Regathering of Israel-God’s Name and Honor Are at Stake. Could we Also be Accused of Misrepresenting God?
Israel – God’s Prophetic Timepiece
Everyone knows that the tiny nation of Israel, with a population of around 8 million people receives enormous attention in the world’s media – far beyond what its size would warrant. Have you ever wondered why the tiny nation of Israel is in the news nearly every other day? Have you ever wondered why when Israel does almost anything; it certainly makes headlines? Why the entire focus of peace in the Middle East centers on Israel? Why Israel, what is so significant about this tiny little country whose size is less than Vancouver Island? Some countries are renowned for their strategic location, their great size, their climate and natural resources, or their industrial and manufacturing capability and capacity. Israel is not known for any of these things yet there is no other nation in the world that stirs men’s hearts like the mention of the nation of Israel.
God sees the beginning from the end and knows all things. God has a schedule and has appointed times for events to happen. God has lovingly given us a look at His schedule so that we won’t be caught off guard when these events take place. He has appointed Israel as His prophetic timepiece. If you want to know what time it is in God’s schedule, all you have to do is look at what’s happening in Israel. God uses the nation of Israel as a sign to the world that Christ’s return is near.
God’s Name and Honor Are at Stake
God’s very name is linked to the regathering and survival of Israel. His promises will be brought to pass for His own purposes. You can count on it; God does not lie.
Not only would the land be restored, but the people would be restored to the land. The reasons for their exile were bloodshed, intermarriage and idolatry; they caused the name of God to be profaned among the nations wherever they went as they were associated with God. In order to vindicate His own name, and not for Israel’s sake, God would restore the people to their homeland. Here it is written:
“Therefore, I poured out My fury on them (Israel) for the blood they have shed on the land, and for their idols with which they have defiled it. So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judge them according to their ways and their deeds. Wherever they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’ But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord… when I am hollowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land (Ezekiel 36:18-24).” The apostle Paul reconfirms this message in Romans chapter 2, ” For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (v.2).
It’s unfortunate but many churchgoers today that go to these Reformation churches (that broke away from the Roman Catholic Church) receive no teaching on Bible prophecy from their pastors because amillennialists believe that all prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Jesus came back and believe that we are now living in the millennium and that the church has replaced Israel for all intent and purposes. So as a result, because all prophecy is ignored, these churchgoers never hear anything on what we are talking about here and are completely ignorant regarding the future 1000 year of Christ Jesus’ reign on earth called the millennium. Yet, more than 1/4 of the Bible is on prophecy – much of it yet to be fulfilled. How can these pastors give congregations a well-rounded understanding of Scripture if they leave out such a vital part of it?
Let me ask this: “If God has no purpose left for Israel, as these amillennialists think, then why would He go to the trouble of regathering them after some 1900 years? After all they were troublesome and disobedient to God in the first place and that was why He dispersed them to all the corners of the earth as a punishment in A.D. 70.” Yet, this regathering has happened. Everyone can see that the Jews are back in their homeland. Just as Scripture revealed that the Lord Himself said through Jeremiah that He would be the one to regather what He scattered. Prophecy being fulfilled in our generation.
Israel is Once Again the Homeland of the Jewish People
After 1900 years, Israel became a nation again and it started in 1948 and was completed in 1967 with the recapture of Jerusalem by the Israeli army after the Six-Day War, fulfilling this key prophecy of Christ Jesus: “And they (the Jewish people) will be led away captive into all nations (A.D. 70). And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles UNTILL the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).” The year 1967 marked the end of more than 2,500 years of Gentile rule over Jerusalem.
You see God obviously wanted us to know His plans for the future and the current unfolding events that we see happening right before our eyes today. But unfortunately, many churchgoers who go to these amillennial churches do not hear anything of God’s future plans from their pastors regarding end time events. My philosophy is simple – God included prophesy in the Bible and, since God is all-knowing, we should trust that it is something we should know and study along with the rest of His Word.
Anyways, there you have it from the very lips of God, as to why, this will be done – His reason for restoring Israel back to their homeland. The Lord will restore Israel, not because of any good in them, but because of good in Himself. God’s name has been profaned among the Gentiles and God is going to restore the honor of His name when His Son is exalted on the throne of David in Jerusalem and rules and reigns for a thousand years in what is known as the Millennial Kingdom. This 1000-year reign is mentioned six times in the first seven verses of Revelation chapter 20. This is Israel’s Golden Age where God’s unfulfilled covenant promises to the nation Israel will be fulfilled beginning in the 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus on earth as “King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).” This title given to Jesus indicates that He has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In John’s vision, Jesus is returning to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom, as He predicted in Mark 13:26.
What About us Today? Could we Also be Accused of Misrepresenting God?
We have just read the Lord telling us the reason why the dispersion took place. Why the Jewish people were scattered throughout the nations – because of the blood that they had shed in the land and because of their worship of idols. But God said when they were scattered, they profaned God’s name. That is, because of their actions and attitudes they caused people around them to hate and curse God. These people would say of the Jews, “Oh, these are the people of God and look at what they are doing (v20).”
Yet, these Jews who were dispersed throughout the nations were to be God’s representatives. God intended that they represent Him, wherever they went. But they misrepresented Him. And thus, people were cursing God because of their actions and attitudes. Someone reading this may say, “Oh, that’s terrible.” But wait – think about this for a minute. We as born-again believers are also God’s representatives. You see, the world knows you by the name “Christian” and as a Christian you represent God. But if you’re cheating people, lying, deceiving, or getting involved in all kinds of ungodly things, then you are misrepresenting God and people are cursing God and blaspheming God because of what you are and the ungodly things that you’re doing. So, as you can see God has also been misrepresented by people calling themselves Christians who were called by His name. You have to understand that throughout most of the past 2000 years people had a false concept of God because Christians had so misrepresented God that unbelieving people would say something like this: “Well, if they’re a Christian then I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t need this hypocrisy.”
Yes, it is an awesome thing to realize that we are God’s represent-atives and people (unbelievers) are drawing their opinions of God from what they see in us – what we say and what we do. Now as a representative of God you have to realize that God holds you and I responsible for how we represent Him. It is a heavy responsibility to be God’s representative, but that’s what we are here on earth. And these people around us look at us, and are drawing their conclusion of Christianity, of Christ Jesus, etc. from what they see you and I do. Ideally, through us and our behavior these people should come to know that God is loving, that God is kind, and that God will go out of His way to help others.
Paul writing to the Corinthians said, “You are my living epistle, and you are known and read of all men (2 Cor. 3:2).” They were the fruit of Paul’s ministry, and they were enshrined in his affections. Not only that, but they were known and read by all men in the sense that their conversion was a well-known fact in the area of Corinth. People realized that a change had come over these people, that they had turned to God from idols, and that they were now living separated lives. They were the evidence of Paul’s divine ministry. They were different than the people all around them – they were born again with God’s spirit now dwelling in them.
Look, people may never pick up a Bible to crack open its pages, they may never read the Bible, but they’re reading your life. They are drawing their opinions of Christianity and of Jesus Christ by what they see in you. You and I are representatives for God on earth and we need to conduct ourselves in a proper manner as people around us will be watching us in what we do and in what we say. Yes, it is a heavy load and in prayer we can ask God to help us so that we can be a proper representative of our Lord and Savior.
Good News – God’s Promises to the Church
God has promised that the Redeemed in Christ will reign over all the nations of the world. The prophet Daniel in verse 7:27 says, “Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.” The apostle Paul repeated the same promise in the simplest of terms: “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him (2 Tim:2: 2).” Jesus also in His letter to the church at Thyatira affirmed the promise: “…. to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule over them with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27).”
This glorious promise to the Church, the Bride of Christ, is going to be fulfilled during the Millennium – the 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus on earth. When does this happen? After the seven-year tribulation period during which God’s wrath is poured out on the unbelieving inhabitants of earth as described in Revelation chapter 4 through 18. Where is the church during this time? In heaven with Christ Jesus. Speaking of the rapture, in 1Thess.4:16-17 it tells us that, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an Archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Simply, Christ Jesus comes for us, His body of believers, and will take us home to heaven to be with Him just before the seven-year tribulation on earth begins. This is confirmed in 1 Cor.15:51-53, “Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet (of Christ) will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
After the tribulation period Christ Jesus comes back from heaven with His saints and Christ defeats the armies of the world in the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19). Then after this comes the glorious 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus on earth. Jesus will reign as King of the world from Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23; Zech.14:9). The redeemed will help Christ with His reign by serving worldwide as administrators and spiritual tutors to those who enter the kingdom in the flesh and to their children (Daniel 7:18, 27; Jeremiah 3:15; Luke 19:11-17). That is what Jesus was referring to in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).” Jesus also taught us to pray – “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).”
The Vindication of Christ Demands It
As I mentioned earlier, many churchgoers, especially those from an amillennial church background, who hear nothing from their pastors on this subject, are mostly ignorant of God’s unfulfilled promises. But God is orchestrating the current events of this world to the fulfilment of all the promises in His master plan for the ages. Regarding the revelation of Jesus Christ Scripture tells us that, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy…….. (Rev. 1:3).”
It is inconceivable that the last public view the world would have of Jesus would be that of a bleeding, dying, crucified criminal, covered with blood, spit, and flies – hanging naked on the cross. But the unbelieving world will see His glory displayed to everyone. The Savior who was humiliated, taunted, and put to death in a public display of humanity’s hatred of God will return as conquering Lord in view of the entire world (Luke 21:25-27). This is the apex of human history, where every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7).
Most importantly, the Millennium is essential to God’s purpose in glorifying His Son. God is going to manifest the glory of Jesus before His redeemed saints and before all the nations of the world. This is not a minor theme; this is the story of Jesus at His greatest moment. This is Christ’s high hour. Read Psalms 22:27-31. So, it would appear the very honor of the Lord is at stake in all of this. The scene of Christ’s humiliation, suffering, and crucifixion will one day witness His exultation and glory. This is the most glorious moment and event in the life of Christ – The Coronation of Christ Jesus.
In closing, once again, you have it from the lips of God, as to why, the regathering of the Jewish people back to Israel was necessary. The Lord will restore Israel, not because of any good in them, but because of good in Himself. God’s name has been profaned among the Gentiles and God is going to restore the honor of His name when His Son is exalted on the throne of David in Jerusalem and rules as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Can you imagine the heartbeat of God the Father when His Son is unveiled in all His glory to the whole world? He’s going to be One proud Father.
-Operation Exodus- Another end time regathering of Israel prophecy fulfilled before our very eyes. “The house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north (Russia) to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage (Jeremiah 3:18).
This prophecy has been fulfilled in our generation, with the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991. The doors were opened for Jews seeking permission to move to Israel and one of the most massive human migrations in history began.
Between 1990-1999, around 1 million Russian Jews immigrated to Israel – a real modern-day Exodus. Scripture revealing that the Lord Himself said through Jeremiah that He would be the one to regather what He scattered.
> Oscar Leske
F/B – Signs Of Our Times