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28 March, 2012 By Rev. Ted Pike

Dozens of Old Testament verses warn Jews they cannot occupy God’s holy land as a nation in unbelief. If they do, they will only be expelled. (See Conditional Salvation/Occupation Verses) This is stated so many times and so clearly it almost becomes tedious.

Yet Christian Zionists assert that a handful of verses say differently. They interpret these few verses to mean Jews will be regathered in unbelief, gradually becoming enlightened and finally brought to salvation at Christ’s second coming.

Does the Bible contradict itself? No.

This article reveals the truth of these verses that Christian Zionists misinterpret.

Isaiah 11:11-12:6

Then will it happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea… [He will] gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (vs. 16)…And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel in the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.
Christian Zionist Dr. Thomas Ice, in his article ““Right to the Promised Land””, has this commentary:
…the return in Isaiah 11 clearly refers to the final worldwide regathering of Israel in faith, at the climax of the tribulation, and in preparation for the millennial kingdom. Isaiah specifically says that this regathering is the second one. That, of course, raises the obvious question: when did the first regathering occur? Some maintain that the first return is the Babylonian return from the exile that began in about 536 B.C. But how could this return be described as worldwide as set forth by Isaiah?
The answer to Dr. Ice’s question is simple. Verse 16 is clear. In the first return, God recovered His chosen people out of Egypt after 400 years in hopeless bondage. Just as He made a miraculous highway through the Red Sea out of slavery into freedom in the Promised Land, so in the second return, “there shall be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left.” This second great recovery and deliverance will be similar to the first, marked by apocalyptic miracles and interventions by God.

Isaiah 11:11-12 says of both returns that God “recovered” His remnant. But it only says of the second recovery that it is to be from all nations of the world. Ice distorts this passage by saying God “regathers” the Jews, which suggests they were scattered worldwide in both recoveries. The Hebrews were not scattered in Egypt but an intact enslaved people whom God recovered, not regathered. Virtually all Biblical versions correctly translate these verses “recovered” or its equivalent.

Having mistranslated "recover" into "regather," Christian and Jewish Zionists say these Scriptures prove the “first return” under God’s approval culminated in establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 when scattered Jews were "regathered" from the nations. The second will be when Christ returns. In reality, Isaiah is clear: The first great miraculous return was in 1500 B.C. out of Egypt. The second miraculous worldwide return is at the end of the tribulation at Christ’s second coming.

Yes, God did bring the Jews back to Palestine under Ezra and Nehemiah. But He did not do so on a “highway” of miracles after the manner of the exodus. Nor did He in the way He will bring the scattered remnant out of bondage to the harsh dominion of anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is portrayed in Isaiah 10:5 as “the Assyrian,” “the rod of Mine anger” to punish and disperse the Jews during the great tribulation. Just as God made a highway out of bondage from anti-Christ Pharaoh, so He will spectacularly deliver and make a highway for the remnant out of the worldwide “Assyria” of the future.

Further, while the remnant languishes in “Assyrian” bondage, two Moses and Aaron types (the two witnesses), like their predecessors, will have power to turn the waters into blood and smite the remnant’s oppressors with plagues (Rev. 11:6). The appearance of Christ in the heavens is also a time of outpouring of “vials of wrath” (Rev. 16:1) and “the seven last plagues” (Rev. 15:1). Such are powerfully reminiscent of the plagues God sent on Pharaoh to finally compel him to let the Hebrews go. Everything about the second deliverance of the Jews from bondage is very largely a recapitulation of the exodus.

Ezekiel 20:33-38

Here God says that the conversion and restoration of the Jews follow a sequence of events. First, God chastises the Jewish people in the “wilderness of the peoples,” outside Israel (vs 35). There He establishes His kingship over them (vs 33) and judges their sin. He compares this to the discipline of their rebellious fathers in the wilderness after they rejected God’s offer to enter Canaan land through faith (vs 33). Christ will “purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against me” (vs 38). Only then will He bring them into “the bond of the covenant.” (vs 37) Those still in rebellion, even though part of those delivered from the nations “will not enter the land of Israel” (vs 38).

Not all Jews, even the survivors of the Great Tribulation, will constitute the remnant. Some, like the Gentiles who refuse to send ambassadors to the Feast of Tabernacles, must be ruled with a rod of iron and excluded (Zech. 14:18-19).

Far from upholding the right of rebellious Jews to live as a nation in Palestine, this passage declares, “They will not enter the land of Israel” (vs. 38). It upholds that even at the end of the age, God vehemently upholds His requirement of obedience in order for Jews to occupy His land of promise.

Ezekiel 22:17-22

God says the repentant remnant, tarnished with sin, even when regathered to Jerusalem, will be vigorously purged of fleshliness and humanism. . . “I shall gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath and you will be melted in the midst of it” (vs 21).
God is describing an intense, vehement time when He purifies His chosen people to be priests for a thousand years. This passage does not teach what Christian Zionists wish it did: that God allowed over seven million Christ-rejecting Jews into Israel today, being purified and “melted” through conflict with surrounding Arab enemies. There is no evidence that the Jewish people at any time in the past 2000 years have tended toward such purification, either in or out of Israel. At the turn of the 20th century, some 20 percent of the inhabitants of Palestine were Christian. Today, as a result of Jewish persecution and harassment of Christians in Palestine, only 2 percent are. This is hardly evidence of an upward curve toward righteousness in Israel.

Ezekiel 36:24-26

God says He will return the believing remnant (not the rebels) to Palestine and “then will I sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean" (vs 25).

Zionist evangelicals claim God returned unbelieving Jews at the beginning of the 20th century and ever since has “sprinkled” gradual enlightenment upon them, a process the church should encourage through unconditional support and noncriticism. Again, have we seen such a trend for more than 110 years? Not at all. Israelis are just as opposed to Christ and Christianity today as when they first entered as Zionist pioneers. What this passage really describes is the necessary cleansing of the paganized, yet repentant, children of the Great Whore.

Ezekiel 37

The prophet sees a valley full of dry bones resurrected by God’s power. God clothes them with flesh and brings them back to Israel. He puts His spirit in them so that they can at last know that He (Jesus) is God (vs 14).
Christian Zionists argue that this describes the gathering of Jews in Israel over the past century. The problem is: God describes it as just as much a spiritual resurrection as a physical one. Yes, millions of Jews came to Palestine and created a nation a century ago. But have they been spiritually resurrected to know Jesus as their true Messiah? Clearly, what Ezekiel sees is the final gathering of the believing remnant at Christ’s second coming.

It is argued that because Ezekiel 37 precedes Ezekiel 38 and 39 this resuscitation of the dry Jewish bones will be accomplished in Jewish unbelief. After all, Ezekiel 38 and 39 describe Israel dwelling in “peace and safety” in the land yet in great wickedness (Ez. 39:23-26). If Ezekiel 38 and 39 describe the return of Jews still in unbelief, that great event preceding such return, resurrection of the dry bones, must also take place in unbelief.

Yet Ezekiel is not a chronological history of the Jews. Like most prophetic Scripture, it is kaleidoscopic. Ezekiel 37 describes a nation spiritually revitalized through repentance. It’s a nation of Jews upon whom the Holy Spirit has fallen, resurrecting and regathering them by Christ’s power and the Holy Spirit at His second coming. This victorious chapter, and the second return of the Jews it describes, must come after the present counterfeit return described in chapter 38, 39.


Nowhere does Scripture contradict its repeated explicit requirements of national obedience before Jewish occupation. Zionists have no Biblical foundation for their claim that a nation of unrepentant Jews occupied Palestine under God’s blessing a century ago. God clearly instructed Jeremiah (Jer. 29:4-8) that such Jews should live outside His holy land, seeking the welfare of their host nations.

Having followed blind guides, allowing the ramming of an unbiblical unjust return of unholy Jews down Arab throats, both Jews and western Christian nations have paid an enormous price in Mid-East conflict. Unfortunately, neither Jewish nor Christian Zionists seem inclined to rethink their heretical resolve, learning nothing from the discord they have engendered. The world must brace itself for much greater repercussions.

For a much fuller discussion of this topic, come to Rev. Ted Pike's Bible study under the same title at the Biblical Answers section of
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