HOW THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL WAS INTERPRETED BY THE APOSTLES

MF Blume




Many prophecies are so familiar to us, not because they are so plainly evident as prophecies easily recognizable in fulfillment, but mostly because we've heard them over and over again. But there are other prophecies that are simply vague only in the sense that their lack of mention has obscured them in our minds. Traditions are amongst us all. And all traditions propose certain tenets and tend to stress them more than others in the holy writ. Our job as ministers is to search out all the scripture, and learn what the Apostles knew and wrote about.

Some prophecies that deal with what many think to be physical fulfillment in a regathering of Israel to the middle eastern land of Palestine, are in fact proposed by the apostles to not be speaking about that at all. If we call ourselves Apostolic, it is incumbent upon us to ensure we study the Apostles' interpretations of various prophecies and references, and note the context they used for them.

The chapters of the prophets that have been touted to propose a regathering to Palestine in our day and time, were not talking about that at all. Paul and the writer of Hebrews quotes several Old Testament prophecies and uses their specifics in application to the apostolic experience of new birth and the kingdom of God today in the church. These references for some reason have been made obscure in our traditions, that, I think, God is trying to correct and align more properly to what the Apostles preached and taught concerning them.
 

JEREMIAH'S REGATHERING PROVEN TO SPEAK OF THE CHURCH

 
Hebrews clearly is speaking about our covenant, which we presently enjoy.
 
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
(Heb 8:7-13)
 

And if you go back to the reference in Jeremiah from which this is taken, you discover that it is actually PART of a prophecy dealing with regathering Israel after their scattering!
 

At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God. For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
(Jer 31:1-8)
 
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
(Jer 31:10)
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD. Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
(Jer 31:20-21)

And here is the passage Hebrews 8 quotes:
 

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
(Jer 31:31-34)
 

And in this manner we continue and read that God will remember Israel forever, as follows immediately after these verses above.:
 

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
(Jer 31:35-37)

Catch the entire context of scriptures that I propose people have erringly thrown off into our future as speaking about regathering to Palestine. It is a regathering through the cross. These are scriptures that our Apostolic foundation of epistles interpreted as our covenant and our day .

There are many more.
 

MOSES' REGATHERING MESSAGE IN DEUTERONOMY

 
Moses was told by God that God would scatter Israel, but ensure that He return them under one condition. They must obey the commandment of the Lord.
 
And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outermost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
(Deu 30:1-5)

They must obey His voice. Let me conclude that Israel was never gathered by God in the past, nor ever will be gather in our future, without being in obedience to God.

Then we start reading, once again, words and terms used by the Apostles to refer to our covenant and our new birth experience.
 

And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
(Deu 30:6)

And then God uses more words that we find repeated in Romans in reference to the Gospel:
 

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
(Deu 30:11-14)

What is the commandment they must obey before God will regather them?

Let me point out that Israel was never regathered while in disobedience. God only gathered them in their obedience, and waited until they turned to Him again before He would guide them in any form. In what manner did Israel obey the Lord and turn to Him in obedience for 1948's alleged "gathering" to be led and orchestrated by God? None! Israel is in disobedience. God will never gather Israel in disobedience.

In fact, Paul quotes this section and informs us what that commandment is which Israel must obey before He will regather them according to Deuteronomy 30.
 

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
(Rom 10:6-8)

Paul said that commandment that Israel had to obey was the word of faith that the Apostles preached! Have we long ago abandoned an Apostolic tenet and were not even aware of it, by proposing that this commandment of God in Deut is something aside from what the Apostle Paul clearly interpreted it to be? Will we take the interpretations of the Apostles or shall we not? Will we take Baptist and Plymouth Brethren and dispensational traditions, that none of the Apostles ever preached, of a future gathering to Palestine of Israel despite their disobedience?

We have heard of coming to Zion with praise, and the nations coming to her, and have heard that this was future and that Israel would gather back to physical Mount Zion in the middle east after the church is removed from the earth. However, the Epistles once again state in no uncertain terms, that we are already at Mount Zion, since we've come into the New Covenant!
 

ISAIAH'S GATHERING TO MOUNT ZION

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
(Isa 2:1-3)

After telling us we do not have a covenant that was given from an earthly mountain that could not be physically touched, we read our covenant is as follows:
 

But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
(Heb 12:22-24)
 

We are already come to Mount Zion! We already have come to the heavenly City New Jerusalem! This is what the Apostles preached. But we have repeated words contrary to these Apostolic tenets that denominational folks have proposed. We carried these traditions out from their ranks when we saw light and left them. And we need to drop these anti-Apostolic interpretations.
 

ISAIAH 11 THROUGH 12 AND THE WOLF AND LAMB PROPHECY


Isaiah 11 speaks of Christ coming as the Branch, a rod from the stem of Jesse.
 

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
(Isa 11:3-4)

And Jesus, Himself, repeated this righteousness judgment of His in John 8:15-16, and told people to do likewise.. John 7:24.
 

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
(Joh 7:24)
 
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
(Joh 8:15-16)

And we read the oft interpreted passage of the wolf laying with the lamb, and take that physically to be a time when animals will actually be liberated from the carnivore instincts originally rooted in sin having come into the world. However, the text continues on into the 12th chapter where we read:
 

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
(Isa 12:1-3)

GOD IS MY SALVATION is the literal interpretation of the Name JESUS. And the thought of drawing waters from the well of salvation likewise infers the New Testament covenant blessings of the Holy Ghost as witnessed by Jesus' words to the woman at the well.
 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
(Joh 4:10-14)

We know this is speaking of the Spirit because we later read:
 

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
(Joh 7:37-39)

Every one of these prophecies that speak of a regathering of Israel always begin speaking in New Covenant terms, and we need to recognize how the Apostles referred to these terms as being New Covenant. Virgin birth is so readily known by us all because even traditional denominations have proposed these thoughts. However, the others have been relegated into obscurity, and people have only noted part of these prophecies of regathering and failed to continue reading and see the terminology used that is explicitly cited by the Apostolic writers in the New testament as being indicative of our covenant right now, and not some future physical gathering of Israel when the church is gone!
 

GATHERING PEOPLE TO ISRAEL, GOD'S SERVANT, IS GATHERING TO JESUS


Jesus is actually called Israel , God's servant, in Isaiah 49.
 

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
(Isa 49:1-3)

Some might question this, however when we keep reading we find verse 6 is quoted in the New Testament to prove that this is indeed speaking of Jesus.
 

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
(Isa 49:6)

The Apostles interpreted this very passage as being fulfilled when they turned to the Gentiles to preach the Gospel.
 

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
(Act 13:46-47)

And this proves this one called Israel is Jesus. And we must take the Apostles' interpretations of these verses, instead of traditional thoughts derived from denominational writings. We have more things to rid ourselves as we strive to be Apostolics today, that we simply have not noticed were contrary to Apostolic interpretations laid down by the Apostles. We simply never looked at these references very carefully before. And so we agreed with the Baptists that these things speak about a future gathering to the middle east, when the Apostles used the references in these chapters to speak of their day and our day in the church!

Isaiah 49:6 spoke of restoring Israel. And the manner in which it would be done was through the cross. Verse 8 shows this is also speaking about the church age.
 

Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
(Isa. 49:8)

Tradition has said this is a future day past our time. But the Apostles said differently!
 

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
(2 Cor. 6:1-2)

Paul said the acceptable time and day that Isaiah spoke of is now -- its the day of salvation, not a regathering to a physical land! This demands that we realize that if the Apostles interpreted these things spiritually as applicable to the church, then so must we! Will we disagree with the apostolic foundation upon which the church is built in order to continue repeating some man-made traditions that the apostles never spoke about?

Jesus was given as a covenant to the people! His body and His blood themselves formed our covenant! And we inherit desolate heritage through Christ in the New Covenant. All of this points to the cross and the church age, and not to a post-church-age time of Jewish workings in the physical land in the east.

Jesus is the servant Israel, as Acts 13:46-47 noted. And we read that the gathering of the people would be to Israel in the sense of Israel being Christ!
 

Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.
(Isa 49:18)

They gather and come together to Jesus! Through the cross! This is the gathering to Israel. They are then the bride, or the church, for the church is the bride obtained through the laying down of Christ's life, as Adam laid down his life and the woman bride came from his side.

All of this gathering occurs with a question raised to teach a lesson of when this is fulfilled.
 

The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
(Isa 49:20-21)

He has children? Where did he get them? Others were lost in this gathering. But there are new children. Where did they come from?
 

Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
(Isa 49:22)

This is the CHURCH! Gentiles have come into the picture in this gathering to Israel, God's servant, known to be Jesus according to Acts 13.
 

Once again, Israel will never be gathered by God when in disobedience. God did not gather Israel in the 1948 dealings in the establishment of Israel as a nation. All Scriptures speaking of regathering always begin speaking about New Testament covenantal terms if you continue read the entire prophecies. These are references the Apostles interpreted as indicative of the church age. Shall we believe and agree with the Apostles? After all, we are Apostolic!
 

TABERNACLE OF DAVID

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
(Amo 9:11)

When the gentiles received the Holy Ghost, as per Peter's testimony at the council in Jerusalem, a word had to be shown to stand upon in order to know what to do about the situation, and whether to circumcise them or not. Peter's testimony was wonderful. And Paul also witnessed of God's work amongst uncircumcised gentiles. However it was not until James received a word from the scriptures that he applied to the gentiles coming into the church in that very day, that they had their foundation for what to do. James did not quote Amos 9:11 in reference to a future time with the Jews restored to Palestine. But he used that to refer to the then-present time of Gentiles coming into the church.
 

And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
(Act 15:13-20)


The context of this demands that we see Amos 9:11 as referring to that day long ago in which the gentiles were coming into the church. This is entirely the opposite of what much prophecy teaching has claimed about the restoration of the Tabernacle of David. The restoration is the applied it explicitly to his day and not a future one?

So it is not that these prophecies are being spiritualized away, but that they have been obscure and veritably unknown amongst us due to
sheer lack of delving into them. But I have shown that the Apostles clearly and explicitly referred to them as being fulfilled in the church
age -- references that we have mistakenly taken to be a return to Palestine of the Jews in 1948.

I propose that the thought of a gathering to Israel in 1948, and before that in steps and stages, has nothing to do with God's gathering efforts, since these prophecies speaking of that regathering were all referenced by the Apostles as speaking spiritually of the church. And we know the Apostles' interpretations are the ones we should rely upon rather than prophecy books and texts written in the last 200 years or so.

You will find these prophecy texts of our day thereby contradict the very words of the Apostles.

Many prophecies are plainly understood by us due to sheer repetition of them. We know them like the backs of our hands. However, would to God these other references would have been repeated as much, and correlated with the interpretations made by the Apostles. They've been there in our Bibles for 2000 years, but we simply favoured other texts and did not much refer to these in our repeated preaching. And therefore it seems odd to look at these as speaking of the Cross and Jesus and the church age. But the Apostles' witness validates that very interpretation!

We need to study and repeat these as much as we've repeated the others, and make them all more well known amongst our churches.