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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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