the one king over them.
“David” is figurative and prophetic, and refers to Christ. It is a contradiction to say “one king shall be over them” and they shall have one shepherd,” then speak of a co-regency of both Christ and David, (son of Jesse and former king), reigning together on God’s throne.
Christ made it clear, that David himself spoke, not of himself, but of the Lord. “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand…” (Psalms 110:1).
In the Olivet discourse, Christ placed the regathering of Israel before the generation then living while he was on earth all passed away.
Ken Gentry, fumbles at this point saying that “gathering together” (Gk., episunaxousin) of the elect involves both the gathering of the saints into local assemblies or churches (Heb. 10:25; James 2:2) and the universal assembling of the saints into the body of Christ, the church universal…” (The Great Tribulation, Past Present or Future, p. 64).
At the time of that debate he saw this gathering as ongoing today. But on the very next page, he wrote,: “A simple reading of Matthew 24:34 lucidly reveals that all of the things Christ the Great Prophet mentions up to this point–that is, everything in verses 4 through 34–will occur in the same generation of the original disciples,” He cites Matthew 24:34 and 23:36 as proof.
We ask, how can it be ongoing today, when it was all fulfilled in the generation of the original disciples? This is Gentry’s partial preterism haunting his exegesis. This is why we say that partial preterism talks out of two sides of its mouth.
It tries to walk in two directions that are 180 degrees apart. Jesus statement is clear, and we agree that Gentry’s latter statement is the correct one, because he merely repeats the words of Christ. All those things would happen before the generation then living passed.
That means the regathering of Israel occurred within the first century.
That was also the time of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It accords with the teaching of Christ and the apostles, (John 10:16; 11:52; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25), all of which were occuring through the work of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Paul cites Ezekiel 36 and 37, in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, 16-18, saying that the church in his day and fulfilled the prophecy of the new land and new temple into which Israel was then being regathered.
Any attempt to align the Zionist movement of 1948 and today with the regathering of Israel in the Bible is anachronistic, -an error in time and contrary to the Bible. It does not have Christ as it’s center. It does not operate during the last days outpouring of the period of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Acts 2:16-20.
It did not occur before the first century generation passed. It is biblically counterfeit.
Tags: AllThingsFulfilled, Bible, Christianity, David, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Ken Gentry, Lord, Matthew's Gospel, Prophecy, Religion and Spirituality, Technorati, The Great Tribulation, Thomas Ice, William Bell Jr