Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Re-Gathering of Israel -- As in the New Testament
The present Israeli state was formed through Zionist political determination together with political alliances, military might and violence. Because this is contrary to the weight of prophecy showing repentance, trust in YEHOVAH God alone, and a totally different manner and attitude at the time of the regathering, the Israeli state has no “Divine right” as claimed to the inheritance land. These are abiding in unbelief and in hatred towards the Redeemer of Israel. The Messiah says that these wicked husbandmen will be destroyed when he appears to take his Kingdom over Israel.
by Arnold Kennedy
A consistent prophetical stream is presented in the Bible to show that the regathering of Israel is:
1). To be fulfilled in only ONE people, Israel, as all the prophets specify.
2). To involve a SPECIFIC PLACE, that is, the "land which I gave to your fathers."
3). Brought about by YEHOVAH God who does the gathering.
4). For a people, Israel, who are gathered are out of all nations, NOT of all nations. (Not one of the prophets is a racial universalist).
5). For a nation, Israel, who remain RACIALLY SEPARATE from the other races, even at the beginning of the Millennium. (Jewry, commonly called “Jews” are NOT Israel).
6). For TWO HOUSES, the House of Israel and the House of Judah, who remain two separate parts of Israel, until the present enmity between them is broken under the New Covenant.
7). Not completed in this present age. The gathering is either concurrent with YEHOVAH God’s return, or shortly thereafter. (This is directly contrary to most of the current popular teachings).
8). Is to the land that YEHOVAH God covenanted to give to Abraham’s seed.
At the end of this article we will briefly look at the common conception that the Messiah is the epitome of the Seed of Abraham and if the Abrahamic Covenant has thus been fulfilled.
Now we will go through the New Testament and show that the presentation about the regathering of Israel is exactly the SAME as it is in the Old Testament. The sequence of events and the time factors have a great bearing on whether or not the present Israeli state could be the fulfillment of prophecy about the regathering of Israel.
The Regathering in Matthew
It is well to remind ourselves how the gospel writers tell us the purpose for which the Messiah came. The gospels make it clear that the Messiah came to save and rule his Father's people Israel. These are whom YEHOVAH God selected as "His People" before they were saved:
Matthew 1:21: "…Thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Matthew 2:6: "…That shall rule My people Israel."
The expression, "His people" is specific. Throughout the Old Testament, "His People" describes Israel ONLY. John the Baptist declares that "this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah" and John the Baptist goes on to the first New Testament mention of a "gathering" of the LORD’s people. In many verses below, look for the word "gather" and verify for yourself who is being gathered.
Matthew 3:12: "…he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
That something is gathered and something is burnt shows that there are differences between people in the eyes of YEHOVAH God. All men are not created equal. Later the Messiah takes up the theme of the wheat in the parable of the tares and the wheat. If one thing bears repeating, it is the statement that the tares are gathered and burned before the wheat is gathered. The chaff are burned after the harvest. What we are looking at in particular is the time frame, or the order of events, of these two gatherings together. The Messiah gives the time as being "in the time of harvest" and this is given as being "at the end of the age." It is at that time when YEHOVAH God sends forth His angels to remove from His kingdom, all things that offend and them which do iniquity. (Note: the resurrection occurs before YEHOVAH God sets foot on the Mount of Olives.)
As was seen to be the case through the Old Testament, the bad are removed from out of the kingdom. It is NEVER the good who are raptured away leaving the bad behind. The wicked are ever separated from among the just:
Matthew 13:49: "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just."
It is this principle that our popular teachers deny.
Matthew 23:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not."
The people gathered are your children. They are still the descendants of the same people to whom the prophets were sent. No other peoples are ever indicated.
When it comes to the word "gather," Matthew 24:29 refers to happenings that we saw forecast throughout the Old Testament. We have the tribulation before the gathering, so the elect have not been raptured away. There is again the sun being darkened and the moon not giving her light. If these things are literal, then these things have not yet happened.
Matthew 24:29-31: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
The language is similar to that seen in the Old Testament where the prophets say Israel will be gathered out of the other nations where they had been scattered. Once again, we see that the gathering of "His elect" nation is before YEHOVAH God descends upon the Mount of Olives, thus confirming what all the prophets say. We can again see the consistency of the message through both Testaments that contradicts the popular teaching that says the Israeli state represents the fulfillment of prophecy. Some of the above things that have to happen before the gathering of Israel simply just have not yet happened. So much for the Israeli state!
Here again we find the matter of the gathering and the separating of the good and from the bad. In this case it is the sheep and the goats.
Matthew 25:34: "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
It is the King who does the separating, so the King must have returned at this time to take up the Kingdom and this separation concerns only the potential occupants of the Kingdom. (The separation of the Tares from the Wheat is before this time.)
In this verse we have mention of the inheritance. Through the Old Testament, the inheritance is shown to be an area of land (on this earth) which was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants.
The Regathering in the Other Gospels
In John’s gospel there is an interesting prophecy made by Caiaphas in his capacity as High Priest. It is recorded that he spoke not of himself:
John 11:50-52: "Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not…and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."
The traditionalists would like to say that this gathering in one refers to Jews and Gentiles (supposedly meaning Israelites and non-Israelites) being gathered together. But Caiaphas isolated "the whole nation" and their position as "children of God." In this passage we see that the Messiah would not die for the House of Judah only, but for "the children of God," inclusive of the House of Israel, who were then scattered abroad. This confirms what the prophets say about the gathering together of Israel and Judah.
The Regathering in the Book of Acts
In the first chapter of Acts the question about the kingdom being restored to Israel was asked. The Greek word used means, to make it like it was before, or to heal it. Therefore it CANNOT refer to the Church in the popular concept.
Acts 1:6, 7: "When they, [the apostles] were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
The Messiah did not deny the restoration; he told them it was not for them to know the timing. The key point is that the subject is the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. No other peoples are included. The witness unto me is to be taken to the uttermost part of the earth where Israel had been scattered among the nations. The racial universalists say the uttermost part of the earth means the inclusion of every race upon earth. But the Messiah says, "You shall not have gone over ‘THE CITIES OF ISRAEL’ before the Son of Man be come" (Matthew 10:23). They were to go only to the "lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matthew 10:6). The instruction to go "into all the world" and "preach the gospel to every creature" was to go unto all the kosmos of Israel and proclaim it in every ktizo or place where Israelites dwelt.
The question was asked, "Wilt thou, at this time, restore the Kingdom" to Israel? In this restoration time the apostles were told that they would sit on twelve thrones "judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). No mention is ever made of other peoples. There is no suggestion of a multi-racial church ever taking the place of Israel as a people. This message of the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel is a message that is not proclaimed any more. If there was a multi-racial “church”, it would not be a case of restoration to something that was manifest previously, but something altogether new. This we do not find.
What is the New Testament Gathering Time?
Throughout the New Testament, the gathering time is connected with the future appearance of the Messiah. It can be studied from this aspect. Going back to Matthew 24 we find:
Matthew 24:31: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
At this trump of YEHOVAH God, the dead in “christ” (an anointed people) are raised (1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16). This refers to the elect as opposed to the final steps in the regathering of Israel, but both events occur in the era of the Messiah's future appearance. Therefore, it is a bit hard to imagine that this trumpet’s reverberation has already happened -- especially if any want to continue to say that the Israeli state today represents this gathering together of Israel. Matthew says that this is "immediately after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29), so it cannot be pretribulation.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17: "Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him."
The subject people are brethren (kinsmen of the womb). These are the kin of the ones who are gathered together. Again, no others are mentioned. The time is at the future appearnce of the Messiah (the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"), as this verse says.
What we find today is a great falling away from this fact about the gathering together of Israel. This is the context of this chapter in which Paul speaks of "the mystery of iniquity" (verse 7). The source of this iniquity is Rome and the doctrines that originate from that source. In the context of Israel, Paul says,
Hebrews 9:28: "…unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
The present Israeli state was formed through Zionist political determination together with political alliances, military might and violence. Because this is contrary to the weight of prophecy showing repentance, trust in YEHOVAH God alone, and a totally different manner and attitude at the time of the regathering, the Israeli state has no “Divine right” as claimed to the inheritance land. Yet, this is the common assumption of most denominational churches. They have been fooled by those calling themselves Jews, but who are not Jews through their use of the name “Israel”. It is this Israeli state who "call themselves Jews." These are abiding in unbelief and in hatred towards the Redeemer of Israel. The Messiah says that these wicked husbandmen will be destroyed when he returns to take his Kingdom over Israel.
Has the Abrahamic Covenant Been Fulfilled?
There are those who teach that the Abrahamic Covenant has been fulfilled, declaring:
1). That the promise to Abraham concerning territory was fulfilled when David established his dominion from the Euphrates to the Nile (1 Chronicles 18:3, 2 Samuel 8:3) and confirmed with Solomon (1 Kings 8:65, 2 Chronicles 7:8).
2). That statements like, "and hast given them this land which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them" (Jeremiah 32:21-23), show that the seed of Abraham was fulfilled in the Messiah, the true seed of Abraham and the covenant’s objective reality.
Both statements completely ignore what YEHOVAH God said concerning the amount of land Israel would inhabit during that period (Exodus 23:20-33) and the statement to David concerning the fact that Israel was not going to remain in the promised land (1 Samuel 7:10). They also ignore what is said by the post-Solomon prophets together with what is said in the New Testament about the regathering to the land that was given to the fathers of Israel. Neither David nor Solomon possessed the land forever as provided for in the original covenant statement. The House of Israel and the House of Judah will re-unite and return to the land under the Messiah as King, when he appears to take up his Kingdom.
The second statement generally ignores the fact that Jeremiah observes that the disobedience of the people (verse 23) was the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 4:25-27, Deuteronomy 28:64 and others.
If the statement was true, then the present separate identities of Israel and Judah could not also be true. This argument about the seed of Abraham has raged for centuries, but the conclusion presented in this article is the straight forward answer to what has been made into a complex matter. Israel remains exclusive; we have discussed what "all the nations being blessed in Abraham" means. The Messiah will come and he will take his Kingdom with its territory (the covenant land) and the "forever" of the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled in Yeshua. Those elect overcomers, the Sons of YEHOVAH God, resurrected at the return of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, will reign with them on Earth.
Revelation 11:15: "…The Kingdoms [singular in the original] of this world [kosmos: order] are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ, and He [YEHOVAH God] shall reign for ever and ever."
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!
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