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Israel’s Regathering

By Lionel Leslie, August 2, 1997 Printer Friendly Version

'Therefore', thus sayeth the LORD GOD, 'because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.  Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst, as silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst.  Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have poured out My fury on you'.
This prophecy comes to us from Ezekiel chapter 22, verses 19, 21 and 22, and tells of a future re-gathering of Israel. We will now examine some of the Scriptures that predict their re-gathering and returning to the land GOD promised them through the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - Israel.  The prophetic Scriptures show us that there are two returns of Israel to their land.  One of only part of the nation, and that in unbelief, the one going on now; the other, yet future, in fullness and in blessing.

As we look at the Hebrew Scriptures, we will note that they are prophesied to return firstly in an unsaved state.  It will be a return to the land, but not a national return to the GOD of their fathers.  For as a nation, they will not yet look to Him Whom they have pierced.  Listen to Ezekiel’s prophecy of this re-gathering recorded in Chapter 22, verses 19, 21, and 22: ‘Therefore,’ thus sayeth the LORD GOD, ‘because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.  Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst, as silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst.  Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have poured out My fury on you.

The Prophet, Zechariah, in Chapter 11, verses 15 to 17 also teaches that there will be a first return to Israel to their land in an unsaved state, in a condition of separation from GOD, and continued unbelief in their Messiah.  It is evident that Israel must be in the land so that this prophecy may become history.  And the LORD said to me, ‘Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd, for behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing; but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.  Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!  A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye!  His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind!’ It is obvious that Israel must be in the land in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled, and therefore, its present re-gathering, although at this time only partial, is the beginning of a remarkable outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon GOD’s people, especially the remnant of Believers within Israel, and in the diaspora, who follow the true Messiah, YESHUA. Zechariah’s prophecy here refers to the final false messiah, the anti Christ, for as a consequence of Israel’s rejection of their true Messiah, YESHUA, the Good Shepherd, they will be given over to the dominion of one who will be the very opposite of Him, Who came to seek and to save that which was lost.

In the Book of Malachi, Chapters 3 and 4, is further proof that Israel, as a nation, before their return to the GOD of their fathers, they shall have returned to their land in unbelief.  But there will, however, be a Godly remnant, and an ungodly remnant; the remnant who fear My Name(Chapter 4, verse 2), the Godly; and the ungodly, He calls the wicked(verse 3).  It is clear from this teaching alone, that both those who believe in YESHUA Ha’Mashiach, and those who are in unbelief, will inhabit the land of Israel before the LORD fulfills His promise as given to Malachi 4, verses 1 to 3: For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace.  All the arrogant and evil doers will be chaff, and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,’ says the LORD of Hosts, ‘so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.  But for you who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  And you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.  And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,’ says the LORD of Hosts. 

Unquestionably and certainly the Jewish people must be in their land, the land of Israel, before those promises can be fulfilled.  The LORD Himself is the authority for that; His signature sealed upon His Covenant with their forefathers. Forty-nine years ago the birth and resurgence of the nation of Israel came about, after nearly two thousand years in comparative oblivion.  And the world had to acknowledge the prophetic truth of the Hebrew Scriptures, that, in these latter days, the GOD of Israel will bring back His people from their captivity, not just to the land He promised through their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but more, finally, to bring them through to the fullness of the blessing promised.  Return to the LORD your GOD, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and the LORD your GOD will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your GOD has scattered you.  And the LORD your GOD will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants to love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30: 2, 3 and 6).

Followers of Messiah, YESHUA, JESUS of Nazareth, Jewish and non-Jewish, have come to understand through the study of GOD’s Word in the Hebrew Scriptures that the remarkable return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel from the countries of their captivity, in our times, ushers in that great hope ha’tikvah, as the Prophet Zechariah called it.  ‘Even today I declare that I will restore double to you, (Zechariah 9, verse 12), another reminder of the double blessing; first, the return to the land; and second, they return to GOD and receive His Salvation, YESHUA, Israel’s Saviour! The time of the return of our LORD is near, my friends, if present-day history of the Jewish people, and nation of Israel, is the criterion.  Watch and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  May they prosper that love you. (Psalm 122: 6).

Israel, a tiny nation of about five and a quarter million people, is surrounded by hostile neighbours of a population more than fifty times their numbers, have fought and won numerous and costly wars, and are always in a state of readiness for another one.  They continue to grow in population with Jewish immigration, and with great expertise and ingenuity, have prospered mightily in spite of the pressures within their territory, and much hostility from among the nations, even friendly ones at times, who have forsaken them.

Justifiably, from their point of view, they have difficulty in identifying some of their friends from their enemies.  But GOD, Who knows the hearts of men, will not be mocked and will keep all His promises He made to them through their forefathers and their prophets.  Remember Baalam who was employed by the king, Balak to curse Israel, but couldn’t?  For GOD calls him to bless instead.  GOD is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  Behold!  I have received a command to bless.  He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.  (Numbers 23, verses 19 and 20).

All of us should rejoice that the gifts and the calling of GOD for Israel are irrevocable.  For if that were not the case, there would be no ha’tikvah, hope, for either Israel, or the nations.  Clearly GOD has declared through His prophets that He will make Israel the head of the nations, not the tail, and that they shall Rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over them.  For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish.  Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold!  The darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness, the people.  But the LORD will rise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.  The Gentiles will come to your light, and the kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60, verses 1, 2, 3 and 12). Shalom.

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